During my trip to Taiwan a few months back, I was able to drop by a store which sells 1More’s Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones, and boy, was I amazed by the sound quality. I actually wished I bought one. At the time, my phone did have a hard time driving them to a desirable volume, but I imagined how they’d be if I was using a dedicated music player.
Over time though, 1More decided – “Hey, as if three wasn’t enough, let’s pack four drivers and see how that works.” So here we have the 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones. Currently priced at almost double that of the Triple Drivers, one can expect that these will perform way better, right?
The question is, does it? is the enormous price jump worth your extra bucks? let’s find out in this full review.
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As far as putting things in a box is concerned, 1More is one of the more classy ones. Just look at the Quad Driver’s box. It’s got all sorts of little details like the design jargon, and even a message from the award-winning sound engineer who worked on the tuning of the headphones.
On the other side, you get a ton, yes, a ton of tips to choose from, along with the essential adapters you’ll need, in case you want to use it with a home audio system. There’s also a hard case, for safekeeping of the headphones.
Design and Build Quality
The 1More Quad Driver screams premium in its looks. The shell protecting the drivers feel tough and sturdy. I can be careless when using my headphones, and I feel like these could stand a beating. The Kevlar Core cable has a certain translucency that lets you see what’s inside.
The part where you insert the tips is angled, and gives a secure and comfy fit. In fact, it almost feels like you’re not wearing the headphones, as if they’re not there. The tips themselves are also very comfy, and don’t feel itchy inside the ears.
It’s also good at partly blocking off outside noise, passively. Of course, you’ll still hear a bit of car sounds and all, but it’s enough to almost completely mute the sound of the keyboard you’re typing on, and the voice of people talking near you.
An in-line controller is placed on the right cable. The 1st and 2nd button are used to control volume, while the middle button is used to pause and resume playback (Press Once), skip tracks (Press Twice), or return to the previous track (Press Thrice). It also acts as an in-line microphone, perfect for use with a smartphone. The volume buttons are responsive, while the middle button gives a very short delay before playback stops or resumes.
The 1More Quad Driver uses a single Dynamic Driver to take care of the lows, and three Balanced Armature drivers taking care of the other frequencies. Now, from experience, having a single or dual drivers don’t necessarily mean that it will sound inferior to those which have more. I’ve listened to an eight-driver IEM, and my single driver CX 1.00 sounds way better. Not to mention the price difference.
For testing, I’ll be using the Huawei Mate 20 as my audio player, with HibyMusic as my playback app. Volume will be set at 60 to 80%. I am no audiophile, but I’ll try to describe the sound in the simplest terms that I can use.
If you’re a basshead, you’ll probably be half-satisfied by the 1More Quad Driver. The bass is punchy enough, and isn’t veiled by the other frequencies. For a treble-head like me. It’s more of a balanced signature. It pounds your ears enough to make the song enjoyable. The good thing is that its present and evident even in mid volume say 60%. It gets even better at 80% volume. Again, it’s there, it blends well with the other frequencies, but it doesn’t overpower, nor is it underwhelming.
If like me, half of your playlist are vocal-focused tracks such as Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity”, you’ll love these headphones. Every word comes across with sweet enunciation, and is well articulated. The three Balanced Armature drivers are exceptional at bringing out the details in the mid-range. No distortion, no cracks. Just plain, clear vocals.
If there’s one thing that’s underwhelming about these headphones, it’s the highs. I’m supposed to get clear percussion sounds, but somehow, it’s overpowered by the other frequencies that it sounds artificial. I know, it’s a minor quirk. But if you have quite sensitive ears like mine, it’s hard not to notice.
Soundstage is what you’d expect. Sort of in your face. As if you’re in the front row and the band’s in front of you. Vocals are a bit forward for more emphasis.
For calls, the 1More Quad Driver’s microphone unfortunately does tend to capture background noise. The recorded sound comes across as audible, but a bit nasal.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.