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1MORE EVO review: Mid-range marvels

Ben Johnston
10 May 2022
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
160
inc VAT

With improved sound quality, solid battery life and effective noise cancellation, the 1MORE EVO are the brand’s best earbuds yet

Pros 
Dynamic, impactful audio
Effective ANC and wear detection
Decent battery life
Cons 
No EQ options
Restrictive touch controls
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The 1MORE EVO are the latest entry into an already stacked 2022 lineup from the San Diego-based brand, following the release of the PistonBuds Pro and the ComfoBuds Mini earlier this year.

Limited customisation options aside, the 1MORE EVO are impressive flagship earbuds that make some small but key improvements to the company’s previous models. Pairing useful features with Hi-Res audio certification, the EVO are 1MORE’s most complete earbuds to date and a viable alternative to options from the industry’s biggest hitters.

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1MORE EVO review: What do you get for the money?

Like their recent stablemates, the ComfoBuds Mini, the 1MORE EVO operate over Bluetooth 5.2 and are rated IPX5 for water resistance. In addition to the standard SBC and AAC audio codecs, the EVO support Sony’s LDAC codec, allowing for high-resolution audio streaming from compatible Android devices.

The design of the EVO builds on 2021’s 1MORE ColorBuds 2, with a matte plastic drum and a glossy, teardrop-shaped ceramic panel that houses the touch controls. A rose gold rim around the touch panel adds a final flourish to the design, giving the overall aesthetic a touch of class. There are five pairs of silicone ear tips included, so you should be able to find a comfortable, stable fit that provides a decent level of passive noise cancellation.

The charging case is pill-shaped with squared edges and is compact enough to be easily slipped into your pocket. It uses the same fingerprint-attracting matte plastic as the ComfoBuds Mini’s case but is otherwise inoffensive. The case holds 20 hours of charge and the buds themselves should last you around eight hours if you’re not using active noise cancellation. With ANC on, you’re looking at up to 20 hours of total audio playback. The case supports both wireless and fast charging, with the latter providing an impressive four hours of playback from just 15 minutes on charge.

On the features front, the EVO are full to the brim. There’s effective wear detection, which automatically pauses audio when you remove one or both earbuds and resumes again when you replace them, active noise cancellation and Multipoint pairing, which allows you to connect the earbuds to two devices simultaneously.

You can switch Bluetooth sources in the 1MORE Music app, as well as customise the touch controls. By default, a double-tap will play and pause audio, a triple tap will hail your voice assistant and a long press cycles through the listening modes. The latter can’t be changed but the others can be reprogrammed to another command of your choosing.

The app also provides access to various other settings via which you can fine-tune your experience. There are three levels of noise cancellation - Strong, Mild and Wind Noise Resistance - all of which are available on the ComfoBuds Pro and ComfoBuds Mini. But the EVO add an Adaptive mode that responds to outside frequencies on the fly and adjusts the ANC accordingly. Transparency, meanwhile, gets a dedicated Voice Enhancement mode that boosts vocal frequencies so you can better hear those around you.

The last strings to the 1MORE app’s bow are Soothing Sounds – a playlist of calming tracks designed to aid sleep – and the SoundID personalised audio profile. Taking the place of an equaliser, this mode plays different variations of a track and has you select the one that sounds best. It then uses your answers to create an audio profile tuned to your hearing.

READ NEXT: These are the best noise-cancelling headphones to buy right now

1MORE EVO review: What did we like about them?

Numerous features don’t guarantee success - nobody wants to pay for ineffective noise cancellation or sound “enhancements” that actually makes things worse – but the good news is that all of the Evo’s features perform admirably. The efficiency of the wear detection is in line with other models I’ve tested, taking roughly two seconds to pause and even less to resume playing, and the touch controls are responsive without being oversensitive.

The driver configuration consists of a 10mm dynamic driver paired with a balanced armature driver in each earbud, and the resulting audio is excellent. I found the ComfoBuds Mini prone to distortion when reproducing higher frequencies but the EVO delivered a superb level of high-end clarity. Every shrieking guitar note and crashing cymbal in Metallica’s Creeping Death was articulated cleanly and what is a raucous song never descended into a cacophony of indistinct sounds.

The soundstage isn’t especially wide, but effective stereo separation aids in creating a satisfying sense of depth. The opening medley of hand drums and maracas in The Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil, for instance, neatly set the stage to the left and right before Mick Jagger’s vocals dominated the centre. Shifts in pitch were swiftly and smoothly handled, as were variations in dynamics.

I wasn’t completely sold on SoundID when testing other 1MORE earbuds; it was able to add a bit of weight to certain frequencies and alleviate distortion issues but, in doing so, erased a level of detail that left the higher range feeling flat.

That wasn’t the case with the EVO, however. The soundstage was widened without the addition of a pesky echo, detail through the mid-range and treble frequencies was enhanced and the lower end was boosted to a pleasing, skull-rattling thump. Whether this was down to different hearing test conditions or the EVO’s drivers being better equipped to make use of the SoundID technology I’m not sure, but it proved a lot more effective this time around.

Noise cancellation has been a fairly strong component of 1MORE’s recent lineup, with both the ComfoBuds Pro and the ComfoBuds Mini utilising ANC to effectively keep outside noise to a minimum. While the improvements here don’t quite match the price difference between the EVO and 1MORE’s other models, the adaptive ANC performed well in my usual tests, reducing the impact of a busy road and the rumble of a boiling kettle. I also didn’t notice much of a difference between the Pass-through and Voice Enhancement transparency modes in terms of speech clarity but both did a decent job filtering in environmental sound.

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1MORE EVO review: What could be improved?

It says a lot about the quality of these earbuds that there’s very little to write here. Their only real failing is that customisation options are relatively limited compared to other similarly priced models.

SoundID may have worked well in my testing but that doesn’t change the fact that it's a more fiddly process than a simple equaliser with preset tunings. It takes time to set up and if you want to change it, you have to go through the whole process from the beginning. With options like the Creative Outlier Pro and the Skullcandy Grind featuring adjustable equalisers and a range of presets, the 1MORE EVO’s SoundID tech feels clunky by comparison.

While I personally found the touch controls to be sufficient – I dropped the pause/play from the double tap in favour of skipping tracks, as the former was effectively covered by the wear detection – anyone who prefers a greater level of control may find the options here wanting. For less money, you can get the Sennheiser CX Plus or the Lypertek PurePlay Z5, both of which feature more comprehensive touch control customisation.

READ NEXT: Check out some more of our favourite Bluetooth headphones

1MORE EVO review: Should you buy them?

As an evolution of 1MORE’s established formula, the EVO don’t do anything particularly revolutionary, they just do everything better than any of the brand’s previous releases. Audio quality is as good as it’s ever been, battery life is respectable and the wide range of features are effectively implemented.

There are plenty of more customisable alternatives out there, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find any that also offer the same level of audio quality, breadth of features and value for money as the 1MORE EVO. They’re the best true wireless earbuds the brand has produced to date and a very capable, cost-effective alternative to the market’s biggest players.

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