1More PistonBuds Pro Q30 Bluetooth 5.3 42dB ANC IPX5 TWS

General Information


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100+ Head-Fier
Convincing budget stem-based in-ear with best in class WNR
Pros: Strong, customisable ANC
Most effective wind-noise reduction I've tried
Enjoyable, Harman-inspired sound & decent spatial audio
Good build quality and comfortable fit
Capacitive touch controls
Effective low-latency mode
Quick charge
Polished app experience
Cons: Battery Life could be slightly higher
Case is a little fiddly
Environmental Noise Reduction is a little aggressive
Limited touch control customisation
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Model: 1More PistonBuds Pro Q30
Price: £49.99 (Currently £39.99 at Amazon UK)
Review Reference: RC117

Manufacturer Specification:
  • Brand: 1More
  • Model: PistonBuds Pro Q30 EC305
  • Driver: 10mm DLC Dynamic Driver
  • Chipset: Not known
  • Mic: 6 mic AI ENC
  • ANC: Yes - Up to 42dB with multiple modes
  • Codecs: AAC, SBC
  • App Support: Yes
  • Multipoint: Yes
  • Customisable Controls: Yes (limited)
  • Gaming Mode: Yes
  • In-Ear Detection: Yes
  • Earbud Weight: 4.74g
  • Earbud Dimensions: 28.6mm stem length
  • Gross Case & Buds Weight: 41.5g
  • Case Dimensions: 61.1mm {maximum} (width) x 42.7mm (height) x 23.8mm (depth)
  • Case Charge Capacity: 410mAh
  • Quick Charge: Yes - 2 hours playtime from 10min
  • Wireless Charging: No
  • Charge Time: approx. 60 minutes (buds and case)
  • Single Use Playtime: Up to 7.5 hours (ANC off) 5 hours (ANC on)
  • Playtime with Charge Case: Up to 30/20 hours
  • Bluetooth Range: 10m advertised
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth® 5.3
  • Bluetooth Protocols: BLE/ HFP 1.7/ A2DP 1.3/ AVRCP 1.5
  • Water Resistance: IPX5
  • Firmware Version Tested: V1.0.2

1 x Pair Wireless Earbuds
1 x USB Type-C Charge Case
1 x USB Type-C Charge Cable
3 x Eartip Pairs (SML)
1 x User Manual
1 x Sticker

YouTube Review:


Not one to flood the market with release after release, when one does arrive from 1More it usually delivers. In 2023, they've registered only a handful of new releases - SoundPEATS and Soundcore have both churned out about 6 stem-based models alone since the Aero arrived last November - but whilst they may be low on quantity, each release has been categorised by strong performance and competitive pricing - offering a very compelling choice in this ultra-competitive market.

The PistonBuds Pro Q30 aren't the first PistonBuds Pro, and they aren't the first Q30, so it might be difficult finding them through the usual search engine methods! They are a sub $50 stem-based TWS with quite the feature set for the price - including up to 42dB adaptive ANC, 10mm DLC drivers, Spatial Audio, in-ear detection, IPX5 moisture resistance and 6 mics with AI ENC.

There's quite the competition at this price, with the Soundcore Space A40 and SoundPEATS Air4 Pro already established, and low-cost alternatives like QCY HT05 and Moondrop Space Travel offering good performance at an even lower price.

Even so, the Q30 are quickly becoming a favourite of mine, combining the best bits of many of their alternatives, and applying the famed Luca Bignardi tuning 'cherry-on-top' to make them a strong option if you're on a budget, but can push the boat out a little beyond the usual $30 suspects.



The Q30 come in a small, well-presented exterior cardboard enclosure that takes a little patience (and/or long nails) to open! Inside, there's the usual fare of a small USB A to C charge cable, Small and Large tip pairs to complement the factory fitted Medium, and an instruction manual in around 15 different languages. It's quite the professional unboxing experience, albeit without the storytelling magic they included on the Fit Open S50.

Charge Case


The charge case is an adroit-looking affair, standing just over 4cm tall and measuring 6cm across and 2.4cm in depth. It's finished in matte black across the body, and already there are a few shiny scuff marks. On top of the lid, there's a shiny 'glass table style' contrast, with a transparent layer protecting the 1More logo.

It isn't especially heavy, weighing just over 40g fully loaded, and its shallow depth makes it a good candidate for popping in your pocket whilst you're out and about, without weighing you down or feeling overly obtrusive. There's a small LED built into the front, which glows green when the battery is at 80-100%, turning amber at 80% then red at 20%. The USB socket is located, alongside a reset button, at the base. This means you can't stand it up whilst it is plugged in, and it doesn't support wireless charging either.


It's a familiar sight when you open the cockpit - the buds stand back-to-back, with the tips pointing outwards. The narrow frame of the case - a benefit in terms of portability - becomes an annoyance when it comes to usability - you have to pinch your fingertips a little to grip the buds and manage to prise them away from the strong magnets and out of the case. From a usability perspective, it's not ideal - probably the least impressive thing about the Q30 as a package - but 1More are far from alone in this respect, with the much-lauded Moondrop Space Travel, amongst others, offering a similar experience. With time, you'll learn to pinch from the cylindrical area, as demonstrated in my YouTube review, and those frustrations will magically disappear.

The case does support hall-switch mode though, meaning the connection takes place the moment you open the lid, rather than a few seconds after you plonk them in your ears, so when you're setting them up for the first time you have this nice juxtaposition of the buds standing there in front of you in the case whilst you browse the visual user guide in the app, and it makes for a very pleasant first impression.

Design & Ergonomics


The Q30 are an interesting-looking stem-based TWS, with a very short stem (29mm) and a stick-like outer frame that abandons the integrated, 'curved top' approach adopted by Apple, SoundPEATS, and many others. The benefit of a non-integrated design is that you can adjust by pinching your forefinger on the top and thumb on the bottom without registering accidental touches on the touch controls, located towards the top. This makes wearing and adjusting the buds considerably less frustrating.

The design is matte black and gold, with gold tips to the top of the cylinders and the 1More logo etched across the centre of them. There's a hole for the ambient mics at the top, and an opening for the voice mic at the bottom. The nozzles are quite large - similar to the Huawei FreeBuds Pro series - so you'll likely need a larger tip than usual to keep them in place. I sized up to the largest stock tip, and this did the trick for me.


I found the Q30 to be quite comfortable, and great for long listening sessions. The profile does mean they will stick out a little, similar in that respect to the Moondrop Space Travel, but they're shorter and protrude slightly less than the MST. Neither are aesthetic stunners, but the shorter stem at least makes them a little less obvious.

They're also quite lightweight - under 5g each - and IPX5 rated, so using them at the gym or on the daily commute shouldn't shorten the lifespan. I did try them in the gym and whilst out for a run - they're usable, but the constant pounding against the tarmac loosened the grip, making them rather impractical after a while. For weights or resistance bar sessions, they're a far better fit, but check out my review on the S50 if you're looking for something for exercise - they're a much better tailored option.

The controls are a little limited, but the touch controls are well-positioned, minimising accidental touches, and they're capacitive too - meaning if you wear a hood or beanie with them, they aren't going to register every time you move your head. Double-tap is for play or pause and call functions, holding the left side cycles your ANC modes. Triple-tap by default hails voice assistant. Both double- and triple-tap are customisable in the app, allowing you to add volume control, although you'll still be left unable to cycle through your tracks. If you don't care too much for what you're listening to, this shouldn't be an issue, but I know some will bemoan the restricted customisation options - if you're one of those people, do bear this in mind.


The Q30 take the usual blanket ANC and tailor it into something usable, with a choice of manual ANC setting options depending on your scene, as well as their 'QuietMax' Adaptive ANC, providing a customisable and comfortable experience respectively.

The maximum strength of the ANC (deep mode) is listed as 42dB in strength. In reality, I found it competed with the likes of SoundPEATS Air4 Pro and Soundcore Liberty 4NC, and blew away the Soundcore Space A40 and Moondrop Space Travel. On the daily commute, it's particularly impressive, reducing traffic and road noises comfortably. Even in indoor settings, mechanical keyboard clicks are reduced to taps.

The selection of modes are also quite useful. Wind Noise Reduction, in particular, is incredibly effective - reducing wind noise substantially whilst still retaining some noise reduction. Adaptive mode also worked pretty well and basically instant, ramping up the noise reduction based on the complexity of the scene.

