1More SonoFlow review: the benchmark for $100 wireless headphones

Side view of the 1More SonoFlow.

1More’s SonoFlow sets a new benchmark for $100 wireless headphones

MSRP $100.00

“With hi-res audio and amazing battery life, the 1More SonoFlow is the best bet at $100.”


  • Great sound quality

  • Very comfortable for long periods

  • Ridiculous battery life

  • Solid ANC performance

  • Excellent app support

  • Affordable price

The inconvenients

  • App EQ needs to be customized

  • No wear sensors

  • Wired mode disables additional features

Do you have to spend a lot to get great sound in a pair of wireless noise canceling headphones? No, you don’t, and 1More proves it with their latest pair, the Sonoflow. For $100 – or less – you get a little work for every dollar you spend on them.

This includes support for Hi-Res Audio, as well as battery life that crushes much of the competition. You can’t have everything for $100, but all things considered, 1More is an intriguing case for spending less to feel like you’re getting more.

What’s in the box

I always like when more affordable over-ear headphones come with a nice protective case, and this one is well thought out, and that includes the stumps inside to line up the right and left earcups. There’s a USB-C charging cable, along with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable for wired playback and a user guide to get things started right out of the box.


1More SonoFlow Earbuds Unveiled
Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

The SonoFlow isn’t about unique design treatments, although I liked a few of the choices made here. One is the red color on the inner earcups – the only real color or flair coming from these cans. The other is how they fold and fit into the case. It sounds so simple, and yet putting the corresponding letters in the case takes all the guesswork out of how to place the headphones inside. I wish more manufacturers would consider doing this when there are stumps inside to anchor the headphones in place.

The headband and ear cups are flexible enough to allow for longer listening sessions.

Other than that, much of what’s here is fine. Not only the neutral color and styling, but also the lightweight materials and button placement. The headband and ear cups are flexible enough to allow for longer listening sessions. The cups are standard as far as size goes, but I doubt you’ll feel like they’re too tight or put excessive pressure on your ears or head. At least that’s how it is for me.

I can’t tell you for sure if these would hold up to races or workouts, as 1More doesn’t say anything about their durability. There’s no IP protection, or at least nothing official that I can tell you about, so my inclination in such circumstances is to err on the side of caution and avoid sweating all over headphones like these. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll be comfortable wearing them, but it’s hard to say what kind of punishment they can take.

Setup and controls

The buttons on the 1More SonoFlow headphones.
Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

The SonoFlow pair fairly quickly, but without Fast Pair on Android or something similar on iOS, you just have to go through your device’s Bluetooth menu instead. All the physical buttons are on the right side, with the power button forward, while the noise cancellation and volume buttons line up on the back. This is also where the 2.5mm headphone jack is located. Only the USB-C charging port is on the left side.

The 1More mobile app is an essential piece of the puzzle as it not only offers a quick start guide and FAQ section, but is also the means to update firmware and access all sound features. The SonoFlow has active noise cancellation (ANC) and passthrough (transparency) modes, as well as a wide assortment of EQ presets for fine-tuning the sound.

Dig deeper and under Experimental Features you’ll find multipoint as the only current option, allowing you to connect to two devices simultaneously. There’s no way to customize the onboard controls, although the buttons perform additional functions. Hold the volume up to repeat a track or the volume down to skip a track. The power button doubles as a play/pause and answer/hang up button. Double-click it and your phone’s voice assistant rings. Press the noise cancellation button to cycle through ANC, passthrough and off.

Ergonomically, I didn’t find the buttons too difficult to manage after a while, but I could see it was difficult if you were used to different setups on other headphones. For example, if you prefer to have controls, touch or otherwise, on the outer earbud, muscle memory may take longer to kick in.

Wear sensors are notably absent to automatically play/pause music when putting on/taking off the headphones. They keep playing when you take them off, which is a little annoying when you’re used to the sensors doing it for you.

