Stylish, functional noise cancelling earbuds don’t come cheap—typically—but the 1MORE True Wireless ANC is an exception. It includes a wireless charging case and earbuds outfitted with comfortable oval ear tips. These earphones are in high demand, let’s see if 1MORE’s earphones are too good to be true or just right.
Editor’s note: this 1MORE True Wireless ANC review was updated on December 4, 2020, to include information regarding THX Certification.
Who should get the 1MORE True Wireless ANC?
- Casual commuters should get these earbuds for their fine noise cancelling properties. They won’t nullify the roar of a plane engine but hush some train car chatter and foot traffic. Plus, they have a passthrough mode to keep you alert.
- General consumers may want the 1MORE earbuds because they’re a jack of all trades. Aside from hybrid ANC, you’re afforded a dust-resistant build, wireless charging case, and comfortable pair of earbuds that can be worn all day without notable discomfort.
Using the 1MORE True Wireless ANC In-Ear
1MORE’s first noise cancelling true wireless earbuds resemble the 1MORE True Wireless Stylish. This year’s headset retains the same O-hook mechanism and angled nozzles for securing a proper fit in the ear while introducing advanced features. The metal charging case can be topped up with the included USB-C cable or via a wireless charger.
The ANC earbuds feature a dust-proof stainless steel mesh sandwiched between the housing’s internals and plastic outer shell. Build quality is markedly improved over the economical True Wireless Stylish, but water-resistance still isn’t featured with these earbuds. If you plan to exercise in them, do so with caution.
Each earbud houses an infrared sensor, which automatically detects when the buds are inserted and removed from your ears. Playback automatically pauses when you remove them, but doesn’t automatically resume when re-inserted. For that, you have to rely on the touch controls. The controls are comprehensive, but it’s easy to accidentally toggle between listening modes when adjusting the fit.
The earbuds and charging case feel premium, but the silicone ear tips tear easily.
You can assemble a custom fit with the array of ear tips, and the the oblong silicone sleeve fit well to the natural shape of the ear canal. Unfortunately, the left default sleeve tore at the seam, so be careful when switching things out as the material isn’t very durable.
Is the 1MORE Music app useful?
Unlike competitors, 1MORE doesn’t push its free app onto listeners by brandishing the box with Google Play and App Store logos. This is for good reason: the app doesn’t do much of anything. Its greatest value lies in the firmware update access; otherwise, it offers no benefit beyond what listeners can control directly from the earbuds (e.g., ANC intensity selection).
On March 24, 2020, 1MORE released a firmware update to improve audio quality according to the varying intensities of ANC. In order to access this update:
- Download the 1MORE Music app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
- Remove both earbuds and connect them to the desired device
- Open the 1MORE Music app and sync the earbuds to the app
- Click “version info” and follow the prompts to update the earbuds
- Once the update is complete, allow the earphones to reconnect
Is the noise cancelling any good?
Noise cancelling performance is middle-of-the-road compared to premium alternatives like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Apple AirPods Pro. Low-frequency attenuation is minimal, and reduces those frequencies just enough to make a perceptible difference. Upper bass sounds are half as loud as they sound without ANC, which is enough to take the edge off of distant traffic. High-frequency noise is effectively blocked out due to passive isolation; ANC technology can’t effectively reduce frequencies above 1kHz.
The 1MORE True Wireless ANC uses a feedback and feedforward microphone system to mitigate both outside noise and in-ear noises (e.g., resonances that occur up and down our ear canals). These microphones then send the information to an integrated digital signal processor (DSP) to produce a natural quieting of ambient noise.
How do you connect the earbuds?
1MORE shelled out for Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus, which operates differently from standard true wireless connections. Rather than designating one earbud as the primary receiver and the other as the secondary, TrueWireless Stereo Plus separately and simultaneously connects to both earbuds. This reduces latency and improves connection strength and stability. The only caveat is you need to remain within the standard 10-meter wireless range.
Android and iPhone users benefit from both aptX and AAC high-quality Bluetooth codec support.
The earbuds support both aptX and AAC high-quality Bluetooth codecs, meaning iOS and Android users alike benefit from CD-like quality audio. To fully benefit from the codec support, make sure the earbuds create a cogent seal as external noise can mask the sound of your music. The other benefit of aptX and AAC support is latency reduction, which is great news for mobile Netflix viewers and such.
