1More is a smaller headphones brand that’s behind some of the best midrange wired earbuds available. Now, as the headphone market continues to run away from anything that so much as looks like a wire, 1More is running alongside them. Last year, it announced its first pair of true wireless earbuds, and now it’s got a noise-canceling model. They’re the appropriately titled 1More True Wireless ANC headphones, and they’re available now for $199.99.

Producing a great-sounding pair of wired earbuds is one thing, but true wireless headphones, particularly noise-canceling ones, are much trickier. A good fit and strong connection are essential, and that’s before you even get into the challenges of packing good-quality audio and noise cancellation into a tiny package.

1More’s debut noise-canceling true wireless earbuds do a good job in many of these areas, and they do so while sounding good. I found they had a slightly fussy fit that made them inappropriate to use if I was moving around a lot, but there’s a lot to like here.

1More’s True Wireless ANC headphones have a pretty enviable spec list that ticks almost all of the boxes for a pair of true wireless earbuds. They can be charged either via their USB-C port or wirelessly. They have active noise cancellation as well as a passthrough mode for when you need to hear what’s going on around you. You can use the earbuds together or use either one individually (although they can’t connect to two devices at once). They support both AptX and AAC audio codecs.

The earbud controls seem a little unusual at first, but I was broadly happy with them once I’d sussed out how they work. The touch controls control noise cancellation. You double tap to shift through the four modes, which include the headphone’s two ANC levels, an ambient passthrough mode, and one mode where everything’s turned off. Meanwhile, a single physical button on each earbud handles playback and volume control. A single press on the left or right earbud adjusts the volume up or down, a long press skips forward or back, and double pressing either side pauses whatever you’re listening to.

Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

The controls work fine when you’re using both earbuds, but they’re more limited when you’re just using one at a time. (Good luck skipping forward a track when you’re only wearing the left earbud.) There’s no option to customize the controls in 1More’s (completely optional) companion app.

1More’s earbuds are designed to turn on and pair automatically when you put them in your ears. I found this worked about a third of the time. When it didn’t, I could generally coax the earbuds to life by pressing and holding the play / pause button to turn them on manually. However, there were other times when I had to re-pair them to my phone to get them to work. It’s not unusual to have to troubleshoot true wireless earbuds occasionally, but 1More’s earbuds occasionally got frustrating.

Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

1More says you should get between five and six hours of playback from the earbuds, depending on whether you have noise-cancellation enabled or not, and the case will give you an extra 13 to 16 hours. That’s a little more than what you’ll get out of Apple’s AirPods Pro and roughly in line with Sony’s WF-100XM3 earbuds. I found it was more than enough battery life for my needs, and the battery case was compact enough to fit in my pockets just fine.

However, I did have an issue with the fit of 1More’s earbuds or, more specifically, with the right earbud. Fit is a very personal thing, and it’s impossible to say how many people this is likely to be a problem for. However, despite spending a good half-hour trying out multiple combinations of ear tip and silicone wing sizes (1More offers seven different kinds of the former and four of the latter), I could never get the right earbud to feel properly snug. I knew that a better fit was possible because the left earbud was offering me exactly that, but it just wasn’t possible in my right ear for whatever reason. Eventually, I found a combination that worked, but it never felt secure enough to use while cycling, for example (the earbuds don’t have an official IP rating, but 1More tells me they should be able to handle gym use.)

Like other earbuds, the 1More True Wireless ANC have an ambient passthrough mode. But while Sony’s implementation lets you quickly turn it on to hear things like train announcements, 1More’s seems designed to be left on permanently. It takes a little while to activate it since you have to cycle through the other modes first, which means you’re not going to be turning it on in a pinch to listen to an announcement.

Photo by Jon Porter / The Verge

Photo by Jon Porter / The Verge

Photo by Jon Porter / The Verge

Photo by Jon Porter / The Verge

Generally, I was happy with the noise cancellation performance of 1More’s headphones. You have two different levels to choose from, and you cycle through them with a double tap of either earbud. 1More says that the first level of ANC will filter out noise up to 35 dB in volume, while level two offers a slightly reduced rate of up to 20 dB. In practice, I never found the need to use the second mode. It generally worked well to cancel out the roar of the London Underground, although there were a couple of occasions when the mode glitched out momentarily when things got especially loud.

The sound quality of the 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds differs a lot depending on whether you have noise cancellation turned on or off, and it even differs between the two different levels. Leave ANC turned off, and you’ll be faced with a fairly neutral sound signature. Sound separation is good, and if you listen to complicated pieces of music, every part of the soundstage comes through loud and clear. However, the bass is a little quiet relative to the rest of the sound, which can end up making things feel a little lifeless at times.

Turn on ANC, and the bass level increases dramatically. In fact, when you listen to the two modes side by side, it almost sounds as if there’s too much bass when noise cancellation is enabled. But the more I listened to the earbuds in ANC mode, the more I liked what they did to my favorite music, with a warm sound signature that never got too overwhelming. If you’re someone who likes a completely neutral sound, then it might not be for you, but it suited my tastes well.

1More is currently in the process of tweaking this in a future software update. This will reduce the bass output while the earbuds are in their ANC and passthrough modes, to deliver a sound signature that’s more similar to when ANC is turned off. However, the update wasn’t available while I was testing the earbuds, and 1More wasn’t able to tell me when it is likely to arrive.

Then there’s microphone quality, which I didn’t have any problems with. I made a few calls from noisy streets, and the person I was speaking to never had any issue understanding me. People said that I sounded farther away from the mic, but the sound quality was still serviceable, and they wouldn’t have thought to question how I was making the call.

Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

The sound quality question leaves the conclusion of this review in a little bit of a difficult position because while I like how the 1More True Wireless ANC headphones sound at the moment with their ANC turned on, this could change in the future. 1More says it won’t be possible to keep the original sound signature.

1More’s True Wireless ANC are a good pair of earbuds so long as you’re someone who likes sound a touch on the bassy side. They’re packed with nice quality-of-life features, such as USB-C and wireless charging, and it’s nice having the flexibility to use just one at a time. However, it was annoying to have to troubleshoot their connectivity as often as I did, and I would have liked them to fit better. If you need every single feature these earbuds offer, then that might be a price worth paying, but if you’re willing to put up with a slightly lower-specced pair of earbuds, the Jabra Elite 75T earphones are a more reliable option.

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