Ever heard of 1More? No, same here. But I can see that they’re offering a budget solution to the wireless earbuds market. 1More are a company from the USA and have a focus on audio products, and also advertise pretty heavily to students, as they’re currently offering 30% off their products at the time of writing this review. 1More sent us a brand new set of their 1More PistonBuds, and in-ear set of headphones complete with charging case. Let’s get on with the review.
The 1More PistonBuds use a rectangular type case which looks incredibly smart, and is smooth to the touch. The entire top section is its lid, and is held in place with magnets, which aren’t particularly strong but I never felt as if the buds inside would become loose and fly out if the case was flung about.
The two earbuds are again held inside of the case by magnets and when placed, will begin automatically charging. The case itself has around four and a half recharge times, which is not too bad, to say the least. But, the earbuds themselves only last around the three-hour mark, or in our case they did which again isn’t great. There’s no fast charge options here either, so if you do find yourself out of earbud juice, then you’re going to have to charge for an hour and a half or so to get them fully back up to 100%.
The 1More PistonBuds have adopted a stem design, similar to the AirPods, but the stem is significantly shorter. I am definitely impressed with the design, and 1More have done a great job of keeping the earbuds looking sleek and fashionable. There are three different earbud sizes: small, medium and large, so pick which ones are best for you. I actually liked the medium size that came pre-installed. They offered a very comfortable fit and offer decent isolation from the outside world, even in busier town centres.
The earbuds themselves do however have an IPX4 rating, which means you athletic types out there will be able to use them during workouts and not have to worry. Handsfree controls though are severely limited. You can play and pause your music, and double-tap to access your phone’s voice assistant. But there’s no skip track or volume control. The PistonBuds use Bluetooth 5.0 connection too just to let you know.
Sound quality is pretty decent too. The 1More PistonBuds offer a full sound and some decent bass. Although the bass can be a little overpowering at times, it’s still a thumping sound, and it’ll definitely impress somewhat. The separation is nowhere near the levels that you can expect from premium brands, but if you’re going to be upgrading from some free headphones that came with your mobile, or those £10 cheapos you picked up in Duty Free before jumping on a plane, then you’re going to be set with the PistonBuds. Call quality is also alright. Nothing special here, but of course that also depends on the caller’s tech too, so that’s very hard to judge.
One thing that strikes me funny is the fact that 1More has a partner app for Android and iPhone users. But, the app literally does nothing except tell you how much battery is left in each earbud. It’s nice that you can see that, but I would have liked a bit more info, and definitely some kind of equaliser so I could fine-tune my listening experience. It’s lacking, and to be honest with you, it was uninstalled very quickly. You can search for firmware upgrades too, but that’s it. Pointless app really.
There’s a lot to like here, and as I said if you’re looking to make your step into wireless music listening, then these could be for you. If you’ve already got yourself a decent set, or you’ve invested into the Apple infrastructure, then you’re probably going to be downgrading. The app needs work and the battery life as passable at best. But, for $50, they’re not too bad. For more information, head on over to the 1More website.