How is the battery life?
We recorded 3 hours, 31 minutes of listening with noise cancelling on high before the batteries were depleted. While it falls short of the specified five-hour battery life (ANC on), the earbuds are always charging in the case. Generally, standalone battery life should be a non-issue, save for cross-country flights. The earbuds support fast charging: 15 minutes in the case provides two hours of listening, and said case supplies an extra 2.6 charge cycles before requiring two hours to top back up.
How do the 1MORE True Wireless ANC sound?
It’s important to note that even though these buds are THX certified, it doesn’t mean they have the best sound quality. It just means that the 1More True Wireless ANC met certain standards to earn its certification. When people say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the same can be said for pretty much any audio product. Don’t judge a pair of earbuds purely by its marketing labels.
The 1MORE True Wireless ANC rely on a dynamic driver paired with a balanced armature driver in each earbud. This division of labor results in less harmonic distortion compared to similarly priced single-driver counterparts. As depicted by the frequency response chart above, low notes are boosted, but it isn’t as emphatic as the 1MORE Stylish.
If your music library is comprised of female vocalists and acoustic tunes, you may not appreciate how the sound signature makes bass notes sound twice as loud as the aforementioned sounds. 1MORE follows a formulaic approach to sound quality with these earphones: amplify the lows and highs. This gives more oomph to music while maintaining a false sense of clarity by way of treble emphasis.
Lows, mids, and highs
Remember Sports’ song Up from Below, is a great example of the 1MORE True Wireless ANC In-Ear’s strengths and weaknesses. The song opens with a quick electric guitar riff before exploding into instrumental din backing Carmen Perry’s bare vocals. Auditory masking is immediately apparent when listening to Up from Below as the first line of the song, “I found your sign in the sky last night…,” is hard to discern over the right-channel guitar power chords and left-channel drum hits. The cymbal crashes are reproduced so that they’re more audible than they should be, a consequence of the 1.5-5kHz amplification.
While audio purists find this kind of sound signature unappealing, the fact remains that it’s popular among general consumers: we as a collective always want more bass, and the emphasized high notes do a good job at tricking our brain into thinking we’re perceiving all instrumental detail when in actuality it’s just that a certain range that’s typically hard to hear is louder. Although the bass is overkill for my taste, many listeners will enjoy it and how it pumps up the sound of their music.
How good is the microphone?
The microphone array renders low fundamental frequencies two to four times quieter than their midrange counterparts. This can make baritone voices sound “off” to the person on the other line, but most people, women in particular, should sound relatively true to form. Of course, we spend all day discussing performance, or you can listen to the voice sample below.
1MORE True Wireless ANC microphone demo:
Should you buy the 1MORE True Wireless ANC?
The 1MORE True Wireless In-Ear if you can find them. The earphones frequently go out of stock on Amazon and on the official 1MORE website, further reinforcing that these buds are among the best noise cancelling true wireless earbuds for less than $200. You should click out of this review knowing that 1MORE’s earbuds don’t have the best ANC; instead, what they offer is a comprehensive feature set and attractive design at a reasonable price.
Listeners who don’t feel the active noise cancelling is necessary should turn their attention to the Google Pixel Buds, which are packed to the gills with software features and hardware. Not only do the earbuds support voice access to Google Assistant, they also facilitate direct Google Translate functionality. The package is incredibly well designed, and includes wireless charging to boot.
Editor’s note: this 1MORE True Wireless ANC review was written while using firmware v0.3.23.
Apple AirPods Pro vs. 1MORE True Wireless ANC
Apple’s AirPods Pro are the talk of the town when it comes to this class of earbud, and for good reason: the company paved the way for true wireless popularity with the original AirPods. Seeing how the AirPods Pro cost significantly more than 1MORE’s unit, it makes sense that noise cancelling is more effective.
However, other features like connectivity and comfort are similar. The latter is highly subjective after certain base requirements are met, and the former is taken care of by Apple’s H1 chip or Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus. Connection stability is remarkable with either pair of earbuds; however, iPhone users will benefit more from the proprietary hardware as device switching is made simple and hands-free Siri access is made available.
