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1More EVO Review – Seeing is Believing

Pros

Excellent ANC implementation, Comfortable, Great imaging and layering, Well detailed treble, Small case, LDAC and dual-device connectivity

Cons –

Separation leaves to be desired, Battery life on the shorter side, Pass-through mode still lacks clarity, No manual eQ, Earbuds are difficult to remove from case

Verdict –

The EVO is a strong buy for those wanting a warm yet detailed TWS earphone with excellent ANC potency.


Introduction –

You may recall years ago when 1More first teamed up with Xiaomi to produce the Piston buds. These earphones were provided a robust sound and build, were insanely affordable and easily accessible internationally. This made them a frequent recommendation not just for audiophiles but general consumers too. The company has since focused on their own designs in collaboration with sound engineer Luca Bignari. Since they’ve produced some more upscale designs but have always adhered to the sense of value that put the company on the map to begin with, and targeted a demographic somewhere between true enthusiasts and consumers. One of my favourites was the ANC TWS that provided a detailed hybrid driver setup and effective ANC at half the price of leading competitors. It was an impressive design let down mostly by its bulkiness. A few years later and the company has released a huge range of TWS models, refining their approach with each. This has led to the EVO, the culmination of their learning and the first true successor to the ANC TWS.

The EVO just launched for $169.99 USD making it even cheaper than its predecessor. You can read all about it and treat yourself to a set on 1More’s Website. For a limited time, they will also be offering a $30 off discount using code EVO30!

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Tom at 1More very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the EVO for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

Contents –

Specifications –

  • Drivers: 1x 10mm DLC DD, 1x BA
  • Bluetooth: BT5.2 with LDAC, AAC, SBC
  • Play Time: Max 5.5 hours (ANC)/8 hours (ANC off)
  • Water resistance: IPX4

Behind the Design –

Hybrid Driver Setup

Like its predecessor, the EVO is using a hybrid driver setup with a 10mm dynamic driver and a single balanced armature in a coaxial setup. While there are now a few hybrid TWS designs on the market, they remain very much in the minority. Here, 1More is stepping it up with a DLC (diamond-like carbon) dynamic driver that offers greater rigidity and power, often being used in enthusiast wired in-ears.

QuietMax

Produced in collaboration with THX, this technology was first seen on the updated ANC TWS. Often, sound quality is reduced when ANC is active as the driver is responsible for producing both audio and the negative sound wave used to cancel ambient noise. Using the dual-driver setup, 1More is able to delegate the DD to ANC whilst allowing the BA driver to cover a wider range of sounds with ANC on, reducing the burden of ANC on overall sound quality. In addition, the tech offers smart wind noise reduction and wearing pressure reduction for undisturbed listening.

6 Mic Design

Each side houses a whopping 3 microphones that provide heaps of info for THX’s ANC and call algorithms. A feedback mic is placed within the nozzle, cancelling out lower-pitched sounds near the ear. Meanwhile, an external feedforward mic cancels out environmental noise from outside the earbud housing. Finally, a dedicated mic designed for picking up human voices provides clear call quality alongside intelligent pass-through.

Upgraded Connectivity

The EVO offers some of the best connectivity on the market with BT5.2, dual-device connection and LDAC support on Android devices. This also makes it a marked improvement over its predecessor. It’s likely the EVO is using a far newer chipset which has permit the smaller form factor without sacrificing efficiency.

Unboxing –

I do enjoy 1More unboxings, they always put a little extra effort into the packaging such as exploded diagrams from the design process on the folding cover. The EVO maintains a similar professional impression, packaged within a small hard box with magnetic latch. Opening up the latch showcases the earphones within the now far more compact charging case, and a separate box filled with accessories below. As the new design doesn’t require stabiliser rings, the accessory set is vastly streamlined compared to the ANC TWS. Inside is a short type-C charging cable alongside 4 pairs of silicone ear tips. The fifth pair come pre-installed on the earphones. They have a new softer and grippier material alongside a more comfortable shape than before. The nozzles remain oval meaning aftermarket options will be limited, however, I did find these new tips to be substantially better than those on the ANC TWS.

