1More sent over their latest pair of buds, the Evos, the embargo has just dropped so I can talk to you about them now, although I have seen reviews go up last week for them, so I’m a tad late to the party now. Anyway, I’ve been using them as my daily driver for the last three weeks, and here are my thoughts.
The buds come nicely displayed and presented in a cardboard box and include the buds, different-sized rubber tips, and a USB C cable for charging. The pair of buds we got were white but there is also a black version too. The whole thing is a very tidy and sleek affair. Well constructed, stylish, small, and lightweight case. Subtle branding to the lid, a single indicator light to the front identifying the battery life of the case, and then the USB C port to the rear. Wireless charging is available via a Qi-certified dock.
The buds themselves are traditional in shape and size, with a rubber tip at the end. An elegant design, white with a hint of metallic silver/rose gold. Touch-sensitive button to either bud offering various controls. The controls are the same on both buds as default and allow you to play/pause your content with a double-tap, or if you’re getting a call, double-tap again to accept or end. A long hold on either bud will scroll through the different listening modes, ANC off, ANC On, or transparent mode. There are no voice prompts when scrolling through which is quite annoying, just a short beep. That’s it on controls, no changing tracks, no volume control unless you mod the controls but ill touch on that in a bit. When you remove either of the buds, they automatically pause the music until you put it back in. You can just use one earbud, no need to use both if you don’t want to. Take one out, use it, and leave the other one in the case.
As for features we’ve got wireless hi-res audio thanks to these including the LDAC Bluetooth codec, which can handle 24-bit audio, as long as you have a compatible device. We’ve also got ANC and transparency mode, 6 microphones, up to 28hours of battery life and an app to provide additional settings.
Audio performance was top tier, one of the best I’ve tried this year and I really enjoyed using them. A well-balanced sound profile with ample bass that worked well with any genre of music I listened to. Out of the box, ANC on is by far the best option for audio quality and there is a noticeable drop in bass and volume when switching to either transparency mode or turning the ANC off. The ANC performance itself is very very good. Small sounds like typing away on my keyboard were gone, while cars driving past or even the crashing of the train against track is heavily reduced, offering a very peaceful environment, allowing you to zone out and get away from it all. Out of the box, the default ANC setting is set to strong but this can be tweaked within the 1More app, dropping it down to mild, or choosing WNR or adaptive. You can swap between the four options with just a click and it’ll update in real-time while you’re listening to music, so you can see the difference and pick the best option for you.
A bit more on the app, it shows battery life per bud and the case, it allows you to control your audio modes, rather than using the touch controls. Remember I said there was no track or volume control, well there is or there can be if you want to. Via the app, go into the custom settings, and then you can change what the touch commands do. So double-tap is play pause, but you can change this to the next track, previous track or volume up or down. Triple tap activates the voice control but if you’re like me an rarely use that, you can set the triple tap to be next track or volume control. I generally adjust the volume on my phone so I kept the double-tap as play/pause and then changed the triple tap to next or previous track. Also within the app, you can use 1More’s SoundID, which is a pretty neat feature. It’s a sound test, so you select one of the default tracks provided, I went for Rock, you listen to that sample of music over and over, while the app provides two different sound profiles, A or B. You listen to both and either pick which one you prefer or say you don’t notice a difference. After the test, a sound profile is created and transferred to the buds. You can re-take the test if you want to at any point or just turn it off. Lastly, with the app, you can push firmware updates out to the buds.
As for comfort, working at a desk, and walking the dog, on your daily commute, they are very comfortable and secure enough. However, I used them while cycling which was a bit touch and go, and they didn’t offer me enough security for me to swap over to what I currently use. All our ears differ so you may find a more secure fit for you.
Touch controls work just fine, the touch-sensitive part of the bud is large enough and easy to find. The delay between touching and the command being undertaken is minimal, nothing worth
Microphone quality is a popular topic nowadays and I can confirm the 6 built-in microphones are pretty good. I made a number of calls with these and I had no complaints.
Battery life seems pretty good and I managed between 4-5 hours in the buds, plus say 4 charges via the case, so about 20 hours all in which is slightly less than the stated 28hours and I imagine that’s because I generally had ANC on while testing these and might have got a bit more juice out if I turned that feature off. When the battery is low, with about 30 minutes of playback left, you’ll hear a voice prompt telling you so. The small indicator light on the case will flash amber for 50% battery life remaining and red means the case needs charging.
Any negatives? The lack of voice prompt when switching between the audio modes, I want to know when I’m on ANC on or transparency mode. Also, the LDAC codec is compatible with iPhones or iOS in general, so something to consider if you’re part of the Apple ecosystem.
What about cost? I’ve been told the MSRP is £159.99 here in the UK, $169.99 in the US. At that price, they’re in good company with companies like Apple, Sony, and Sennheiser, and from the others, I’ve tested, I think these can keep up and in some instances, offer a small cost saving too. As an introductory offer, 1More is offering a discount on that price too for a short period.
For more info and to purchase, head over to the official 1More Evo webpage.