Apple AirPods Pro microphone demo:
While both units have a built-in DSP, Apple’s does a bit more by adjusting audio reproduction when an improper seal forms and allowing for a basic earbud fit test. That said, it’s neat that 1MORE includes a DSP at all, and makes me excited to see how much further the future of sub-$200 totally wireless earbuds has to offer.
Sony WF-1000XM3 vs. 1MORE True Wireless ANC
Sony is king of the castle when it comes to noise cancelling consumer audio products, and the Sony WF-1000XM3 is a hard product to beat. While the 1MORE True Wireless ANC can’t outperform the Sony earbuds on ANC alone, there are some advantages. For one, the dust-proof design is something that may seem frivolous without sweat-resistance but is something I seek in workout earphones as I often listen to music when rock climbing. Knowing something can withstand my chalky hands is a must-have when browsing around.
Sony WF-1000XM3 microphone demo:
Additionally, 1MORE went out of its way to get aptX and AAC Bluetooth codec support while the Sony earbuds support just AAC. Alternatively, Sony uses DSEE HX processing to upscale compressed audio files. If you’re a big wireless charging proponent, you’ll favor 1MORE for Sony’s case lacks wireless charging. What’s more, 1MORE’s included charging case is made from higher-quality materials than Sony’s and takes up less space.
Qualcomm True Wireless Stereo Plus ensures a stable connection for the 1MORE True Wireless ANC.
Ultimately both are great quality products, and while I prefer the Sony WF-1000XM3 over the 1MORE True Wireless ANC, there are plenty of reasons to champion 1MORE instead.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live vs. 1MORE True Wireless ANC
Samsung has recently tossed their hat into the ring of true wireless earbuds with the Galaxy Buds Live. These kidney bean buds compete in the sub-$200 category, and offer active noise cancelling.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live microphone demo:
If you’re an Android user concerned about sound quality, shell out for the 1MORE True Wireless ANC. For standard gym rats looking for their next workout earbuds, you should skip the 1MORE True Wireless ANC since they lack any water resistance. The Galaxy Buds Live, however, sport an IPX2 rating which will last through light to moderately intense workouts.
1MORE True Wireless ANC vs. Jabra Elite 85t
The Jabra Elite 85t feature very effective noise cancelling technology that effectively blocks out background noise, so long as you get a proper fit. It’s unusually easy to find a good pair of ear tips from the provisions, because the tips feature an oblong, rather than circular, shape. This design is much more comfortable for long-term wear, because this causes less friction against the outer ear canal.
Jabra Elite 85t microphone demo:
The Jabra Elite series earbuds are more durable than 1MORE’s buds, which is great news for serious athletes. Bass notes aren’t quite as amplified with Jabra’s earbuds, which makes them a more versatile pair of buds from the jump. You can also equalize the sound in the proprietary mobile app.
Frequently Asked Questions
The 1MORE ColorBuds are more affordable than the 1MORE True Wireless ANC, because the former are non-noise cancelling earbuds. If you don't need ANC, or aren't satisfied by the noise cancelling performance, you should save your money and get the ColorBuds instead. These are great $100 earbuds that afford premium features like aptX and AAC support, IPX5 water-resistance, and fast charging. If you really want to save some money, consider the 1MORE PistonBuds instead.
If you need an affordable pair of active noise cancelling earbuds, the 1More True Wireless ANC is definitely the way to go. It also includes features that are absent from its predecessor, including Qualcomm True Wireless Stereo Plus support, improved build quality, and a longer-lasting battery. However, if you're just looking for a pair of true wireless earbuds that don't break the bank, the 1More Stylish True Wireless is viable option that does a good job balancing price to performance.
The 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds are compatible with the Sony Walkman NW-A105 Hi-Res Player. This version of the Sony Walkman is Bluetooth compatible and can pair to any Bluetooth headset; it supports a maximum wireless range of 10 meters. To initiate pairing from the Sony Walkman NW-A105: 1) swipe up on the home screen, 2) tap Settings > Connected devices > Pair new device, 3) Select the desired Bluetooth device (1More True Wireless ANC). Sony has a dedicated help guide on its website.
As of March 24, 2020, the 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds are not available on Amazon Canada. That is subject to change though as other 1More products are listed from Amazon Canada including the 1More True Wireless Stylish and 1More Triple Driver BT In-Ear. As March 24, 2020, you cannot ship the 1More True Wireless ANC to Canada; the United States is the only option for shipping.