One way to stand out from the crowd of true wireless earbuds is to be the prettiest of them all. The 1More Stylish true wireless earbuds hold true to their name with an understated yet fashionable design. That said, there are a few drawbacks to the earbuds. For some, though, it may be worth it for the solid battery life and excellent fit.
Editor’s note: this review was updated on January 9, 2020, to account for the 1More True Wireless ANC In-Ear true wireless earphones that were announced at CES 2020.
Who is the 1More Stylish True Wireless for?
Anyone who enjoys a bass-heavy sound and prioritizes comfort and battery life before audio quality. That’s not to say the 1More Stylish earbuds don’t sound good; however, audio reproduction isn’t as clear as the Creative Outlier Gold—another set of sub-$100 totally wireless earbuds. Although 1More’s earbuds didn’t receive an official IP rating, they’re sweat-resistant and should withstand most workouts.
What’s it like to use the 1More Stylish?
The pebble-shaped earbuds are as slippery as they are sleek. After a few fumbles, I took to holding them by the silicone O-hooks. On the rear end of each earbud rests a button for music and call control. You can also access virtual assistant control by clicking either multifunction button three times, but in order for it to work, all media playback apps must be closed. As of November 6, 2019, listeners may make volume adjustments from the earbuds via the multifunction button on either ‘bud. In order to do this, download the 1More app and update the firmware. After the update is complete, clicking the left earbud’s button decreases the volume while doing the same to the right side increases it. 1More advises against updating the firmware if your phone uses a Snapdragon processor earlier than the 855 version.
An LDS antenna rests laterally within each housing which serves to improve connection stability by mitigating signal interference; however, use resulted in frequent connectivity skips and stutters well within the 10-meter connectivity range. Oftentimes, when I was listening with my Samsung Galaxy S10e less than a meter from the earbuds, hiccups were as frequent as a few times per song.
Connectivity stutters frequently occurred even with my phone just a meter away from the earbuds.
While wireless stability is a bummer, the 7mm titanium composite dynamic drivers reproduce a powerful bass response, sure to satisfy any rap, EDM, or hip-hop fan. Another positive of the earbuds is that they’re sweat-resistant, which pairs nicely with the bass-heavy sound. The O-hooks kept the earbuds in place while I was running and rock climbing with only a few instances when I felt the need to adjust them.
How long does the battery last?
Upon subjecting the earbuds to a constant 75dB output, the earbuds provided 5.28 hours of playback. While this is shorter than the advertised, 1More states on its site that the 7.5-hour battery life is from a 50 percent volume output. This is quieter than 75dB, so if you listen to quieter volumes, you’ll likely meet the seven-hour mark.
The 410mAh charging case takes just over an hour to complete a full charge cycle, which is coincidentally the same amount of time to fully charge the 55mAh earbud batteries. Unfortunately, 1More installed a microUSB, rather than USB-C, input on the charging case. While this is a bummer, it contributes to the sub-$100 price, an omission that may very well be worth it to many.
How do you connect the 1More Stylish earbuds to your phone?
The 1More Stylish earbuds connect via standard Bluetooth procedures. You can either connect both earbuds to your smartphone or opt for the right one only. This is useful if you need to hear your surroundings. The earbuds operate via Bluetooth 5.0 and support both AAC and aptX high-quality Bluetooth codecs. If you experience latency, it’s most likely due to your phone or the app you’re using.
Both AAC and aptX high-quality codecs are supported for lag-free playback.
In theory, the earbuds maintain a 10-meter Bluetooth range, but in practice, I found that connectivity consistently falters once I walk seven or eight meters from my phone, and this is without any walls in the way. Things get even less reliable outside: my phone was in my pocket and audio playback stuttered so frequently that there were a handful of times I completely unpaired and re-paired the 1More Stylish earbuds from my phone.
It sounds noticeably bass-oriented. The frequency response chart depicts bass frequencies (pink) emphasized 10dB louder than high midrange frequencies (green); this means that the former sounds four times as loud as the ladder. Although it’s not an accurate frequency response, some may enjoy the boosted low-end. Be aware, though, it does result in auditory masking, meaning lower notes will make higher ones more difficult to hear, reducing overall clarity in the process.
Isolation is solid. Granted, this is highly dependent on your use of properly fitting ear tips. Once you find the right fit, you’ll notice how well the 1More Stylish insulates you from the environment. Not only does this allow for an optimal low-end response, but it also means you’re less likely to increase the volume to dubious levels.
Lows, mids, and highs
Dane Caston’s song Do It, perfectly portrays how exaggerated bass frequencies are and how this emphasis, while fun, reduces clarity. The song opens with an already emphasized bass track reminiscent of subwoofers that the cast of MTV’s show Pimp My Ride would install in patrons’ cars. Skip ahead to 0:22; Caston begins rapping but anything other than the fundamental frequency of his voice is difficult to hear. Vocal detail and resonances are lost to the already emphasized bass which is further exaggerated by the 1More Stylish sound signature.
Again, this isn’t a drawback by default. In fact, this is the type of sound I seek out in workout earbuds. However, when I’m looking for a pair of earbuds to listen to longterm, I avoid a response like this since it can be distracting.
Is the 1More Stylish good for phone calls?
As depicted by the mic’s frequency response chart above, the microphone isn’t great. Just like our headphone frequency response charts, the platonic ideal is a flat line along the 0 mark. The sharp incline from 10-500Hz means it attenuates low-frequency voices. Males, in particular, will sound unnatural when speaking through the 1More Stylish headset. Even my voice, while low for a female but not unusually so, sounds distant.
What’s more, while it attenuates some background noise, if you’re walking outside and happen to take a call, you’re better off just using your phone’s microphone. The internal MEMS microphone is no match for subtle winds.
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How do the 1More Stylish True Wireless earbuds stack up against the competition?
The 1More Stylish True Wireless earbuds have been met with increasing competition from Creative, JLab, and Anker, all of which have total wireless earbuds retailing for less than $100. Although 1More is respected for its reasonably priced, high-quality audio products, standing out from the crowd is harder than ever. Mono listening is a great feature of the earbuds, one of my favorite things about them, but it’s something we’re seeing from more and more alternatives like the JLab JBuds Air Executive and more expensive options like the Master & Dynamic MW07 Go.
That said, it is rare to see sub-$100 wireless earbuds that support both aptX and AAC Bluetooth codecs, which is an easy way to entice listeners. Additionally, the earbuds’ O-hook design is unique and works well to keep the earbuds in place without the added bulk of earhook options like the Powerbeats Pro. If you’re not ready to commit to more expensive earbuds, 1More does a great job of providing all the necessities to the general consumer at an affordable cost.
Should you buy the 1More Stylish?
It depends. As mentioned above, there are better values out there when it comes to true wireless earbuds. However, if you can forgive the unreliable connectivity in favor of the strong bass response, stylish design, and solid battery life, then the 1More Stylish may make sense for you. Ultimately, though, if you’re willing to go with a more generic aesthetic, the Creative Outlier Air is a more reliable performer that costs less.
What’s more, the company just announced a noise cancelling true wireless model that supports both aptX and AAC while operating via Bluetooth 5 firmware. Quick charging is greatly improved: 15 minutes in the case yields three hours of playtime. The USB-C charging case also includes Qi wireless charging capabilities. The noise cancelling earbuds can be pre-ordered now and are set to ship on January 28, and retail for $199.
Still looking? Read up on our list of the best true wireless earbuds