So today we’re going to be taking a look at something a little different to what we normally would, A company called 1more sent over their Dual Driver ANC Pro earphones for us to take a look at.
You can get a pair of 1More Dual Driver ANC Pros for about $150 from their website or around R3250 here in South Africa.
1more decided not to go with the “truly wireless” design that a lot of companies are making right now and instead decided that a neckband would be more practical. While not being as small, the neckband design does make more sense, leaving extra space for the bigger battery, 6 physical buttons and 2 microphones. 1More did take comfort into consideration, the neckband is flexible and covered with a soft silicone that makes you almost forget it’s there even after hours of use. Each end of the neckband has a black anodized aluminum section and a small red accent piece that adds a nice little bit of color. The earbuds themselves are made out of the same anodized aluminum with a plastic in-ear section for comfort. They have the same red accents and are connected to the neckband with a thin cable. Each earbud does have a magnetic back allowing them to snap together neatly around your neck when you’re not using them. The ANC Pros have an IPX5 water and sweat resistance rating so you don’t have to worry about rain or sweat just don’t submerge them and they should be fine.
The ANC pros have 6 buttons on the left side of the neckband that control pretty much everything. There are buttons for power, noise cancelation, wind noise reduction, play/pause and a volume rocker. The play button is also used to navigate your playlist, answer calls and activate your voice assistant all without having to take your phone out of your pocket.
One of the main features of the ANC Pros is the active noise cancelling, which for the size of the earphones is actually pretty impressive. They have two dedicated microphones in each ear that are focused on reducing the irritating background noise around you. It does a good job of filtering out constant noises like the aircon humming in the background and cars passing you on the street but they do let through sharper high-pitched sounds so you will still hear your chair creaking or a message coming through on your phone. There are two levels of noise cancellation to choose from depending on how loud your surroundings are as well as the option to turn it off completely if you want to save battery life. There is also a setting dedicated to reducing wind noise which can be helpful when you’re outside.
The ANC Pros are dual driver earphones, meaning there are two speakers in each ear. Each one is responsible for a different frequency range with a dynamic driver handling the Mids and Lows and a separate Balanced Armature that focuses on the highs. This allows the earphones to produce a wider frequency range making Hi-Res audio support possible. The ANC pros have been factory tuned to an overall neutral sound profile with crisp highs and a low end that’s noticeable but doesn’t feel unnecessarily boosted. Although if you do prefer a lot of base, the neutral sound profile does work well with equalizers so you can adjust them. The clarity overall was great and I didnt notice any distortion at high volume.
One thing that helps the Dual Driver ANC Pros deliver Hi-Res audio wirelessly is that they feature both LDAC and AAC support which have higher data rates than the standard bluetooth codec meaning you won’t lose audio quality because you’re connected wirelessly. 1More has also included a type-c to 3.5mm Aux cable in case you want to connect the Dual driver ANC pros over a wired connection but keep in mind they will still need a charge to do this.
The ANC Pros have two environmental noise cancelling microphones built into the neckband that work with the DNN algorithm to filter out background noise when making phone calls so the person on the other end will hear you loud and clear.
Battery life depends heavily on the settings you use, they have a 160Mah battery which can give you up to 20 hours of playtime under quite a few conditions but 1More has created a pretty useful table explaining how much you should get out of a full charge depending on the settings you use. We got about 6 hours of use at about 70% volume with ANC on and using the LDAC 990 codec. But don’t worry if they do run flat on you they support fast charging over USB Type-C taking only about an hour to charge fully.
1More has released a Companion app for android and iOS which allows you to select your noise cancellation level and toggle wind noise reduction from your phone. It also lets you know how much battery life is left, manages firmware updates and has a smart burn in feature to “break in” the speakers but this takes a total of about 48 hours to do.
My overall opinion of the Dual Driver ANC Pro by 1More is that they are a pretty good set of earphones in general that are well built and give you enthusiast grade sound quality wirelessly. The active noise cancelling isn’t as good as some over-ear headphones that I’ve used but is still decent especially considering the small form factor. Design wise, the neckband approach might not appeal to everyone but in my opinion the tradeoff in size is worth the added battery life, Clear Microphone quality and physical buttons you get in return. I enjoyed my time using them so far especially while working. The area is noisy most days and being able to work without distractions is extremely helpful.