“The 1More dual drivers offer excellent sound quality for the price.”
20 hours of battery life
Outstanding sound quality
Stellar noise cancellation
The sexy new trend in portable audio these days is real wireless earbuds – and for good reason. When done correctly, they offer comfort and quality in a bite-size package.
Still, 1More is living proof that a few wires here and there don’t have to be a bad thing. The new $ 150 dual-driver ANC Pro wireless in-ear headphones, which will be launched on May 21, may not have the immediate appeal of a true wireless counterpart. But after spending time with them, it’s obvious that 1More’s new, efficient headphones get you where you need to go.
Out of the box
Let me rave about the packaging in which the Dual Driver ANC Pro Wireless arrived for a moment.
Essentially, the headphones sit in a display case that is bound like a book, and on the inside there are artistic sketches of the headphones. Take note of competing companies. This is how you make a good first impression.
Nick Woodard / Digital Trends
A smorgasbord of accessories is waiting under the headphones. These include three sets of additional earplugs, both a USB-C charging cable and an additional cable, a carrying case for the headphones and various documentation.
After taking the time to find the best tips for your ears, setting up is standard compared to most wireless earbuds. The built-in Bluetooth 5 technology works well, at least due to the fact that I had no problems with them during my time.
The 1More Music app goes well with the headphones. You don’t need the app to connect at first, but I would recommend downloading it. The app provides access to firmware updates, control over active noise cancellation and intelligent burn-in options. I’ll come to the last part a little later.
Before I go any further, it’s time to speak to the elephant in the room … um, ear. From the way the ANC looks with two drivers, it is clear to me that I would classify them as earphones that happen to be attached to a neckband with a pair of wires. 1More, however, the new product is referred to as in-ear headphones. Therefore I will use this terminology in this test.
Nick Woodard / Digital Trends
The in-ear component of the headphones fits comfortably and securely in my ears and hung there pretty well when I decided to audition them while running through the local park. At the other end of the wire is the silicone collar that gently wraps around your neck. The band has buttons for power, volume control, active noise cancellation, and wind noise resistance mode, as well as the option to call your preferred voice assistant. They are not noticeable, but I found them easy to use.
The back of the buds is magnetic so they can band together and sit like a high-resolution necklace when not in use. This is a nice design accommodation as the Dual Driver ANC doesn’t seem to be the easiest headphone.
Don’t get me wrong, the neck strap is flexible and it looks like it could take some strength. The tote bag doesn’t give me as much security as, for example, a stiffer bag when mixed with other items in a backpack or suitcase.
This brings me to what I see as an inevitable design flaw in these types of headphones – they simply don’t have the portability or ergonomic footprint that so many people enjoy with real wireless earphones. The Dual Driver ANC can offer a lot between its functions, its audio quality and its price. You just have to get by with something more prominent to enjoy these qualities.
The previous model in this series of 1More headphones, the Dual Driver BT ANC, only offered 7 hours of playback time for calls or music. It was clearly a vulnerability and one can safely say that 1More addressed it.
The new Dual Driver ANC offers a battery life of 20 hours without ANC and 15 hours with the function activated, as well as a quick charge function that enables 3 additional hours with only 10 minutes of charging time. After fully testing the battery life of 1More, the technical specifications consider a huge improvement.
The Dual Driver ANC has a waterproof IPX5 resistance that protects it from water jets from any direction. I’ve never been so intense with them, but the headphones have made it unscathed from many wet walks.
In addition to its active noise cancellation features, the Dual Driver ANC features the aforementioned wind noise resistance mode, which, according to 1More, is designed to suppress wind-induced microphone noise and keep unwanted distractions out of your listening experience. It worked well on windy walks with an interesting quirk. You have to choose between active noise cancellation or wind noise resistance mode – both cannot be activated at the same time.
This makes sense to a certain extent because both are essentially different forms of noise cancellation. However, I am not sure why someone would not simply use the regular ANC, as the effects in my experience are not significantly different.
With products like the Triple Driver and Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones as well as the newer 1More Stylish Headphones, 1More has earned a good reputation. In short, this is a company that delivers high quality sound that doesn’t cost a fortune.
Nick Woodard / Digital Trends
The Dual Driver ANC has expectations. Based on my time with these in my ears (and around my neck) the returns are excellent.
These headphones have the name they have for a reason. They consist of a dynamic 13.6 mm driver with a titanium composite membrane and the symmetrical anchor developed by 1More. It says a lot, but if these aren’t Lennon and McCartney from headphone components, they get pretty damn close.
In other words, name a better duo. I’ll wait.
Seriously, hearing the Dual Driver ANC was quite an experience. In addition to supporting audio codecs like SBC, AAC and LDAC, they skilfully navigate between music genres and search for the vibrating rumble of Lil Nas Xs Panini before looking for a powerful reproduction of Bill Withers’ Lean on Me. As with all of the company’s products, the Dual Driver ANC has been optimized by Luca Bignardi, a Grammy Award-winning sound engineer.
If I have a problem with the sound quality, I have to wait until I can hear the best that the Dual Driver ANC has to offer. The headphone app has an intelligent burn-in function that, according to 1More, essentially reproduces sounds and signals via your buds in order to “train” them. For best performance, 1More suggests that it can take a few dozen to hundreds of hours to reach the optimal level. Call me impatient, but that just seems over the top.
The Dual Driver ANC uses hybrid active noise cancellation, in which a pair of microphones in each bud analyze noise in the ear as well as in the outside environment and then mask out the unwanted noise using a dedicated digital signal processor (DSP). The headphones have two different noise suppression levels, mild and strong, which can be selected with the neckband button or in the 1More Music app.
My attempts with the ANC functions of these headphones were good overall. White noise with the function enabled was minimal and most outside noise was generally well attenuated. However, I would keep expectations realistic. They don’t approach the cancellation capabilities that solid over-ear cans can offer, and some noise will inevitably get through. This is not really a blow to 1More, but a reminder of the limitations of this product style. They do well within these restrictions.
1More has consistently built great, affordable hearing aids in the past, and although it’s a less popular package, they did it again with the Dual Driver ANC Pro Wireless.
Are there any better alternatives?
The current options for neckband style products are somewhat more limited than for real wireless products. The $ 200 Jabra Elite 65e would be a comparable option, although the 1More has a clear advantage in battery life. If you want to save and stay in the family, the 1More Triple Driver offers similarly good sound at the expense of ANC and battery power.
How long will they last?
I am a little more careful with wired products that could tend to get caught on different objects. However, the dual driver ANC is well designed and should last as long as it is properly maintained.
Should you buy them
Yes. They have an aging design and 1More teases you with the promise of better sound as long as you are in the game and may have to wait hundreds of hours. However, the Dual Driver ANC already sounds great, has battery life and ANC features that you won’t find in most real wireless options. If you can handle two dangling wires, buy the latest version of 1More.