1MORE mastered the True Wireless (TWS) earbud model years ago. They’ve successfully learnt how to ace aesthetic, audio and ergonomics – all in one. Our previously-reviewed 1MORE ColorBuds and ComfoBuds are proof of that. We were recently sent their TWS ANC In-Ear Headphones. Twice the price of both the aforementioned previously-reviewed earbud models, we were expecting them to be twice as efficient in performance and other areas as well. The earbud missed some marks and hit some, but all in all, we found these to be a little pricey considering their features.
Love at First Sight
The TWS ANC Headphones come in a packaging so unique and fancy that it’s hard not to fall for them as soon as you lay your eyes on them. The box is made of hard cardboard and has a magnetic opening. A thick silver plate with the brand name emblazoned on it acts as the gate of the box. Once you lift the plate, you come across a cardboard frame hosting the earbuds and the carry case in three separate sockets. There’s another box for accessories under the frame. A plastic cover shields the frame and its contents, and also acts as a user guide with instructions stamped all over it.
The accessories box for hosts quite a lot of stuff. There’s the usual USB-C charging cable along with four packets of extra eartip sizes and a carry pouch. The packets host six pairs of extra eartips of varying sizes and three additional pairs of extra eargrips. The ear grips are O-hooks integrated in the earbud design that we’ll shed light on in the ergonomics part of this review. The carry pouch is a little cheap for my liking. It is a very shiny (read: tacky) leather pouch with strings as its closing mechanism. I don’t really mind though. With TWS earbuds, the carry case is usually enough for me. The pouch then serves an extra layer in portability that I can easily ignore.
Way too Overbearing
As I plucked the earbud out of its socket, I certainly did not have the same sentiments I had when I came across the packaging. It was quite the opposite of falling in love with the aesthetics. The TWS ANC Headphones are large. They’re considerably heavy and carry way too much unnecessary bulk. They each weight 7.9 grams. In the era of polarizing design and streamlined aesthetics, the TWS ANC Headphones clearly have a disadvantage. They’re huge, oval and have a O-hook that sticks out.
The carry case is appropriately designed. It has pretty deep sockets with integrated pogo pins for the buds. The back of the case hosts a USB-C port and the front hosts a single LED light for revealing the battery status. Between the two sockets, there’s a button that is responsible for lighting up the aforementioned LED light.
Pairing and Ergonomics
The TWS ANC Headphones were paired and ready to be used in seconds. With audible updates of pretty much every step, I had a clear idea of what was going on at any given point during the pairing process. Once paired, I didn’t face even a single stutter throughout my test thanks to the Qualcomm chip and the Bluetooth 5.0. I used the washroom during my listening test which is at the end of around a 25-30 feet long corridor. The connection stayed strong during that time as well.
As I put the earbud on, I was impressed by the fit but slightly disappointed by the amount of material in my ear. The earbud stayed firmly stuck inside my ear canal. It hugged my ear with considerable force and didn’t budge even once. However, I didn’t appreciate the amount of extra plastic and rubber in my ear. Ergonomically, the same level of comfort and fit could have been easily achieved with less bulk. The Lavanda Lune ANC Earbuds are an excellent example of snug earbuds that are also subtle and light.
I absolutely loved the navigation on the TWS ANC Headphones. One major gripe I have with earbuds these days is their touch-enabled interfaces. While I am a fan of the idea, they need to be intuitively designed to account for mistaps. Since earbuds are obviously extremely small, manufacturers need to give the consumer space to hold them conveniently without accidentally turning one of their controls on or off. Either they need to have a long protruding stick such as in the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds that can be used to hold the bud. Or they need to stop assigning controls to single taps. The TWS ANC Headphones took the latter approach.
All the controls on the buds are either controlled by double taps or physical buttons. Consequently, I could easily touch the exterior of the bud without worrying about pausing my music. I experienced zero mistaps throughout my listening experience.
There are two physical buttons, one on each bud. Clicking them for varying lengths of time control features such as volume, track skipping and pause/play. Double tapping the bud changes between ANC and pass-through modes. Pass-through is 1MORE’s fancy term for ambient mode. The TWS ANC Headphones support auto-pause as well, so simply taking the bud out of your ear will pause your music.
The TWS ANC Headphones feature great ANC. They host a Hi-Res DSP responsible for cancelling out all environmental noise. The bud’s hybrid dual driver design delivers sound that is layered, yet powerful. Hybrid dual drivers combine the defining qualities of both balanced armature and dynamic drivers. Balanced armature drivers typically offer a more detailed sound. Dynamic drivers offer a more coherent and powerful sound, and are often described as warm-sounding. TWS ANC Headphones are also THX certified which ensures a well-balanced frequency response with minimal channel imbalance. All these fancy-sounding audio features really show when you listen to music on the TWS ANC Headphones.
The sound is balanced, layered and detailed. The dozens of different elements in the song are easily discernable. It doesn’t sound as if the music has been thrown together in a cluster. The sound carries power in it and retains the power at any given volume without distorting the aural quality.
There are two levels of ANC and a pass-through mode. While the two levels don’t have much of a difference between them, they’re excellent. I felt a significant shift between ANC off to ANC on. The sound of my sister’s typing was completely muted and the exceptionally loud sound of the grass being mowed was substantially reduced. Not only did the ANC mode mute background noise, it also created a separate room where it was just me and my music. Shifting back to pass-through mode created a huge difference and is useful for situations where I prefer a little ambient noise as well, for example when I’m out cycling.
The buds gave me a total of four hours with ANC on. While they took just 15 minutes to be charged 50%, the total battery life on them isn’t very impressive. The buds support Qi wireless charging though, and that’s a pretty cool feature if you despise wires. Overall, the 1MORE TWS ANC Headphones are a pretty good deal but a little too pricey for what they offer. They offer brilliant sound quality, but are bulky with average battery life.
Is It Hardcore?
The 1MORE TWS ANC Headphones use way too much material in their buds. If they were less bulky and had a longer battery life, I would’ve given them a better score. At the moment, though, they deliver excellent sound and offer fairly simple navigation. If you are aim is high-quality audio and elegant navigation, they might be for you. Otherwise, you might look for something cheaper.