Transparency on this model is OK - whilst voices sound very natural close by (and at a reasonable distance), I could hear a low-rumble white noise undertone. I'm not a big transparency user anyway, but this is something worth bearing in mind if you're especially sensitive to it

Audio & Sound Signature


The Q30 are a bassy, Harman-inspired TWS that deliver a warm, engaging sound thanks to the 10mm DLC drivers and Luca Bignardi tuning that is applied to each and every 1More release.

The lower frequencies are boosted, especially the midbass. The subbass has plenty of depth and a sizeable amount of thump, and big room house tracks like Oliver Heldens' Gecko sound rumbling and thick, although the decay is probably a shade excessive for my tastes. Despite the fat left in the bass, there's still decent harmonic performance, and it doesn't sound too boxy or bloated. This tuning particularly favours EDM, pop and hip hop, but if you're a fan of rock and 80's tracks that are heavy on synths and bass guitars, have in mind they might not sound as natural as they could. The DLC driver does a good job of minimising distortion.

The mids are quite balanced, leaning towards the Harman target's neutral response, with decent extension in the upper registers. Vocals, guitars and pianos articulate well, with clarity and presence, giving a balanced reproduction of instruments and voices. Male vocals have good depth and body, but sit back a little. Female vocals are more forward and gaspy, but rarely sound too shouty. It's a pretty smooth and natural midrange sound.

The trebles also try to follow the target curve as much as possible, giving decent definition to synths, cymbals, hats and strings and providing a little air and sparkle. Percussion has good texture, and whilst the detail is good for a budget set - don't expect too much. It's a single driver arrangement in a TWS, so you aren't going to get supremely textured bass and sparkly trebles - instead the Q30 are tuned with energy, warmth and vibrance in mind. This translates well to most music styles, offering a versatile listening experience, and this versatility extends further in the 1More Music app, which gives you 12 preset EQ's as well as a ten band custom equaliser.

If the bass is too heavy for you - how about 'Bass Reducer'? This gives you a 7dB notch in the subbass and around 3dB in the midbass, retaining some warmth but losing the subwoofer-style sound that characterises this set. It's a good alternative if you're bass sensitive. 'Acoustic' inverts the bass, giving you an elevated subbass but rolling off the low and midbass before crossing over at around 200Hz and elevating the midrange by 3dB up to around 500Hz. The presets aren't amazing - but they're usable - and worth a play around with to see if any of them take your fancy, before embarking on tuning them yourself.

There's one other audio option available - Spatial Audio. 1More recommends using this with optimised sources - such as panoramic music or films - but you can apply it to normal listening and you will notice the difference, giving a more immersive experience. Testing it with Yusef Lateef's Bishop School, it enhanced the experience sizeable, opening out the staging with the flutes, vocals and percussion separating around me. It's definitely one of the more usable Spatial modes out there, enhancing the experience where applicable, as opposed to being a gimmick nobody should consider using (ahem, Soundcore). Spatial Mode also has the perhaps intended consequence that the pronounced low frequency response is tightened up quite a bit - it's become my de facto method of using these buds, something I never thought I would say!

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Another popular model in this price category is the SoundPEATS Air4 Pro, and the Q30 show some similarities in the tuning, with both loosely following Harman 2019, albeit with much less lower frequency response on the Air4 Pro. This is quite noticeable, with the Air4 Pro sounding a bit cleaner and sharper, whereas the Q30 has the subwoofer-style bass of the Engine4. If you prefer a brighter sound, the Air 4 Pro may well be a better bet. The Air4 Pro have a thinner nozzle too - this may or may not be a preferred fit for you. Check out my review on the Air and try to decide which fit suits you best, as there is no right or wrong answer here - fit is very subjective.

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One of the budget buds that has left reviewers salivating this year is the Moondrop Space Travel, and again, there's plenty of similarities. The Q30 has more robust bass response, and a slightly more natural upper midrange. Both suffer a little with congested tracks, but even so remain excellent budget options. The Q30 are probably worth paying the extra due to the amount of useful additional features, as well as the vastly superior battery life.

Call Quality

The Q30 has 6 microphones and boasts AI environmental noise reduction, designed to provide clearer, more intelligible voice calls. In quiet rooms, the Q30 did pretty well, recreating my voice without any issues. Both outdoors and indoors, though, whilst the noise reduction was very evident, it was perhaps a little too evident, softening my voice to the point I wasn't always fully comprehensible.

