Today we are going to be checking out the C1002, one of 1More’s many hybrid offerings. The C1002 utilizes a single balanced armature and single dynamic driver to produce a clean, crisp, detailed sound.
The idea behind 1More’s products is to represent music with “unrivaled precision”. They teamed up with Luca Bignardi, a Grammy award winning sound engineer, on their products to create a house sound that focuses on a realistic balance between all frequencies. They claim to avoid the boosted extremes that other manufacturers products suffer from, giving you a sound that you can enjoy without having to crank the volume up to unhealthy levels.
1More’s audio goals are well-presented in the C1002 Capsule.
I would like to thank Tyler on 1More USA’s Support Team for hooking me up with a C1002 in exchange for a fair and impartial review. I am not receiving any financial compensation for this review and all comments and views within are my honest opinions. They are not representative of 1More or any other entity.
The C1002 Capsule currently retails for 89.99 USD. Check it out here on 1More’s site.
Packaging and Accessories:
The package an earphone arrives in is of little importance to many. Some prefer a simple, low-cost solution because it means more of the cost of development can be applied to the earphone. It also mean means they can toss it out without remorse once they have the goods tucked away inside. Some like a flashy package that provides an involving and in-depth unboxing experience. You feel like you are getting something special, a thought reinforced once you have the earphone in your ears and are listening to your favorite tunes. Me? I like a little of both and can appreciate when a company has taken the time to ensure the entire ownership experience is memorable. I think the 1More did a good job of this with the C1002 Capsule.
The package looks simple enough, luxuriously appointed in blacks and greys with a glossy high quality image of the C1002 on the front with some specifications and information on the back. Sliding off the outer sheath reveals a two part box about the size of a hardcover book. The grey split between the two halves looks fantastic and invites curiosity as to what is inside.
Lifting off lid you find the C1002 on display, wrapped around a silver plate. Flip back the silver plate and you find the rest of the Kevlar reinforced cable wrapped around a raised section holding the spare tips, a metal shirt clip and two silicone sleeves. Looking back at the lid you will find two storage sections holding a leatherette carrying case and instruction manual.
The tips, which come in xs/s/m/l are made of a fairly thin but well-sealing silicone. The metal shirt clip is reminiscent of that which came with the Xiaomi Piston 2.0 and is a very nice addition, coming across much more premium than the inexpensive plastic clips that are included with countless earphones. The silicone sleeves fit on the earpieces well, adding some protection from drops and scratches. They also keep the earpieces securely in place during vigorous activity.
Overall it’s a really nice package. Well-designed, attractive, and with a comprehensive accessory kit full of items that are of good quality while also being useful.
Build, Design, Comfort and Isolation:
Upon first holding the C1002 I was immediately impressed with the light but solid feel they exuded. I thought only the outer half of each earpiece shell would be metal, but nope, turns out everything is. This combined with compact dimensions, solid strain relief, and a Kevlar reinforced cable inspires lots of confidence that they will stand the test of time.
The design itself is very simple, but wow does it ever result in a comfortable and fairly attractive little hybrid. The two-tone earpieces are about the size of a large pill (hence Capsule) with the nozzle extruding at a near 45 degree angle. The strain relief is oddly enough also located at the front of the housing, opposite of the nozzle. This allows the earpiece to sit unimpeded in your outer ear. It’s a very thoughtful design. Also thoughtful are the magnets tucked into the rear of each housing. When not in use, the allow the C1002 to be “clipped” around your neck for storage. The magnets are strong enough to hold together during regular activity. If you happen to snag the cable on something they will quickly release to prevent any damage.
Isolation is pretty average with the stock tips. The C1002’s design means it doesn’t insert very far into your ear canal. When combined with the thin silicone used on the stock tips sound will leak in. Toss on some Comply foam ear tips and isolation increases drastically, as expected.
My only real complaint with the C1002 brings us back around to that cable. Overall it is well behaved with limited memory and decent tangle resistance. Microphonics, or cable noise, is very intrusive. Even sitting at my desk, noise travels up the cable and through the earpiece, highlighting every shift of my body. This can be minimized greatly by wearing the C1002 over-ear, but I found swapping channels was required to maintain their outstanding fit and comfort.
Microphone and Remote Performance:
The inline remote and microphone worked very well. Ergonomics on the remote are excellent with each button easy to find without looking. Functionality with my HTC One M8 was pretty comprehensive, though I couldn’t seek through tracks to a specific point within a song. Call quality was very good with callers saying I was coming through loud and clear. Given how intrusive cable noise is coming through the earpieces, I was expecting the microphone to pick up quite a bit but that was not at all the case. Bumping the cable, hitting it against my chest, shaking my head; none of that was picked up.
I didn’t have a windstorm handy so I don’t know how they would stack up to my benchmark JVC HA-FRD60 when it comes to minimizing wind noise, but I suspect the C1002 would pass with flying colors.
The C1002 is designed to work with iOs and Android devices that follow the CTIA standard.
