Perhaps best known as the acoustic developers behind Xiaomi’s Piston 3.0 headphones, China-based 1More recently unleashed a wide array of headphones aimed squarely at the rapidly-exploding American market. The Triple Driver in-ears are the first pair from 1More I’ve tried firsthand, and if these value-packed headphones are indicative of the rest of the line, 1More may just be poised to make some serious waves this year.
Just as a heads up, I also have a pair of the 1More Mk801 over-the-ear headphones that I will be reviewing soon as well. Definitely something you won’t want to miss if you’re big into the whole over-the-ear headphone scene.
I don’t normally speak about packaging when it comes to items for review because it’s just not something most people are concerned or worried about. They care about looks, fit/feel, sound performance, battery life and that kind of thing. But I have to take a minute to say that 1More has gone above and beyond when it comes to their packaging of the 1More Triple Driver headphones.
Not only is it slick, but it also borders on sumptuous with its stylish graphics and a hard black-leather storage case that is approximately the size of a pack of cigarettes. This case is equal in quality to many I’ve seen packaged with earphones that cost ten times the Triple Driver’s price. This is not hyperbole: compare the Triple Driver’s case with the case that comes with the $999.99 Astell & Kern AKT8E, and you will find, as I did, that the 1MORE case is its doppelganger when it comes to build quality, even down to the magnetic latch.
Details And First Thoughts
So named for their formidable combination of dual balanced-armature drivers matched with a dynamic driver to pump up the lower end, the 1More Triple Driver have all the trappings of an upper class headphone, inside and out. These in-ears boast plenty of impressive features, but perhaps the most remarkable thing about them is the price: At $100, they make others in their class look embarrassingly overpriced.
While the satiny finish on the exterior gleams like fresh copper, the casings are actually cast from an aluminum alloy, designed for both durability and a clean, sparkling finish. The gleaming exterior has been sandblasted, and the entire casing has a premium feel. I could go on and on about the look and quality of these headphones, but I know you want to hear about other aspects such as sound quality and such.
The braided cables are wrapped in Kevlar to stand up to the rigors of everyday use, and are equipped with a snazzy-looking triple-button inline microphone, compatible with iOS and Android devices.
As for the headphones’ namesake triple drivers, the company chose balanced armatures, which are heralded for their laser sharp accuracy, to handle the more delicate upper register instrumentation, matched by single dynamic driver in the low end for a smoother, more authoritative punch in the bass.
As for the performance, the headphones definitely impress, offering a clean and clear presentation of the upper frequencies (with a claimed 40 kHz max frequency range), easily exposing finer details, and drawing out instrumental texture. The dynamic driver down below reproduces balanced, weighty bass, but definitely doesn’t go overboard, You never feel like these buds are going to blow you out of the water down low.
My only real critique on the performance is that, on some tracks, the armature drivers can sound a tad thin and cool in color, rendering instruments like cymbals and brass with a little too much zing. In turn, that makes for a larger gap between the lighter top side and the more powerful lower register, which makes it harder to create a smooth blend from top to bottom. The buds are also a little wide at the tip, which may make them a difficult fit for some ears, a small price to pay for sound this good in a headphone at this price point. In fact, I expected these buds to cost at least twice as much.
Those looking for a high-value option are going to have a very hard time finding this kind of build quality and design elsewhere at this price point. Those looking for a brilliantly accurate headphone with balanced bass, and a gorgeous finish, will definitely want to give 1More’s new Triple Driver a long look.
The 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear headphones can perform, when optimally fitted, on a level that wouldn’t be out of place in a $1,000 in-ear monitor. Only its lack of a removable, replaceable cable prevents me from crowning it as my new price-point leader when it comes to in-ear headphones but that’s mainly because a lot of people look at that when it comes to these products. For me personally, it’s not a deal breaker by any means and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a really good quality of headphones that will only set you back $100.
I now use these every day when I stream to Twitch when playing various games and I have to say, I don’t see anything replacing them for some time to come. Though something does, they are going to have to be a simply amazing pair of headphones to outdo the 1More Triple Drivers.