1MORE Sonoflow: two-minute review
The 1MORE Sonoflow are the first over-ear headphones that feature noise-cancellation from this likeable, affordable audio tech brand, and they are emphatic proof that you can get a great pair of wireless headphones capable of ticking most of the boxes for under $100/£100.
1MORE has been a firm favorite at TechRadar for years. We awarded the 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear headphones five stars in our review a few years ago, and they remain one of our top picks in our best earbuds guide. The brand has also ventured into the true wireless earbuds space and, back in 2018, released the 1MORE Triple Driver over-ear headphones.
Again though, the 1MORE Sonoflow are the brand’s first pair of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones. They adopt a no-frills approach – the design of the headphones and their accompanying app is very simple. However, all of the essentials are here. They sound great, noise-cancellation is good, there’s a fantastic 70 hours of battery life (that’s 50 hours with ANC on), and we found them to be remarkably comfortable to wear all day.
Although there are no ground-breaking new features, the 1MORE Sonoflow are solid all-rounders at a price we feel makes them better value than several of the best noise-cancelling headphones and best over-ear headphones you can buy today. With this in mind, they’re bound to have wide appeal for those looking for a great-sounding pair of over-ears. Read on for our full 1MORE Sonoflow review.
1MORE Sonoflow review: price and release date
- Released in September, 2022
- $99 / £89 (approx. AUD$156)
One of the big draws of 1MORE products is that they’re inexpensive, and at $99 / £89 (approx. AUD$156) the 1MORE Sonoflow over-ear headphones continue the tradition. At this price we wouldn’t call them cheap over-ear headphones, like the Sony WH-CH510, which cost $59 / £50 / AU$89, but they’re within what we’d consider the best budget headphones bracket and have a similar price tag to some of our good value favorites.
Take a look at our JBL Tune 750BTNC review, cans which cost $130 / £120 / AU$200 at launch and have a similar comfortable design and strong ANC. However, the 1MORE Sonoflow definitely beat the JBL product in terms of battery life, offering 70 hours with ANC off compared to only 22 hours. They’re also similar to the Urbanista Miami, which cost $149 / £129 / AU$269, but with the Sonoflow you’ll get better ANC and audio.
They’re obviously significantly cheaper than the best headphones you can buy today, like the Sony WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones, which cost more than three times as much, at $350 / £349 / AU$549. These perform better than the 1MORE Sonoflow in most respects, which you’d expect. But then again this all comes down to personal preference. If you don’t have the budget for high-end headphones and don’t need audiophile-grade sound, the 1MORE Sonoflow headphones do represent better value.
1MORE Sonoflow review: features
- App a bit sparse compared to rivals
- Touch controls could be more intuitive
- Incredible battery life
Pairing the 1MORE Sonoflow with an iPhone is incredibly easy, as was getting the app working within seconds. We also tested them with an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and the Bluetooth connection was stellar throughout.
The accompanying 1MORE Sonoflow app isn’t bad, but it’s bland in terms of design and sparse when it comes to features, especially compared to rivals with incredibly customizable and slick apps such as the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless – although of course, these are more expensive.
However, the basics are here. You can switch ANC on and off or select transparent mode, which works well for having conversations without taking the headphones off. There’s also an Equalizer, although you can’t fully adjust or tune the headphones with a five-band EQ tab. Instead, there are 12 custom presets to choose from, including ‘Bass Booster’ and ‘Classical’. These might provide enough customization for most listeners, but will be disappointing for those who want more control.
In the app you’ll also find a ‘Soothing Sounds’ section, but these are played on short 10 second loops, which means it’s really jarring when they end and begin again – hardly soothing. There’s also an option called ‘Experimental Features’ where you’ll find multipoint pairing, which works well (but is hardly ‘experimental’ in 2022, no?) and other than a few supplementary expected features, such as a firmware upgrade option and an FAQ section, that’s about it from the app.
There are button controls on the earcups, including three buttons in total on the front and rear of the right earcup. Each button does a few different things, which is confusing to remember at first. Luckily, it didn’t take long for us to learn them but the experience wasn’t as intuitive as it is with other headphones. There’s also no option to customize the functions. Then again, if you like physical buttons over capacitive on-ear touch controls, these might be more appealing.
An annoying feature that we really noticed, having tested so many pairs of headphones, is that there are no sensors onboard to detect when you take them off, to pause the music accordingly. This won’t be an issue for some people, but we’ve become used to taking out an earbud or slipping off an earcup and having the music pause, and that doesn’t happen here.
One of the main selling points of these over-ears is their impressive battery life. They boast a huge 70 hours with ANC off and a still amazing 50 hours with ANC on. We found these estimates from 1MORE to be spot on during our testing. When you do need to charge them up, you’ll find a USB-C charging cable in your carry case. We loved that a five minute charge could deliver more than 4.5 hours of extra listening and 1.5 hours of charging gets them completely full.
