1More makes a strong point that it can do audio as well as established brands do, and can give it to you for a lower price. These earbuds have a lot going for them, and your ears will almost certainly notice.
- Really good audio quality
- Multiple ANC modes
- Comfortable fit
- Reliable touch controls
- Multipoint connections
- Good app support
- ANC and LDAC are battery drainers
- Custom controls need more
- Not the best for workouts
Maybe you don't know 1More, but it is doing everything it can to make sure you do by way of an abundance of earbuds. The company seems to launch new pairs every quarter, and the Evo come loaded with a design and feature combination that may serve notice for those listening.
These aren't as expensive as the premium pairs from the likes of Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, and Samsung, yet 1More is gunning for them as an underdog to deliver a sonic experience with real value for your money.
1More Evo: Price and availability
1More launched the Evo in April 2022 with good retail access, making them pretty easy to find, especially online. They start at $170, though discounts and sale prices aren't uncommon for 1More's earbuds, so these may fluctuate a little as time goes on. They come in black and white variants.
1More Evo: What's good
It's hard not to notice how the Evo look and feel. From the matte aluminum alloy finish on the case to the ceramic covers on the earbuds themselves, there is a chic element to them that belies their mid-range status. It's just obvious from the moment you take them out of the box and inspect the earbuds themselves.
They may not be quite as small as 1More's ComfoBuds tend to be, but they're still small enough to appreciate if you feel earbuds are generally on the bigger side for your ears. With five different pairs of ear tips, chances are high you will find a fit that works for you.
Lightweight, despite the materials used to make them, the Evo also feel pretty feathery, and that's going to be true for longer listening sessions, too. If all-day comfort is on your radar, it's unlikely these will cause you discomfort. With Google Fast Pair, you'll also pair them with an Android phone in no time.
Without getting overly technical, 1More did go with a hybrid approach in how it built drivers into the earbuds. It used dynamic drivers specifically for the low end, and balanced armatures for the mids and highs. While this isn't uncommon for earbuds, you don't see it with pairs in this price range all the time, and the sonic results are excellent for it, in this case.
When 1More gets sound right, it really does tend to impress, and the Evo are a prime example of what the company is capable of when it puts the right pieces together. There's good tuning balance out of the box, delivering just enough across the spectrum to make music sound vibrant. I would also argue that the genre doesn't matter as much, either, because they've been tuned to be in the right ballpark for casual listening, no matter what track is playing.
Bluetooth codec support includes LDAC, putting the Evo in unique territory as mid-range buds that work with Sony's hi-res codec. To get that hi-res experience, you do need to tweak a setting in the 1More Music app. Under Bluetooth Connection Setup, select Priority on Sound Quality, and the Evo will always play the best audio quality available — provided your phone supports it, and the app you're listening from also offers higher quality.
While it was missing when they launched, 1More made the wise move of adding a custom EQ in the app with a July 2022 firmware update. You actually have three options to tweak the sound. You can go with the SonarWorks' SoundID test that runs you through an A/B test to determine what kind of sound profile works best for your ears. Results are good, but if you'd rather try your hand at the EQ, you can either choose from a dozen presets or create and save your own using the 10-band EQ. Doing this puts the Evo in an even better sonic position, spreading things out for varying tastes.
The app is also important for other reasons, like in how you apply both active noise cancelation (ANC) and the Transparency mode. ANC has four modes, one of which (Adaptive) fluctuates based on how much background noise the six mics pick up. WNR, for wind noise reduction, is much as it sounds, though results are mixed, in my opinion. Strong and mild had minor differences to my ears.
Transparency is pretty good, and I particularly liked the Voice Enhancement setting that made it easier to talk and hear people without taking the earbuds off. Mind you, if you do take either one off, playback automatically pauses, thanks to the wear sensors embedded in each earbud. Put them back on and playback continues. It's actually a custom feature you can adjust in the app as well, in case you prefer not to have that feature active.
The ceramic plates on the outside simplify what you actually touch when it comes to the controls, and that helps a lot with consistency. I didn't have too much trouble getting them to work as advertised, though I'm puzzled as to why 1More doesn't just offer more custom options to personalize them more.