I've included a few voice call samples in my YouTube review, where you'll note that wind noise was handled pretty well.

Other Features

The Q30 have a bunch of features usually reserved for more expensive offerings - not just Spatial Audio, which we've already covered. They also have good Multipoint connectivity, moving from phone to laptop quickly and efficiently when the need arises. This is activated by simply toggling it in the 'Experimental Features' section of the 1More app.

I've covered much of the app throughout this and previous reviews, but it's a 'no frills' experience - there's no need to sign up to anything you don't want to, everything is displayed very clearly (including case battery level, which a lot of apps don't offer), and whilst there's not a huge amount of customisation in the way something like the Technics AZ80 and their app give you, what you can change is done efficiently and effectively. You've got lots of straightforward control over sound and ANC, some control customisation and can toggle smart playback. The default setting for smart playback is auto-pause and auto-play - i.e. when you take a single earbud out, your track will pause, and when you put it back in your ear, it will resume playback. You can switch this off, or set it to auto-pause only. It's one of the better-done in-ear-detection options on the market - one of the few I actually leave switched on.

Connectivity is Bluetooth 5.3, and again, no issues whatsoever with drop outs or anything like that, even in congested areas. Latency is excellent - I saw no delay in lip synchronisation on videos and even casual gaming was OK without gaming mode. Toggle gaming mode, and basic games like Roblox and PubG get close to synchronisation. I'm not a gamer by any means, but I do usually notice misalignment issues, but the Q30 seemed to perform to my expectations.

Battery Life

Battery life is often the Achilles heel with budget sets, and whilst the Q30 did give me just short of 7 hours with ANC switched off (Spatial switched on), with ANC and multipoint both activated, I only got just shy of 4.5 hours. Whilst this isn't bad by any means, bear in mind that the use of these additional features, as well as making and taking calls, will erode your total battery life with the case to around the 18-20 hour mark.

That said, 1More have offset this a little by including an excellent Quick Charge feature - giving you two hours of playtime from 10 minutes plugged in - and have also reduced the total charge time down to 1 hour. For me, I can't think of too many real-life instances where I regularly don't have access to a USB socket for an hour over a prolonged period of time, so this more than balances out the slightly-below-average total battery life.


The Q30 are a very solid choice in the sub $50 category, giving you a step up from the better performing $30 sets with the inclusion of some very useful features, such as (effective) Wind Noise Reduction, Quick Charge, Spatial Audio and comprehensive sound customisation in the 1More Music app.

The Harman-inspired tuning gives you a warm, mild v-shape sound that translates well to most music styles, and ANC is also very good for the money. Call Quality isn't bad - handling those environmental sounds well, albeit a bit aggressively. Overall, the Q30 are definitely worthy of consideration if your budget is tight, but not too tight.

Other 1More Regancipher Reviews:

Fit Open S50
ComfoBuds 2
Comfobuds Pro
Omthing Airfree

About 1More:

In the past years, as a professional headphones brand, 1MORE has won many international awards, including 38 International Design Awards (such as iDEA, Red Dot Design Award, GOOD DESIGN AWARD, iF Design Awards and etc.), 12 CES Awards, 3 EHA Awards and 19 VGP Awards.

In addition, many of 1MORE’s headphones have been receiving awards from top-tier media outlets across the world and are being highly recommended by those editors who rigorously tested our products to ensure they meet the highest standards in the headphone market. These media include but are not limited to Forbes, Rolling Stone, WIRED, Digital Trends, CNET and more.

4-time Grammy Award-winning Sound Engineer Luca Bignardi uniquely tunes all of 1MORE’s headphones to deliver a precise representation of the artist’s intended sound.

1MORE has branches in the US, the UK and China. Our channels reach 40 countries and regions, including the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Australia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.
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Reactions: ticoss
Awesome review, how would you compare these Pistonbuds Pro Q30 to the Soundpeats Air 4 Pro? On paper they have the same specs sans the APTX codex.
@tronth thanks! I added a bit more on the Air4 Pro comparison, including a link to my review of them. Both are very good, it comes down to your preferred sound and fit really as ANC strength and call quality are quite similar


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