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1MORE PistonBuds Pro Review

Last updated: 3 weeks ago
9 min read
Editor
rating
3.6
1MORE PistonBuds Pro earbuds

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Budget commuters, delight! 1MORE PistonBuds Pro pack a lot of value for only $60, giving you comfort, good sound quality, app support, and actually usable ANC for the price.

Testing 1MORE Evo not that long time ago, it’s nice to see 1MORE using similar features in their more affordable true wireless earbuds.

While features don’t work as well as in the flagship model, they aren’t that far behind. Especially in active noise cancelling. More on that later.

Considering that 1MORE PistonBuds Pro cost half as much, they’re a great value.

Read on to find out why you should consider 1MORE PistonBuds Pro as your next pair of earbuds.

HeadphonesAddict is user supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • Well-tuned out of the box
  • Comfortable fit
  • Feature-rich app
  • Good ANC performance
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Sound could be more detailed
  • Not the best Bluetooth performance
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3.6
By HeadphonesAddict
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CONTENTS (show more)

    Sound

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro offer pleasantly balanced bass, accompanied by recessed mids and treble. Using EQ presets improves the sound.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro Sound Comparison

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    Unlike many, 1MORE PistonBuds Pro come with already good tuning out of the box.

    The bass is well-balanced. And while the midrange and treble can be lacking, you can fix that inside the app. More on that later.

    Bass: Balanced by default

    The bass is where most headphones go to extremes. Fortunately, the PistonBuds Pro have only mildly boosted bass.

    Because of that, the lower end feels controlled and free of bloat. For example, in the song “All The Stars” by Kendrick Lamar & SZA, the bass notes never become muddy, which can quickly occur on other earbuds.

    Furthermore, it delivers good punch and speed, suitable for metal and drum n’ bass genres.

    Overall, for the price, you get a splendid bass performance.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro Frequency Response

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro (ANC on & off) comparison
    The ANC (red line) changes that sound slightly, but it’s not a night/day difference.

    Midrange: Natural but lacks clarity

    Even by default, the mids don’t sound very off. However, they’re noticeably muted compared to other frequency regions.

    The best solution is to select the “Acoustic” EQ preset inside the 1MORE Music app.

    Preset brings up the upper mids/lower treble, making instruments and vocals more apparent in the mix. While they can still sound recessed compared to more neutral earbuds, it’s noticeably better.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro lack air and clarity of more neutral-sounding earbuds. That’s especially evident in the midrange.

    Unfortunately, you can’t fix that with provided EQ presets.

    Treble: Slightly recessed and not the most detailed

    For the most part, higher frequencies are balanced with the midrange in terms of quantity.

    For those seeking a more neutral and non-fatiguing sound, the PistonBuds Pro will be perfect. At no point have I experienced sibilance and harsh cymbal crashes.

    Speaking of cymbals, they sound decently crisp and textured. But because they’re on the quiet side, they get easily lost in the mix on busy tracks.

    The most evident is the lack of air in the upper regions, which can make the sound more congested and less open.

    Thankfully, you get a good sense of soundstage, albeit the imaging is on the blurry side. That’s due to softer treble performance.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro buds out of case
    1MORE PistonBuds Pro are solid music players, despite their adequate technical performance.

    Still, you can get an enjoyable listening experience from 1MORE PistonBuds Pro. Since they’re reasonably balanced, they play well with all music genres.

    Remember that you’re rocking $60 worth of earbuds, so you can’t expect audio miracles. Nevertheless, compared to other TWS earbuds at this price, they more than deliver.

    One thing worth mentioning is the not-so-loud maximum volume. Still, practice safe headphone listening to protect your hearing in the long run.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    While the comfort is excellent, they don’t stay in ears for anything more than casual walking.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro are tiny and lightweight true wireless that snugly fit into your ears.

    They don’t poke or cause any pressure inside your ear canal, so you can wear them for hours without any issues.

    In the box, you get 4 pairs of silicone ear tips, which help you achieve a perfect fit. However, the tips are a bit short, so they don’t reach deep into the ear canal.

    This leads us to overall stability. Thanks to the earbuds’ lightweight and fairly ergonomic design, they stick to your ears well enough during normal daily activities.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro buds in case
    1MORE PistonBuds Pro are tiny and easily fit into your ears, providing long-lasting comfort.

    On the other hand, if you’re looking for something to exercise with, you should probably look elsewhere.

    The tips don’t grip as securely as with dedicated workout earbuds. While outdoor walking is fine, they might fall out during intense workouts.

    In my head-shaking test, they fell out after around 5 seconds. Good, but not rock steady.

    There are no ear fins or hooks included. You may try third-party foam tips to improve stability, but that will also affect the sound.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    With an IPX5 rating, you can take 1MORE PistonBuds Pro under the shower but not underwater. Since they’re small and light, they’ll also survive drops with minor scratches.

    The earbuds are fully plastic, with a matte black finish all-around, except for the glossy touch-sensitive area.

    Being little and lightweight helps them fall down with lesser force. Consequently, they shouldn’t break or pop open when hitting the floor.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro charging case
    The case is small and plastic but shouldn’t break that easily when dropped on the floor.

