Take “1More” for the Road!
1More is an upcoming headphones brand that’s behind some of the best mid-priced wired earbuds on the market; including a pair that is THX Certified. At CES2020, I was introduced to their ANC TWS model that is available now for $199.99 US directly from their website, or $279.99 C from Amazon Canada. This earbuds package reminds me of Sony’s 1000XM3 earbuds but with the capability of both USB-C and Qi wireless charging (the Sony does not have wireless charging). Small, highly pocketable, but not too fiddly to the point that they will fall out of the pocket.
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. I mentioned these as many TWS earbuds I tried have failed in the strong connection area and/or in the good quality audio/ANC department.
For the connection department, this set is pretty good. An optimized Qualcomm chip with Bluetooth 5 provides a fast and stable connection with lower power consumption. Even in places with tremendous signal interference like airports, GO Stations or Greyhound Station in Downtown Toronto, so you can stay connected with your music without any dropout. 1More’s earbuds are designed to turn on and pair automatically when you put them in your ears. I found this worked about a third of the time. However, there were other times when I had to re-pair them to my phone to get them to work. Please note that actually, it’s not unusual to have to troubleshoot true wireless earbuds occasionally; and after the installation of their latest firmware, the overall experience is extremely stable.
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.
1More’s debut noise-canceling true wireless earbuds do a good job in many of these areas, and they do so while sounding good. Dual ANC microphones plus the dedicated Digital Signal Processing (DSP) effectively analyze and block out environmental and in-ear noise. Gain complete control of your surroundings by choosing between ANC level 1 (total noise cancellation) or level 2 (ambient noise/passthrough mode) with a simple tap of your finger.
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 local GO Train or the Greyhound trans-city bus.
Turn on ANC, and the bass level increases a little bit. 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 such as the usual Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Michael Buble and Diana Krall, with a warm sound signature that never got overwhelming. If you’re someone who likes a completely neutral sound, then it might not be for you, but then again, considering these earbuds are designed to be used in a more noisy environment, the added bass (just the right amount, actually), is needed. If you really want a completely neutral sound, then the Sony 1000XM3 earbuds are for you… and at a much higher premium too.
1More says you should get between five and six hours of playback from the earbuds, depending on whether you have noise-cancellation enabled or not, and the case will give you an extra 13 to 16 hours.
For the fit, however, it’s kinda weird. They come with plenty of ear tip sizes, but they never fit me perfectly. If I wear the medium sized buds they are too loose for me, but the one size higher is too tight. This may be a problem for people who are jogging, but for an avid walker like me, it’s not a problem although it still leaves me wanting a better fit.
Then there’s microphone quality, which I didn’t have any problems with. I made a few calls from noisy streets, and the person I was speaking to never had any issue understanding me. People said that I sounded farther away from the mic, but the sound quality was still acceptable although not as great as the Jabra 75t.
1More’s True Wireless ANC are a good pair of earbuds so long as you’re someone who likes sound a touch on the bassy side (but not overly so). They’re packed with nice lifestyle features, such as USB-C and wireless charging, and it’s nice having the flexibility to use just one at a time. However I would have liked them to fit better. If you need every single feature these earbuds have to offer, then that definitely be a price worth taking these 1More for the road.
• Better sound than Apple Airpods Pro and the de-facto Jabra 75t earbuds
• Can be used as single earbuds in either ear
• Solid connectivity (with latest firmware installed)
• Not-so-perfect fit in my ears
• No ability to pair to two devices at once
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