Review cover Donner Dobuds ONE ANC Earbuds (Hardware)
Official GBAtemp Review

ANC earbuds are all the rage, but how do Donner's $36 Dobuds ONE earbuds stack up?

attachFull319604

As a music buff, I'm a big fan of active noise cancellation. Who doesn't want to be engrossed in their favourite tracks, encapsulated in escapism and entirely in the melodic moment with not a single distraction?

Donner has been producing and refining audio products for around a decade now, and has bundled all their latest technology into one svelt package: the Donner Dobuds ONE earbuds! Offering 32hrs of playtime, waterproofing, active noise cancellation for the speakers and environmental noise cancellation for the microphones, the Donner Dobuds ONE buds offer premium features, with a quality companion app at the honest price of just $36.

attachFull319620

Review imageReview imageReview image
Tech Specs:
  • Model: Dobuds ONE
  • Color: Black/White/Blue
  • Wearing Type: In-ear
  • Microphone: Supported
  • Volume Control: Supported
  • ANC (Active Noise Cancelling): Supported
  • ENC (Environmental Noise Cancellation): Supported
  • Low Latency: Supported
  • Siri/Google Assistant: Supported
  • App Connect: Supported
  • Bluetooth Version: 5.2
  • Bluetooth Chip: BT8922E2
  • Supported Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Support Audio Decoding: SBC, AAC
  • Transmission Distance: ≥10M
  • Working Response: 2.4Ghz-2.48Ghz
  • Battery Capacity: 55mAh (Earbuds), 520mAh (Charging Box)
  • Charging Time: ≥1.5H
  • Fast Charging: Supported
  • Working Time: 8H (ANC Off), 6.5H (ANC On)
  • Standby Time: 32H (Earbuds: 8H+ Charging Box: 24H)
  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Charging Interface: Type C

Opening the packaging the feel of the product is rather luxurious. The materials used and the packaging complexity exudes quality from the get-go, and you feel assured that these are undoubtedly finely crafted products. The plastic used on the earbuds feels like porcelain with a silky smooth finish that I honestly wasn't expecting, there are no raised seams, just smoothness throughout. They feel fantastic under your fingers and equally slick when placed in your ears.

The earbuds are chiselled white plastic that have been anatomically shaped to fit into your concha with little twiddling or finessing required, but they come with 5 pairs of tips to get the perfect fit if you find them wanting to fall out during use, once that has been sorted; just pop them in and go. Each bud has a multi-functional touch button that controls the regular functions by way of single, double or triple tap combinations. Holding down on the right or left and you skip forward or back one track, single tapping offers volume control, double tapping call answer/reject, triple tapping gives you voice assistant on the left bud or ANC mode control on the right.

attachFull319622

Review imageReview imageReview image

The learning curve is relatively nonexistent (except for the obligatory three-way calling complexities) if you're used to wireless earbuds these days, and within minutes I had my head around the controls and was testing out the ANC modes and I have to say that the ANC on the Dobuds ONE earbuds is exceptional. Using a TV on in the background playing random shows, I sat extremely close and tested switching the Dobuds ANC on and off, and used the companion app (Donner Control) on my iPhone to adjust the effect via the dials and presets. Although no ANC-enabled devices are magic bullets when it comes to 100% sound shielding, these go a fair way to deaden off and flatten out any external sounds that may leak into your attention while you're listening to your personal playlists. With the dial set to 6 and my TV's connected soundbar (with sub) on at a moderate level for general use, I could just about hear a muffled version of what was being broadcast, but hammering the dial to 10 cuts out virtually all low frequency sounds with only high-end vocal tones coming through as a very diminished capacity. This is great news because I was testing the headphones as is, with no music playing, just testing the general ANC alone! With music on, I could not hear anything from the TV show in the audio mix coming into my ears, which demonstrated the ability of the "feedforward" tech for quieter hearing. When the music stopped I could once again just about hear vocal tones, which is to be expected given the -30dB cut around the 80Hz 2KHz region.

The ANC modes include "Commute", "indoor", "outdoor", and "manual Noise Reduction" mode with lets you customise it. I heartily recommend just bang it up to 10 and be done with it, no need to switch profiles, no need to tune it in, just ramp it up and save that setting as the default. You can always switch out of it by triple tapping the ANC mode off and using transparency mode to purposely listen in to external sounds.

