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1More C1002 Capsule Headphones Review

I’ve been into headphone listening for quite some time. I love the intimacy that headphones offer over normal loudspeakers - plus the fact that my wife/kids don’t keep complaining to me about my appalling taste in music - bonus!  A long time back I used to have a wonderful analogue system comprising of the Logik DM101 turntable with a Linn Basik LVX tonearm and a Nagaoka MP11 Boron cartridge (it’s kinda sad that I can remember this with so much detail and yet can’t remember dentists appointments (or what I had for breakfast for that matter). I know what kind of sound I like - fairly flat, perhaps a slight boost in the bass frequencies and capable of going loud when required. To be honest I’m not really seriously into ‘high-res’ stuff that Sony and others are currently pushing - whilst I acknowledge that the sound quality of these high resolution music files is better than conventional MP3’s, their additional size and compatibility issues with some players and software tend to make it not worth the bother most of the time in my opinion. Having said that I tend to avoid 128k MP3’s even more as have no problems hearing the artifacts most of the time.

The other thing that has really changed over the years is just how good playback electronics have become. Back in time I would happily part with several hundred pounds for the latest Sony Walkman/Discman/Mini Disc player. Now I can spend 30 quid or so at Amazon and purchase some superb Lossless MP3 players - they may not be much to look at but they have it where is counts. Even some of the mainstream players like the Apple iPod/iTouch/iPhone have superb playback quality - usually only lacking amplification to make them totally shine.

As a headphone user, I look for a few things that I feel are important to me:

Sound Quality - If it sounds like a bucket of nails, doesn’t matter how comfortable they are, I’m not going to like them.

Comfort - I want to be able to wear them for at least half an hour or so without having to come up for air.

Efficiency - I like my music loud. Not ear-splitting but I do like a dynamic sound.

Sound Leakage - a little sound leakage is perfectly acceptable for me most of the time but if I’m wearing headphones in bed they have to be completely silent so I don’t disturb ‘she who must be obeyed’.

In addition to a few pairs of on-ear full sized headphones in my collection I also have the following:-

1More 1001 Triple Driver Dynamic/Balanced Armature IEM
Ultimate Ears Triple Fi10 Balanced Armature IEM
Sony XBA H1 - Hybrid Dynamic/Balanced Armature IEM
1More iBfree - Bluetooth Dynamic IEM
Apple EarPods - earbuds - a little bass light but pretty comfortable in bed.

Most of these headphones tend to protrude too much from the ears to use them comfortably in bed. The exception being the Apple EarPods which actually don’t sound too bad but leak sound way too much for anything above whisper quiet. The 1More 1001’s are pretty good but I find I still have to put my hand under my head when lying on my side.

1More’s C1002 Capsule headphones are the ideal solution. Firstly, and most importantly, they tick all my boxes - they sound good, are comfortable, don’t leak sound at reasonable volumes and are very easy to drive. As a bonus, they have Android compatible in-line controls which is definitely something I welcome.

The Capsule’s fit completely inside the shell of your ear. There’s nothing protruding and you can easily lay on your side without having to worry about discomfort. They feature a set of soft rubber sleeves which almost completely fit over the entire earphone - this helps them stay in place and they never feel like they’re about to drop out (cough - Apple EarPods). I’m not a jogger so I can’t comment on how well they stay in place when exercising but I certainly didn’t have any problem walking the dog with them on. Interestingly because of the fit I didn’t hear my own footsteps when walking which is one of the thing which really puts me off using IEM’s when out and about. This remarkable level of comfort actually helps you to focus even more on the music.  The headphones offer a full-featured Android compatible in-line remote (with mic for calls) and the cable feels like a heavy duty affair that can take a beating. Ideal for a portable headphone.

Sound quality is very good. Whilst I don’t think they’re quite as good as 1More’s superb 1001 Triple Driver IEM, they’re certainly not that far behind them. They have a very smooth sound signature which couples very nicely with their physical properties and fit.

Bass - the bass is rolled off at the very lowest octave when compared to the 1001’s but still has some punch to it. They make it easy to follow bass notes and the bass doesn’t bleed into the mid frequencies.

Mids - not recessed at all. Female vocals come across wonderfully clear. They don’t ‘shout’ which is always welcome and greatly help reduce listening fatigue. Imaging is very effective and they definitely show their audiophile chops - quite something for a headphone which is designed active use.

Highs - Perhaps slightly recessed but certainly not by much. Again, the sort of sound signature which allows for long listening sessions. They offer detail without overwhelming you with extreme harsh metallic treble. This is something that I personally really like in a headphone - I really don’t like a harsh top-end.

The Capsule’s are reasonably efficient and can be driven to pretty high levels out of my Moto G4 and the in-line remote works perfectly fine with my phone. I would love it if 1More produced an APtX compatible bluetooth model with these specifications and design - it would be a real winner.

Conclusion

Ever since I got the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10’s I have had a soft spot for balanced armatures - I like the speed and resolution.  Recently I have had the chance to try out quite a few different headphones and I feel that things are moving in the right direction with headphone manufacturers and they are starting to get it that sound quality is more important than flashy features and branding. The 1More C1002 Capsule’s are a great headphone and are sure to please a lot of people who are looking for the perfect combination of sound quality and comfort. 1More have a number of products currently on the market - all of which are truly excellent. I think this company is going to make it really big - and this is going to be because of their sound quality rather than ‘celebrity branding’ (cough - Beats!).

Pros:
Sound quality. Fit - one of the fee in ear monitors that can be comfortably worn in bed allowing you to lay on your side without problems or discomfort. Packaging. In-Line Android compatible remote control. Tips and Sleeves.

Cons:
Priced a little high - competes with 1More’s 1001 Triple Driver model (which I feel does sound better) although this is definitely a more comfortable earphone.