In terms of rivals, this makes them one of the best pairs of noise-cancelling headphones for battery life we’ve ever tested. One of our current favorite pair of over-ears, the Sony WH-1000XM4 have 30 hours of battery life with ANC on. They’re only beaten by the newer and excellent Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones, which boast 60 hours of battery life, and that’s with ANC on.
1MORE Sonoflow review: design
- They look more premium than they should
- Incredibly comfortable
- Some might find the design boring
The 1MORE Sonoflow over-ear headphones come in a compact and premium-looking zip case with a hard shell to protect them on the move. Handily, the spots where the earcups fit are labelled, which makes folding them up in a hurry much easier.
The headphones have a simple design, quality hinges and there’s a matte-like finish to the plastic casing. The cups are made from a super soft memory foam and we love that there’s a bright red fabric lining on the inside.
The headphones are incredibly comfortable to wear for long periods of time. This is thanks to those soft earpads, the adjustable cups, the lightweight design (they’re only 250g) and a cushioned headband. Refreshingly, we find we can truly keep these cans on all day long, and that is rare.
Granted, some people might find this design a bit boring – they don’t stand out as much as higher-end over-ears, like the Bose Headphones 700 or the Apple AirPods Max – but we think the minimal aesthetic makes them look more luxe than they should at this price.
Assuming you like how they look, the only major downside here is that there’s no water resistance rating, so we’d be very wary about recommending them for fitness or outside if it looks like rain. No, this isn’t unusual for a pair of affordable noise-cancelling over-ears, but an IP rating is still a feature we’d have liked to see.
1MORE Sonoflow review: sound quality
- ANC is good
- Sound is great (especially for the price)
- The EQ presets are fun to use
The noise cancellation on offer from the 1MORE Sonoflow headphones is really impressive for the price. That’s the key here. These aren’t the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy, but for under £100/$100 you’re getting a great experience and we think most people would be impressed by how well they perform.
During our testing we found that most ambient sounds and lots of standard low frequency noises are drowned out completely. Some high-pitched noises will still get through and we found the steady rumble of a fan in our office remained, as did a loud conversation on the bus that was close by. But there was a huge difference in how bothersome these noises were when ANC was on compared to when it was off. So even though they might not be the best at noise-cancelling, they should suit most office environments and commutes, cutting back most of the lows and mids you’ll hear throughout the day.
The same can be said for the sound quality. No, the 1MORE Sonoflow won’t compete with headphones three or four times the price, but that’s not what most people need. During our testing, we were impressed with the powerful bass and detailed, crisp highs on offer here – thanks to the Sonoflow’s dual 40mm drivers.
What’s more, the (albeit limited) EQ presets did affect music from genre to genre. For example, turning on ‘Bass booster’ during an Âme techno track was seriously impressive, providing thumping bass. Overall the bass was great with the headphones and, crucially, didn’t distort even at high volumes.
Selecting ‘Classical’ while listening to Hildur Guðnadóttir’s beautiful strings added a rich and expansive quality to the sound. In fact, classical music sounded excellent with a strong and clear sense of definition. These presets might seem basic to some people, but others will really enjoy playing around with them.
There’s support for Sony’s LDAC hi-res audio format. But you need a device that supports it as well as audio that offers a hi-res bit rate. There are also SBC and AAC codecs – good news for iOS users –which, again, is a decent range for the price. But there’s no aptX Adaptive, which some people – especially Android users – might consider a dealbreaker.
1MORE Sonoflow review: value
- Look and feel more premium than they are
- Battery life is phenomenal at this price
- Better sound is available, but for much more money
Like all 1MORE products we’ve tested, the Sonoflow over-ear headphones are excellent value for money. In many respects they feel more high-end than they should. We think this is thanks to their matte finish, sturdy case and minimal design, which doesn’t give away its budget price.
You will find a more premium experience from an app elsewhere, and although we highly rate the ANC and sound on offer here, other headphones do it better, but, crucially, not for this price.
The battery life is obviously excellent and the comfort levels are high, so these headphones will be ideal for most people who want good sound but need to know they’re dependable enough for all day wear, and these certainly are.
Should you buy the 1MORE Sonoflow?
|Features||Excellent battery life, basic app||4/5|
|Design||Premium-feeling and comfortable, if a tad bland||3.5/5|
|Sound quality||LDAC for little money; good quality sound||4/5|
|Value||If your budget maxes out at $100/£100, you’ll struggle to do better||5/5|
Buy them if…
Don’t buy them if…
If our 1MORE Sonoflow review has you wondering whether to add them to your online shopping cart or to check out other wireless over-ear headphones, take a glance at these three competing cans at the level.