Once again we have the opportunity to sit down with a pair of headphones from 1MORE, one of our favorite companies to have covered this year. Now, 1MORE has broken into the wireless industry with two pairs of Bluetooth headphones including the in-ear model we are discussing today, and an over-the-ears model that we will cover shortly, as soon as we finish burning them in.
So this round is all about the iBFree in-ear Bluetooth headphones. A form of headphones that every iPhone 7 user will be investing in now. No wires running to the connected device. Just a wire running from earbud to earbud.
1MORE delivers as usual when it comes to design and packaging, but this time around, we didn’t find the performance to be where we would have expected it to be. For the price, it’s debatable as we expect there to a certain loss in performance, but not too much since there are models $20 less on the market that perform better in certain areas. However, we have an even higher expectation since 1MORE has already set the bar on performance within the brand. So I guess, when it comes to this one model, nobody’s perfect?
Design-wise, the headphones are mostly rubberized plastic (as most in-ear solutions) with aluminum and plastic to the buds themselves. The in-line remote is all plastic. They feature a two-tone color theme to them, this specific one being red/black. They are also available in blue, green and gray.
There is a two-piece system for fit customization that includes rings and tips to help mold them best to your ear with. There are three sets of each included with the headphones. The rings allow them to cling better to your ears, preventing them from falling out and the tips help create a solid seal while providing additional fallout support and of course, comfort.
As always, you want to find the perfect balance between the two that matches your preferences. You want to find comfort but you also want to find a snug fit so that you can maximise what bass/lows you can get out of them, while not causing any discomfort. You also want to make sure they aren’t loose enough to fall out due to basic to heavy movements and activity depending on what you plan to use them for.
The in-line remote features a three-button system for controlling your headphones and music. The top and bottom buttons act as your volume up and down as well as next track and previous track, depending on if you are pressing them once or holding them down for a few seconds. The button in the middle is another one of those do-everything buttons that allow you to power the headphones on (3-second press) and off (5-second press), enable pairing (3-second press once the headphones are already powered on), play or pause the music you are listening to, redial a number (double press) and answer or disconnect incoming calls. The remote works for all operating systems, including iOS, Android, and Windows.
Along with the buttons, there is a small hole revealing a microphone for taking calls with (or talking to your device’s AI (ie, Cortana, Siri, etc). On the side of the remote, there is a small hatch you can open to reveal the micro-USB port for charging the headphones.
It does come with a USB to micro-USB cable for charging the headphones. It’s about 12-inches long, so if you need the additional length for whatever reason, you can use a cable from another device you may have sitting around or simply buy a new one online (they can be found pretty cheap on Amazon or eBay). No wall charger is included, so you will need an open USB port on a computer or can use a wall adapter from another device (or buy one online).
When it comes to listening to music, we pitted the headphones against the normal range of genres we test everything against. What stood out the best was acoustic and vocal tracks as well as classical (at least, any classical that didn’t have a large focus on bass instruments or larger drums).
The higher frequencies are super crisp, making vocals (especially well-recorded vocals) sound great. Some instruments come there a little harsh/sharp on the highes, but for the most part, they sound really good. Your lows are there but not as noticeable. So you won’t be using these headphones for any kind of bass-heavy rock or hip hop. The lows are just noticeable enough to add to the listening experience, but not provide any audible immersion to really help a track pop. This causes a portion of a track to go missing into the void when listening with such headphones, vs something with a full range.
Mid frequencies are always a problem as so many headphones seem to lack a full range of mids. This is what happens with single-driver headphones. Thankfully, these seem to do ok in this category. Your mids are present with both mid-highs and a little mid-lows which is good. However, without an equal focus on your lows (bass), it leaves a lot to be desired.
To be fair, the price is still low and this is their first break with wireless earbuds, but as I mentioned, the brand of 1MORE has already created a level of expectation with us that causes us to yearn for more.
Hopefully, they will continue to push forward with Bluetooth and even consider releasing a wireless version of their triple-driver IEM headphones.
Also, I will finish things off by pointing out these are IPX4 rated for water resistance. So they should be able to stand a heavy sweater or light rain, but should not be taken into the shower, for a run in heavy rain or anything else resulting in higher levels of water.
1MORE is an amazing brand with quite a positive reputation. Sadly, this isn’t one of their better products, but the headphones at least still sound good. Thankfully, given the fact that almost every other model they make is great, there is a good chance that further models from here are going to only get better (most likely, significantly).
These headphones are nice for the price, but as I mentioned, there are a few cheaper models on the market from other brands that slightly outperform these in certain areas like bass. So for now, I’d spend a few dollars more and get their double or triple driver wired headphones. They may not be wireless, but they do sound superb in comparison.
However, if wireless is a must-have, these do sound good. Good high and a decent range of mids. However, that missing bass really adds exhaustion for long-term listening and a good portion of tracks missing from your ears. The performance was just high enough to still get a positive score, but they could be better and 1MORE is more than capable of making this happen.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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