Review: 1More Earbuds

While not talked about as often as some other brands, 1More has put out some high quality gaming headsets. While their products may not be designed solely for the purpose of video games, and with the increased popularity of games being played on tablets and phones in addition to more traditional platforms, 1More gave us the opportunity to try a couple of their earbud models out to see how they work for gaming. The two pairs we will be looking at are the Quad Driver In-Ear Heaphones, which seems like a good option for any 3.5mm compatible platform, and the True Wireless ANC In-Ear Headphones which is restricted to Bluetooth enabled devices.

Looking at the Quad Driver In-Ears first this product has all the packaging of something high end. The accessories that are included in the gift box style packaging include a leather travel case, nine different ear tip sizes, quarter inch and airline adapters and a matching shirt clip. The design of the earbuds uses four drivers to deliver hi-res audio. This consists of one carbon dynamic driver (speaker) and three balanced armatures (tweeters). There’s an in-line microphone with controls that allow the user to change volume, skip tracks and make phone calls. The leather travel case sturdy and small enough to product the earbuds during travel and looks nice on top of it.

The sophisticated look of the presentation and earbuds is undeniable, but the question is how do they sound, and the answer is pretty amazing. Audio equipment is a market where you get what you pay for, and while cheap earbuds are fine most of the time, you do miss out on some of the more subtle elements of the soundscape. That’s not the case with the Quad Driver In-Ears, as every component of each composition can be heard loud and clear. This is true both in terms of gaming and listening to music. Using the iPod, there are sonic details that won’t come through the car stereo or cheaper earbuds that are clearly defined when listening through these headphones. The same can be said of video game audio, but obviously substitute TV speakers for car stereo, I haven’t yet figured out a way to use the PlayStation 4 while driving. But for game audio, whether Switch, PC or PlayStation 4 everything sounds amazing, and earbuds like this greatly enhance the experience of playing a game with an amazing soundtrack.

The only drawback of these earbuds for gaming is that they aren’t optimized for multiplayer. It works fine for taking phone calls but doesn’t work for chatting over game consoles. So this wouldn’t be recommended if you want something for online gaming sessions for Xbox but for making single player game audio sound fantastic these do fit the bill, plus it can be used across multiple devices so that helps add some value to sticker price. So these earbuds are highly recommended for people who want optimal sound quality for a variety of devices and single player gaming, but best to look elsewhere for Call of Duty or Elder Scrolls Online group sessions. These do not have the best passive noise cancellation so they may not be optimal for loud public areas.

The True Wireless ANC In-Ear Headphones are the next 1More product we got to sample. These wireless earbuds connect through Bluetooth 5 and are compatible with aptX/AAC to provide high quality wireless audio. They include hybrid active noise cancellation with a dedicated Digital Signal Processor to block out environmental and in-ear noise, and this has two levels that can be easily selected with a single finger tap. The dual drivers have a dynamic 10mm driver and one balanced armature to deliver great sound quality even with the active noise cancellation activated. The controls on each earbud make it easy to control volume, song selection and attend to phone calls. These earbuds can be charged either through wired USB Type-C (cable included) or through wireless Qi charging when placed in their case. The case charges the earbuds when they are inserted, each earbud charge lasts about six hours but the case can get an additional sixteen hours of charge, making recharging convenient.

Connecting wirelessly through Bluetooth, the gaming applications with the True Wireless ANC In-Ears are more limited than the wired Quad Drivers. They work in a pinch for PC gaming though not quite as well as a gaming headset that is optimized for gaming. They do work well for mobile gaming, which includes both casual free to play gacha games, the numerous incarnations of Candy Crush and proper video games like the classic Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy ports. One complaint with these ear buds is they don’t ever seem to get loud enough. The sound quality from them is right, whether its taking a call, listening to music or gaming, but they seem quieter than other ear buds. After spending some time using these, the verdict is they are overall good Bluetooth earbuds with great sound quality, albeit a little on the quiet side, but these are more recommended with phone applications or music/movie engaging being the primarily application and gaming being a supplemental feature.

The last item 1More allowed us to check out has limited gaming applications but is a useful device nonetheless. The Bluetooth Adapter is a small Bluetooth clip that is charged through a USB Type-C cable and has a 3.5mm input jack. What this device allows the user to do is make any 3.5mm headset essentially a wireless headset, which is a useful device for people who have a favorite pair of wired headphones that want to break free of the tether. The demographic that would likely find this device useful are iOS gamers as iPhones don’t have a headphone jack.

Closing Comments:

The 1More products discussed above are not explicitly designed for gaming. They excel in non-gaming applications but there’s enough gaming carry over to make that a secondary reason to acquire them. During the time testing out these products the Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones ended up getting the most use and provided excellent sound quality for single player gaming on the 3.5mm supported platforms. For those looking for a new set of earbuds optimized for gaming these may fall a little short, but they can provide great-sounding game audio with the specific instances discussed in the review.