Saturday, 13 August 2016

1more Piston Earbuds: Old School and New Tech, Combined

From the team behind the successful Xiaomi Pistons, 1more, comes the new Piston Earbuds edition. Combining the iF-awarded Mi Piston V2.0 with the retro earphones, the result is a somewhat futuristic design that's capable of housing larger diaphragms while giving sound quality not found in normal earphones. I bring to you, the unboxing plus hands-on of the 1more Amber Gold Pistons Earbud.

First Look: The Packaging
Following the usual packaging design hue of Xiaomi which emphasizes on simplicity, the packaging is just a cuboidal box similar to that of the Pistons, with only the branding difference and it getting an elegant splash of metallic dark grey instead of usually brown of Gold Pistons and white of Silver Pistons.

Tech specs are shown on the back as usual. This model is an upgrade from the previous three generations of Pistons. With a double in speaker resistance to 32ohms, the earbud has a sensitivity of 113db, higher than the 97db on Silver Pistons and the 93db on Gold Pistons.

IMG_20150214_150617.jpg (2.16 MB, Downloads: 1)

The Unboxing
Opening four black flaps reveals the heart of the box. Different from the edition one may find on Xiaomi Online Store which comes in a black plastic casing, this edition comes with a pink metal carrying case.The polygon design on the box is a real candy to the eyes, adding fashion to already attractive metal casing. It opens to reveal the earbuds, neatly tucked into a unique cord winder with the additional accessories that came with the earbuds kept underneath.

The amber gold colour of the earbuds are really striking and more appealing than the gold Pistons. The 1more Piston Earbuds run on Beryllium Alloy diaphragms similar to those in Xiaomi Pistons. Combining old school design and enthusiast level hardware, the 1more Piston Earbuds is said to parallel the quality of Hi-Fi systems.

Putting it on, it looks very similar to the Xiaomi Pistons, yet stands out with a more striking gold colour and a classical design.The accessories mentioned earlier are actually attachments to the earbud to improve your wearing and listening experience. The transparent silicon "rabbit ear" attachments help to secure the earbuds in their positions while the black foam ones help to close up any space between the earbuds and our ear canal, effectively improving the bass.

The Comparison
With all three products coming from the same company, it makes sense to make a comparison between the three Pistons. The 1more Piston Earbuds stand out with a round and more simplistic container. All three headphones are made from a single block of aluminium with dual sound damping tech. All three has 1.2m long cords, enough for some but might be falling short for taller guys if their phones are in their pockets. It is worth noting that certain people will find it uncomfortable to use due to the larger size.

Sound reproducing-wise, the bass of Xiaomi Pistons stand out as it's in-ear headphone that seals off surrounding sound. The 1more Piston Earbuds, however, due to its design has some sound leaking and loss of bass. This situation can be improved upon using the black foam attachment, but still it's not that good. 

The 1more Piston Earbuds wins with it's clear mids and highs due to its upgraded hardware. Boasting capability for loseless audio, the 1more Piston Earbuds definitely clears out the Xiaomi Pistons. All three Pistons has the same in-line mic and buttons with full support for Android Devices and limited support for iOS devices. The cord is made from Kevlar with a layer of fibre around it to improve resistance against strains

The 1more Piston Earbuds are one good pair of earbuds, but it's not for everyone. If you appreciate good mid and highs, but not looking to spend big money of expensive earphones, you should give this a try. If you're a bass-heavy person, then you should look at other options out there. For only RMB 99 (approx. USD 15), this retro looking device might just be the right one to go for if you're in the market for a cheap pair of earbuds.