Value always catches our attention at FutureAudiophile.com, and we’ve found an excellent one here. 1More may not be the first name that audiophiles think of when shopping for headphones, but the company has caught our attention before with headphones that provide very good performance at insanely good prices. At $99, the 1More Sonoflow is just that type of high-value proposition. These over-ear noise-canceling headphones deliver a lot of what you get in the $350 to $400 range (I’ve reviewed close to two dozen “cans” in this space over the past few years), but at a price that will leave you with enough to money to take your special somebody out for sushi. Lots of sushi. Good sushi.
What Makes the 1More Sonoflow Headphones Special?
- The sound of the 1More Sonoflow is the first thing I’ll point out. This is a very balanced-sounding pair of headphones that doesn’t scream “big bass” or “shrill high end.” The Sonoflow might not match the sound you’ll hear from, say, the Sennheiser Momentum 4, but it will save you $200—and I don’t think the performance difference between the two headphones is more than 10 percent.
- The 1More Sonoflow headphones are lightweight and easy to travel with, thanks to the inclusion of a very nice case for the price.
- The battery life on the 1More Sonoflow is long, long, long. The company claims 70 hours of battery life from a full charge. The number is closer to 50 with the active noise cancelation (ANC) engaged, which makes sense. I never got anything but a “HIGH BATTERY” prompt from the headphones, and I ran them for a long, long time without recharging. Simply put: Nobody is going to complain about the battery life on these affordable headphones.
- The 1More Sonoflow uses Bluetooth 5.0, which is an updated but not bleeding-edge version of the platform. You will be fine, people. The difference between 5.0 and 5.2 Bluetooth isn’t a reason to spend an extra $200.
- The 1More Sonoflow powers via USB-C, which is good for an Apple user like me (though I’ve got a nit to pick there that I will get to later).
Why Should You Care About the 1More Sonoflow Headphones ?
Wireless headphones can fit into your life in so many ways. They’re useful on a plane, at the gym, on a walk by the beach (my preferred venue), at work, or at home when you want to watch TV at 11:30 p.m. without bothering your sleeping partner.
I view the 1More Sonoflow headphones like a cool pair of sunglasses for people who tend to lose their shades. You could spend more, but you know that you’re going to lose them at some point soon. How do you mitigate the risk and keep the cost down? The Sonoflow is a viable solution.
Some Things You Might Not Like About the 1More Sonoflow Headphones?
- I love the fact that these headphones are powered via USB-C (instead of a micro-USB connection), but the enclosed cable is USB-A to USB-C, which is useless for an Apple person unless you buy one of those $20 Apple adaptors. I wish a USB-C to USB-C cable had also been included, but to keep the price this low, 1More has to compromise somewhere. I bought a short USB-C to USB-C cable that got the job done, and it wasn’t too expensive of an add-on.
- The noise cancelation doesn’t rival that of more expensive headphones in the category. Look to Bowers & Wilkins Px7s (review), Sennheiser Momentum 4, Apple’s AirPods Max (review) Sony WH-1000XM5 (review) and (yes, don’t be an audiophile snob) Bose Noise Canceling 700s (review) if you want the best noise cancelation. That’s a big part of what you get when you spend double the money with the big boys. Southwest Airlines doesn’t serve filet mignon. You gotta set your price and value expectations correctly from the start.
- The spoken-voice prompts on the 1More Soniflow headphones are heavily accented and kinda hard to understand.
- The Bluetooth pairing process is a little clunky compared to what I’ve seen from the more expensive headphones in the category. You need to hold the button on the right ear cup down for longer than you think. Really, count to five before you let go. I haven’t seen a pair of headphones this fussy about pairing for a while, but once you pair them, the 1More headphones reconnect easily.
Listening To The 1More Sonoflow Headphones…
I spoke earlier about how balanced these headphones sound from the highs to the mids to the well-controlled bass. “Back & Forth” from Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light (CD, 1440 AIFF) highlighted that balance perfectly—it’s a great recording of a pure rock-and-roll song. Dave Grohl’s voice jumps out in the mix, and when the chorus adds more backup singers, the layering is even more musically compelling. The crunchy bar chords sounded nice and lively through these headphones. The bass wasn’t ultra-low, but it wasn’t boomy or muddy—something I just complained about in my review of the more expensive Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 headphones. These 1More headphones know what they do well, and they do it over and over again. I also tried listening to this track with the ANC turned on, and I liked the sound better without it.
On “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker) from Parliament’s all-time classic Mothership Connection (CD, 1440 AIFF), you can’t help but catch the groove when listening through the 1More Sonoflow headphones. The Bootsy Collins bassline sounded tight and funky. Again the layering of all of the vocal backups makes for a lush musical experience. When I was listening to the 1More Sonoflow by the beach, I again tried to use the ANC to deal with the car noise from the nearby highway, and it worked—but it sort of sucked the life out of the music. So I just went without the ANC. That’s not a fatal flaw as much as it was my personal preference.
Who Is the Competition For The 1More Sonoflow Headphones?
There are SO MANY…
The Beats Solo Pro ($299) is better than you think, but still close to double the price. Beats has made a lot of audio improvements since Apple hired a talented ex-Harman engineer. He has done a great job there.
The new Sennheiser Momentum 4 ($349) might have the best overall sound in this cateogry. But they wear a little heavier on your head and cost a lot more.
Bowers & Wilkins’ Px7 S2 ($399) (review) costs a lot more money and produces muddier bass than the Sonoflow, but its ANC is far better. The headphones are more stylish and come with the right cables.
There are countless headphones in this space. Consider the fact that I’m comparing the 1More Sonoflow to the big boys to be a compliment.
Final Thoughts On The 1More Sonoflow Headphones…
The 1More Sonoflow wireless noise-canceling headphones are simply a great value. They can’t do everything that the more vanity-driven and audiophile brands can do, but those options are literally double the price (or more). With the 1More Sonoflow, you get a very reasonably priced pair of headphones that are comfortable, have a long battery life, and sound better than they should for $169. If you want a fancier design or stronger noise cancelation, be prepared to spend more money. If you want high value and good performance, you can’t do much better than the Sonoflow.