1More manufacturers all types of headphones: over-the-ear (circumaural), on-ear (supra-aural), and in-ear (intra-aural). This time, we have the pleasure to review their iBFree Bluetooth in-ear headphones, which are best suited for active listeners who demand superb audio quality and comfort while on the go.
1More iBFree Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones
Given Apple’s recent polarizing decision to get rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack in order to make the new iPhone slightly thinner, they are also a great gift for all owners of Apple products. And, of course, they will work flawlessly with any Android smartphone or tablet.
Build and Design
The 1More iBFree are available in 4 colors: Vibrant Red, Space Gray, Aqua Blue, and Apple Green. All color variations really pop out, and the metallic finish used for the back part of the headphones reflects light in a very peculiar way, making the headphones seem like an expensive piece of jewelry. All plastic parts, with the exception of the cable, are plain black. The cable has the same color as the metallic finish.
Depending on which version you buy, it will arrive in a matching box. The box is simple in design but built from a rugged, thick cardboard that should easily protect the headphones even against the most careless delivery men and women. The top white cover of the box features an image of the headphones in full color, contrasting with the bottom part of the box, which indicates the color of the headphones themselves.
The unboxing experience itself is a big treat. As the lid slides from the box, it reveals a form-fitted cardboard with cutouts in the upper section. Each cutout displays the back part of each of the headphones. Under artificial lighting directed from the right angle, the textured aluminum body reflects light, making you feel like you are about to handle headphones worth hundreds of dollars. Below the headphones is a smaller cardboard box with the accessories, but we are going to take a closer look at those in another section of this review.
Upon closer inspection, we immediately noticed just how light the headphones are. Weighing only 0.5 ounces, the headphones make it easy for you to forget that you wear them in the first place. In turn, you can listen for hours on end without experiencing any fatigue or painful sensations. This alone wouldn’t be such an achievement, but 1More somehow also managed to make the headphones IPX4 water resistant, protecting them from rain, sweat, and splashing. Most modern high-end smartphones also have, at least, some kind of waterproofing, so you can exercise no matter what the conditions outside are.
Located on the cable that connects the two headphones together is an in-line controller with 3 buttons, which control the volume and power the headphones on and off. Pressing the power button for 3 seconds turn the headphones on, making the LED light up in bright blue color. The same button can be held for 5 seconds to turn the headphones off.
Why would 1More want you to hold the button for such a long time? Because it actually has more functions. You can press it to answer or decline phone calls and double-tap it to re-dial previous number. The same with the volume buttons: tapping on them while listening to music allows you to advance to the next song or go back to the previous one.
The manual promises 240 hours of standby time and 8 hours of continuous music listening. We have no reason to doubt these figures as the iBFree headphones allowed us to get through 3 long workout sessions without depleting the battery. A nice extra feature is the voice prompt, which informs you about the current battery level. A pleasant female voice says “Battery high,” “Battery Medium,” or “Battery Low,” depending on the current battery level. Charging the headphones to the maximum capacity takes just 2 hours, and the quick-charge feature makes it possible to listen for 1 hour after just 15 minutes of charging.
1More state that the iBFree headphones are tuned by a Grammy-winning sound engineer, Luca Bignardi, who helped the company nail down a precise representation of all instruments and vocals. Bignardi’s effort stands on Bluetooth 4.1, the latest version of the popular wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances, and aptX transmission technology, a digital audio data reduction technology and audio codec compression algorithms currently owned by Qualcomm.
A large portion of 1More’s budget was spent on their patented dual-layer drivers, which consist of PET and titanium diaphragms. The former provides deep bass while the latter delivers enhanced response times, warm mids, and sparkling highs. But don’t let 1More’s marketing statements mislead you into thinking that the iBFree are boomy headphones with bloated bass.
Their sound is surprisingly well-balanced and suitable for just about all music genres. In songs where bass really kicks in, the headphones are fully able to reproduce sub-bass frequencies, and when the bass takes the back stage, the dual-layer drivers open up with their airy reproduction, warm undertones, and supreme accuracy.
In our own testing, we could listen without any loss of signal quality up to 30 feet from the source device. Even a thick brick wall doesn’t seem to pose too much of a challenge for the iBFree headphones.
Also part of the headphones is a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) microphone designed to eliminate background static and problems associated with cross-talk. Its position is slightly unfortunate, as it can be quite far from your mouth, depending on how large your head is.
What’s in the Box
Hidden inside two sealed semi-transparent plastic bags are 2 extra sets of silicone ear tips and sport grips, alongside a USB A to USB micro charging cable.
- Sound quality
- Remote control
- Bluetooth 4.1
- 10 meter bluetooth wireless range
- 10 hours talk time, 8 hours music time, 240 hours standby time
- Include Mic to use as hands-free bluetooth headset for phone calls
- Design and durability
- Fast charging and solid battery life
- Excellent value
- Retails for $59.99
- Microphone placement
The 1More iBFree wireless headphones are a great choice for audiophiles and casual listeners who want to enjoy music on the go and not pay a ridiculous amount of money for it. Their remarkable design makes them feel like they belong to a much higher price category, and their sound confirms that the sound engineers over at 1More know what they are doing.
1More iBFree Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones