In modern audio times, Active Noise Canceling headphones are all the rage, especially as our world grows increasingly louder. With so many options, it’s hard for new products to make an impression in such a crowded space. When 1More decided to release the SonoFlow ANC headphones and price them at $100, we were interested to see whether they, at this price point, could stand up to the competition. As a result, 1More sent us a pair to review — here’s what happened.
1More SonoFlow ANC Headphones
Setting Up the 1More SonoFlow ANC Headphones
Setting up the SonoFlow is a pretty streamlined process, but it might take you a second to figure out where the power button is, as 1More swaps the typical placement for a slightly atypical location. The power button is on the outward-facing side of the unit instead of the backward-facing side. I’ll cover this more in the design portion, but it’s worth mentioning that it took me a second to figure out how and where to actually turn it on. Once I did, however, it was easy to pair the SonoFlow to my iPhone. While there is a dedicated 1More mobile app you can download for more customized settings, I decided to opt out of using it initially, choosing to play around with the settings later in the testing process.
1More SonoFlow ANC Headphones Design
The overall look and feel of the 1More SonoFlow ANC headphones evoke feelings and draw inspiration from other standard ANC headphones. That’s to say, the 1More looks a lot like Sony’s XM series, down to the comfortably cushioned, swivel earcups and foldable construction. The interior red of the earcups pops nicely, but otherwise, the design is slightly unremarkable, which is fine — more to come on that.
The foldability of the headphones is nice for those who want an inherently portable set of cans that fit into their carrying case rather nicely. Otherwise, what you see is what you is what get and everything feels pretty typical as far as ANC headphones go. As mentioned, however, the one thing that threw me off when using them was the power button. Once I got used to it being on the “front” of the headphones, it was nice to have the ANC toggle and the volume buttons on the back, but it took a little while for me to wrap my head around that shift in functionality.
1More SonoFlow ANC Headphones Performance
Thus far, the 1More SonoFlow ANC headphones look and feel pretty standard. But, as the adage goes, “looks aren’t everything.” For a set of $100 headphones, the SonoFlow are deeply impressive, offering more for a whole lot less in their performance. The sound quality is balanced and rich, punching far above what I anticipated for the price. Songs like the Gorillaz featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown’s “New Gold” crackled with a nice kineticism. The synths hummed rhythmically while the drums felt appropriately punchy. The piano-based backings of the Arctic Monkeys’ “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” echoed nicely while highlighting the vocal-forward tones of the song. The overall quality can’t compete with the likes of Bowers & Wilkins or Sony but are definitely a step above the Skullcandy Crushers we recently tested.
The ANC doesn’t match up to our top noise-canceling picks, but it certainly punches above its weight and felt really strong in most instances. I did get some bleedthrough while in the DC Metro area (mostly higher-tone noises like trains passing by on the platform) but found them effective at blocking out most noises I encounter working from home. Around the office, these will be a godsend for sure. Also, using these headphones for phone calls worked well in quieter environments, but performance declined slightly in busier spaces (i.e., in a big crowd). Bluetooth multipoint is a fantastic feature to have a pair of $100 headphones, though it’s not quite as snappy when switching between devices as I’d like. The fact it’s included at all is pretty fantastic.
On the battery life side of things, the 1More SonoFlow AND headphones, candidly, blew me away. I clocked about 50 hours of battery life while using ANC. I’m sure that number is higher if you have it turned off. Frankly, that’s absurd in the best way possible, and I’m still shocked at those results. Plus, a quick five-minute charge yields about five hours of playback time, which should cover you if you get to the airport and realize you’re lower on battery than you thought. Additionally, the EQ settings in the app are fine but don’t radically change the listening experience.
The Verdict: Should You Buy the 1More SonoFlow ANC Headphones?
If you’ve been holding off on getting a pair of ANC headphones because they were too expensive, the SonoFlow are likely going to change how you listen to music. That’s a bold statement and high praise, but 1More’s craft and dedication has yielded something really special here and, as a result, make for a highly compelling purchase.
- Good sound
- Good ANC
- Incredible battery
- Fantastic Price
- The app doesn’t offer much
- Slightly boring design