1MORE captured comfort and sound with their Spearhead VR Gaming Headset. However, you need to use a USB connection to gain most of the functions and a PC for full utility.
If I have learned one thing from all of the items I have reviewed, it is that our experiences tend to be unique. Why is it that you can scan through reviews on Amazon, Best Buy, or a variety of other online retailers and see scores ranging from 1-5? It is true that some of the reviews are faked/inflated and some people use the review as a way to punish the company. It is equally true that sometimes a defective item reaches the end user. I will often give a company a pass when their customer service provides customer-centric care and makes us whole. I have also found that in other instances, someone had unreasonable expectations for a piece of tech. Either way, I have found that items can have a variety of uses, sometimes unintended ones, even for the same tasks. It is this reason that I love to review tech, philosophy aside. From movies to music to gaming, I have found that there are two major requirements for a set of headphones. The first and perhaps most important feature for any good pair of headphones is the comfort and fit. It does not matter how amazing the device sounds if you cannot stand to use it. The quality of the sound and all of the extra bells and whistles thus assume a backseat position to the comfort. 1MORE has created a brand loyalist in me because of their consistent ability to achieve these goals. The SPEARHEAD VR Over-Ear Headphones was another example of 1MORE excellence.
The device arrived in an exquisitely designed 9 1/4 inches wide by 10 5/16 inches tall by 4 inches wide retail package. The cover displayed a glossy 4 1/2 inch wide by 8 1/2 inches tall side view of the headphones, upon a black/red base. The geometrically alternating design featured black sections that felt like grip tape and glossy red sections with a creative gradient. Toward the lower right corner, I was pleased to see the product name in white/red font and along the upper left corner, a bold white 1MORE logo. Rotating the box ninety degrees clockwise, the right side panel listed the product name and three useful icons: Maglev Vibrating Graphene Driver, ENC Dual Microphone Technology and 7.1 surround sound. Located along the bottom of the panel, I found instructions recommending to download their software and listed the product compatibilities. Using a USB cable, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10 PC’s can provide 7.1 surround, synchronized vibrating effect, and lighting. If using Mac, MacBook, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360, or Xbox One (The stereo adaptor was not included) you can enjoy music and microphone use. If you use a 3.5mm connection, you can enjoy sound and utilize the microphone with PC, Mac, MacBook, Smartphones, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360. The opposite side panel housed the magnetic flap and was covered with the same grip tape material as the cover. I appreciated that 1MORE chose to leave the top, bottom and side panels bare. Rather than providing a busy, overpopulated surface, we were provided with a classy succinct visual experience.
Turning the product onto to the cover, I excitedly perused the back panel. Similar to the cover, the 1MORE title was boldly evident along the upper left. Along the middle of the panel, they included a diagramed 4 1/2 inches wide by 5 inches tall infero-oblique-profile view of the headphones. The rim around the ear ups and the microphone utilized LED lighting and according to the packaging can assume 16 million customizable colors. The red microphone image on the box reminded me of Darth Maul and Darth Vaders Lightsaber. In addition to the LED lighting, I learned about the fingerprint-resistant foldable hinge, metallic headband, 360 degree rotating ventilated ear cushions, cushioned headband, “50mm Graphene Vibrating driver for VR shock wave and deep bass,” and the ENC dual microphone noise reduction technology. The 324-gram over-ear headphones promise full spectrum sound ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz and comes with a two meter USB cable and 1.3 meter 3.5mm Audio cable. Opening the magnetic flap, the cover rolled away leaving a clear window display of the Spearhead VR device. The inner face of the flap employed the same 1MORE flare that I have come to love and expect. I loved the red pencil drawings upon the black background and enjoyed the paragraph from Luca Bignardi promoting the need for this device. Whether you desire a gaming headset or an immersive movie/music experience, the 1MORE Spearhead VR headset promised to be the device I needed and wanted.
I removed the thin plastic outer window and set the black plastic headphone tray and the 8 3/4 inches wide by 6 1/2 inches long by 1-inch thick trapezoidal accessory box to the side. Within the box, I found a 56 1/2 inches long 3.5mm to 3.5 mm cable, an 81 1/2 inches long micro-USB to USB-A cable, a 9 1/2 inches wide by 10 1/8 inches tall drawstring bag, 1MORE bear sticker, a ten-panel product line guide with QR code and an eight language instruction manual. The instruction manual showed the contents on the first page and provided a diagram of the headphones on page two, detailing the USB Cable input port, the retractable LED lighting tube, the microphone toggle and the bass/vibration effect scroll button (Only work on PC). The manual then detailed the setup for the drivers, headband adjustment, limited warranty, FAQ and FCC/WEEE acknowledgments. After evaluating the instruction manual, I turned to the headset. I loved that the company used two rows for the soft headband and the outer support band. The ear cups were soft, and the foam both surrounded and cradled my ears nicely. Each ear cup was capable of bending in any direction and essentially provided a custom experience. Listening to “Masked Singer” in the background, I added the headphones to my head and covered my ears. I was pleased to find that I was unable to hear the show at 5 feet from the TV, which was at low-intermediate volume.
