Most of you have probably never heard of these guys before. They are called 1More and they make audio-related products including this pair of headphones. The SonoFlow. So let’s see how they stack up in 3 main categories. We will look at comfort, features, and sound quality. Also thanks to Mi Store for handing me these to abuse for a week.
The cups are nice and deep, not extremely deep like some of the studio headphones offered by the likes of Sony that make you look like Megaman when you have them on. They are a happy medium. Clamping force is a bit on the tight side which is good because it keeps them secured to your head but can get uncomfortable when worn for extended periods of time. Oh, and these cups are also replaceable so if they get worn out you can swap them for new ones. Sony better be taking notes.
I want to nitpick thought. There are subtle creaks here and there when you have the headphones on. When you yawn or eat you will hear it but it’s subtle, not very noticeable but you may hear it here and there.
Weight is not bad, they are primarily made of plastic which helps with the weight. I would say they weigh the same as the Sony WH-1000XM4s. They also have a soft pad on the crown of the headband for added comfort. Apart from the tight clamp pressure which can ease off with use, these are some pretty comfortable sets of cans. Now let’s talk features.
If we can call the box features then that’s a good place to start. There is a hard shell case for storing the headphones and it’s slightly bigger than the case for the XM4s. Also, pro tip, packing these headphones can be a faff if you don’t pay attention to the orientation of the letters in the box. Sony goes a step further and puts a diagram for you so you can’t mess it up.
|Headphone Type||Over ear headphones|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth with LDAC
Hi-Res wireless audio
2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable
Hi-Res wired audio
|Noise Cancelling||Active Noise Cancelling|
|Headphone controls||Power button
|Built-in Voice Assistant||No|
|Charging Time||0-100% in 1hr 20min
5 min charge = 5hrs
|Battery Life||70Hrs (Noise Cancelling Off)
50Hrs (Noise cancelling on)
I will mention a small detail that both these headphones have that I love. So on both the 1more and the Sony, the cup that houses the charging port, both of which are USB-C, very nice, and is not folded when the headphones are in the case allowing you to charge them whilst they are safely packed up in the case. A very small touch but one I love a lot.
Alright so on the hardware features you get a USB-C charging port that can get you 5 hours of listening time with a 5-minute charge and a full charge in 1hr 20 minutes. It’s 3 hours to a full charge for the XM4s if anyone was wondering. So 1More charges rapidly.
It also lasts longer. With a full charge and noise canceling off, you’ll get 70 hours of music playback vs. 38 hours on the XM4s.
These headphones also support wired audio but with a catch. The audio jack for the headphone side is a pretty uncommon 2.5mm jack so it comes with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable. Which is very hard to find compared to a 3.5mm cable on both ends. You definitely do not want to lose or damage this cable.
For controls, you have a power button, noise canceling button, and volume buttons all on the right cup. I personally feel it’s a bit of a shame that there are no playback controls so you will have to stick to your playback device for playing, pausing, or skipping tracks.
These headphones come with active noise cancellation and audio pass-through for when you need to pay attention to your surroundings. For my audio nerds out there, they also support high-resolution audio for both wired and wireless connections including LDAC. Remember these features will only work if the device the headphones are connected to also supports them.
Of course, it’s not a party without an app for all the fancy buttons. In the app, you can switch between different listening modes. Noise-canceling mode is very impressive and provides the richest listening experience. What intrigued me was how it worked. So it does not all come in at once. It almost sounds like it runs a few cycles identifying specific sounds in your surroundings and silencing them one by one. The nerd in me loved that and it only takes about 10 seconds to completely mute your environment. It’s very good! A solid 8.5 out of 10 for me.
Pass-through still needs a lot of work. I am not sure if it is the quality of the mics or if it is the passthrough engine inside the headphones but it does pump in a bit of a hiss similar to what I heard with noise cancelling on the Huawei Freebuds 3. The hiss can be distracting I mean at times I thought someone had left the tap open. I had moments where I would free an ear so I could properly listen to what was going on around me. I’d give it a 5.5 out of 10.
There are also some manual and preset EQ settings. A total of 12 to choose from as well as a 10 band EQ if you have a specific sound profile you prefer that’s not available in the presets.
There are also some soothing sounds which are supposed to help you sleep. Personally, I would not use these. They really do not sound natural enough or have the fidelity that I expect which just ruined the illusion. I throw that feature under gimmick, YouTube can do a better job with that. Sounds about the right time to move on to the sound quality.
Okay so because of the hissing when using passthrough, I would recommend that you not listen to anything in the realm of music or movies in this mode. Because just why would you want to do that? Switch on the brilliant noise cancelling and it’s honestly a lovely, balanced, bright sound experience.
The soundstage is nice and wide with a very decent representation of the whole frequency range. The bass stands on its own and does not distort the crispness and clarity of the treble. It’s not straining at all to listen to audio of any genre. You can even max out the volume and it will maintain very decent performance throughout.
1more made some very good headphones here. They sound amazing, they have a useful set of features and 70 hours of battery life is insane. They are retailing for US$130 at the Mi Store which places them in a category that I have been most excited about when it comes to headphones. Value for money.
Just like smartphones, exciting stuff is happening in the midrange headphone market. There is so much action from a lot of new players like Anker’s SoundCore series and even legacy brands like Sony have been giving a lot more attention to their CH range.
The US$80 to US$150 price range now has headphones that sound as good as the premium US$250+ headphones and the only differentiator is features. 1More SonoFlow is a very good pair of bluetooth headphones. There is some very stiff competition in this class of headphones and 1More made sure it’s close to the top of the pile. Not bad 1More. Not bad.