Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis
Reviewing audio devices require extensively trained ears and lots of experience. Even for audiophiles, 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. While I am not going to even try to claim that I am the only trustworthy or best reviewer 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 reviewer, 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 and will reduce its potential to be a limiting factor in our auditioning.
After over 50 hours of break-in time -- well above typically required period -- we put the 1MORE True Wireless ANC to the tests. All tracks are high bitrate AAC or LAME encoded MP3s.
To start off, I have to say I really appreciate the 1MORE True Wireless ANC's fast pairing speed, since it starts the process right after you open the case lid. Once I put them on, I realized this is not the typical 1MORE sound I am used to. I own both the ColorBuds True Wireless and Stylish True Wireless. While the sound between the ColorBuds and Stylish is almost indistinguishable, the V-shape frequency response of the True Wireless ANC was immediately noticeable right off the bat.
To get into the technical details, let us break it down into the "big three", which is the bass, midrange, and treble. The bass of the 1MORE True Wireless ANC is slightly boosted with ANC off and moderately boosted with ANC on, which is expected. There is considerably more bass than the ColorBuds, so if you like lots of bass, these ANC earphones will keep you happy. I found the bass to be consistently deep, round, and solid in the music I listened to. Its consistently smooth and defined low frequencies are well-articulated.
The rest of my analysis with regards to the midrange and treble is going to differ than the general opinion I read on the internet, but hear me out on this. Rave reviews about the 1MORE True Wireless ANC are everywhere, and these are even THX certified, but I simply could not understand why. The first time I put these on, my first impression was, "Holy crap, sibilance!" I will leave it at that. The midrange otherwise was average regardless of ANC on or off; I did not find its thickness remarkable nor its smoothness anything to write home about. Maybe I was distracted by the sibilance and imbalanced treble -- more on the latter in just a moment. Furthermore, vocals sound recessed, where the singer sounded like they were pushed to the back of the room rather than the front where they are supposed to be. The ColorBuds True Wireless sounded noticeably richer, defined, warmer and more saturated than the True Wireless ANC by a considerable margin.
I can understand why many reviewers are a fan of its treble, mainly because 1MORE boosted them a lot in the True Wireless ANC. It was so boosted in this area, there are parts of songs where I literally did not even know it existed until I used these earphones. It was bright and energetic, and its sharpness was like a razor blade especially in the lower treble region. However, when it came to the upper treble region, it was not very tight nor immediate. Instruments like cymbals sounded thin and dry. It simply lacked the depth and crispness I was looking for and instead sounded screechy.
Another thing the 1MORE True Wireless ANC suffers from, and this is no different than the ColorBuds or Stylish True Wireless, is a nearly non-existent soundstage in both depth and width. The hybrid dual driver design with balanced armature and separate dynamic driver found in the True Wireless ANC were no better than the ColorBuds True Wireless, if not a bit worse.
Closing off with the auxiliary auditioning results, the True Wireless ANC produced an image where the person singing was pushed to the back while every instrument in the treble region was totally in your face. This could be subjective, but I did not like it. That said, 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 sound was clean, just not smooth across the range with some banding effect noticed. That said, cohesiveness was still acceptable.
The 1MORE True Wireless ANC are closed in-ear monitors and comes with a plethora different shaped and sized sleeves for maximum compatibility. The earphones exhibited an excellent fit in my ears and sound isolation was good regardless of the environment I was in. Active noise canceling works to a small extent, but it will not blow your mind. It shifted constant, low frequency sounds slightly, but you could really do without it. I did not notice significant changes in sound output other than the bass boost with ANC on. 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.
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.
In the sample recording above, the microphone on the True Wireless ANC worked perfectly when I was indoors with almost no background noise, but once I stepped outside, it was completely useless. It was in a setting where there was almost no wind in a quiet neighborhood with no cars around too. I first noticed this when I called my friend on a Saturday morning walk when she said she could not hear me at all, and you can experience that in my recording. This was surprising because the ColorBuds True Wireless I reviewed not too long ago has one of the best microphones around for voice calls with excellent background noise canceling and wind tolerance. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed in the 1MORE True Wireless ANC's microphone and it is simply not usable for anyone who wants to go outside.
The company estimates the battery to last around 4 hours with ANC on and 5 hours with ANC off on a single charge at 50% volume. As mentioned on the previous page, I got exactly 3 hours and 3 hours 18 minutes, respectively, which is nowhere near rated specifications. I found this surprising because 1MORE earphones typically exceed the given numbers. The rated wireless range is 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 a whopping 105.4m. During normal usage, I have never experienced any wireless inconsistency issues paired to my Apple iPhone 12 Pro.
In my personal opinion, the audio performance of the 1MORE True Wireless ANC leaves a lot to be desired. Combined with its massive form factor, poor battery life, poor microphone, and its limited active noise canceling effectiveness, the company can certainly do a lot better, because I have seen them do better.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis