1MORE EVO TWS hands-on: Flawless sound for the price and then some
Being tuned by Grammy Award Winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi, the 1MORE EVO promises to "restore music to its original brilliance" but this doesn't say much about the capabilities of the product itself. The Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification is also present and sounds great in theory, but many products fail to live up to the labels on their retail boxes. The 1MORE EVO also promises crystal clear calls thanks to no less than six microphones and the use of an intelligent DNN (Deep Neural Network) algorithm that boosts speech and keeps out environmental noise.
Are all the above just marketing gimmicks or not? This is the main question that will get an answer in today's hands-on review, one that comes after using the 1MORE EVO on a daily basis for more than three months.
Box contents, design, build quality
1MORE headphones are usually packaged in boxes worth keeping around and the EVO TWS is no exception. The plain cardboard box features uses a magnetic closure and can always be used to store quite a few small gadgets, since the headphones and the essential accessories that came in it can easily fit in a small pocket.
The aforementioned box carries all the relevant technical details on its back, with a few highlights on the side and on the front. On the inside, there are a few DaVinci-style drawings about the design process of the 1MORE EVO, signed by Luca Bignardi. 1MORE took the same approach with the packaging of the wired Quad Driver and Triple Driver headphones, but this only means that the EVO is another special product that punches above its price range, not just some mass-produced audio accessory that tries to be special based on the presentation alone.
The retail package is quite generous, as it includes no less than four pairs of additional silicone tips, in addition to the M-sized pair already applied. Their sizes are XS, S, L, and XL. There is also a short USB-A to USB-C charging cable which some users might find useful and many will never touch (the charging case supports wireless charging and most people have at least one USB-C cable around), a nicely done user guide in about a dozen languages, a sticker, and a card with a QR code leading to a validation page which checks the authenticity of your 1MORE EVO.
Only available in black and white, the case of the 1MORE EVO has a straightforward yet stylish design, with a sturdy, yet light pill-shaped charging case made of anodized aluminum with a powder-coated exterior that makes it very pleasant to the touch and easy to handle without slipping. The bottom is made using a non-slip rubber surface, so it will stay in place where many other charging cases would slide down.
The earbuds feature a glossy ceramic top that carries the 1MORE logo. The top is surrounded by a discreet metallic frame (silver for the white version and copper for the black variant). Given the traditional design used and the amount of technology packed inside, the earbuds are surprisingly small and light, but also easy to handle and they should fit nicely in most ears (I had no problems, even when working out or eating, a situation when earbuds with a similar layout would fall off after a few minutes).
The build quality and materials used are both excellent, and everything feels like it was made to last. I often put the case in pockets that, in certain positions, put a serious strain on it, but the lid still feels like it was in the first day, without any trace of jiggling involved.
Specs, features, real-life usage
Labeled with the model number EH902, the 1MORE EVO has a total weight of less than 60 grams or about 0.13 pounds (case and earbuds). The speaker impedance is 32 Ω, with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 40 kHz. The 1MORE EVO supports Bluetooth 5.2 and the working temperature range is 0 to 45 degrees Celsius (32 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit).
The case has a battery capacity of 450 mAh, while each earbud can carry 48 mAh. The case needs two hours to charge via a USB-C cable, and the earbuds need one hour for a full charge. The autonomy is 5.5 hours with ANC enabled, and 8 hours with ANC off. This way, a fully charged case with charged earbuds inside can provide up to 28 hours of autonomy.
A 10 mm dynamic driver and a balanced armature in a list of specs and features are definitely not something impressive. However, in this case I must confess that the 1MORE EVO sounds much better than earbuds with larger drivers, proving that size doesn't matter in this field too often.
The array of six microphones that use an intelligent AI-driven algorithm to provide great call quality might seem like a marketing gimmick, but it's not. I managed to take phone calls whil outside in heavy winds, while using public transportation, or during walks through crowded areas where it was simply impossible to make myself heard properly while using other headphones.
When it comes to noise cancellation and audio transparency, I must say that the Wind Noise Reduction mode is simply amazing, and the two Transparency modes allow me to talk to people or understand public announcements without turning my music off. To me, passive noise cancellation is less efficient than I expected. However, I consider this to be a good thing since I can use the 1MORE EVO without enabling ANC or Transparency and still hear well enough what is happening around me, thus extending the battery life of the earbuds.
