1More Evo earbuds review: Sub-$200 ANC champs

Well-priced earbuds with quality you’d find at double the cost

1More Evo
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

1More Evo are the best earbuds for those who want pro quality at a not-so pro price. With incredible sound, stylish looks, powerful ANC and a great battery life, these (mostly) nail it! Right now, there’s nothing better at this price point.

Pros

  • +

    Crisp, expressive sound quality

  • +

    Stylish, comfortable design

  • +

    Strong ANC

  • +

    Long battery life

  • +

    Great price for what you get!

Cons

  • -

    Limited touch controls

  • -

    Middling call quality

  • -

    SoundID is a double-edged sword

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The 1More Evo are the newest flagship earbuds at a price that doesn’t scream “top of the line.”

That’s surprising given the cracking spec list: 10mm + balanced armature drivers, hi-res codec support, six microphones for adaptive active noise cancellation, dual-device connection and up to 28 hours of battery life.

This, on the face of it, seems to make these the flagship killer earbuds I’ve always dreamed of. But do they deliver on this dream? Ultimately, the answer is “not quite,” but they get so damn close to a 5-star rating. Let me explain.

1More Evo: Availability and price

You can pick from two colorways: black or white, for a cost of $169 (£159). This puts them in direct contention with the likes of Soundcore’s Liberty 3 Pro and Apple’s AirPods 3, but for reasons you’ll understand soon, we’re going to compare these to the often discounted AirPods Pro.

Also, it's worth noting that 1More is dropping some tempting discounts for the first month of their launch, with $30 (£25) off at Amazon and the 1More USA store. The former is a coupon that you apply at checkout. For the latter, use the code EVO30.

1More Evo: Design

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

Let’s start with the obvious — these are ruddy gorgeous earbuds.

The small case has a lovely matte black finish to it, utilizing a nice premium plastic for great durability and hand feel. All of this is topped off by the shine of a rose gold logo on top.

That subtle use of color continues down to the earbuds themselves, with the gold outline and glossy front giving them a more jewel-like aesthetic that looks great on anyone. Seriously, as far as any concerns about product quality go, they’re quickly laid to rest by the upmarket look and feel.

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

Let’s put some numbers to it. At 0.9 x 0.8 x 0.9 inches and weighing 0.2 ounces, the buds are lightweight and small, which combined with its range of rubberized tips means you can find a snug and secure fit that is comfortable for hours and hours. In fact, these are smaller than both the Liberty 3 Pro (0.7 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches, 0.2 ounces) and AirPods Pro (0.9 x 0.9 x 1.2 inches).

Case-wise, the Evos measure in at 2.6 x 1.1 x 1.5 inches and weigh 1.7 ounces. That compares favorably in size to the Soundcores, but not in weight (2.8 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches, 1.6 ounces), and it is slightly bigger than the AirPods Pro’s container (2.4 x 1.8 x 0.8 inches, 1.6 ounces). At dimensions like this, we’re really splitting hairs. The case is small, thin, and can easily be put in a skinny jeans pocket.

All-in-all, paired with IPX4 water and dust resistance, these are a comfortable pair of buds with great wearability and durability to handle most exercise, and a luxurious aesthetic that looks and feels more expensive than its price tag.

1More Evo: Controls and digital assistant

You get a basic set of touch controls on the 1More Evo — double and triple taps on each bud, which are customizable in the 1More Music app on iOS or Android.

The tap surfaces are responsive and any interactions to change tracks are immediate, but I would have preferred to have more than just four interactions in order to manipulate the volume alongside changing tracks.

Of course, the option to change what these inputs do means you can choose to access the Siri or Google Assistant with ease. Across Android and iOS devices, waking them up is quick and the microphones do a good job of picking up your request in almost all indoor and outdoor circumstances.

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

1More Evo: Active noise cancellation and ambient listening

The Evos pack 42dB active noise cancellation, which utilizes the six on-board mics to suppress any surrounding noises. In fact, the capabilities of this ANC stretch beyond a simple on/off switch.

By default, you’ll get “strong,” which delivers the max cancellation. Paired with the passive noise cancellation created by a snug fit with the right-size rubberized tips for your ear, the overall effect is impressive. These do a stellar job at blocking out the surrounding sounds of rush hour traffic, without creating that build-up of pressure in your head that makes this mode uncomfortable in some buds.

Beyond this, you get “mild,” if you don’t need the highest level and can preserve some battery while working indoors, and you’ve got one “WNR” that… I’ll be honest, nobody actually knows what this means. Is it “Within Normal Range,” or a strange abbreviation of “Wind Resistance,” either way, this is barely different from “mild.

