1More has burst onto the scene with some great audio options, most of which we’ve reviewed and the results have been pretty impressive (see our reviews of the Spearhead VR headset, the Spearhead VRX, and the Triple Driver headphones). The latest are the 1More Spearhead VR BT headphones, aimed at mobile gamers or anyone who wants a solid pair of Bluetooth gaming earbuds. I travel a lot for work and even a small pair of headphones ends up being just one more thing weighing me down, so I was excited to pop these on and give ‘em a go. Here’s what we found.
In the box (which, as usual, is very attractive and well-made), you get the buds, a travel bag, an (unfortunately short) micro USB charging cable, some instructions, and 3 sets of silicone ear tips. The whole setup has a stylish, black on red look that is quite sleek and the buds themselves have 1More’s signature lights, complete with the ability to personalize them in some cool ways, like a pulsing “heartbeat”, a wave-like “breathing” option, or you can just turn them on or off, all controlled via the 1More app.
Speaking of the app, as with most of 1More’s audio tech, you can toy with the sound via a downloadable app. As the VR name suggests, these BT buds use the app to enhance the sound on iOS and Android devices in a virtual reality type of way, similar to the Speahead VRX heaphones, by using simulated 3D audio. As any gamer worth their salt can tell you, hearing gunfire to your left or footsteps creeping up behind you can make the difference between sweet glory or bitter defeat, and I was quite pleased to find that the 3D audio works well.
Basically, the buds sets the sound-center at a fixed point, so turning your head affects where you hear the sound, simulating surround sound pretty convincingly. There are more options on the app to tweak and play with, and you can’t use the VR without it, so downloading and tinkering with the app is a must.
The actual sound itself is what we’ve come to expect from 1More; it’s damn good. The bass is a standout even by 1More’s standards, simply because you don’t expect that rumble coming out of a set of earbuds. Even at relatively high levels, I didn’t detect any distortion, the mids are nice and warm and the highs are very crisp; again, especially for a set of earbuds.
As mentioned, these buds come with 3 options for the in-ear fit, and the entire device only weighs 32 grams, which is important when playing for long periods of time, as these are very light and sit easily on your neck. The wires are short enough that they don’t feel unwieldy or messy, but long enough that you can twist your head around, or even stroll around a room without anything pulling at you. The silicone wrapped wires are “skin-friendly”, and they feel soft against your bare skin. The only real concern we have here are the wires’ durability. Although we had no actual problems, the wires feel a bit flimsy, although it didn't negatively impact our use.
The control unit has everything you need on it, with the volume controls doubling as the forward and backward buttons to skip tracks, plus a pause/play button and the built in mic. The good thing about this design is that, while the buds are technically wired, the control unit sits on your neck, which means the buds are lighter, the drivers are bigger, the battery is larger and it allows for a more powerful amp. Also, I like that the controls are on the sides of your neck instead of the buds itself, which can make doing simple things like skipping a song or changing the volume into an annoying reset of the buds in your ear. None of those problems apply here.
The Bluetooth capabilities are clutch, and go beyond the advertised range. In fact, even at 50 feet (the box claims the connection will work up to 35) I was still rolling, which is pretty impressive. Synching to my android was simple, and we had similar ease of use with iphones as well.
The built-in mic is well made and effective, and the noise cancelling tech works great as well. The regular sounds of the office were minimized almost to the point of disappearing, and calls and interactions were crisp and clear.
The fast charge functions just as advertised, despite some initial doubt around the office; after all, 10 minutes of charge for 3 hours of use sounds too good to be true. I am pleased to say that was not the case, and we actually sat down and timed it. Plus, even listening at what we considered a reasonable volume gave us more than the advertised six hours of battery life. Coupled with the quick charge ability, we rarely ran out of battery, even after using these consistently for the past two weeks.