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Reviewed on Jul 20, 2017

1More Piston Classic
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.3
Mixed Usage
6.2
Critical Listening
6.5
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
5.7
TV
6.5
Gaming
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Semi-Open
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The 1More Piston Classic are decently well-built in-ear headphones with an average but decently balanced sound. They're super portable, they're a bit more comfortable than typical in-ears and they barely leak. Unfortunately, the drivers of our test unit were a bit mismatched, and their semi-open design doesn't block enough noise for particularly loud environments.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Sound 5.9
Isolation 6.9
Microphone 6.6
Active Features 0
Connectivity 5.5
Pros
  • Minimal leakage.
  • Compact and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Slightly muddy sound.
  • Mediocre isolation, due to semi-open design.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.5

Design

The 1More Piston have a sleek design and an above-average build quality compared to other in-ears in their price range. They have metal ear buds that feel dense and capable of withstanding multiple drops without getting damaged.They have an efficient and easy-to-use controls scheme and they're also quite comfortable. Their small and lightweight ear buds are barely noticeable once in your ears. Unfortunately, this also makes them a bit unstable for jogging. 

Style

The 1More Piston look a lot more premium than their price would suggest. They have smaller ear buds than the 1more triple drivers, with a nice brushed metal finish and a port on the back making them semi-open. They come in a couple of color schemes and have a straightforward yet unique inline remote that matches the brushed look of the ear cups. The pistons are sleek-looking headphones with only the audio cable leading to the ear cups feeling a bit cheap.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The 1More Piston classic have an above-average comfortable fit for an in-ear headphone. Their ear buds are a lot smaller and lighter than the 1More Triple and Quad Drivers. This makes the Pistons barely noticeable once in your ears. Unfortunately, they do not come with as many tips as the higher priced models.

7.2 Controls
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Pistons have a straightforward and efficient control scheme. The buttons are well spaced out, clicky and give you the essential functions; play/pause/call, track skipping, and volume controls. They're also easier to use than typical inline remotes. The buttons are laid out on both sides of the remote which makes it a lot easier to know when you're clicking on the volume controls.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C
9.3 Portability
L : 2 "
W : 1.6 "
H : 0.8 "
Volume : 2.6 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones like most in-ears, have a small footprint and can easily fit into most pockets. They're super easy to carry around on your person.

7.5 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 2.8 "
W : 2.8 "
H : 1.3 "
Volume : 10 Cu. Inches

Comes with a good hard case that doesn't add too much bulk and looks a bit like the Apple Ear Pods' carrying case. It will fit into most pockets and bags, and will protect your headphones against scratches, drops, and impacts as well as minor water damage.

7.0 Build Quality

The 1More Piston are better-built than their price would suggest. The ear cups and the inline remote feel dense and durable and the bottom half of the audio cable is braided to make the cable more resistant to wear and tear. However, the top half of the cable which leads to the ear buds feels a lot cheaper than the rest of the build quality.

6.5 Stability

The Piston Classics are decently stable headphones but not as stable as other in-ears. They barely put any pressure within your ear canal which makes them comfortable but also means that they will easily slip out of your ears from a gentle tug of the audio cable. They should be ok for most casual listening sessions, but they won't be ideal to go running with unless you change to a much bigger tip size which may reduce your comfort level.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 3.9 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS
Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
5.9

Sound

The Piston Classic are an average sounding pair of in-ears with a consistent and low-distortion performance. However, their well-extended Bass tends to be boomy, their Mid Range is relatively muddy and their Treble is on the warm side. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were poorly matched, resulting in a sub-par stereo image.

7.1 Bass
Std. Err.
:
4.2 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
24.84 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-2.78 dB
Mid-Bass
:
2.3 dB
High-Bass
:
6.86 dB

Average Bass Range performance. Low-bass which is responsible for low-end thump and rumble is lacking by about 3dB. Bass is relatively balanced, but with a tilt favoring upper Bass frequencies. High-bass is overemphasized by more than 6dB, making the Bass of these headphones noticeably boomy.

