Audio brand 1More is known for delivering quality headphones with affordable price tags. But its latest true wireless in-ear headphones EHD9001TA is reaching premium pricing.
At $329, it is only $50 cheaper than Apple's AirPods Pro, which has received many positive reviews. But it is said to have the world's first hybrid dual-driver array, with a balanced armature driver and a dynamic driver. It also has two microphones, which power its active noise cancellation (ANC) function.
It comes with a pill-shaped matt black charging case with a USB-C charging port and supports wireless charging.
In terms of looks, the EHD9001TA will likely split opinions. Its pebble-shaped earbuds have a smooth carbon-fibre finish which I like - though as a motorsports fan, I have a soft spot for anything with carbon fibre.
However, it lacks the sleekness of the AirPods Pro, as its rather-large earbuds will stick out prominently when worn.
But the earbuds come with ear tips and ear hooks that keep them snugly in your ears. You can easily find your fit too, as seven pairs of ear tips and four pairs of ear hooks are included.
The buds stay in place when I am jogging and they feel really comfortable even when I wear them the whole day.
However, it might take some time for users to get used to the controls.
Pressing the tiny button on the left earbud lowers the volume, while doing the same with the button on the right earbud raises it.
Double-pressing the button on either side plays or pauses the current track.
However - and here is where it gets confusing - you have to press and hold the right button to skip to next track and do the same on the left one to return to the previous track. I ended up using the smartphone to control the buds.
• Cool design
• Comfortable fit
• Charging case supports USB-C and wireless charging
• Audible "hiss" in ANC mode
• Sound quality varies depending on ANC modes
• Accompanying app lacks equaliser setting
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 5.0
WEIGHT: 7.9g (earbud), 63.2g (charging case)
BATTERY LIFE: 3.5/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5
The ANC control is, thankfully, more straightforward. Just double-tap the exterior of the earbud, which is touch-sensitive, to toggle through the four modes - ANC off, ANC Level 1 (Strong), ANC Level 2 (Mild) and Pass-Through (which allows ambient noise to pass through).
The accompanying free app, 1More Music (available on Android and iOS), also lets you change ANC modes as well as update firmware.
On the downside, the app does not support any form of equaliser settings. This is a missed opportunity, as most accompanying apps of true wireless in-ear headphones come with equaliser presets and even the ability to customise equalisers.
I find the EHD9001TA's ANC to be decent. But I can hear a low-level hissing sound at both ANC levels. Maybe you would not hear it on the plane, but it is audible in a quiet environment.
Another quirk - its audio output is dependent on the ANC mode. If you prefer bass to be more punchy, enable the strong ANC level. But the vocals would get slightly drowned out by the strong bass.
If you prefer a more neutral soundscape with a good balance of mids, highs and bass, the pass-through mode will suit you best.
I like that music is automatically paused when you take either earbud out of your ears. And by enabling automatic playback in the app, music will resume playing when you put the earbud back on, like with AirPods Pro.
Battery life is rated at five hours with ANC turned on. I find that after four hours of playback with the ANC turned on and the volume level at 75 per cent, the battery level drops to 20 per cent. It is as advertised but average.
The charging case is said to provide an additional 22 hours of playback.