It’s getting progressively harder to keep up with all of the new wireless IEMs being introduced into the marketplace, and while a plethora of choice is almost always a win for consumers because it helps drive down prices and forces manufacturers to actually innovate and not copy, that doesn’t mean one should leap just because they can. Bluetooth-enabled IEMs and earphones are going to be one of the hottest items this holiday season. 1More and HIFIMAN are two of our favourite headphone manufacturers; both offer some of the best affordable IEMs and on-ear/over-ear headphones available and 1More have recently jumped onboard the wireless IEM express train with the Stylish True wireless headphones.
After spending more than a month with the 1More Stylish True and HIFIMAN TWS600 wireless earphones, we have some firm opinions on both, and the results may not be what you expect. The train has left the station, but only one would be our long-term choice for commuters, and people who work in an office – unless your smartphone or desktop playback system allows you to adjust the EQ.
Our focus in part one will be on the $99 1More Stylish True with our thoughts on the uber transparent sounding HIFIMAN TWS600 dropping in about a week.
It’s not easy being pink with rose gold accents.
Wireless IEMs and earphones offer a number of advantages over their wired siblings; no cable, noise cancellation (Sony), weight, and an aesthetic design that makes people pay attention to you as you sweat on the train or at your desk. Apple AirPod users may not understand how weird they look – but you do notice them.
The obvious negative about any pair of wireless IEMs or earphones is that you have to charge them; and make sure to never lose the charging cable and hardboiled egg — I mean charging case that they reside inside. Lose the egg and you’re screwed.
During the review process, I experienced pairing issues with both IEMs when used with my ready-for-the-landfill Apple iPhone 6S. Summer commuting was not kind on my smartphone as I made my way from the Jersey Shore into Manhattan and I suspect being dropped and bumped by the sea of people impacted its performance. Neither IEM had any issues with my 2018 MacBookPro, iPad Pro, or LG V30 smartphone that I borrowed.
Neither the 1More or HIFIMAN offer noise cancelling and I’m perfectly okay with that; they both offer a respectable level of isolation and aside from the Sony, I’ve yet to try a pair with noise cancellation that sounded all that great to begin with.
1More Stylish True
If you’re shopping for a pair of wireless IEMs, you’ve probably noticed that prices are all over the map; the Apple AirPods with a wireless charger are $199.00. Better sounding models from Klipsch, Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser range from $99.95 to $300.
1More has succeeded with its other products; including the outstanding Triple-Driver IEMs, because it focuses on value. The Stylish True are $100 cheaper than the Apple AirPods and while they may not generate the same nod of approval from the fanboys, they take the more expensive wireless earphones from Cupertino out behind the shed for a royal beating.
Don’t believe me? Read on.
At the heart of these unique looking IEMs; my six year-old refers to them as the ladybugs sticking out of Daddy’s ears, is a very compact but dynamic sounding 7mm driver with a titanium composite diaphragm.
The Stylish True weigh in at 6.2 grams each and it proved to be a weight that was every easy to get used to. I wore the IEMs for 3-4 hours at a time while working in both the office, and on the train ride home from New York – and at no time did I want to remove them because they were heavy or uncomfortable.
1More does a great job supplying accessories with all of their headphone models, and the Stylish True include a charging case (40.4 grams), USB charging cable, 3 sets of ear tips, and 3 sets of O-hooks.
The charging case fits easily in a shirt pocket, although you won’t need access to it that often because the Stylish True deliver exceptional battery life; on a full charge, I managed to squeeze out close to 6 hours of use during every work day with the volume set to about 75%.
The case holds enough of a charge for 3 complete 6 hour listening sessions which puts any laptop or smartphone I’ve ever owned to shame. The standby time with the earbuds fully charged is 96 hours. If you’re really in a pinch, a 15-minute charge should give you close to 3 hours of listening time.
The Stylish True support Bluetooth aptX, AAC, and SBC making it compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Operation is fairly straightforward with a single button on the rear of each earpiece which controls play/pause, and the in-line mic connection to your smartphone. It also controls power up/off, and the wireless pairing. From an ergonomic perspective, I found the Stylish True very easy to use – even in the dark when I run each morning.
What we like:
After the first few days with the Stylish True, I started thinking about one of my favorite scenes in Boogie Nights when Burt Reynolds explains how he enjoys listening to his stereo at home. He’s not a fan of the TK421. He doesn’t want all of that bass that Buck claims will make you feel freaky deaky.
Mellow. Jack liked it mellow.
The Stylish True are the epitome of mellow; but the exact opposite of boring because they sound very transparent with just enough detail to keep you involved with the music.
If you prefer an IEM with a cooler tonal balance, and more forward sounding presentation, the HIFIMAN TWS600 will be more to your liking. The 1More Stylish True have more meat on the bones and are decidedly less aggressive sounding than the TWS600 – making them a better choice if your listening tastes include a lot of bright sounding recordings with tilted top ends.
The 1More don’t propel music forward with the same level of energy as the TWS600; which might make some feel that they are boring, but that also made them easier to listen to for longer periods of time.
Vocals (with the volume raised to higher listening levels) had more than enough presence; poorly recorded pop recordings won’t have you reaching for the volume control on your smartphone or laptop when that compression rears its ugly head.
Sam Cooke, Sia, Tori Amos, and Ben Folds were presented with a warmish sounding tonal balance, but without any congestion or absence of detail. There was a naturalness to their voices that made it easy to raise the volume and listen for extended periods of time – which is a no-no with headphones. Take a break every 15 minutes. Seriously.
Soundstage depth and width is above average with the Stylish True, with more than enough spatial information to make recordings sound spacious.
If you’re looking for wireless IEMs that can deliver a lot of bass that will pulverize the inside of your skull – these are not what you’re looking for. Listening to Metallica’s “One” from And Justice For All (CD, 16-bit/44.1kHz) was perfectly engaging until the bass kicked in during the final 1/3rd of the track. Bass notes were tight, but the visceral impact that this song delivers was noticeably absent. Nada.
Some may find the laid-back presentation too restrained for their liking, but that’s also a long-term strength of the Stylish True.
The ear tips are not ideal for listeners with larger ear canals and while I managed to find a proper fit with the largest size, the seal is only above average. The O-hooks kept the Stylish True fairly snug while I ran my 4 miles along the beach each morning, but your mileage may vary.
Who are these for?
If you’re looking for a pair of affordable, well-built, and solid sounding wireless IEMs with excellent battery life, the 1More Stylish True are well worth an audition. They may not be the most exciting pair of IEMs that I’ve ever tried, but my commute begins in the early morning hours when I don’t to be bombarded with too much upper midrange and treble energy and just want to focus on the day ahead alone in my thoughts. Bass heads will hate these.
The 1More Stylish True wireless IEMs face a lot of stiff competition below $100, and they don’t offer the uber high-end resolution of the Sony WF-1000XM3 which are more than twice the price. Where they carve out a place for themselves in a very crowded segment is in their performance which is more than engaging, exceptional battery performance, and build quality that makes them a fantastic bargain for the price. Solidly recommended.
Company Info: 1MORE
Website: 1More USA
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me by 1More free for review. Amazon Affiliate links above earn me a commission if you purchase a product using the link.