Laptop Mag Verdict
For $99, the 1More SonoFlow gives you lively sound, moderate ANC, and the highest battery life in the category.
Category-leading battery life
Energetic sound with customizable settings
Acceptable ANC for the price
Bluetooth multipoint technology
Wired mode is awful
Ambient listening needs work
Certain features are useless
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While 1More is most known for creating some of the best cheap wireless earbuds, they’ve also put out wireless headphones in the past. Well, just one (the Hi-Res Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones), but their collection is expanding, starting with the all-new SonoFlow.
Battery life (rated): 50 hours (ANC on); 70 hours (ANC off)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water resistance: None
Size: 6.6 x 7.5 x 3.2 inches
Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Our expert picks for the best noise-cancelling headphones, per budget and style
- Check out our Bose 700 review
- …and our Sony WH-1000XM5 review
These are the company’s first-ever noise cancelling headphones and they come loaded with premium specs. We’re talking active noise cancellation (ANC), Hi-Res Audio certification, LDAC codec support, multipoint connectivity, and up to 70 hours of playtime. The only thing more enticing is the price: $99.
An MSRP this low does present compromises; 1More’s latest creation has its fair share. However, the SonoFlow’s overall performance is undeniable, making it one of the best cheap noise-cancelling headphones out there.
1More SonoFlow review: Availability and price
The SonoFlow sells for $99, but 1More has a launch promotion where you can buy it for $79 on their site or Amazon (code: SONOFLOW20). Dark grey is the only color available. In the box are a carrying case, USB-C charging cable, and 3.5mm aux cable.
These headphones are priced similarly to the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 ($79), which is ranked No.1 on our best cheap noise-cancelling headphones list. They can also be had for a fraction of what current category leaders run for, including the Bose 700 ($379), Sennheiser Momentum 4 ($399), and Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399).
Be sure to bookmark our headphone deals page for the latest sales.
1More SonoFlow review: Design and comfort
The SonoFlow is a proper representation of 1More’s design pedigree: minimalist, sleek, and of decent quality. I love the dark grey colorway with matte finish, as well as distinctive details like the debossed logo atop the headband and multiple microphone openings on the earcups, which give these cans a more striking presence.
Construction is solid– the headphones are composed of aluminum, leather, and hard plastic. They don’t feel as flimsy as most other sub-$100 wireless headphones, nor are they incredibly robust, but they’ll survive falls to the ground. You’ll just have to live with some scuffs on the polished exterior.
Even though the carry case isn’t much to brag about, it is better than what comes bundled with some high-end headphones (don’t get me started on the WH-1000XM5’s cardboard case). Hard woven fabric makes up its entire composition. The interior has a small mesh pocket for storing accessories and cutouts to properly insert the headphones.
At 8.8 ounces, this is one of the lighter noise-cancellers out there. They are very comfortable for long stretches. I tested these headphones for multiple hours daily and experienced very minor fatigue. The protein leather does heat up after 3-hour stretches, but the sensation isn’t bothersome.
Fit is also reliable. The extenders have over 10 settings to accommodate listeners with different head sizes.
1More SonoFlow review: Controls and digital assistant
Physical buttons make up the SonoFlow’s control scheme. They blend into the design well and produce a nice click sound that ensures functions are being executed. If only their layout was user friendly.
All the buttons are spread out on the right earcup. The multi-functional power button in the front enables play/pause, answer/end call, or the digital assistant. Sitting in the rear are the NC button for activating the different listening modes and volume buttons that also forward/backward a track. It takes time remembering the command list and location of each button.
There are no touch controls or wear detection, so there is no auto-pause when taking off the headphones. Neither omission is a deal-breaker considering the price point.
Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby are all compatible and work extremely well. The SonoFlow has an intelligible mic array that picks up words and voice commands precisely. I thought Google Assistant demonstrated the most dexterity, pulling up my favorite websites and specifically requested Spotify playlists.
1More SonoFlow review: Audio quality
Audio hits differently on every 1More product. The flagship Evo earbuds had a sharp and expressive soundstage, whereas the budget-favorite PistonBuds Pro gave you loud, detailed sound. For the company’s latest over-ear headphones, the engineers installed a 40mm dynamic driver with DLC (diamond-like-carbon) composite diaphragm and soft TPU film that they claim produces “rhythmic bass, warm mids, and crisp highs.” I wouldn’t exactly describe it as that, but the overall sound is boom-filled and engaging.
The SonoFlow’s sound profile leans more toward the low end. At the same time, you get some mids and highs thrown into the mix. On rock classics like Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” the snare drums are impactful and the guitar riff on the bridge soars. Even the occasional tambourine is given some shine and has some ting to it.
Moving onto more bouncy tracks, the bass-drum thumps on 50 Cent’s “Outta Control” had me head nodding emphatically with a screw face. The low-end reproduction was solid, and the skidding strings sounded bright and clean.