6.8 Mid
Std. Err.
:
4.28 dB
Low-Mid
:
5.98 dB
Mid-Mid
:
0.7 dB
High-Mid
:
-2.48 dB

Average Mid Range performance. Low-mid is over our target by more than 6dB, making mixes cluttered and muddy. Mid is relatively balanced but with a tilt favoring lower mids. High-mid is also relatively balanced, but slightly under our target, negatively affecting the presence and projection of vocals/leads.

7.0 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.35 dB
Low-Treble
:
-2.29 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-0.54 dB
High-Treble
:
-5.59 dB

Decent Treble Range. Low-treble is underemphasized by about 2dB, slightly hurting the clarity and detail of vocals/leads. Treble is well-balanced and virtually flat.

9.7 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.06 dB

Excellent frequency response consistency. If the user is able to achieve proper fit/seal with these earbuds, then they should be able to get a very consistent performance out these in-ears each time.

5.4 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.18
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
7.26
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
4.95
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
7.34
1.3 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
3.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
1.8
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.76 dB
8.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.222
Weighted THD @ 100
:
1.123

Very good Harmonic Distortion performance. The amount of harmonic distortion at 90dB is very low. At 100dB, there is small rise in the amount of distortion, but still within good limits. Our test unit however, showed quite a bit of mismatch in distortion between the L/R drivers.

6.9

Isolation

The Piston Classics block a fair amount of noise. They have a semi-open design with ports on the back of the ear buds, unlike the 1More Triple Drivers. However, they still prevent ambient noise from easily seeping into your audio and are adequate headphones to use in loud environments if you're playing a little music. If you're listening at lower volumes or to podcasts though, you will hear whats going on around you. On the upside, they have barely any leakage despite the somewhat open design. They will rarely distract those around you.

6.2 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-13.42 dB
Bass
:
-1.69 dB
Mid
:
-13.12 dB
Treble
:
-26.56 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Mediocre Isolation performance. These headphones don't isolate as much as some other in-ears like the BeatsX or the X2, which is due to their semi-open deisgn. In the Bass Range they barely isolate any noise. In the Mid Range they achieve about 13dB of isolation and 26dB in the Treble Range. Both values being average.

8.4 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
31.46 dB

Excellent Leakage performance. The Piston Classic do not leak below 1KHZ. The significant portion of their leakage is between 3KHz and 6KHz, which is a narrow range, but the level of their leakage is moderately loud.

6.6

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
Yes
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
7.3 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
391.7 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.87 dB
HFE
:
20777.89 Hz
Weighted THD
:
1.409
Gain
:
9.55 dB
6.0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
11.24 dB
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

5.5

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
9.1 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • 1More Piston Classic Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3)
  • Carrying case
  • Airplane Adapter
  • Manual

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

6.3 Mixed Usage
The 1More Pistons are average, mixed usage headphones. They're more comfortable than typical in-ears and they're super easy to carry around on your person. They have a decently-balanced sound that's good for casual listening. However, their slight lack of isolation and active features means they won't be the most versatile headphones to use in all situations.
6.2 Critical Listening
Average for critical listening. They have a decently balanced sound but a slightly overemphasized Mid Range which makes them sound a bit boomy and muddy. Our unit also has a slight mismatch which combined with the narrow Soundstage caused by the small in-ear design means they won't be the ideal headphones for critical listeners.
6.5 Commute/Travel
Decent for commuting. They don't block a lot of noise in very loud environments but they isolate well enough for commuting. They're also quite portable and easy to use.
7.1 Sports/Fitness
Above-average for sports thanks to their comfortable fit and breathable design these headphones are barely noticeable once you have them on. Unfortunately, they may not be stable enough for jogging unless you switch to larger tips which may be uncomfortable for some.
6.2 Office
Decent for office use. They barely leak so can have your music playing at high volumes and not distract your colleagues. However, they do not isolate enough for very loud environments so they may not be ideal if you have a lively office.
5.7 TV
Decent for home theater use. If you typically watch movies on your PC or tablet then they're a suitable wired option with 0 latency and moderately well-balanced sound. However, if you plan to use them with your TV then you will need an extension for the relatively short audio cable.

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