Design –

Coming from the ANC TWS, you can tell 1More have channelled features from their ComfoBuds line in terms of styling and ergonomics as the EVO feels like a breath of fresh air. Where the ANC TWS was a hulking design that protruded from the ears, the EVO I can comfortably label as svelte and visually appealing. It now relies on its more ergonomic shaping and superior seal rather than silicone stabiliser rings which gives it a far more streamlined look and feel. This can also be attributed to its far more compact shells that have received a 50% weight reduction and feel even more compact yet in terms of dimensions. The build quality has also been improved with eye-catching high-gloss ceramic faceplates and a contrasting satin finish elsewhere that cement the EVO as the flagship of their TWS offerings.

These finishes give the earphones a much nicer feel than the vast majority of TWS earphones – albeit, they do still feel a bit lighter and hollower than something like the pricier WF-1000XM4. The only downside I noted was that the matte finish was quite prone to oil marks, especially in black. However, this rings true for essentially any black in-ear and they can be easily cleaned with IPA and a microfibre cloth. Furthermore, the shells are shapely and well-finished with tight matching between each piece. The metal nozzle filter and voice mic cover are coloured in a matching bronze to the faceplates, giving the earphones a high-class look that belies their midrange asking price. They’ve also gained an IPX4 splash resistance rating making these a better choice for active use than the ANC TWS before it in addition to an overall versatile and pleasing earphone.

Fit & Comfort –

With the relative shrinking, the EVO isn’t just compact compared to its predecessor, it’s also more compact than your average noise-cancelling TWS competitor. Combined with very shapely and well-proportioned shells, this makes them a good choice for listeners with smaller ears which is something I can’t say about many competitors. While they do still protrude from the ears, they are far lower profile than the ANC TWS and suffer from less wind noise as a result.

Despite the lack of stabilising fins, the EVO achieves a steady fit suitable for commute and workouts simply due to their ergonomic profile and especially lightweight design that doesn’t shake loose during wear. The tips also contribute to this as they give me a much deeper fit and better seal than on the EVO’s predecessor. You also have less variables with regards to fit as a result; just choose the best tip size for you and you’ll likely have a good experience. The rounded design produced no hotspots for me over hours of use, scoring high marks for comfort too.  

Case –

Though the ANC TWS came with a rather large charging case, it did have slender proportions that made it easy to pocket. The EVO further refines the same styling as the original. It comes with a rounded, aluminium carrying case with a flat rubber base that enables Qi wireless charging support. The key difference like the earphones themselves comes in the form of dimensions, being a full 2cm shorter and half a centimetre narrower than the ANC TWS case. Though still on the thicker side compared to an Airpods or Galaxy Buds case, the new case is now almost as compact, being slimer than the WF-1000XM4 case, for example. This makes it easier to slip into a pocket or jacket and the reduced weight helps too.

As far as the overall quality of the case goes, it retains a similar impression to the ANC TWS case which isn’t a bad thing at all. I reviewed the ANC TWS at the end of 2020 and to date, the case hasn’t amassed any large scratches or blemishes, I suspect the same would ring true for the EVO case. The hinge has a snappy reverse magnet that holds the lid open and it closes with a strong, satisfying magnetic action. The actual hinge is slightly wider and more stable than that on ANC TWS case too. The same RGB front-facing LED indicator showcases the remaining charge and a Type-C port on the rear permits wired charging.

Inside is a MFB that allows for easy pairing without requiring convoluted gestures on the earphones themselves, and it helps to avoid accidental pairing. The main issues I have with the case is the cheap plastic used inside the case which is prone to blemishes and how deep the earpieces sit within their magnetic dock. This makes the earphones quite difficult to remove from the case, especially with their smooth design. Making the inlet slightly larger would have aided this without reducing the internal dimensions of the case and, thereby, reducing battery capacity.

Next Page: Usability & App

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