1More boasts about having 12 “studio-grade” EQ presets. That’s arguable. What I will say is they’re well-engineered for their purposes. Acoustic brought more definition to each strum on the guitar driven “Over The Hills And Far Away” by Led Zeppelin. Bass Boost had the monstrous bassline on Future’s “Mask Off” shaking the earcups, without creating any distortion. Podcast was also great for emphasizing vocals.
AAC, SBC, and LDAC are the supported audio codecs – the latter providing hi-res audio at a higher bitrate. LDAC does improve connection quality and lets you hear details clearer, but you’ll need to stream music from a lossless streaming service (e.g., Tidal, Qobuz) on a compatible device to get the most out of the feature.
Listening in ANC mode boosts the bass too high, giving drums and synths a bloaty presence. Frequencies are better balanced when ANC is off.
Refrain from using the aux cable as well; the low end is so excessive that you can barely hear mids and highs.
1More SonoFlow review: Active noise cancellation
1More’s track record with noise cancellation has been hit or miss on their wireless earbuds. Temper your expectations because the SonoFlow is not going to match what the Bose 700 or Sennheiser Momentum 4 delivers. It isn’t going to outperform mid-range gems like the Cleer Enduro ANC either. That doesn’t mean you won’t get some adequate ANC out of these cans.
The company’s patented QuietMax ANC does a fine job neutralizing low-frequency sounds. All I heard was silence when walking past the AC condensers on the side of the house. Tumbling noises from my washing machine and dryer were inaudible. The same went for humming sounds produced by oscillating fans.
Mid-range noises were blocked out 50 percent of the time. For every dog bark that went unnoticed, a pedestrian on their iPhone could be heard, granted the effect was muffled. High frequency sounds were completely unavoidable. My toddler’s screams came through loudly, along with sirens and whistles.
Pass-through is one of the weaker transparency modes I’ve tested. It’s fine for hearing some noises up close, but the mics barely picked up anything from afar. A great version of this feature would allow me to hear cars coming from up the block or truck horns from three blocks away. Not with these headphones. More disappointing was the vocal capture. Not being able to hear and communicate with my wife from several feet away didn’t sit well with me.
1More SonoFlow review: App and special features
The 1More Music app is what all extended functionality operates through. You get a small selection of features to play with, most of which I’ve already discussed, including ANC/Pass-Through, Equalizer, and LDAC. What else is there?
Soothing Sounds returns, which is 1More’s version of soundscape mode, and I’ve lost all hope for it. The company hasn’t fixed the connectivity bugs, and the same problem that’s existed since it was introduced has yet to be addressed: it restarts every 10 seconds instead of running on a continuous loop. What a shame, especially since the 16 nature-based profiles sound close to the real thing.
Smart Burn-In is the other feature available that supposedly breaks in the headphones by playing static noise for several hours in hopes in improving audio quality. Some people believe this technique works, others don’t. Just know that it’s there in the case you’re curious to test it.
There is a cool wireless feature you can enable in the Experimental Features setting (more on that later). 1More got rid of the pop-up window setting that displayed battery life in an overlay. I found this odd since it has been featured in nearly every release they’ve put out. Rounding out the app are a battery level indicator, quick guide, and firmware updates.
1More SonoFlow review: Battery life
At 70 hours per charge (50 hours with ANC on), the SonoFlow currently stands as the best headphones for battery life. Bear in mind that certain factors decrease playtimes by several hours, specifically LDAC, which knocks off about 5 hours no matter how you use the headphones.
Nonetheless, this is far more sufficient than what premium models like the Bose 700 (20 hours) or Sony WH-1000XM5 (30 to 40 hours) get you. I’ve been using the SonoFlow with ANC on for over a week (4 hours daily) and still have around 20 hours left in the tank.
Quick charging is just as powerful, netting you 5 hours of playtime on a 5-minute charge. That’s faster than the more expensive Sennheiser Momentum 4 (4 hours = 5 minutes). Bravo, 1More.
1More SonoFlow review: Call quality and connectivity
One word can describe the SonoFlow’s call quality: impressive. Any calls taken indoors or outdoors were met with positive feedback. 1More’s environmental noise cancelling mic extracts vocals loudly and clearly. ANC wasn’t as strong in call mode and allowed noises like home appliances, motorcycle engines, and wind to enter conversations. Luckily, they weren’t too distracting, and the mics kept my voice prominent when chatting in rowdy settings.
Bluetooth 5.0 with multipoint technology gives the SonoFlow dependable connectivity. Being able to pair to two devices simultaneously is always sweet, especially for business users looking to switch seamlessly between their new iPhone 14 and laptop. Recognized devices are instantly connected when powering on the headphones. Range also extends up to 70 feet before stuttering.
The only thing missing is one-tap Google Fast Pair.
1More SonoFlow review: Verdict
The SonoFlow is an unbeatable deal, especially if snagged during its 30-day launch period ($79 is too good to pass up). It’s backed by effective ANC, strong sound with LDAC support, versatile features (e.g., Bluetooth multipoint, Equalizer), and up to 70 hours of playtime. Any flaws it carries are forgivable for the price. Simply put, you’d be hard-pressed to find wireless headphones with this amount of functionality for under $100.