The first time I connected the 1MORE EVO to my phone and made the initial adjustments, there were no custom EQ settings, so I configured SoundID with the best sound for distorted guitars/drums. Surprisingly enough, the result feels amazing when listening to classical, electronic, and soft pop music as well. Overall, the 1MORE EVO delivers a neutral sound with plenty of room left across the entire audio spectrum to be filled depending on the EQ and/or SoundID settings used. Sometimes, adding a third-party EQ on top can further enrich the audio landscape provided by the 1MORE EVO with SoundID, but I usually go with a flat setting or no EQ.
Although I enabled the best sound quality possible (by using Developer Mode on my phone to take advantage of hidden setting that allowed me to get the highest bitrate available for the LDAC codec), I never noticed the sound latency to be annoying. Obviously, there is a minor lag that sometimes becomes obvious in fast-paced games, but the audio experience when watching videos or listening to music, latency-wise, is excellent.
Protection from water and dust is good enough for daily use, and I must mention that I was out in the rain while using the 1MORE EVO at least twice so far. It wasn't a flood, but it was intense enough to make me carefully tuck away my phone. On the other hand, the earbuds remained in place and there was no problem. Since I live in a polluted city, dust gets everywhere. Again, no problem on this front, either.
Wear detection and multi-point connectivity are also in the list of features and both work great, but I usually keep the 1MORE EVO connected to my phone and avoid multitasking.
In terms of autonomy and my own experience, everything's great. I usually set the volume at roughly 70 percent with ANC on and I never managed to fully deplete the battery, even after more than 4 hours of continuous use. 1MORE's battery life tests were conducted with 50 percent volume using the AAC format, so I think that my results with LDAC pushed to its limits and 70 percent volume are nothing short of impressing.
The controls are great, but being able to customize more gestures would be great, not to mention that I would like to assign different operations for each earbud. For example, I would like to play/pause on my left earbud and skip to the next track using the right earbud. However, this takes us straight into the next section of today's article.
Before moving to the 1MORE MUSIC app itself, I have to mention that the 1MORE EVO comes with upgradeable firmware and, since I got it, it received two or three updates. The current firmware version is 22.214.171.124 and the app version that I am running as I write this is 4.7.0.
Just like the firmware, the mobile app has been continuously updated. For example, the ANC settings were lost after disconnecting the earbuds. Now, that problem is gone. As I mentioned earlier, there were no EQ settings in the beginning.
In addition to the ability to upgrade the firmware and customize the controls, the 1MORE MUSIC app allows the user to burn-in the headphones, enable one of the existing EQ presets or create and save custom presets, adjust the wearer detection settings (auto-pause only, auto-pause and play, and disabled), check a quick user guide, or play soothing sounds. Strange enough, there are no music-playing capabilities in the app, despite its name. However, I do not consider this to be a problem.
Overall, the software companion for the 1MORE EVO is an excellent piece of code and I am sure it will be refined even further in the future. An example that shows 1MORE's attention to detail is the user's ability to select the color of the headphones and case shown in the app (the app also works with other 1MORE products).
The good, the bad, and the truth
Both the case and earbuds look better than in photos and even the official product photos don't look as good as the real thing. Even more, the 1MORE EVO feels great to wear and handle. The software and audio quality are both excellent, with a huge plus for the WNR mode, which completely keeps out wind noise and everything that remains is the silent pressure of the air passing by.
The soothing sounds are very short, low-quality audio loops and while playing them, interruptions are noticeable and the app cannot be used for anything else. The ability to customize each earbud individually would be an excellent addition to the feature set of this product.
With a price tag well below the US$200 mark (discounted to US$149.99 in the US as I write this, down from a regular price of US$169.99), the 1MORE EVO TWS is certainly a great deal for everyone who can afford it, even those who think that high-end wireless audio in such a small form factor is impossible. I know for sure that I finally found a reason to stop missing my wired headphones when listening to music on my phone, and this should say a lot.
Disclaimer: The author of this review received the 1MORE EVO TWS from 1MORE free of charge for the purpose of testing.
1MORE (official product page, US English)