    I accidentally dropped them on hard gravel, and there are no visible scratches or other marks.

    Furthermore, earbuds are water resistant, sporting an IPX5 rating. That means they can survive splashes of water and even showering. But there’s no protection against dust particles.

    Moving over to the charging case, it’s small and easily slips into a pocket. Strong magnets keep the lid closed, so it should protect the earbuds well.

    As for the drop protection, the case could scuff or even crack if it falls on the concrete floor. But that’s the case with most earbud cases.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    With active noise cancellation, you can expect 5 hours and 43 minutes of battery life, which is on par with most ANC earbuds. While you get fast charging, the case doesn’t support Qi wireless charging.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro Battery Comparison

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro battery comparison

    Regarding battery life, the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro are pretty average. In our battery test, we got:

    • 5 hours and 43 minutes at 50% volume and ANC enabled.

    1MORE promises at least 7.5 hours on a single charge if you leave the ANC off.

    Overall, the performance is on par with most ANC earbuds like EarFun Air Pro 2, Jaybird Vista 2, and even 1MORE Evo.

    The charging case holds another 22.5 hours (with ANC off) or 15 hours (with ANC on). It lacks the support for Qi wireless charging, but thankfully, you get effective fast charging:

    • A 5-minute charge gives you 1 hour of playback.
    • After 10 minutes, you already get 1.5 hours of extra playback.

    Features

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    For an affordable product, 1MORE PistonBuds Pro pack a ton of features that work very well, from ANC to call quality.

    It’s always great to see premium features coming at a lower price. But in most cases, those features perform rather poorly.

    Thankfully, the ones on 1MORE PistonBuds Pro were a pleasant surprise. For $60, the ANC and ambient sound mode are actually usable. More on that later.

    Moreover, earbuds support fast charging and a low-latency mode, significantly reducing audio lag via Bluetooth.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro app first page
    The first page of the 1MORE Music app offers a ton of customization.

    The great thing is that you can pair them with the 1MORE Music app (Android, iOS). It isn’t as feature packed as with 1MORE Evo. However, you still get all the essential things to customize the buds to your liking.

    The app offers:

    • Customizable controls
    • A toggle enabling automatic play/pause sensor (Smart Playback)
    • EQ presets
    • Playing soothing sounds
    1MORE PistonBuds Pro earbud
    The proximity play/pause sensor is in between the two charging pins and the nozzle.

    Custom settings (controls)

    Starting with customizable controls, you can change what double and triple taps do on both sides. You can choose between commands, such as:

    • Play/pause
    • Previous/next track
    • Volume up/down
    • Voice control
    1MORE PistonBuds Pro app customization
    Touch controls customizer (left) and the equalizer presets (right).

    For some reason, you can’t change a single tap command. The latter is fixed to switch between ANC, ambient sound mode, or all modes disabled.

    EQ presets

    While the app says “Equalizer,” it includes only presets. There’s no option to customize the EQ by yourself.

    Nevertheless, even EQ presets are nice to have. For example, I find that the Acoustic preset improves the sound quality.

    Soothing sounds feature

    The idea behind this feature is to help you relax or fall asleep. However, in its current state, it’s more of a miss.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro app soothing sounds
    The user interface of the “soothing sounds” feature.
    • Firstly, the feature requires an internet connection.
    • Secondly, while you get a wide range of sounds like rain, fire, waterfall, and so on, they all come in short, 7-second loops. Since you can distinctly hear where the audio cuts, those soothing sounds can actually get annoying.

    A sample of soothing sound looping:

    Anker took a better approach by offering fewer but longer sounds. And you don’t require an internet connection to play them.

    Otherwise, the app also shows you the battery status of the earbuds and the case, plus lets you update the firmware.

    Microphone quality

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro are more than suitable for making phone calls, regardless of the environment.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro Microphone Test

    In a quieter room, the primary microphone does a great job of picking up your voice. It’s decently full and clear, free of any major distortion.

    In louder environments, ambient noise reduction kicks in and blocks most ambient sounds. It does hurt the voice quality a bit, but you will remain understandable.

    Overall, a great performance, similar to the one on 1MORE Evo.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Passive noise isolation isn’t exceptional, but in conjunction with music, you shouldn’t hear anything but the loudest outside noises.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro come with shorter than usual ear tips that don’t reach deep into your ear canal.

    Still, earbuds do a good job of reducing the loudness of ambient sounds. As long as you keep playing music, you won’t get bothered by background noise.

    Noise Cancelling

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Active noise cancelling performance is similar to the more expensive 1MORE Evo, except with lower frequencies.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro Active Noise Cancelling Test

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro ANC Test – HeadphonesAddict

    In my initial testing, I was surprised by how similar the active noise cancellation between 1MORE Evo and PistonBuds Pro was. At least in mid/high frequencies.

    Listening to traffic noise, both earbuds reduced a good amount of sound. That’s commendable to PistonBuds since cheaper earbuds often have worse ANC performance, especially at high-frequency.