Review imageReview imageReview imageReview imageReview image

The companion app also lets you switch up the EQ modes of the earbuds, giving you some superb sound profiles depending on your preferences. Personally, I have been listening to Alien Ant Farm Albums again for a bit of a nostalgia hit, and the Donner Signature profile is absolutely perfect for the bassy vocal mixture. The Rock, Pop, Monitor, Classic and Rap profiles each have slight redeeming features in that some emphasise the vocals, others flatten off the entire spectrum, however, the signature EQ was actually fantastic sounding with the 12mm LCP Dynamic Driver and custom armature pumping warm, crisp sound into your ear canal. If you don't like any of these, you can always tweak and tune your own profile to your heart's content, and then save it as a custom preset to use later.

The 12mm driver itself gives a fantastic range of sound and truly delivers an excellent reproduction of sound in your ear. The balance gives warmth and depth that is truly awesome in such a small form factor. Donner claims that they have built a balanced armature driver which effectively compensates for the lack of a high-frequency band within the Dynamic Speaker itself. I really enjoyed the sound quality of these buds throughout testing, and could easily become my daily faves thanks to the superb sound quality across a range of genres of music and movie/multimedia playback.

With just a 10-minute blast of power yielding a stonking 2hrs of playtime, the Dobuds ONE buds offer excellent pick-up and playability for those who are useless at keeping their tech charged and ready to go. In addition, the USB-C enabled rechargeable case holds 24hrs worth of battery, with the 8hr max capacity of the buds producing a staggeringly wonderful 32hrs of playtime on one full charge cycle with ANC off and around 24hrs total with ANC on. I would say that I easily got +24hrs out of these buds with just one charge using ANC constantly and with the volume at around 70-75% on average, so these passed my expectations in terms of needing to charge them regularly.

Along with the aforementioned ANC and 12mm drivers, these also integrate Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC codec support, gaming mode for low (70ms) latency gaming, rain/sweat ingress poofing via IPX4, and ENC noise filtering when making calls (or gaming) the Donner Dobuds ONE earbuds are a formidable package for those looking for an AIO solution for solid in-ear sound and call quality on the go. Indecisive customers would be silly to overlook these, given the engineering and technology that has gone into this product, making it well worth it and a solid purchase.

Product Link:

https://amzn.to/3v45r6p

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Great sound quality
  • Fantastic companion app
  • ~32hr battery life
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Not truly waterproof
9
out of 10

Overall

Fantastic sound quality paired with a decent companion app makes this a superb purchase, but the $36 pricetag may put potential buyers off given the relatively low brand awareness.
This review made me interested, indeed. Good job emphasizing the moderately low price.
I'm convinced.

Are these things (these kind of earbuds) usable when running?

Anyone tried to do exercise with earbuds? How was the experience?
 
  • Like
Reactions: KiiWii
This review made me interested, indeed. Good job emphasizing the moderately low price.
I'm convinced.

Are these things (these kind of earbuds) usable when running?

Anyone tried to do exercise with earbuds? How was the experience?
I use mine on the treadmill and during cycling. They’re great :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyeliner
Review cover

Reviews

  1. Hardware

    PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus Bluetooth Controller

    Going back to mobile gaming, we check out PowerA's latest Android-focused MOGA gamepad!
  2. Hardware

    Analogue Pocket – GB, GBC and GBA handheld FPGA based player.

    FPGAs are the king of devices to replicate/simulate other devices, here we have one made portable and with a very nice screen aiming at playing GB, GBC, and GBA games among others.
  3. Xbox Series X|S

    South of the Circle

    Narrative driven title South of the Circle from indie devs State of Play will have you traverse Antarctica while looking back at past events that brought you to this frozen landscape, while stuck...
  4. Hardware

    Donner Dobuds ONE ANC Earbuds

    ANC earbuds are all the rage, but how do Donner's $36 Dobuds ONE earbuds stack up?
  5. Nintendo Switch

    Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

    Three years later we venture back into Fodlan for some hacking and slashing with a pinch of strategy in Koei Tecmo’s latest Warriors mashup!
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    Sonic Angel Knight @ Sonic Angel Knight: Veho should eat a cookie :P