And finally, you’ve got adaptive noise cancellation, which much like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 measures the sounds around you and cancels accordingly. You can hear the levels change depending on what is happening around you, which is great for those who do get that feeling of built-up pressure when using ANC.

Plus, for those moments when you do need to let the outside world in, there is a transparency mode. The quality of it is compromised by a slight hiss, which is expected in cheaper buds, but conversations around you are clear and I was able to easily carry on a conversation with my partner from across the room.

1More Evo: Audio quality

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

Now, let’s talk about the most important feature for any pair of true wireless earbuds, and why the 1More Evos absolutely nail it in the sound quality department.

The spec list starts strong: a hybrid driver structure with 10mm dynamic and a balanced armature driver in each bud that gives the highs and lows better separation, LDAC Hi-res wireless codec certification for bitrate support up to 990Kbps, and 1More’s patented “QuietMax” technology that uses microphones to measure ambient frequencies inside the acoustic cavity of the ear, to balance out any potential distortions.

And the end result? Awesome sound. These pack a crisp, expressive sound profile with impressive spaciousness and detail, to the point that you can pick out instruments around you. Highs are allowed to soar and glow, while the mids are given plenty of room to express themselves and the lows rumble along without distorting any part of the composition.

Starting with the hardest test I can find, which is the orchestral uprising cacophony of “A Day in The Life” by The Beatles, the Evos ate this section for breakfast with room for more. Not a single moment of muddled audio. Not a peep of distortion. 

Moving onto something a little more full-on in Four Year Strong’s angry cover of “Bittersweet Symphony”, there was zero. The thud of the bass drum kick was satisfying, the chugging guitars have an almost tactile level of bite, and the high-flying vocals shine. 

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

In fact, you can improve it on a genre-by-genre basis thanks to SoundID, which plays you a snippet of music from any genre you like and lets you decide which of two EQ-levelled alternatives sound better. Once I used this, Four Year Strong exploded into a more vibrant life in one of the best renditions of the song that any earbuds have been able to achieve.

Be warned though — doing this does lead to some difficulties with other genres. Sure, I managed to make Linkin Park sound good, but the sharper stings of bass in the likes of Mac Miller’s “2009” or Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam” do start to distort.

If you’re dedicated to a particular genre, absolutely do this to get the most out of your 1More Evos. But if your music tastes are all over the place like mine, the settings straight out-the-box with no EQ changes will handle all kinds of tunes magnificently.

1More Evo: App

Soundcore’s companion app is one of the best in the business, but 1More gives it a run for its money with the free 1More Music app.

In this software, you get a range of presets, a customisable EQ, easy access to customize your tap interactions, a low latency mode for gaming and a soothing sounds option to create an ideal ambiance for sleeping.

There is no “find device” feature though, which is disappointing for more clumsy people like myself. If that is you too, be careful with these!

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

1More Evo: Battery life

1More promises up to eight hours of listening time, extended to 28 hours in the case with ANC turned off. 

But let’s be honest, you’re probably going to be using noise cancellation pretty much 100% of the time, so the reality is you’ll get up to 20 hours of battery, with the buds lasting 5.5 hours in one stint.

That is an hour longer than the AirPods Pro, but falls short of the eight hours you can get from the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pros. But in real-world use, this longevity is good enough for the average use case (morning commute and a few hours of listening while working, followed by a quick charge in the case over lunch and afternoon listening).

1More Evo: Call quality and connectivity

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

Let’s start with the great news here. Bluetooth 5.2 ensures a strong connection, even through walls and up to roughly 30 feet away from my iPhone 13 Pro. On top of that, the 1More Evos supports two different device connections, which makes it a cinch to switch between your phone and laptop.

As for calls, the six microphones with an AI-powered algorithm sound like they should be great at suppressing ambient noise and amplifying your voice. But in reality, the results are mixed. Much like the company’s cheaper PistonBuds Pro, these do work at a disadvantage by not having stems, which would put the mic closer to the mouth.

But the outward-facing mic on the front does let in more wind noise than any algorithm can handle, which can overwhelm your voice.

1More Evo: Verdict

1More Evo

(Image credit: Future)

The 1More Evos aren’t perfect, but you are going to struggle to find better earbuds than these in the upper mid-range price range.

Look past the limited touch controls and hit-or-miss call quality for a second, and you’ll find a sleek, stylish pair of buds with fantastic sound quality and some of the best-performing ANC in the business, with plenty of stamina to boot.

Let me save you some time. If you are looking for a new pair of earbuds and have a budget of up to $200, save yourself thirty bucks and get these. Your ears (and your wallet) will thank you.

Jason England
Staff Writer

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.