GeekDad Review: 1More True Wireless ANC Earbuds With THX Certification

Audio Gear Products Reviews

I have the opportunity to try out wireless earbuds from a wide range of audio brands, but I always look forward to new models from 1More. This is a company that decided to make a name for itself by skipping on the marketing campaigns and instead of plowing the money into superior components. It’s after customers who value performance over flash—although they always feature strong design as well. The strategy has paid off. 1More earbuds always impress. The company’s True Wireless ANC Earbuds are good enough that they have been THX Certified, which is no small feat.

1More True Wireless ANC Earbuds feature an attractive design with carbon fiber-look shells. (Photo by Brad Moon)

Award-Winning Earbuds with THX Certification

The 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds first showed up in 2020 and immediately began collecting accolades. They won a CES 2020 Innovation award, as well as a 2020 iF Design award. In June 2020, they achieved THX certification, becoming the world’s first THX Certified true wireless in-ear headphones.

In a press release, 1More and THX noted:

“These True Wireless ANC In-Ear Headphones have undergone our rigorous testing process and are now THX Certified, giving proof of their quality audio performance.”

What does this mean? 1More engineers actually modified the design of the originally released earbuds in order to achieve the certification (units produced after June 2020 qualify). It’s a recognition that they deliver high-quality audio for both music and movie playback.

QuietMax Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation

If you’re working from home, ANC will probably get your attention. 1More equipped these earbuds with dual microphones dedicated to noise cancellation, plus a DSP specifically to process the signals. They provide two-level ANC. Level one filters out noise up to 35 dB. Level 2 cuts ambient noise by up to 20 dB. And there is also a pass-through mode that allows ambient noise to come through for situational awareness.

I spent quite a bit of time testing these while working in my home office. When it comes to blocking out ambient noise, earbuds are never going to be as effective as over-ear headphones. Having a cup sealed over the ear provides a high degree of passive noise isolation, giving them a better jumping-off point.

However, so far as buds go, these did pretty well. At their strongest setting, all I could hear was very faint clacking from my mechanical keyboard and the dogs barking. I usually stuck with the low ANC setting, though. That was enough to eliminate the background noise coming from the floor below me—my wife on Zoom meetings, the kids talking, people puttering in the kitchen, the animals running around—that were the main sources of distraction during the day.

And if you want to have your music, but also hear what’s going on around you, there is a passthrough mode that pipes the ambient sound into your ears.

Key Specs

• Dynamic driver + balanced armature
• Audio is custom-tuned by Grammy award-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi
• 45-degree oblique-angled nozzles
• 2-level hybrid active noise cancellation with pass-through mode (dual ANC Macs with custom DSP)
• THX certified
• Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and AAC support
• ENC microphones for voice calls
• Touch controls with a multifunction button
• Infrared sensor with auto-pause playback
• Battery rated at 4-6 hours (depending on ANC and Qualcomm TrueWireless Tech support)
• Total playback including case rated at 18-22 hours
• Fast charge (2 hours of playback with 15-minute charge)
• Charge case is Q1 compatible, USB-C
• Individual earbud weight 0.28 ounces
• Includes three pairs of silicone ear grips, six pairs of silicone ear tips, carrying pouch, USB-C charge cable

The charging case is equipped with USB-C but also supports Qi wireless charging. (Photo by Brad Moon)

Battery Life

You may have noticed that there is much more variation in battery life in the specs than you usually see with wireless earbuds. The first reason is active noise cancellation. With ANC active, about an hour of playback time is shaved off. The second reason is their support for Qualcomm TrueWireless Tech. If your smartphone also supports the technology, then you can expect an extra hour or so of playback time above the baseline. So, depending on your phone and whether you use ANC or not, there can be a  considerable range in battery life.

My iPhone lacks TrueWireless support. With ANC on (and I preferred to keep it on at all times for the improved bass response), I was just hitting the four hours per charge mark. Not great, but acceptable.

The charging case is a very nice one—sleek and made of metal—with a choice of USB-C or Qi wireless charging.

Fit and Comfort

Earbuds are not my favorite headphone form factor. I appreciate the appeal, but I tend to have a lot of difficulty in finding buds that fit properly. That makes it tough to get a good seal, which is critical for audio performance as well as preventing them from popping out. Weird ears, I guess.

1More designed these buds with 45-degree oblique-angled nozzles and provided a generous selection of silicone ear grips and ear tips. I was able to find a combination that fits quite nicely. I was also able to wear them for several hours at a time without discomfort.

These THX Certified earbuds deliver on audio performance, with ANC adding a nice bass boost. (Photo by Brad Moon)

Audio Performance

I saved the best for last. I’ve tested a number of different earbud releases from 1More, and the company always does a great job when it comes to audio performance. The True Wireless ANC earbuds are equipped with a dynamic driver with a 10mm Titanium diaphragm, plus a balanced armature. Instead of relying on one driver to do all the work like many earbuds, these use the dynamic driver for bass and mid-range, and the balanced armature to hit high frequencies. The earbuds are tuned by Grammy award-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi.

The result is clean, crisp, balanced audio. Turn on the ANC and there is a change. The sound gains a little warmth, while the bass gets a big boost. Much as I like the studio-like quality of the earbuds, I much preferred the sound with ANC on. Tons of energy and a lot of fun to listen to.

Recommendation

The 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds are a great pick if you want premium audio and effective ANC. With the ANC on, they are among the best I’ve tried in terms of delivering the kind of visceral bass thump that eludes so many earbuds. At $199.99 they are great value for the money, but at time of writing, they were reduced by $20 making them an even more compelling pick.

Disclosure: 1More provided earbuds for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.

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