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The joy of getting more than you bargained for

These zombie earbuds were a welcome surprise.

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Late last summer I had the opportunity to review the 1More Colorbuds to see if these aspiring value flagship earbuds could compete with the best wireless earbuds on the market. It turns out, I ended up liking the Colorbuds so much that they quickly became my grab-and-go set of earbuds whenever I went for a walk, jog, or hike, and I even used them around the house while working or cleaning. I found them to be fast-pairing, comfortable, and to be honest, kinda cute.

So fast-forward a few months from that review. I had been on a run when I came across a friend on the trail. Without thinking, I pulled the buds out of my ears and stuck them in the pocket of my shorts, and then began to catch up with my friend (from a respectful six-foot distance, of course). I then walked home, showered, and promptly forgot about my Colorbuds. That is, until the next time I needed to use them.

You see, I never removed them from my shorts, and promptly put my shorts in the laundry basket. They were then quickly dumped in the washing machine before I realized what had happened. Great, I thought. Now I’ll have to spend another $100 on a replacement pair. Damn.

Oh. oh no. They’re only IPX5 water resistant 😞Send them in if they don’t work after this and we’ll get you taken care of. If they still work… you can include that in a review.

— 1MORE (@1MoreUSA) December 1, 2020

You see, the 1More Colorbuds, like many wireless earbuds, aren’t rated for submersion, soap, agitation, drying, etc. They do have an IPX5 water and sweat resistance rating, but they’re not meant for more than that. I was upset, but I get it. I didn’t expect any recourse, but the 1More social team was very generous over Twitter, even offering to replace the buds if they didn’t come back to life. But you know what? They DID!

After a day or two of airing out, I put the Colorbuds back in their charging case, and low and behold, they began charging. I still didn’t have any realistic expectations that they’d work, or work well. But then I grabbed them the next day to go on a walk, and hallelujah — they worked as if it had never happened! So of course, I had to let my friends at 1More know.

Time to update the IPX rating 😎

— 1MORE (@1MoreUSA) December 1, 2020

It’s not often that I make a purchase, and especially a technology purchase, that I’m blown away by how the product, service, or customer service go above and beyond what I’d bargained for, but that’s exactly what happened here. I wanted to not only give the 1More team credit where credit is due, but I just thought this story could serve as a nice reminder that the products we know and love are actually designed, built, marketed, and supported by real, honest people. These engineers, designers, marketers, and support staff take a lot of pride in their work and want us to have a good experience with their products/services. It doesn’t always work out that way, but sometimes it works out in a big way!

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After recounting this story to some of my friends and colleagues at AC, I wondered if they had any examples where they were pleasantly surprised by a tech product or service where they got more than they bargained for. Here are some of their responses:

  • Jerry Hildenbrand marveled about the new Raspberry Pi 400, calling it his favorite gadget of the last year. “This new form factor made the product so accessible and was able to do it without a price increase.”
  • Joe Maring reminded me that the Pixel 4a is still the best value in smartphones. “Given how good 2019’s Pixel 3a was, I don’t think anyone was expecting the Pixel 4a to be a dud. However, as someone that never got a chance to actually use the 3a, rocking the Pixel 4a as my daily driver for the last few months has been better than I could have ever imagined. Even with multiple phones in my office that are considerably more expensive and have better specs, there’s something about the Pixel 4a that I just can’t quit. I adore its compact design, it’s perfectly fast for everything I need to do, the camera is mind-blowing, and Google’s software experience continues to be my personal favorite way to use Android. When you combine all of those things together, the end result is a phone that surprises me every single day I use it.”
  • Adam Doud couldn’t help but gush on one of my favorite devices, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, saying that it “is a wonderful device that could easily become my new writing box when I move around – if we ever move around again. It’s got the power to run everything I need and Chrome OS is a legitimately good OS. Considering its price point, it’s a great deal.” I 100% agree with this take, and so does my Chromebook colleague Ara Wagoner.
  • Speaking of Ara, she still sings the praises of her favorite little streaming device that JUST. WON’T. DIE. — her original NVIDIA Shield Android TV.
  • Muhammad Jarir Kanji is still rocking a Cubot P20 review unit as his daily driver, two and a half years after he first got it. “Ironically, the title for my original review was: The Cubot P20 makes a good argument for why you may not need a flagship.”
  • Daniel Bader, who isn’t easily impressed with crowdfunding projects, was taken aback by just how much he ended up loving the Espro Bloom Pour Over. A noted coffee connoisseur, Daniel said that he “backed it on Kickstarter with no expectations beyond knowing the company behind it, but it’s turned out to be one of the best and most useful ways to make a good cup of coffee quickly.”

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I don’t know about you, but I just love hearing stories like these. Do you have any tech-related products or services that have gone above and beyond your initial expectations? If so, please share your little success stories below, so that we can all check them out!

— Jeramy

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