I’ve been an enormous fan of 1More in-ear headphones (IEH) ever since I reviewed the company’s Stylish True Wireless model for Macworld. In addition, I wrote in regards to the 1More Triple Driver wired IEH that’s given to VIP attendees at Aerosmith’s Las Vegas residency in my protection of that occasion for TechHive.
1More presents different fashions of wired in-ear headphones, together with the Dual Driver and Quad Driver, which led me to marvel if extra drivers equal higher efficiency. I requested 1More to ship me a Dual Driver and a Quad Driver, so I might evaluate them with the Triple Driver I had from the Aerosmith live performance. The sound high quality of all three is kind of good, however in a direct side-by-side comparability, the Triple and Quad Driver fashions edge out the Dual Driver.
This overview is a part of TechHive’s coverage of the best headphones, the place you’ll discover critiques of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you need to think about when procuring.
The very first thing you would possibly marvel is, why hassle with wired in-ear headphones? True Wireless fashions, such because the 1More Stylish, don’t have any wires to get tangled, and they’re rapidly gaining reputation, particularly since many fashionable cell gadgets have ditched their headphone jack in favor of Bluetooth. Well, for one factor, it’s solely too straightforward to lose a real wi-fi headphone until you’re very cautious. Then there’s the necessity to cost their batteries—I hate it once they poop out simply as I’m getting on the treadmill. But most significantly, a wired connection continues to be superior to Bluetooth, which is necessary for audiophiles who need the very best sound high quality. But if true wi-fi headphones are what you’re on the lookout for, Macworld offers excellent coverage of that space.
As you may undoubtedly surmise from the product names, every mannequin has a corresponding variety of drivers in every earpiece. The Dual Driver has a graphene dynamic driver for the low and mid frequencies, and one balanced armature for the excessive frequencies. The Triple Driver makes use of a beryllium-composite dynamic driver for the lows and mids, with two balanced-armature drivers for the highs. And the Quad Driver features a PET (polyethylene terephthalate, aka Mylar) diaphragm with a “diamond-like” carbon coating for the lows and mids, with two balanced armatures for the highs, and a 3rd balanced armature for ultra-high frequencies.
All three fashions had been tuned by Grammy-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi, and all have a frequency response from 20Hz to 40kHz, making them utterly amenable to high-resolution audio. Most of the opposite specs are basically an identical as effectively: 32-ohm impedance, 98-99 dB sensitivity, 5 mW energy dealing with, 1.25-meter cable size, and an L-shaped, gold-plated 3.5mm plug. The Dual Driver weighs a complete of 15 grams, whereas the Triple Driver suggestions the dimensions at 18 g, and the Quad Driver weighs in at 18.5 g.
The drivers and related buildings for all three fashions are housed in aluminum-alloy our bodies with ergonomically angled eartips. The form of the earpieces and the angle of the eartips assist obtain a very good seal to isolate you from ambient noise, which is important for good sound high quality. Another essential ingredient on this regard is selecting the right eartips on your ears. The Dual Driver comes with 4 pairs of silicone suggestions of assorted sizes, whereas the Triple Driver and Quad Driver embody 9 pairs of suggestions (six silicone, three reminiscence foam). The largest 14.5mm silicone suggestions that include the Triple and Quad Driver work the perfect in my ears—in actual fact, I exploit them on nearly all IEHs I hearken to.
In addition, all three have an inline management pod on the right-earpiece wire that allows you to management the quantity, skip tracks, and take telephone calls. The pod additionally features a microphone to choose up your aspect of a telephone dialog. I just like the Quad Driver’s pod the perfect; it has raised bodily buttons which can be straightforward to search out by really feel. The Dual and Triple Driver pods have non-raised buttons separated by tiny ridges.
