1MORE SonoFlow 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 select Android devices.

After over 50 hours of break-in time -- well above typical required time -- we put the 1MORE SonoFlow to the tests. All tracks are high bitrate AAC or LAME encoded MP3s. 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.

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. Out of the box, you can hear the SonoFlow's bass-boosted sound character, which is typical of ANC headphones. Thankfully, the SonoFlow's bass was consistently deep, round, and mostly solid in the music I listened to. Its consistently clean and smooth low frequencies were well-articulated. Everything was mostly defined with the exception of some looseness noticed, but it was not significant to the point it bothered me.

When it comes to the midrange, I found Its thickness, range, saturation, richness, and warmth to be acceptable. It sounded reasonably natural and clear. In other words, the midrange was acceptable in all areas, but there was nothing outstanding in of itself. As a whole, it sounded a bit recessed relative to the bass, since there was a lot of it. I prefer more forward sounding and powerful midrange than what the 1MORE SonoFlow delivered.

My perception of the 1MORE SonoFlow's treble was similar to its midrange: It was acceptable in all areas, except there was nothing to write home about. The treble was reasonably sharp and clean. I also found its immediacy, tightness, wetness, and crispness to be acceptable as well. However, there was little energy to it -- you just will not get the "kick" from the higher frequencies. In other words, the treble sounded a bit darker, looser, and lower energy than what I prefer.

The soundstage of the 1MORE SonoFlow was narrow with no significant depth, perception, and direction. Improving the soundstage of the SonoFlow will go a long way.

Closing off with the auxiliary auditioning results, the imaging of the 1MORE SonoFlow was realistic. It stayed mostly faithful to the original production or recording. The layers were produced with a good 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 reasonably well. Deriving from this, the frequency separation was acceptable. Details were reasonably reproduced thanks to its clear and acceptably defined output. The entire spectrum was a smooth gradient with no immediately apparent banding effects, making it sound cohesive. The sound was mostly clean and smooth across the range. Generally speaking, while the 1MORE SonoFlow will not impress you in these aspects, it will probably not disappoint you either.

The 1MORE SonoFlow are closed back headphones. It exhibited an excellent fit over my ears and passive sound isolation was good regardless of the environment I was in. Active noise canceling worked well enough to cancel out constant, low frequency sounds, so it will be good for using on public transit or the plane, but it will not blow your mind. As mentioned on the previous page, the light 250g weight and clamp pressure of these headphones made it comfortable in day-to-day use.

The 1MORE SonoFlow did not have noticeable background hissing noise when turned on, which makes sense, since these are active noise canceling headphones and should be as quiet as possible. 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 SonoFlow's microphone. The first recording was done indoors, while the second recording was done outdoors on a pretty windy day as a car was passing by on 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 could hear it picked up some wind noise, but the wind was pretty strong and hence I was actually quite impressed by the clarity even though some words were blocked out. The volume of my voice did not vary unnecessarily, which is good. Overall, the microphone was good for phone calls despite the shortcomings, and you can be sure it will work well both indoors and outdoors even on windy days.

The company estimates the battery to last around 50 hours with ANC on a single charge at 50% volume. I got 60 hours and 2 minutes at 50% volume with ANC on from my tests, which was exceptional and about 20% better than promised. 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 91.3m. During normal usage, I have never experienced any wireless inconsistency issues paired to my Apple iPhone 12 Pro.

Overall, the 1MORE SonoFlow delivered acceptable audio performance. It will not impress the discerning listener, but it probably will not disappoint anyone either. Everything else also worked as promised, including its active noise canceling system, consistent and long-range wireless connection, impressive battery life, and wind-blocking microphone that functions surprisingly well.

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