Acorn E1 Review

Model: E1
Brand: Acorn Audio
RRP: £29.99
Review Score: 4.2/5
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Best Earphones Guide Star Buy - 4.2/5

The wood gives the sound a wonderful warmth and natural tone - EQ is required to tame the bass, but we love them for it.

Acorn Audio specialise in producing wooden smartphone accessories. Find out what we think of these gorgeous wooden earphones by reading the full Acorn E1 review.

Acorn Audio have made it their mission to provide a range of unique mobile device accessories that use wood in their construction instead of plastic. Alongside their range of beautiful wooden smartphone cases, sit the E1 earphones. They are beautifully presented and built to perform one single task – listen to music.

Given that Acorn Audio make wooden cases for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, it is no surprise that the E1 earphones are targeted at that same audience.

The packaging is very clean looking (see the images in the slideshow at the bottom of the page) and Apple like giving a great product experience before you even get inside the box.

Once opened, the earphones themselves are very nicely presented in a fitted foam insert, with the cable tucked away underneath.

Understated Design – Stylish Wooden Earphones

Acorn E1 Earphones - outsideThe Acorn E1 earphones are built very well – the materials used are all high quality & feel well made. The finish is very good – particularly on the wooden parts. All the wooden edges are very cleanly finished and look as though a great deal of care has been taken over them. The black metal section that fits into the wood is also very neatly finished. The completed earpieces feel very solid yet remain very lightweight – surprisingly light in fact.

Acorn have opted for a more traditional silicone cable instead of a woven alternative. The cable is again very light – you don’t feel the weight when wearing the earphones. We also tend to find that silicone cables are a little less microphonic (picking noises by bumping/scraping the cable in use) than woven cables so this is an extra plus in our book. The strain relief where the cable splits is nicely understated and remains unnoticed in use as it should. The 3.5mm jack plug is of the shallower angle type rather than the regular straight or right angled type – this newer type of plug seems to becoming more common with manufacturers…we like them and tend to find them more flexible in use.

One thing that is potentially a little surprising is the lack of microphone and control button. The Acorn E1 earphones have been built for listening to music – not for having phone calls.

E1 Sound

So, onto the important bit – how do they sound? Given that the Acorn Audio E1’s are made of wood, we would expect them to sound warmer and have more bass than their metal or plastic rivals – this is most definitely the case. On first listen the initial opinion was that there is too much bass – there’s loads of it. However, if you dip the bass a little with your EQ settings the sound becomes a lot more balanced (see more detailed listening & EQ notes at the bottom of the page).

The overall character of the sound is very warm and soft. The stereo image is very wide which when combined with the massive depth gives you a really large sound stage. While the bass is very big, it still manages to sound natural – it isn’t as punchy as other metal earphones, but that is to be expected due to the wood. The mid range has a nice crisp snap and sounds very natural. The top end isn’t overly light or separated and sits nicely on top of the rest of the sound just where it should be.

There isn’t quite as much detail to be heard as with some other earphones (mostly in the background – effects etc) – the quoted sensitivity is a little lower than the normal level. Having said that though, there is still plenty of detail to be heard.

While testing, we listened to a lot of different types of music. While they work well with every type of music going, where they really sing is with music that contains real instruments. There’s something about the sound that seems to compliment real instruments – rock, acoustic, classical etc all sound fantastic.

Acorn E1 Review Conclusion

Acorn Audio have picked their target audience quite carefully with the E1 earphones. The choice of wood for the earpiece and lack of microphone makes a statement of intent that will immediately tick boxes for many people. I for one don’t miss the microphone as I use earphones for listening to music and not talking on the phone. The Acorn E1 earphones are good looking, lightweight, incredibly comfortable and affordable – they are a perfect choice for anyone wants something a little different and a great personal listening experience.

While the sound will vary depending on your audio device, we do recommend using these with a device that allows you to tweak the EQ (see below for details) as some users will find the bass is a bit too prominent.

We would happily listen to the Acorn Audio E1 earphones day after day (as we have done already!) – and would choose these every time over the better known SoundMagic E10 which fall into the same price bracket.


  • Beautiful wood
  • Lightweight and very comfortable
  • Big sound


  • Huge bass needs EQ to tame it
  • No storage case included

Review Summary:

Sound - great warmth, tone & balance...needs EQ to get the best from them

Design - very good choice of materials and simple yet sleek design

Quality - very well made, great wood finish, use of silicone cable is a plus point

Value - good value for money (great sound), but others in the same price bracket do often include a microphone or storage case

Sound: 4.2/5
Design: 4.3/5
Quality: 4.4/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 4.2/5
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Listening Notes:

The Acorn Audio E1 earphones really benefit from the use of EQ. We tested them using a Sony Xperia Z which tends to sound more bassy than many other devices, even so we still think you might want to nudge the bass down a little. We found that the following EQ worked really well on the Xperia Z:

Acorn Audio E1 EQ settings

  • 16kHz  default
  • 6kHz default
  • 2.5kHz +1
  • 1kHz +1
  • 400Hz default
  • bass -3


Model Manufacturer RRP (£) Available Colours Rating
E1 Acorn Audio 29.99 4.2

2 responses to “Acorn E1 Review”

  1. Rob says:

    Hey, great site you have here with some simply brilliant reviews. I’m looking into buying some earphones to replace my Apple EarPods, but i only have £30 at the maximum to spend. These Acorn E1’s look the most tempting but i also like the Eightball EX811’s and the MediaDevil EB-01’s; the latter two are priced at around £30 whereas the E1’s are £15. The Skullcandy 50/50 2.0’s and Boom BeOne’s are also good contenders. I’m looking for a pair with loads of bass and an overall good quality sound, which would you recommend most?

    • You mention that you want good bass, so i’d suggest looking at:
      Skullcandy 50/50 V2
      Acorn E1 (on this page)
      Mediadevil EB-01

      If your budget was a little higher – I would be more likely to suggest something like the RockJAW Arcana V2 or the SoundMAGIC E10s / E50s

      You seem to be leaning towards a set of wooden earphones, so…
      E1 vs EB-01
      E1 has a bit more bass, EB-01 sounds ‘flatter’ overall. E1 perhaps has more character to it.
      EB-01 has a mic, E1 doesn’t.
      EB-01 cable is woven fabric which causes more noise in the earpiece when rubbed when compared to the silicone cable of the E1.
      E1 doesn’t have any form of storage case, EB-01 has a nice pouch.

      That will hopefully help you make a decision.

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