The wires are Kevlar-sheathed for elevated sturdiness, and the wires from the 2 earpieces be a part of right into a single wire braided with nylon for tangle resistance. The Dual and Triple Drivers use “enameled copper” conductors, whereas the Quad Driver makes use of oxygen-free copper, a conductor that’s well-regarded within the audiophile neighborhood. Interestingly, the Triple Driver cable is the thickest of the three.
The Dual Driver comes with a soft-pouch carrying case with a spring-loaded mouth that’s troublesome to open, whereas the Triple and Quad Drivers include a hard-sided carrying case with a magnetic clasp.
Perhaps most significantly, 1More claims that the Triple Driver is the world’s first THX-certified headphone, which suggests it has handed a rigorous set of assessments performed by THX.
To evaluate the efficiency of the 1More Dual, Triple, and Quad Driver, I listened to a number of tracks on every mannequin performed from an Apple iPad with a headphone output. I additionally listened to every observe on the RevoNext QT5 wired IEH, which I reviewed very extremely on TechHive, in addition to the 1More Stylish True Wireless IEH to see the way it in contrast with the wired fashions. I adjusted the iPad output degree as near the identical setting as I might.
On a technical be aware, the RevoNext QT5 is a dual-driver mannequin with a dynamic driver for the low and mid vary and a balanced armature for the highs, identical to the Dual Driver. The 1More Stylish makes use of a single titanium-composite dynamic driver to cowl the whole frequency vary.
As I discussed earlier, 1More’s 14.5mm silicone eartips—the most important that include the Triple and Quad Driver fashions—work very effectively for me, in order that’s what I used on these IEHs. I attempted the most important suggestions that include the Dual Driver, which labored pretty effectively for me, however the 14.5mm suggestions work higher. So, I used the 14.5 mm recommendations on the Dual Driver in addition to the Stylish. I exploit the most important silicone suggestions that got here with a JBL IEH on RevoNext QT5, which works very effectively for my ears.
Keep in thoughts that discovering the proper eartips on your ears is important for getting the very best sound from any IEH. If the guidelines don’t create a very good seal in your ear canal, the bass shall be very skinny and the general sound shall be tinny. It’s essential to search out the perfect suggestions for your ears, which could effectively be completely different than those which can be greatest for my ears. Also, you would possibly discover that foam suggestions are higher for you than silicone. Spend a while attempting the guidelines that include any IEH to search out the perfect ones for you. If none of them work effectively, you would possibly strive a third-party vendor like Comply, which makes numerous completely different foam eartips.
I started my marathon listening session with “Whirl-Y-Reel 1” from Afro Celt Sound System’s album Sound Magic, Vol. 1. This world-music ensemble makes use of numerous synthesizers together with Celtic flute, bagpipes, and many percussion. The Dual Driver sounded good and clear with good delineation of devices, pretty deep bass, crisp highs, and clear midrange. The Triple Driver was a bit louder and richer, and the bass was barely extra pronounced, whereas the Quad Driver was even richer with extra bass, and I might hear deeper into the combination. The QT5 was considerably leaner sounding, and the bass was barely bloated, whereas the Stylish was clear total, although the bass was a bit vague and the highs had been ever-so-slightly brittle.
Moving on to extra mainstream standard music, I listened to “Landslide” as carried out by The Dixie Chicks on their album Home. On the Dual Driver, the vocals had been very ahead, the lead vocal was a bit harsh, and the bass was barely recessed, although there was good delineation of devices, and the guitars and mandolin sounded fairly good. The Triple Driver sounded a bit louder, smoother, and extra pleasing total, and the bass was extra current. I heard little or no distinction between the Triple and Quad Driver, which additionally sounded very easy and clear. The QT5 sounded easy, although the bass was barely recessed and the vocals had been only a tad brittle. Finally, the Stylish additionally sounded easy with very good vocals, and the bass was well-balanced although a bit vague.
