1MORE EVO Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis

Reviewing audio devices require extensively trained ears, lots of experience, and sufficient technical knowledge. Even for the experienced auditioner, it may prove challenging at times to obtain an accurate evaluation of a product without a thoroughly familiar product to use as a simultaneous reference. Furthermore, many self-proclaimed audiophiles are susceptible to biased write-ups due to placebo effects from false advertising. While I am not going to even try to claim that I am the only trustworthy or best evaluator for sound, it is fact that most computer review sites have editors who are insufficiently trained in reviewing audio equipment. Give them practically anything and all you will read about goes along the line of "good bass, nice midrange, awesome treble, really clear sound, 10/10". While there are many knowledgeable audio reviewers at various respected online media outlets, they are by far the minority.

As I have mentioned in my past audio reviews, there are really no true objective measurements for sound quality. As the evaluator, however, I will put it through a series of subjective tests to try to come up with the most objective rating possible. Yes, it sounds like a paradox. For all tests, I used an Apple iPhone 12 Pro. This is a device that requires no introduction, but it does not have Sony's LDAC codec support, which is only available on Android devices.

After over 50 hours of break-in time -- well above typical required time -- we put the 1MORE EVO to the tests. All test tracks are high-quality CD-equivalent files. All of the auditioning results were based on having active noise canceling on. It seemed these earphones were designed and tuned with ANC on, as having ANC on did not negatively affect or unintentionally distort the sound. Turning ANC on, however, will increase the bass, as with pretty much all ANC headphones.

Coming into the tests, I was very curious how the EVO would perform, considering I was very disappointed by the True Wireless ANC it replaces. I was generally quite happy with other products like the ColorBuds 2 True Wireless, so I had hope. Once I put the EVO on though, my fears were gone. I would not put them in the same sentence as the True Wireless ANC -- the EVO is really good. The EVO is basically the ColorBuds 2 on steroids, which makes sense since the EVO has 10mm rather than 7mm drivers. They have much higher energy than the ColorBuds 2, and they are better in almost every meaningful metric. Let me tell you why.

To get into the technical details, let us break it down into the "big three", which is the bass, midrange, and treble. There are 12 EQ presets in the 1MORE Music app, but for the purposes of testing, I set everything to default to get a benchmark the intended design of these headphones.

To start off, I appreciate the 1MORE EVO's fast and flawless pairing as we have come to expect from all of the company's products in the last few years, since it starts the process right after you open the case lid. The sound character of EVO has a slightly punchy bias to its general neutrality. I generally like audio products that are tuned for a flat frequency response out of the box, so we are off to a good start.

The bass of the 1MORE EVO was just above neutral, which is logical given its slightly punchy sound signature. It was well-controlled, so it never felt out of place. The EVO's bass was consistently deep, round, and solid in the music I listened to. Its consistently clean, smooth, and defined low frequencies were well-articulated.

The EVO's midrange is in a completely different league compared to the ColorBuds 2. It was significantly stronger, thicker, and forward sounding compared to the smaller model. It was very solid for its size and price with its natural sounding output. I found its overall thickness to be obviously better than the ColorBuds 2, with the EVO's sound to be warmer, richer, more defined, and way better saturated across the entire range. The midrange was natural, clear, full-range, and smooth. All these characteristics were obvious at first listen.

The treble was also boosted just slightly above neutral, which remained reasonably clean, clear, and sharp in most scenarios I have tested these earphones in. Again, the 1MORE EVO was significantly better than the ColorBuds 2, which was already well-rated here at APH Networks, since the EVO had way more energy and brightness. The tightness and immediacy were good along with its crispness. What held it back was I noticed some dryness and harshness in certain tracks I listened to, which I did not feel with the ColorBuds 2. Also, depth still has room for improvement in my opinion, but in the grand scheme of things, the treble was pretty good.

The biggest surprise regarding the 1MORE EVO was its soundstage. These are the first true wireless earphones where I consider it to be decent in this area. The EVO actually has sufficiently defined depth, width, and direction for its size. It is still far from impressive, but you will not be disappointed.

Closing off with the auxiliary auditioning results, the imaging of the 1MORE EVO was realistic. It stayed mostly faithful to the original production or recording. The layers were produced with a great amount of detail. The resolution was good across the range, as it picked up most things in a quality encoded track. In complicated and messy situations, these earphones managed to retain small details well. Deriving from this, the frequency separation was decent. Details were well-reproduced thanks to its clear and defined output. The entire spectrum was a smooth gradient with no immediately apparent banding effects, making it sound cohesive. The sound was clean and smooth across the range. Generally speaking, you will not be disappointed in these areas with the EVO.

The 1MORE EVO are closed in-ear monitors and comes with five different-sized sleeves for maximum compatibility. The earphones exhibited an excellent fit in my ears and passive sound isolation was good regardless of the environment I was in. The EVO has QuietMax, which is the company's active noise canceling system that promises to cancel out up to 42dB of ambient noise in the environment. There are four different sound cancellation levels along with two transparency modes that can be selected in-app. This is a next-generation system compared to the ColorBuds 2, and its performance shows. Not only was it very good at blocking constant, low frequency noise, it was able to noticeably attenuate environmental noise like people talking or noise from traffic on the street. Obviously, it will not block out everything, but you will be able to very easily tell the difference and appreciate what it does.

The 1MORE EVO had some background hissing noise when turned on, which is a side effect of its active noise canceling system. The background hissing noise will go away if you turn off ANC. In terms of lag, I did not notice any significant delay. Audio appeared to be properly synchronized to videos I was watching on my iPhone 12 Pro.

I have included two sample recordings from the 1MORE EVO's microphone. The first recording was done indoors, while the second recording was done outdoors on a calm day as a car was passing by across the street. The microphone worked well enough indoors, but the quality was not great. It sounded like I was speaking directly into the microphone, but it did not sound very natural. It also sounded more sibilant than what I like. In the outdoor test, you can hear my footsteps in the snow and some words were blocked out when a gust of wind hit. On the positive side, the volume of my voice did not vary unnecessarily, which is good. Overall, the microphone was good for phone calls despite the shortcomings, but do not expect the other side to hear you if you are walking outside and it becomes windy. Still, this is a big improvement over its predecessor, as the True Wireless ANC's microphone did not work at all outside.

The company estimates the battery to last around 5.5 hours with ANC on and 8 hours with ANC off on a single charge at 50% volume. I got 5 hours 37 minutes at 50% volume with ANC on from my tests, which is right on point. With ANC off, I got 8 hours 54 minutes, which is almost an hour more than the specifications. This is a solid improvement from the True Wireless ANC, which, from my testing, lasted exactly 3 hours with ANC on and 3 hours 18 minutes with ANC off. I am happy with the EVO's results.

The rated wireless range is about 10 meters, and from my tests, this is very underestimated. The maximum line of sight distance I was able to get, measured by a LIDAR device, was 74.64m. During normal usage, I have never experienced any wireless inconsistency issues paired to my Apple iPhone 12 Pro.

As I have mentioned on the previous page, when I am running or walking, these do not lose its seal easily even though they are massive. It has never come close to falling out of my ears no matter how hard I tried either.

Overall, I am quite happy with the overall performance of the 1MORE EVO. It is truly night and day compared to the True Wireless ANC and a league ahead of the ColorBuds 2. I really enjoyed the EVO, and it is a joy to travel or use them on a daily basis thanks to the solid audio quality and great active noise canceling system.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis
4. Conclusion