1MORE, who you may also know as the company behind Xiaomi’s headphones, is well known for producing headphones that both look and sound good at an affordable price.
Today, we will be taking a look at their 1M301 single driver in-ear headphones, which normally retails for S$59, but you can often find one under S$40 at electronics exhibitions.
Summary – Very Well Rounded!
The 1MORE 1M301 may not be the best in all areas when you compare it to similarly priced in-ear headphones, but there isn’t really anything bad about it.
- Luxurious unboxing experience
- Cloth carrying pouch included
- Elegant metal body design
- Lower half of cable is Kevlar braided
- Produces sound with good amount of details and deep bass
- Great microphone
- Volume buttons work on iOS & Android
- So so noise isolation?
- Lack of cons
Unboxing – A Surreal Experience
1MORE doesn’t disappoint us with the 1M301’s packaging.
Like most of 1MORE’s other headphones, unboxing the 1M301 is like unboxing a pair of luxury headphones. Sliding off the outer cover reveals a box with 1MORE’s logo.
Taking off the lid, you will find the headphones in the iconic 1MORE/Xiaomi box wrapped in plastic, as well as a compartment containing the accessories. Inside, you will find a black cloth carrying pouch of pretty good quality, as well as a metal shirt clip.
Moving on to the box containing the headphones. The layout is similar to what we have seen in the past: On the top layer, we have the headphones, with cable coiled around the cushion. Below, you will find 3 additional pairs of ear tips of various sizes.
This kind exquisite unboxing experience on budget headphones is unique to 1MORE and it is the thing I look forward to most when getting 1MORE products. It may not affect the quality of the headphones, but leaves a really good first impression.
Design & Build Quality – Easily One of the Best
1M301’s sleek metal body, as well as the Kevlar braided lower half of the cable, makes it one of the most “premium” looking headphones under S$100.
From a distance, you will easily recognize that this is a pair of 1MORE in-ear headphones. The design of the metal body is very similar to those on some of 1MORE’s costlier in-ear headphones, including their ever so popular E1001 triple driver.
The lower half of the cable, before the Y intersection, is Kevlar braided so it doesn’t tangle easily and even when it does, you can undo it with ease. The outer casing of the Y intersection and 3.5mm connector are made of metal. Looks beautiful!
The housing for the volume controls is made of plastic, but the buttons are metal so it doesn’t ruin the looks of the 1M301. These are no ordinary volume and play/pause buttons and we will be taking a closer look at them in a short while.
Overall, the 1M301’s design is a lot more elegant and premium-looking than what you would find from similarly priced in-ear headphones by other major headphone manufacturers.
Sound – Unsurprisingly Amazing
1MORE is well known for producing headphones with sound quality comparable to much costlier headphones from competitors. The 1M301 is no exception.
As the 1M301 is priced similarly to the Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro and Pro HD, both of which I have reviewed (both performed very well against similarly priced products from other manufacturers), I will be comparing them to the 1M301 in this review.
The level of details of the 1M301 is somewhere in between the Pro and Pro HD. Using my favorite track to test on Spotify (当爱来敲门 by 张碧晨), the 1M301 is missing a bit in trebles compared to the Pro HD, but still excellent level of details for its price.
In terms of sound signature, the 1M301 is closer to the Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro, with slight emphasis on the bass, but mids and trebles are still very clear and vibrant in the foreground.
Which to choose between the 3? Each are amazing in their own ways, so you will have to test them to decide. For me, the Pro HD would be my first choice due to its clarity, followed closely by the 1M301 as I generally do not listen to music with too much bass.
The 1M301 stayed in my ears pretty well, even with quite a bit of movement. I did not experience any discomfort wearing it, so thumbs up for ergonomics. Noise isolation is just average and at moderate volume you can still hear the background.
Compared to 1MORE’s more affordable Piston Fit, the 1M301 produces mids that are cleaner, richer and more filling, resulting in a much more immersive experience. Bass is also much deeper, so the >2x price difference is more than justified.
Microphone – Not Too Shabby
1M301’s microphone may not be the best at eliminating background noise, but it is loud and clear.
In my 1MORE Piston Fit review, I was really shocked at how good the microphone quality was, especially when you consider its super low price tag. Is the 1M301’s microphone as good, or even better? The audio below is recorded with the 1M301.
Below is a recording with the Piston Fit for comparison. 1M301’s audio is louder, but the audio recorded with the Piston Fit gets rid of background noise better. The microphone on both are very clear though, which is pretty rare on budget headphones.
To make this more fun, here are short recordings of me trying to sing 九张机 by 叶炫清. In this case, the difference in quality of recorded audio actually narrowed, and I would say that the microphones on both headphones are equally good.
Recorded with 1M301
Recorded with Piston Fit
(Pardon the horrible singing. I have never learnt to sing and I rarely sing, so please 谅解. Now you know why I dislike KTV.)
Volume Buttons – Works on Both iOS & Android
Unlike other volume buttons, the 1M301’s is capable of controlling volume on both Android and iOS.
Volume buttons on headphones usually only work for either iOS or Android, a pain-in-the-ass if you use devices running both OS.
We have seen many different solutions for this, from having a physical switch to swap device type, like on the SenYeek earphones that I reviewed earlier, to having a built-in volume level setting, like what many Bluetooth headphones are using.
These solutions do work, but they all come with some kind of compromises. For example, if your headphone uses a built-in volume setting and your phone is muted, you will have to take out your phone to unmute it before you can listen to music.
1MORE’s solution is different. Through some mysterious magicking, they were able to make the volume buttons work seamlessly on both iOS and Android devices, and it can adjust your phone’s volume level directly on both OS. Sweet!
Conclusion – Excels in Almost Every Way
High recommend getting one!
While the 1MORE 1M301 may not be the best in all aspect, it does better than most of the competition in most aspects, if not all. There isn’t really anything bad about it, so you will not regret paying S$59 or less for the 1M301 in-ear headphones.