I like all of Joni Mitchell’s oeuvre, so I listened to “Hejira” from her album of the identical identify. The Dual Driver sounded superb with full guitars and pure vocals, thought Jaco Pastorious’ fretless bass was a bit restrained. The Triple Driver sounded richer and fuller with extra pronounced bass and extra current vocals, whereas the Quad Driver sounded a lot the identical with a bit extra airiness. Joni’s voice sounded barely brittle on the QT5, and the Stylish was a bit decrease in quantity and barely veiled total.
For some good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll, I listened to “Sweet Home Alabama” from The Best of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The vocals and guitars sounded superb on the Dual Driver, although the bass was a bit vague and the cymbals had been barely harsh. The bass was higher outlined and extra balanced on the Triple Driver, and the general sound was smoother and extra coherent. On the Quad Driver, the bass was much more pronounced—perhaps a tad an excessive amount of—however in any other case, the sound was a lot the identical as with the Triple Driver. The QT5 had a barely harsher sound, and the bass was a bit recessed. The Stylish sounded smoother, however the total sound was a bit veiled, and the bass was barely vague.
One of the genres that’s nearest and dearest to my coronary heart is jazz, so I listened to “My Funny Valentine” as carried out by trombonist Steve Turre with piano, acoustic bass, and drums on his album Keep Searchin’. I play trombone, so I do know what it ought to sound like. The Dual Driver sounded only a tad lean with laid-back bass, and the piano and cymbals had been ever-so-slightly harsh, however the trombone sounded fairly pure. The Triple Driver sounded fuller and richer; the bass was extra pronounced, and all of the devices had been extra current. I heard a lot the identical sound on the Quad Driver with very ethereal cymbals, although the bass may need been a bit overblown. On the QT5, the bass and drums had been barely extra current than on the Dual Driver, however the cymbals had been again to being only a bit harsh. The sound of the Stylish was barely veiled total, the bass and drums had been a bit restrained, however the cymbals weren’t harsh in any respect.
Finally, I listened to a few classical tracks. First up was Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, IV. Chor “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen,” as carried out by the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique below the path of John Eliot Gardiner. The Dual Driver sounded barely skinny, and the choir was barely recessed, although the orchestra was effectively balanced, and the dynamic vary was wonderful. The Triple Driver sounded richer, smoother, and extra current, and the Quad Driver sounded a lot the identical. By distinction, the QT5 had a barely skinny, brittle sound, and the Stylish sounded a bit veiled.
For a purely orchestral observe, I listened to Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene 2: No.28 “Romeo with Friar Laurence,” carried out by the London Symphony Orchestra below Andre Previn. The Dual Driver had a very good sound with good delineation of sections and solo devices, although the bass was barely recessed. As anticipated by now, the Triple Driver had a richer sound, and the bass was extra pronounced, whereas the Quad Driver had a really comparable sound that was a bit extra ethereal on the highest finish. The QT5 was barely thinner, however the bass was a bit higher than the Dual Driver, and the Stylish additionally sounded a bit thinner with barely recessed bass.
I have to emphasize that the variations I heard between the 5 IEH fashions had been very minor; the one solution to hear these variations was in a direct side-by-side comparability. I’d be very comfortable to hearken to any of them in isolation.
Having mentioned that, listed below are my total opinions after conducting simply such a comparability. The Dual Driver sounds a bit lean with barely recessed bass and infrequently only a trace of harshness within the excessive finish, very like the RevoNext QT5, although these are very minor shortcomings. The Triple and Quad Driver fashions sound fuller and richer with extra pronounced bass—in actual fact, the Quad Driver’s bass was only a tad overemphasized on some tracks, although it’s sound was barely airier within the excessive finish. The Stylish sounds a tad veiled total with barely recessed bass, however once more, that is some critical nitpicking based mostly on direct comparisons.
In the tip, I give the nod to the Triple Driver for its mixture of excellent sound high quality and worth. In truth, it will get the primary 5 score I’ve ever bestowed on a product in a TechHive overview. Not that the others are unhealthy in any means—removed from it! Depending in your finances, I’m certain you’ll be proud of any of those wonderful in-ear headphones from 1More.