While plugged into my iPhone 10 XS Max, I navigated to Amazon Music and attempted to listen to a few of my typical test tracks. I tried to use a knock-off lightning to 3.5mm adaptor, and I received a notification that “THIS ACCESSORY IS NOT SUPPORTED BY THIS PHONE.” If I used an Apple brand dongle, I did not see that warning. I completed the next steps of testing using my iPhone XS Max (with Apple dongle) as well as with the headphones plugged into the 3.5mm port of my iPad Pro 10.5 inch. Outside of the PC features, the headphone features on my smartphone and iPad Pro 10.5 inch device were average to above average. I turned to audiocheck.net and utilized their Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz), and the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz) to evaluate the frequency range of the device. I was able to hear sound starting at 30Hz while attached via 3.5mm cable. This did not provide the full bass that I expected but did provide a full high-frequency experience (15kHz). Even though the packaging promises 20kHz, anyone who can read is likely not capable of hearing up to that frequency. Barring barotrauma, we steadily lose upper range acuity first, and most of us will be able to hear up to 16kHz and maybe a little higher. Using the Left/Right Stereo Audio Test, I found that the channels were programmed correctly. Using the Stereo Perception and Sound Localization test with the “Original Binaural Recording,” I enjoyed the surround feeling of the knock test. The Spearhead VR device passed the above tests on both the iPhone and iPad using the 3.5mm cable. However, the experience was drastically enhanced on my MacBook Pro, when using a USB connection.
To test the bass, I love to start with Holly Cole “Train Song,” to appreciate the bounding stand-up baseline. There is simply something special about the rhythmic percussive bass line and the lounge style song. Next, I turned to Cee Lo Green “Bright Lights Bigger City,” the theme to “Beverly Hills Cop,” Jokers Theme “Why So Serious” from the Dark Knight Rises, and the opening scene from Star Wars Episode II Attack of the clones. For an exceptional bass experience and an incredibly low growl note, I would encourage you to go to YouTube and watch Home Free “Ring of Fire.” Even better than Josh Turner, I have come to appreciate the talents of Tim Foust and his deep bass support. Many people can belt out a high note, fewer can attain the feats of David Phelps, but it seems that Tim Foust falls into the Unicorn category. To test the upper sounds and overall driver blend, I like to use instrumental soundtracks such as those from Far and Away, Braveheart, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, John Phillips Sousa Marches and multiple selections from John Williams. To test the stereo quality of the headphones, I like to use Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and to test the quality/staging I regularly use Yosi Horikawa “Bubbles” and “Wandering.” To further test the quality of the headphones, I turned to Michael Jackson “Thriller” and Depeche Mode “People are People” and felt like I was listening to them as they were meant to be heard. Lately, I have been in an Acapella mood and have gravitated toward Pentatonix, Home Free, Anthem Lights, The Gospel Plowboys, and Dave’s Highway.
During music testing, I found that the highs were smooth and well balanced with the strong bass. I was not able to listen to volumes above six clicks on my MacBook Pro, as the sound was too strong, which was unexpected. I liked that I could use the volume wheel on the headset or the buttons on my MacBook Pro to adjust the volume. With the microphone toggle set to the off position, the LED light tube glowed an enjoyable red/pink color and when set to the on position the LED light extinguished. This provided a nice visual cue that the microphone was on/off. It became quickly evident that the device was meant to be a PC gaming headset, with amazing sound output via USB and passable sound output via the 3.5mm port. If your aim was a gaming headset, I believe that you would enjoy the Spearhead VR. If you wanted the best over-ear sound for day-to-day smartphone/tablet listening experience, there are more portable and higher quality wired/wireless systems on the market. I was incredibly surprised with the quality of the sound when listening on my MacBook Pro. The padded foam ear pads proved to be comfortable, surrounded the ears well and provided a degree of passive noise cancellation. My favorite feature of the earphones was the springy headband, which provided a comfortable grip without the typical weight resting upon the head. Most headphones expand at the hinge point and sometimes catch hair inside of the hinge. The 1MORE Spearhead VR headphones did not have the same hinge pattern and thus did not have the same shortcomings.
To use the device with my Xbox One, I had to purchase a headset audio controller plus (stereo receiver). I went to BestBuy and found a Turtle Beach controller for $39.99. I had to plug my controller into my Xbox One via USB cable, the sound controller into the Xbox controller and then the 3.5mm port into the sound controller. The controller then took about a minute to update. I played Titanfall and Overwatch and enjoyed the experience. I also tested the device on my Nintendo Switch and found the experience to be similar to the smartphone experience. When the device was plugged in using 3.5mm port, there was no illumination of the LED, and the scroll wheel did not work. When plugged in via USB, sound output drastically improved, the LED illuminated, and I gained the use of the sound wheel. I loved that you could click the scroll wheel and access a second scroll wheel for the bass. Without having a PC, I did not get any use out of the second wheel. As noted above, this device is designed for the PC gamer/user and has utility for nearly everyone else. I hope to obtain a PC to test the drivers, and I would love for them to update their system to allow me to fully use the surround system on my MacBook Pro. I was very impressed with the comfort, design, and packaging. In fact, the 1More headset may have been one of the most comfortable headphones that I have tested thus far. I wish that there was a dampener within the headband spring, as certain movements did cause a metallic bouncing noise. This was not as noticeable when listening to music. Lastly, It is important to note that the LED light bar is just for looks and is not the microphone (small black cylinder behind the earcup). Ultimately, you will have to decide what your main use would be.