1MORE True Wireless ANC full review
While still relatively unknown in the UK, 1MORE is famed for producing high-quality audio products at a discounted price point. We were blown away with the Stylish TWS earbuds the company released in 2019, praising the design and audio quality, especially at a cheap price point, so when we heard about the AirPods Pro-rivalling True Wireless ANC earbuds, we were excited.
Can 1MORE take on Apple for the title of best wireless ANC earbuds? Carry on reading to find out.
Pricing and availability
Following a January 2020 launch, you can now buy the 1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds exclusively from Amazon in the UK, while those in the US have a choice of either 1MORE or Amazon. The ANC-enabled wireless earbuds have an RRP of £199/$199, but you can pick it up for a discounted £179.99 in the UK at the time of writing.
1MORE’s latest wireless earbuds are framed as a premium product that can take on AirPods Pro at a cheaper price point, but can 1MORE tempt users away from such a well-received product? Let’s discuss.
An all-round upgrade
The 1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds look similar to that of the budget-friendly Stylish TWS earbuds the company released in 2019, but with a handful of differences that help the two models stand apart. The most noticeable design aspect of the new earbuds is undoubtedly the carbon fibre finish, giving the earbuds a premium finish compared to the all-plastic body of the cheaper variant.
The inclusion of carbon fibre should tell you all you need to know about the 1MORE Wireless ANC earbuds; they’re a premium option, and align themselves with high-end earbuds like Apple’s AirPods Pro.
One element of the original TWS earbuds that we loved was the fact that the buds were small enough to fit nicely into the ear without having something stick out like a poorly-designed Doctor Who villain. Sadly, the hybrid dual drivers and additional tech required to provide ANC meant a sacrifice to the overall form factor of the buds, with the ANC-enabled earbuds noticeably larger than the standard TWS earbuds.
That’s why the included O-hooks are so important; unique to 1MORE, both sets of true wireless earbuds sport special O-hooks that help keep the earbuds secure in your ears. You get three sets of silicone O-hooks with the earbuds, and like with the eartips, it’s important to find the right size for your ears – choose wrong and chances are you’ll find yourself constantly readjusting the buds.
Like the O-hooks, eartips are an element of earbud design that 1MORE takes seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the True Wireless ANC earbuds come with three sets of silicone eartips (S/M/L) and four sets of circular silicone eartips (XS/S/M/L) to provide something that’s both comfortable and sounds great.
But with that being said, it can be a daunting task finding the right fit, especially if your ears aren’t identical. It took us around half an hour of fiddling around with the various tips and O-hooks on offer before we found what we felt was the ideal fit, so be prepared to put the time in.
It’s not quite as user-friendly as what’s on offer from the likes of the AirPods Pro, featuring three sets of tips and functionality that’ll automatically test whether the earbuds are the right size for your ears, but at least 1MORE is trying to be as accommodating as possible.
When not in use, the 1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds are stored in a brushed metal carry case, further adding to the premium look and feel of the earbuds. The case also sports a flat bottom with a layer of grippy rubber, allowing the case to stand upright on a table or desk without sliding or falling over.
It’s certainly a step up from the all-plastic TWS earbuds, but it’s also noticeably larger than other earbud carry cases on the market. It’s not huge by any means, but its presence was certainly noticeable when carried around in our pocket.
When it comes to connectivity, 1MORE’s True Wireless ANC earbuds are top-notch. The premium earbuds sport a Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.0 chipset that, along with great-sounding audio, provides instant connectivity – by the time we take the earbuds out of the case and put them in, they’re already connected and ready to go.
Latency isn’t an issue either; the chipset provides near-instant synchronisation, providing a lag-free experience whether you’re watching Netflix on your commute or you’re squeezing in a cheeky game of Call of Duty Mobile on your break.
Connectivity aside, there’s plenty of smarts on offer from the True Wireless ANC earbuds.
You’ll find an IR sensor embedded into each earbud tasked with working out when the earbuds are being worn, and when they’re taken out. Similar to Apple’s AirPods collection, removing one or both of the True Wireless ANC earbuds will automatically pause music playback, making it easy to respond to the heathens that try and speak to you when you’ve got headphones in.
The option to resume playback when you put the earbuds back in is currently disabled, as is the case with the AirPods Pro, but 1MORE has reassured us that the functionality should be pushed out in a firmware update via the all-new (and slightly barebones) 1MORE Music app for iOS and Android in the coming weeks.
