Now that I have spent a great deal of time with the 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones, it was time to sit down with their MK801 Over-Ear Headphones to see how well they perform. This is 1MORE’s first pair of over-ear headphones to enter the North American market with the other 4 models of in-ear models. An obvious attempt to compete against the affordable selection of headphones in stores, these retail for just $79.99 on average and offer a decent performance for those not looking to throw all their money away at something, but still looking for a solid performance.
The MK801’s won’t compete against high-end models from Sennheiser and equivalent, but they will compete very well against average models that fall within the $70 – 100 range easily. They offer a pretty decent range resulting in crisp enjoyable highs and lows that help drive anything you want to use them for. They don’t kick hard like something from Kicker or like Koss’ Bluetooth headphones, but once again, those will also run you about $150-200 more than these. Instead of shooting for those heavy bass or hardcore audiophile communities, you find a nice balance of all your favorite frequencies, which leads to a great deal of enjoyment for the price tag.
Best for enjoying any music outside of the heavy bass tracks, these sound good when matched to all sorts of flavors like funk, pop, rock, jazz, blues, classical and so forth. So move on if you’re looking for something for dubstep, heavy rap or anything else with large bass drops and equivalent. I matched it against a whole range of artists including Bruno Mars, Boz Scaggs (Boz sounded great), Dave Brubeck (also sounded great), Live and Gary Numan (…also sounded great). I even took things to a different level with artists like Rammstein and Dead Element to see how well they sound when rock turns it up. All of which sounded quite well. Read on to find out more about the sound quality of the 1More MK801’s.
These compete well against brands like Sony, Panasonic, RCA, Jam, Skullcandy, and so on. This should give you an idea of where they fit into the market of things and what to expect out of their performance. If you typically find buying a pair of headphones under the price of $50 doesn’t gain you the range you’re looking for, maybe they feel compressed, muffled or missing something completely, then the MK801’s may be something down your alley. You don’t spend much more and you get 3 – 4x as much performance from them.
They feature a visually pleasurable design to them, with two colors selections of either red or black. The black model is mostly black with silver text for the logo on each side and a black cable. The red model(the model we received) features a black/red design to them (red on the outside and black on the underside and cushions) with silver accents/text(logo) and a red cable.
The cushions are comfortable and can easily get you through a movie or an equivalent length of music enjoyment. They are quite oval in size, so you may get a little pinching front and back if you have larger (than normal) ears. Beyond that, you should be fine.
The cups move around and slide up and down to form to your head. They do not fold inwards for storing them, so if throwing them in a bag for travel, you will need the space of their full footprint.
The cable is a shiny red, simple in design and features and in-line controller for smartphones that allows you to accept calls, control the music you’re listening to and trigger the voice command on the device. It works best for iPhone control but will control your android devices as well just fine. The backside of the in-line controller features a small hole that contains a microphone for taking calls with. We didn’t notice any troubles with the other party hearing our voice using it.
1More says that the MK801’s have been tuned by Grammy Award winning and internationally acclaimed audio engineer and mixer Luca Bignardi. Why is this potentially a big deal? Shouldn’t headphones just measure as with a flat frequency response? Well, no. Extensive research led by Harman’s Dr. Sean Olive has shown that a flat frequency response on headphones isn’t necessarily accurate. In fact, Harman has developed what has come to be known as the Harman Response Curve to compensate(you can read a bit about it here on InnerFidelity). Therefore, there’s certainly some merit to getting headphones tuned.
The 1More MK801’s will enthrall you with a warm, intimate presentation.I very surprised by the MK801’s killer bass response. Bass was authoritative but didn’t get sloppy. Playing a 16/44.1 quality version of “Hotel California” from the Eagles Hell Freezes Over, bass was detailed, taut, and wonderfully textured. The same was true of Patricia Barber’s, “Too Rich For My Blood” from Cafe Blue. At this price-point especially, it’s an over-achiever in this area.
The mid range, however was slightly veiled. Glen Frey’s vocals on “Hotel California” and Patricia Barber’s on “A Taste of Honey” and “Too Rich for my Blood” didn’t quite have the dimensionality and airiness from more expensive headphones. For example, kicking over to the $299.99 Sony MDR-1A headphones that I previously reviewed immediately cleaned things up. Kicking over to more expensive headphones also betrayed a slight coloration, but when you went back to the 1More MK801’s that never really bothered you or took away from the overall experience. The voicing was indeed well done, especially at this price point.
Listening to hi-res music versions of Led Zeppelin II was a jamming experience with the MK801’s. I found myself moving to the bass lines in “Heartbreaker” and cracking a smile with Jimmy Page’s riffs in “The Lemon Song.” Perhaps “Ramble On” best encapsulates the MK801’s. They had a great ability to render individual instruments and yet pull together a coherent orchestral presentation. The soundstage was just right. In fact, track after track sounded nice and smooth without any harshness whatsoever. My only persistent observation was that the veiled midrange sensation never quite left.
The headphone space under $100 is a very crowded market. Unfortunately, that market is crowded with lots of garbage cans. That’s not the case wit the MK801’s. It was incredibly refreshing to listen the $79.99 the 1More MK801’s. These budget headphones are a great example of high value not cheap sound. Top to bottom, the 1More MK801’s strike a great balance. They sound warm and smooth and deliver some great kick without becoming bloated or fatiguing. Would I have liked a cleaner and more transparent midrange? Yes. But at this price point, you can’t have it all. One thing’s for sure, if you’re looking for a low priced headphone with a taste of high end sound, check out the 1More MK801’s. You won’t be disappointed.