Sound quality

Wear the 1More SonoFlow.
Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

The 1More team highlights support for Sony’s high-resolution LDAC codec as a differentiator, and given the price, it’s not wrong to point that out. But that’s assuming you have a device that supports the codec, and the audio you’re listening to has a high enough bitrate to be considered high-res. While the SBC and AAC codecs are in the mix here, aptX Adaptive is not, omitting a codec that serves Android devices really well as it includes low latency, which is great for gaming and video playback.

As always, iPhone users can’t take advantage of LDAC, but iOS devices do a much better job with AAC than Android, so that might be an acceptable compromise. You get 12 EQ presets, but no way to tweak or adjust them. I expect that to change with a firmware update at a later date, as 1More has already done that, releasing an update that allows for custom EQ presets. I think it’s unavoidable for SonoFlow.

You might not be able to set the EQ perfectly to your liking, but the SonoFlow’s 40mm drivers pack quite a punch. Indeed, the SonoFlow sounds very competitive compared to the $150 Anker Soundcore Space Q45 or $130 Sennheiser HD 450BT. The default EQ preset has a nice clarity. It doesn’t balance out the bass too much and leaves a bit of space for the mids to pass through. Playing around with the presets while switching between genres, the sound always stays good, providing a nice balance that could easily rival more expensive headphones.

I’ve never felt like I’m listening to headphones that just use a crowd-pleasing setting and leave it there.

I also came away impressed with playback, both at high resolution and with ANC on. Even turned off, it was good. I’ve never felt like I’m listening to headphones that just use a crowd-pleasing setting and leave it there. These are more balanced than that, and I’d say that’s true for most presets. To my ears, LDAC makes a difference over AAC, but only when the content available can provide more nuance to listen to. For example, when listening to songs on Amazon Music HD, LDAC allowed me to hear more detail, while Spotify tracks didn’t seem to benefit at all.

The built-in mics also play their part in suppressing phone calls. Unless I was in a noisy or crowded environment with sustained noise, callers never complained about how audible I was. Bluetooth Multipoint serves a good purpose here too, especially when it comes to listening to music on one device while taking a call on another. It’s not as transparent as other headphones or earphones that do. For example, when calls came in, I would accept the call and there was a noticeable delay when switching between devices.

Plugging in the audio cable to go wired disables other features and silences the app, so while handy, it doesn’t give you access to other features like the Treblab Z7 Pro does, for example. These boxes allow you to be wired and exploit noise cancellation as well.

Noise cancellation and passthrough

ANC works admirably to eliminate most low-frequency noise you encounter. It won’t match what the tastes of the Sony WH-1000XM4 or XM5 can get away with it, but for a fraction of the price the SonoFlow comes closer than expected. High-pitched sounds will squeak, but even then, not in a squeaky or frustrating way. More importantly, they do a good job of drowning out voices and noise around the house.

When it comes to wanting to listen to ambient sounds, passthrough is good for it to work. The folks at 1More talk about the microphones inside the SonoFlow, and they do a great job of piping in the background. I had no problem having a quick conversation or hearing vehicle traffic while walking down the street with these.

Battery life

The headband for the 1More SonoFlow.
Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

This is where the SonoFlow really impresses. With up to 50 hours of battery life with ANC on (70 if you leave it off), you can literally listen to them for days without having to recharge them. Volume levels will determine the actual number, but I easily hit a 48 hour accumulation at 60% volume. It’s really good in every way for any pair of earbuds.

A quick five-minute charge is enough to provide five hours of playback, which is especially true if you stick to reasonable volume levels. In a pinch, it’s a lifesaver and long enough to cover most flights as well.

Longevity, at least when it comes to battery life, is a big part of the value proposition for making the SonoFlow a good $100 buy. They’ll likely cost less along the way, given the company’s penchant for sales and regular price drops. Considering how good they sound, how comfortable they are, and how long they last, you feel like you’re getting more than what you pay for.

Assuming 1More takes their usual approach and updates the app to add additional features and customizations for the SonoFlow, that just builds on that which is a pretty good baseline here.

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