The crowning feature is, of course, the built-in Active Noise Cancellation, activated by double-tapping either earbud, but there are other modes on offer too. You’ve got two levels of ANC to choose from – one for loud environments like planes and another for walking the streets – along with a Passthrough mode that activates the exterior microphones to let in a bit of ambient noise and a standard, no-thrills mode with uncompromised sound quality.
Touch controls aside, there’s a single button atop each earbud that provides extra functionality compared to the original Stylish TWS earbuds. You now can click once to adjust audio, double click to play or pause music and skip tracks by holding down the button for a second or two.
The issue is that the controls are bud-specific, meaning double-clicking the button of the left bud does something different to the right, and it can be pretty confusing when getting used to the controls. The controls also change when wearing a single earbud, somewhat obviously, and it’s a similar story with phone calls too.
It does admittedly click after about a week – at least it did with us – and we’re now able to easily control media playback without getting our phone out of our pocket, but there’s definitely a learning curve there.
Good audio quality, middling ANC
As mentioned, there are two levels of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) available on 1MORE’s latest earbuds. The high-level ANC is suited to loud environments like trains and planes, while the second ANC mode is optimal for when you’re out and about and want to tune out environmental noise – on paper, anyway.
In reality, the ANC isn’t quite what we were hoping for. There’s definitely a level of ANC available, but even when using the most powerful mode, we could still hear environmental noise quite clearly, whether that’s the rattle of the tube or the hiss of buses driving past during rush hour. It seems like it’s tailored to filtering out low-pitched humming noises, like the subtle roar of an aeroplane jet during a flight, and doesn’t really do much when it comes to higher-pitched noise like people talking and the clicky-clack of keys on a keyboard.
We’re not saying that the AirPods Pro or other wireless earbuds completely cancel out exterior sounds, because that’s certainly not the case, but it’s more powerful than what we’ve experienced with the 1MORE earbuds.
What’s more, the audio playback sounds noticeably different with ANC on compared to having it off – especially when it comes to the bass department. Toggling on ANC tweaks the output of the audio to produce levels of bass more accustomed to standard headphones, and while it’s great when listening to Dubstep, DnB or any bass-heavy music, there’s a sacrifice to the overall clarity of the audio.
We can’t help but feel that this change in output has been purposely implemented to help mask any environmental noise that the ANC can’t cancel out.
Interestingly, it’s when the ANC is disabled that the dual-hybrid-drivers perform at their best. Without the ANC, the audio produced is surprisingly bright considering the deep bass tones on offer, with crisp, warm vocals suited to a range of music, and the overall volume is impressive for such small earbuds.
However, it’s clear that each bud features a driver focused on the bass tones and another focused on the high-end, but what about the mids? To us, it sounds like the mid-range has been neglected, lacking any real presence regardless of music genre or playback mode.
Decent battery life
The 1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds last around five to six hours depending on the overall volume as well as the level of active noise cancellation used, which is average for most wireless earbuds in 2020. The battery life is displayed in the form of a multi-colour LED on the earbuds and the case; green means fully charged, and red means it’s time to top-up the power.
Popping the earbuds into the carry case will charge them up, and the case offers 22 additional hours of charge when the buds run out of battery, allowing you to stay untethered for longer.
What’s more is the case actually has built-in fast charging, providing enough charge for two hours’ use after 15 minutes of charging, and the earbuds can go from flat-to-full in around an hour. That’s not exactly ground-breaking, but it’s more than enough to see you get through a few days without having to top-up.
It takes a little longer to charge the case via USB-C – around two hours in our experience – and you’ve also got the option of wireless charging, but as this is limited to 5W, it’ll take a bit longer to charge up.
The 1MORE True Wireless ANC earbuds are a bit of a mixed bag.
On the one hand, you’ve got a comfortable pair of earbuds that create a perfect seal for impressive audio quality, and the added smarts are a welcome addition compared to the original Stylish TWS earbuds. But on the other, you’ve got middling ANC that quietens the environment rather than cancels it out, and the bass-heavy output with the mode enabled is either great or annoying depending on your personal preference.
These are decent ANC-enabled earbuds suited to both iOS and Android users, but with the AirPods Pro costing only £50/$50 more with a streamlined setup, balanced audio performance and more powerful ANC, we’d probably opt for Apple’s option.
1MORE True Wireless ANC: Specs
- Active Noise Cancellation (Two Levels)
- Touch and physical button controls
- Bluetooth 5 connectivity
- USB-C and Qi Wireless charging
- aptX & AAC codec support
- 6hr battery life with 22hrs in case
- 6 sets of eartips and 3 sets of O-hooks