Tips: 1More’s stock tips are a perfect match for the C1002; not really the norm. I tried my usual favorites, like those from the UE600, Havi’s dual-flange set from the B3, and some others, but I always came back to the pre-installed stock mediums. Comply’s 400 and 500 series tips would stay on just fine and sounded good, dulling treble somewhat. Note that this particular model isn’t yet found on Comply’s compatibility list. I can’t guarantee they won’t slide off and get stuck in your ear, though that’s not a problem I’ve run into yet.
Amping: The C1002 was easily driven to blistering volumes from my phone, and amping didn’t seem to add any auditory benefits. Not needed.
1More has really been gaining some ground and great respect with their earphones as of late. Just take a look at the reviews of their double- and triple-driver hybrids which have been exceedingly well-received. The C1002 Capsule is another product that I suspect will continue to uphold 1More’s reputation for quality hybrids as more customers get their hands on them.
The general signature of the C1002 is one that is slightly bright with a natural midrange and bass that rolls off early giving the impression of a mild mid-bass hump. They are wonderfully balanced with each aspect of their sound vying equally for your attention. Treble stands tall offering listeners a tight and accurate presentation. It leans towards a thinner presentation which really helps showcase the amount of detail and impressive clarity on offer. At high volumes I noticed the C1002 had a tendency to get a little peaky, but there shouldn’t be any reason to listen that loud as it performs best medium to lower volumes. It’s also best to feed them high quality, well-recorded files since they’re not overly forgiving and pull out flaws.
Their midrange is exceptionally clear with absolutely no interference from the low end. The lightly enhanced treble doesn’t overshadow it in any way either. I didn’t find that either male or female vocals were more emphasized or given precedent and both sounded refreshingly accurate without coming across overly thin and light or too weighty. Guitars strum along amazingly well with minute details, such as fingers siding up and down the strings, being picked up easily. The C1002’s midrange is surprisingly musical.
The C1002’s low end continues the trend of being engaging, quick, accurate, and well-weighted, but it lacks extension bringing us to my only qualm with their sound. Mid-bass is punchy and well textured, but when a song calls for some deep bass, it trails off and fizzles out way too early. This helps prevent fatigue during longer listening sessions, but it also hinders my enjoyment somewhat when listening to bass-reliant music.
Dunu Titan 1 (~130 USD): The Titan 1 utilizes a single, fairly large 13mm, titanium-coated dynamic driver and features a semi-open, earbud style design. The large, flat housings are comfortable, but I feel the C1002 will be more appropriate across a wider variety for ear types. The Titan1 has more prominent, impactful bass that extends significantly deeper than on the C1002. The C1002 places about the same emphasis on their treble but it’s thinner, more sparkly, and even more lively. Their midrange is also more forward and detailed than experienced on the Titan 1. The C1002 is slightly more natural sounding as the Titan 1 comes across a little dry and sterile. The Titan 1’s soundstage and presentation is much larger and more grandiose than the C1002’s more intimate showing. The C1002’s smaller sounstage comes across more accurate though, placing instruments and sounds more accurately. The C1002 requires more power to drive to the same volumes.
LZ A2S (~70 USD): The A2S and C1002 couldn’t be much more different. Where the C1002 is bright and detailed with de-emphasized bass, and A2S is warm and bassy with an overly smooth presentation that comes across a little dull to my ears. The A2S is extremely thick sounding next to the C1002, or conversely the C1002 comes across overly thin. 1More’s earphone has better resolution and detail with improved instrument separation and imaging, though the A2S’s midrange is very addictive. It carries a more realistic tonality and weight to it. The C1002’s treble presentation is light-years ahead of the A2S. Despite being much brighter, the C1002 is nearly as non-fatiguing despite the additional detail and sparkle. The A2S’s more traditional barrel shape is very comfortable and works equally well in either cable up or cable down situations. The C102 again requires more power to drive to the same volumes.
Huawei Honor AM175 (45.99 USD): The Capsule focuses on providing a rich treble experience with more presence, greater extension, and more impressive clarity and detail. It’s clear the BA driver is the primary focus and as a result the C1002 takes on a less warm presentation. The AM175 has a thicker and more weighty, realistic midrange with greater extension in the bass. The C1002 has a deceptively small soundstage coming across larger than it is, probably due to the thinner presentation. The C1002 is quicker but the lack of bass extension is too noticeable. The cable is also much too noisy and intrusive compared to the AM175s in daily use. Both require similar power to drive.
The 1More C1002 Capsule is an excellent hybrid earphone catering well to someone looking for a balanced sound; just be prepared to sacrifice some bass extension. Their outstanding detail and clarity is backed by a durable and comfortable design, a thoughtful and useful accessory kit, and a limited 1 year warranty adding some additional security. If you can excuse some cable noise, these would work well for daily use and exercise in addition to critical listening in the comfort of your home.
Thanks for reading!
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Some Test Albums:
BT – This Binary Universe
The Uncluded – Hokey Fright
Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Evil Nine – They Live
Aesop Rock – Daylight EP
Gramatik – The Edge of Reason
Infected Mushroom – The Legend of the Black Shawarma
King Crimson – Red / Lark’s Tongues in Aspic
Warlock – Triumph and Agony
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Gonna Eat That?
Rob Sonic – Alice in Thunderdome