1More has undoubtedly established itself as one of the best audio brands in India with some great products across price ranges. I always look forward to reviewing a 1More product because if not for anything else, you are assured of a great sound signature. The latest 1More product to reach the Mr. Phone labs is the 1More iBFree Sport Bluetooth earphones.
This is the Sport version of the 1More iBFree launched last year, which was incidentally 1More’s first wireless audio product. Essentially, the new variant has an upgraded Bluetooth chip and now works on the Bluetooth v4.2 standard. Also, the Sport variant is also iPX6-certified, which means that it is water resistant. So essentially, the iBFree Sport has a lot going for it. But is it worth your money? I find out.
1More iBFree Sport: fit and finish
Talking about the design, the 1More iBFree Sport comes in two colours: Red and Space Grey. I received the Red variant for review but I prefer the Space Grey one. The Red is a little too flashy for my liking. But, that’s just my personal preference. The wire itself feels fairly sturdy for a pair of budget wireless earphones.
The earphones sit in your ears with the help angled skin-free silicone ear hooks. You get these ear hooks three different sizes, so pick one that fits you the best. In addition, you also get ear tips in three different sizes. But foam tips and a carry case, are conspicuously missing from the box. This is unlike 1More’s characteristic box packaging for all its other products, which is generally filled with accessories.
Honestly, I found a great fit with the iBFree Sport. In fact, I firmly believe these earphones are the best fitting budget wireless pairs I’ve used to date. Moreover, the 16g weight of the iBFree Sport means that it doesn’t even weight down on your ears. But, all’s not hunky dory. For example, the buttons on the in-line remote - while designed well - are extremely mushy and difficult to operate. I don’t like it one bit.
1More iBFree Sport: sound quality and battery life
Connecting the 1More iBFree Sport was easy, and unlike the Bullets Wireless, you get voice prompts in a female voice. The iBFree Sport now supports the AAC wireless codec. This means that you can expect better wireless sound fidelity when paired with an iPhone. However, unlike the previous edition iBFree, it looks like 1More has dropped the support for aptX. I tried the earphones using a OnePlus 6 (review) and there was no message prompt stating that the earphones are using the aptX codec.
Coming to the sound signature, the iBFree Sport has a very musical sound that is not very analytical in nature. It’s fine if you want your songs to sound good. In Diplo’s Get it right (feat MØ), you will notice that the iBFree Sport tends to favour the higher frequencies over the low thump. Therefore, sometimes in certain EDM songs, it might fell like the bass response is lacking. But the moment I changed to I’m an Albatraoz by Flux Pavilion - which has a far heavier mid-bass response - the iBFree Sport springs to life. You will hear a big bass that is the mainstay of the song.
Also read: OnePlus Bullets Wireless review: just buy it
That said, these earphones struggle in the mid-range. The vocal reproduction was average at best. But that was expected from a wireless product in this price range. The highs were fine though. I honestly feel that the iBFree Sport excels in imaging. The crystal clear instrument separation is a treat, especially considering its price. On the flipside, the sound-staging is better on the OnePlus Bullets Wireless…way better. However, I have to tell you guys one thing honestly. No number of great wireless earphones can ever persuade me to use one as my primary personal audio source. I still love the 3.5mm jack and the quality of wired sound. It is just unbeatable. Even today.
As for the battery, it lasts at least seven hours on a single charge, which is great. But remember one thing, if you keep your earphones on, they are going to run out of charge. Essentially, 1More hasn’t provided an automatic setting to switch off the earphones when not in use. Talking about water resistant, I actually used it in the shower and it came away unscathed. So, that's pretty awesome.
Should you buy the 1More iBFree Sport?
At Rs 2,999 — or Rs 2,699 with a 10% discount in the deals season — the 1More iBFree is an easy recommend. They fit well, are sweatproof, waterproof, and they sound pretty good too, if not the best.
As for alternate options, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless, which I actually prefer in terms of sound signature, is also available for Rs 3,999. However, if you are considering a pair of wireless earphones for your runs and workout sessions, you cannot go wrong with the 1More iBFree Sport. Go buy them now.