    However, after switching to cabin noise, I could distinctly hear more rumble passing through PistonBuds Pro than Evo.

    That’s unfortunate since most people use ANC during a commute, where the low-end hum is the most prevalent noise.

    Nevertheless, you can still expect earbuds to reduce a decent chunk of noise.

    What about ambient sound mode?

    The feature that 1MORE calls “Pass-Through” boosts the ambient sounds (especially the vocal range) to a good degree. However, it also makes them sound a bit unnatural.

    As a result, voices sound a bit bassier than they are. Also, they aren’t as crisp as with more premium earbuds.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro earbuds microphone
    Two mics visible in the housing. The design strongly resembles other earbuds in the Piston lineup.

    In general, Pass-Through will come in handy for quick replies to people right next to you. Just don’t expect to hear like you’re not wearing earbuds at all.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    The overall Bluetooth performance is average in range and Bluetooth codec selection. Even the Low-Latency mode doesn’t entirely reduce audio lag in mobile games.

    Despite rocking Bluetooth 5.2, 1MORE PistonBuds Pro provide an average Bluetooth performance across the board.

    The connection range stretches around 50 feet indoors, with audio cutting off right after passing the second brick wall. The range is similar when using the Low-Latency mode.

    The multipoint feature is missing, but you at least get a mono mode for using only one earbud while the other is charging.

    How is pairing?

    The first pairing is the easiest since you only take the earbuds out of the case, and they’ll start pairing.

    For any additional pairing, you have to put the earbuds in the case, close the lid, re-open it and press the system button (on the back of the case) 3 times.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro charging port
    The “system” button is located next to the USB-C charging port.

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro come with standard SBC and more Apple-friendly AAC, although Android still prefers to use AAC as a “higher-quality” audio codec.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    There’s a tiny bit of lag when watching YouTube, but nothing too distracting.

    Fortunately, enabling the Low-Latency mode within the app resolves the lag issues. That makes 1MORE PistonBuds Pro a great movie-watching companion.

    Although, that only works on smartphones since the Low-Latency mode works with the app. You can’t use it when watching TV or on a laptop.

    Furthermore, there’s still some lag remaining in mobile games. A very tiny one, for sure, but noticeable if you’re playing competitive shooters.

    Should You Get 1MORE PistonBuds Pro?

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    If you’re looking for affordable yet feature-rich true wireless earbuds, 1MORE PistonBuds Pro are a fantastic pick.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro on a desk
    At the current price of $60, 1MORE PistonBuds Pro are definitely worth checking out.

    While they don’t excel in any area, they’re still much better than the competition when looking at an overall package—good sound, call quality, comfort, app support, ANC, and decent battery life.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro best suit casual listeners and commuters, whereas sportspeople should look elsewhere.

    How do 1MORE PistonBuds compare to the competition?

    • They have a reasonably balanced sound after EQ, whereas other affordable earbuds lean toward a bassy signature.
    • They are equally comfortable as most true wireless earbuds in this price range.
    • ANC performance is a tad better than the competition, especially in higher frequencies.
    • While the battery life with ANC is somewhat average, it’s still similar to the competition.
    • They pack more extra features than the competition.
    • While IPX5 isn’t the highest rating, many earbuds in this price range offer similar ratings.
    • The competition offers a more stable fit in comparison.

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro Alternatives

    EarFun Air S

    EarFun Air S earbuds on the wall

    While both earbuds perform well in music, 1MORE are more balanced, with better bass performance.

    Furthermore, both offer IPX5, similar battery life, and good active noise cancellation.

    On the other hand, the Air S are more stable for exercising, offer an aptX Bluetooth codec, and have a slightly better low latency performance.

    EarFun Air S review

    JBL Live 300TWS

    JBL Live 300TWS earbuds on rock

    The Live 300TWS have a generic V-shaped sound signature with a peak at 8kHz to make the sound a bit cleaner but also overly sharp.

    They’re much better for sports thanks to ear fins and provide better passive noise isolation.

    However, they lack ANC and come in an overly bulky charging case.

    JBL Live 300TWS review

    EarFun Free Pro 2

    EarFun Free Pro 2 buds and case

    A bit too exciting sound compared to PistonBuds Pro, but technically superior with better detail.

    Both are equally comfy, while the Free Pro 2 are actually worse in terms of stability. They’re also worse in battery life but offer Qi charging.

    There’s also no app, but you get a better ANC, transparency mode, and Bluetooth performance.

    EarFun Free Pro 2 review

    What’s in the Box?

    1MORE PistonBuds Pro accessories
    • 1MORE PistonBuds Pro true wireless earbuds
    • Charging case
    • USB-C charging cable
    • 4 pairs of silicone ear tips (XS, S, M, L)
    • User guide

    Specifications

    Type: True wireless
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 10mm dynamic
    Frequency range: n/a
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Weight: 9g (both earbuds) + 30.5g (case)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: IPX5
    Battery life: 5h + 15h in case (ANC on)
    Charging time: 2h + quick charge – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: Yes
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 50 feet (15m)
    Microphone: 4 microphones (with DNN algorithm)

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