Rivals to AirPods Pro
Are These the Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds That Audiophiles Have Been Waiting For?
Product: True Wireless ANC In-Ear Headphones
Release Date: late January 2020
If you’ve never heard of 1More, don’t worry. The company isn’t nearly as well known as the likes of Bose and Sony, and it traditionally makes hi-fi headphones and earbuds that are way more affordable. Think less than $100. But the company’s newest product is a step in a little bit of a different direction. The True Wireless ANC is, as the name gives away, a pair of wireless earbuds that have active noise-cancellation. They cost $200.
It’s not all that surprising given that proliferation of noise-canceling wireless earbuds, but what separates the True Wireless ANC from its more expensive competitors — such as AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM3 and Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus — is that each earbud has dual drivers. This means that, essentially, they’re able to most evenly distribute the responsibilities of handling high, mid and low frequencies and deliver a more robust, dynamic sound. And that’s ideal for hi-fi enthusiasts. So, do they?
The sound quality is the big selling point.
The True Wireless ANC are punchy, loud and fun-sounding wireless earbuds. The secret is its dual-driver technology in each earbud, specifically a dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver working together, and they are able to produce really crisp highs and really powerful lows without making your music sound scratchy or distorted. The effect creates a depth to the music that’s really on par with the Sony WF-1000XM3, which are probably the all-around noise-canceling earbuds. If I were to be overly critical, I’d say that the treble and bass, because they’re both amplified, can sometimes overshadow the midrange (meaning instrumentals and background vocals), which is the area that audiophiles most cherish.
The controls can be a bit complicated.
In a little bit of an odd move, 1More made the True Wireless ANC with both physical buttons and capacitive controls — and it definitely takes a little while to learn. For instance, each earbud has a physical button on it. A single tap on the left earbud’s button lowers the volume, while the same thing on the right bud raises the volume. If you double-tap either of those buttons it plays/pauses the music. And if you hold down the buttons, depending on if it’s on the left or right earbud, it starts the song over or skips to the next one. I found myself constantly pausing the music when I just wanted to lower the volume.
To switch between the various noise-canceling and pass-through modes, that requires capacitive touch; you have to double-tap on the surface one earbud (it doesn’t matter which one). The problem for me was that double-tapping didn’t always — in fact, most of the time — switch the levels of noise cancellation. I actually found myself just opening the 1More and toggling through the settings in there. And that’s been a bit frustrating.
Noise-cancellation works surprisingly well.
Color me impressed. The noise-canceling and passthrough abilities of 1More’s True Wireless ANC earbuds are almost on par with the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3. While no wireless earbuds are able to completely block out all ambient sounds, these do a pretty damn good job (especially on the low end). Part of the reason for this is that fit snugger than a lot of other wireless earbuds and therefore have a better passive noise-canceling ability. This also, on the flip side, fatigued my ears quicker and made them a little difficult for me to wear for long periods (this, admittedly, will vary from person to person depending on your ear shape).
1More provided this product for review.
If you want audiophile-grade headphones that work well with your smartphone and don’t need a separate headphone amplifier — get these. Read the Story