Review: 1MORE Piston Buds Pro
Before we start the actual test of the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro, I would like to say a few words about the brand. This sees itself as a "professional audio brand" that combines hi-fi with consumer audio.
brand ambassador Luca Bignardi , an Italian sound engineer who, among other things, is involved in the tonal tuning of the 1MORE headphones. Also worth mentioning is 1MORE's own ANC technology "QuietMax" that filters out ambient noise without affecting the sound. This technology is also used in the new 1MORE PistonBuds Pro.
Design, workmanship and delivery
The design of the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro differs from most TWS Earbuds. Instead of the Apple AirPod imitation with the classic "toothbrush head" that protrudes from the ear, the ergonomically shaped "button-in-ear" type is used.
In terms of size, the earbuds are very compact at 17 x 18 21,4 mm. This is also shown by the weight of only 4,5g per earbud. According to protection class IPX5, the PistonBuds Pro are protected against splashing water from all sides and get along well with bad weather.
As for the color, you have a choice of matte black or white. The flat end of the button protruding from the ear provides a bit of bling-bling. Similar to a CD, it is reflected in the light.
The handy charging case, which is just 58 x 23 x 38,7 mm in size, offers the same effect. Due to the flattened ends, the case stands like a one even when open.
There is a status LED on the front, which shows the charging status of the case. Green means fully charged, yellow means the battery is half full and red means the charging case battery is almost empty.
On the back is the USB-C socket for charging the case. In addition to the USB-C socket, we finally have the reset button to reset the earbuds.
The earbuds themselves are held magnetically in the respective recess. The information L and R indicates the correct direction of insertion, whereby the earbuds cannot be inserted upside down due to the precisely fitting cut-out.
Processing and delivery
There is nothing wrong with the processing quality. The small earbud housings are neatly assembled and have no sharp edges. The same can be said of the charging case, which closes flush and leaves a good overall impression.
In addition to the two earbuds and the charging case, the scope of delivery also includes a USB-C charging cable, ear molds in sizes S, M and L and a multilingual user manual.
A good wearing comfort is the be-all and end-all for good TWS Earbuds. I was a bit skeptical at first because experience has shown that the button design offers less support than pen-style earbuds. Especially if there is no additional rubber wing.
However, the skepticism quickly subsided. The PistonBuds Pro can be comfortably "screwed" into the ear with the appropriate earpieces. Why "turn in"? – Well, I often found myself twisting the earbuds once clockwise until I found the right angle. Once you have found this, the ergonomic shape provides enough stability so that the earbuds sit comfortably and securely.
However, I would not recommend the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro for vigorous activities. The support is simply not sufficient for this and it is better to use headphones with a headband.
It is generally recommended to replace the earmolds with high-quality memory foam adapters (e.g. Comply) to exchange. These enable an even better hold and improve noise isolation.
The driver is a 10 mm dynamic driver with an "aero titanium membrane". 1MORE hopes that this will produce a particularly balanced, clear sound across the entire frequency range.
Current Bluetooth 5.2 is available on the connection side. Codec fans will have to settle for SBC and AAC. Unfortunately, high-bandwidth and almost zero-latency codecs such as aptX or LDAC are not supported.
First of all: The perception of sound differs from person to person. This is how the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro sound to me:
Sound signature and spatiality
I would describe the sound signature as largely unspectacular, but that in no way means that the earbuds sound bad. Instead, a typical V-shape was chosen, which should primarily appeal to mainstream music listeners.
The frequency response is particularly dominant in the low-frequency range, decreases somewhat over the mids and increases again in the high-frequency range. A sense of space comes across, but is limited.
Depths, mid and highs
The 1MORE PistonBuds Pro feel comfortable in the low frequency range. Basses are crisp and precise. For some, the low frequency range may be too emphasized.
The border to the mids blurs quite quickly and makes them appear somewhat diffuse. However, this impression subsides the closer we get to the high-frequency range, which sounds warm and extended.
The sound can be adjusted via the 1MORE MUSIC app. Here you can choose from 12 sound profiles - "Tuned by Luca with Sonarworks".
Active Noise Canceling (ANC)
The "QuietMax" ANC technology of the PistonBuds Pro is one of the better of its kind. In silence, no background noise is audible, the sound quality remains unchanged and the frequently occurring feeling of pressure is not noticeable here either.
The intensity of the noise suppression is on a good, high level. Low frequencies are effectively filtered. High frequencies only to a limited extent, which is pretty normal. In addition to the classic ANC mode, there is a special wind mode (wind noise resistant) that filters out annoying wind noise. This also works reliably, which a test with a hair dryer proved.
Finally, as an additional mode, there is a transparency mode that amplifies the ambient noise. This is a very useful function, especially in traffic, which 1MORE has also implemented well.
A low latency plays a decisive role, especially with picture-sound synchronicity. If you're watching a movie, it would be quite annoying if the sound didn't lip-sync.
The 1MORE PistonBuds Pro are not plagued by latency problems. There is an extra low latency mode in the 1MORE MUSIC app, but there were no significant delays even without the mode switched on.
Operation and App
As already mentioned, there is a separate app for the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro. The 1MORE MUSIC app is available for Android and iOS devices to download free of charge from the respective app store.
The functions of the app are manageable. In addition to the selection of ANC, the low latency mode and the 12 sound profiles, the app offers setting options for gesture control and automatic carrier detection. You also get an overview of the battery status of the earbuds and the charging case.
The earbuds are operated by gesture, directly on the flat outside. The lack of curves makes it impossible to miss the touch-sensitive surface. Double or triple taps are recognized. Possible functions are pause / play, next or previous song, volume up or down and calling up voice control.
With the help of a sensor, the PistonBuds Pro recognize whether they are in the ear. As soon as you take out an earbud, playback is automatically paused. Putting the earbud back in will resume playback.
The carrier detection works reliably. The app can be used to limit the function to pausing playback or switch it off completely.
Microphone and calls
I really liked the voice quality of the microphone during calls. Spoken is transmitted clearly and pleasantly warm. The typical tin can sound is as good as non-existent here. The Piston EarbudsPro filter out ambient noise using a deep neural network algorithm.
Last but not least the battery. With ANC switched on and medium volume, this lasts for around 6 hours. If you switch off the ANC, you can tease out about 8 hours of runtime. This means that the runtime is even slightly longer than the 1 ½ hours targeted by 7MORE.
The charging case fully charges the earbuds up to three times. Already 5 minutes in the case charges the earbuds to 20% battery. A full charge to 100% takes 35 minutes. It takes 1 ½ hours to fully charge the case. Contactless charging is not supported.