Phone calls are pretty good, all things considered. I had no problem talking to anyone in quieter confines, and even if it was a little busy around me, it was fine. The Evo doesn't make automatic adjustments during calls, meaning it won't turn on Transparency mode or set things in such a way where you can hear yourself talking. Here's the catch: calls will go with whatever setting you already have enabled. If ANC is on, your call will leave out a lot of the background, yet make it harder to hear yourself. If Transparency is on, you will hear yourself a lot easier. Neither setting makes any real difference to the person you're speaking with, though I would say that the quieter the place, the smoother the conversation.
The Evo support mono and multipoint connections. Only want to use one earbud to talk to someone? No problem. Want to connect to two phones, or a phone and computer, all at once? Easy enough. For the latter, you will have to go to the app, tap the 1More logo at the top right, and you will find Dual-device connection under the Experimental features section.
Battery life comes with some caveats, and not all of them are good. The bright side is that you can get up to eight hours per charge if you leave ANC and Transparency off. The downside is you're looking at about five hours and change if you do leave them on. The case gives you an extra two charges (and a bit extra). You can charge them via USB-C or place them on a Qi-enabled wireless charger. One cool thing is the fast charging, which gives you up to four hours of playback with a quick 15-minute charge.
1More Evo: What's not good
LDAC support is awesome, and even though you pay less to get it with the Evo, there's still a price to pay in another aspect. It's a demanding codec, and that means battery life suffers when you listen to music with it all the time. I noted that the earbuds lasted less than four hours under those conditions. Something to keep in mind if you're all about hi-res audio.
Moreover, there are connectivity kinks that come up. The 1More Music app warns about this when you toggle on the Priority on Sound Quality setting necessary to get LDAC working at its best. I noticed Bluetooth cutouts and hiccups happened after making the switch, especially when listening to Hi-Fi and Master tracks on Tidal.
It's also a shame 1More couldn't find a way to squeeze in aptX into the codec pool for the Evo. AAC support is great for iOS users, but aptX would've really given these earbuds an added perk that could apply to all Android users. Don't get me wrong, you will still get good sound, but aptX would've been like icing on the cake.
I also have to go back to the custom control settings, which maintain an odd tendency for 1More to restrict the depth available. For example, you can only swap out what double and triple taps do on either earbud, leading to some tough choices. Do you pick skipping or repeating tracks over adjusting volume up or down? I found it weird that a single tap wouldn't play/pause like so many other earbuds already do. Instead, I had to keep one of the double-tap settings for that, while assigning skipping a track to the other side. I then opted to control volume with the triple-taps, leaving out voice control entirely.
Holding down on either bud toggles between ANC, Transparency, and Off. Nothing wrong with that, but even here, one could argue it would be good to have the option to choose whether Off should even be part of that equation.
If you do plan to use these for workouts or runs, you won't have a problem with the snug fit, except the IPX4 rating is just OK for durability. If you want a sporty pair of earbuds, there are plenty of other pairs that can handle the rigors of breaking a sweat.
1More Evo: Competition
It's a tough battle when looking at what pairs stand out among the best workout earbuds. The 1More Evo more than hold their own against the best in their price range, but some others do stand out. The Jabra Elite 7 Active have excellent app support with a nice EQ, plus a great fit, better ANC, and plenty of durability for workouts. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are thicker, but pack a lot of features, including an excellent EQ setup in the Soundcore app.
If you're keen on making sure you get hi-res audio going, there are other earbuds that support hi-res codecs. If your budget allows, the Technics EAH-AZ60 would be a stellar choice, although you won't be getting aptX support there, either.
1More Evo: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You want great sound
- You care about fit and comfort
- You want LDAC support
- You like good value for your money
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want a custom EQ
- You don't care for hi-res audio
- You want more custom controls
- You prefer to spend less
The 1More Evo won't be as much of a surprise if you're familiar with the brand and what it can do. If you're not, you probably will be. These are superb earbuds, even if there are some flaws or missing elements. Good, balanced sound isn't always easy to find, and when a pair of buds sound better than their price indicates, it's worth taking notice.
Even better is that 1More has shown it will support its products with firmware updates, so there's always the possibility the Evo get better down the line. If it's sound above all else that you crave, and the price is right, consider plugging your ears with these.
The 1More Evo are a hit in the right ways when it comes to how they play, so if your ears crave good, balanced sound, then you probably also won't mind the LDAC hi-res audio support to go with that.
Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.
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