1MORE is a brand with lofty ambitions. While there are plenty of little-known Chinese brands selling true wireless headphones to a global audience at budget prices, 1MORE has set its sights higher: it’s aiming to take on the giants of true wireless headphones, Apple and Sony.
The True Wireless ANC In-Ear Headphones undercut the Apple AirPods Pros by about $50 on price, and boast a feature list that matches Apple’s omnipresent noise-cancelling buds.
There is aptX Bluetooth 5.0, two levels of active noise-cancellation as well as a pass-through function (to filter ambient noise into the headphones), plus a hybrid dual-driver design, all presented in a premium package.
Producing a great-sounding pair of wired earbuds is one thing, but true wireless headphones, particularly noise-canceling ones, are much trickier. A good fit and strong connection are essential, and that’s before you even get into the challenges of packing good-quality audio and noise cancellation into a tiny package.
1More’s debut noise-canceling true wireless earbuds do a good job in many of these areas, and they do so while sounding good. I found they had a slightly fussy fit that made them inappropriate to use if I was moving around a lot, but there’s a lot to like here.
1More’s True Wireless ANC headphones have a pretty enviable spec list that ticks almost all of the boxes for a pair of true wireless earbuds. They can be charged either via their USB-C port or wirelessly. They have active noise cancellation as well as a passthrough mode for when you need to hear what’s going on around you. You can use the earbuds together or use either one individually (although they can’t connect to two devices at once). They support both AptX and AAC audio codecs.
The earbud controls seem a little unusual at first, but I was broadly happy with them once I’d sussed out how they work. The touch controls control noise cancellation. You double tap to shift through the four modes, which include the headphone’s two ANC levels, an ambient passthrough mode, and one mode where everything’s turned off. Meanwhile, a single physical button on each earbud handles playback and volume control. A single press on the left or right earbud adjusts the volume up or down, a long press skips forward or back, and double pressing either side pauses whatever you’re listening to.
The supplied USB-C charger (the headphones are also compatible with Qi wireless chargers) should provide two hours of juice from a quick 15-minute charge. As well as a premium-looking metallic case, there is also a drawstring pouch for all those extra tips and hooks.
Battery life is a claimed five hours with ANC on, or six hours without it – that’s about an hour more than from the AirPods Pros, but an hour or two less than the Sony WF-1000XM3s. There is also an extra 10 to 13 hours from the 1MORE case, depending on whether you use ANC. 1MORE claims a total of around 22 hours from the entire set-up, without ANC, before the charger needs juice itself.
The case is slightly larger and heavier than that of the AirPods Pros but still slips easily into your pocket. The case feels protective, too – the lid snaps shut with strong magnets and feels well-engineered. There’s a small LED on the front of the case for battery status: when the lid is opened (or charging) it glows red to indicate low, orange for medium or green to signify a full battery.
1MORE has again chosen to go with its own, proprietary ANC solution for its true wireless flagship product, as well as a dual driver design. The company’s patented balanced armature driver handles high frequencies, and a more traditional dynamic driver takes the lows.
Generally, I was happy with the noise cancellation performance of 1More’s headphones. You have two different levels to choose from, and you cycle through them with a double tap of either earbud. 1More says that the first level of ANC will filter out noise up to 35 dB in volume, while level two offers a slightly reduced rate of up to 20 dB. In practice, I never found the need to use the second mode. It generally worked well to cancel out the roar of the London Underground, although there were a couple of occasions when the mode glitched out momentarily when things got especially loud.
The sound quality of the 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds differs a lot depending on whether you have noise cancellation turned on or off, and it even differs between the two different levels. Leave ANC turned off, and you’ll be faced with a fairly neutral sound signature. Sound separation is good, and if you listen to complicated pieces of music, every part of the soundstage comes through loud and clear. However, the bass is a little quiet relative to the rest of the sound, which can end up making things feel a little lifeless at times.
Turn on ANC, and the bass level increases dramatically. In fact, when you listen to the two modes side by side, it almost sounds as if there’s too much bass when noise cancellation is enabled. But the more I listened to the earbuds in ANC mode, the more I liked what they did to my favorite music, with a warm sound signature that never got too overwhelming. If you’re someone who likes a completely neutral sound, then it might not be for you, but it suited my tastes well.
For the current price of $179.99, the 1MORE True Wireless ANC Earbuds are a bit pricy for what you get in the end. They are definitely a decent product, but I feel there are definitely better alternatives out there that will give you a much better sound and better noise cancelling.
If you can’t afford a more pricier option like the Apple AirPods Pro, and you’re still wanting a good sound quality, then by all means the 1MORE True Wireless ANC Earbuds are for you. While you might give up a couple of great features or options, you’re not going to give up much at all.