Today we get to bring you the next chapter in 1MORE‘s history as they one-up the competition “one more” time with their new quad driver in-ear headphones, the next model in their line of amazing products that continue to rock the market with quality performance while not burning a hole in your pocket.
We have spent a lot of time with the various models of 1MORE headphones, since the beginning of last year. Their triple driver model walked away with a major prize from us and quickly become one of the best in-ear headphones we had ever came across. This led to a lot of comparisons for other brands that came in since, creating a standard level of expectation that affected the scores of these other models and brands.
Now, they will be launching their new quad driver solution in April, which seeks to take things to that extra level, giving you a frequency range that reaches as high as 40kHz, giving you a rich focused delivery of sound.
Some of us had the opportunity to listen to a pair back in January during CES, however the noise level in the room prevented you from getting a perfect idea of what these were capable of achieving. Thankfully, they sent us our own pair, allowing us to set our own listening conditions. Also, thankfully, we have an acoustically corrected listening room (to do just that) where we can test everything from the finest of speakers to any pair of headphones, without outside interference.
To start off, let’s take a look at the design of these headphones. If Aston Martin designed their own headphones, these could be it. They feature a gunmetal grey theme, with a metallic red back that hugs the rear portion of each bud. The body of each bud is an aluminum alloy with a plastic stem that meets the cable that features a red lining inside (just barely noticeable). The entire design has a turbine-engine kind of feel to it. They have a little weight to them, giving you an idea of what hides inside, without being heavy enough to notice the difference once they are in your ears.
They sure have mastered the ability of being able to squeeze a whole lot of awesome in such a tiny little bit of space. Inside, you find, of course, four different drivers that work together to deliver sound to your ears. You get three balanced armatures and a carbon dynamic drive in each bud. If you don’t know what that means, to summarize it all, it simply means “total awesomeness”. Ok, that was a little sarcastic. It really means that you have four separate drivers, each delivering its own specific range of frequencies to your ear. Each one being able to focus on that specific range to better define the material you’re listening to. As they say in management, you can accomplish so much more if you learn how to delegate properly.
The cable design is a little different than their previous models. Their dual and triple driver models feature a braided cable approach, where the new quad driver headphones feature a very fine layer of what appears to be a very thin silicone-like material that has been heat-shrunk around the twisted copper cables, allowing you to see wires inside. Thankfully, like the braided approach, it doesn’t pick up much noise at all from dragging across your clothes as you move around (which can resonate to your ears with a poor design).
The right-bud features an in-line remote halfway between the bud and where the cable Ys, which contains the familiar buttons you would expect to find. You have three buttons in total. The middle one functions as your pause, play, accept call and action trigger for your devices assistant (ie, Siri, Cortana, etc). The buttons on each side of it act as your next/prev track options as well as volume up and down. On the backside of the remote is a small hole leading to a microphone so that you can take calls with the headphones on. Quality of in-call communication is similar to the triple driver headphones (or any good pair of headphones).
This is what you really want to know about, right? Naturally, we began by sitting the dual, triple and quad driver models all side-by-side so we can do a comparison against all three. We had the same content being delivered to all three headphones.
It took less than a minute to take the dual driver headphones out of play. They do sound good, but they don’t hold up to the detail of the quads. The triple driver headphones are still very formidable, and do a great job of remaining relevant. The quads featured a finer spread of detail with mid highs and highs that are quite noticeably crisper and cleaner. The detail is fantastic (and then some). Your mid lows and lows are also very well defined, although we noticed the bottom lows were a little less present compared to the triple drivers. The triple drivers where a little bassier with a deep/warm presence. The quads aren’t that far away, but lack some of that deepness. However, they do seem to feature a little more stretched detail. So it seems that where you gain something in one place, you sacrifice just a tad in another.
We spent a lot of time running our favorite tracks against these, and found that heavy-bass material such as hard rock, club genres, hip hop and equivalent, benefit more from the triple driver headphones. Everything else, favors the quads. From pop, to lounge, to classic rock, to acoustic sessions, to symphony/classical, opera and so much more. The quads delivered a wonder sound stage. This is great since we have an endless library of lossless media. This also means, that just like the triple driver headphones, we will never stop testing these against random tracks that pop into our head causing someone to rush to them to see how it would sound (it’s a sickness).
They aren’t perfect, but nothing truly is. We’d like to hear a little more presence on the lowest end of things like the triples, however it’s hard to be mad at these since they sound so good. To get any better, you have to move on towards over-ear models (then again, we said something similar about the triples when we first heard them).
To quickly get the most out of them, you are going to want to download 1MORE’s smartphone app that will help you burn in the headphones. Similar to a brand new house settling on its foundation, you want to burn the headphones to get them to balance out so you know exactly what they will always sound like from there.
Additionally, inside the box, you will find a similar collection of accessories as you do the triple driver model. You get the same hard shell case to store the headphones in that keeps them safe for travel. It features a leather-like design with a magnetic latch. You get a 1/4-inch adapter for stereos, DACs and other equipment that require the larger TRS connector. There is also an airline adapter that allows you to use them during flights on airplanes that still make use of the split-channel design plug (originally meant for forcing you to rent out one of their overpriced cheapo headphones). You also get a small little metal clip that you can use for clipping the wire to your clothes with (which most people will more than likely lose) and a total of 9 (that’s right, nine) selectable tips to customize the fit to your ears with. There are 5 pairs of silicone tips and 3 pairs of foam.
“Wow”. Go buy a pair. They may not be perfect for everyone as we noted. Some listeners will find themselves leaning towards the triple driver option since they are half the price and perform a little better in certain genres while still sounding wonderful in every other. For those not looking for the bassier hits and have more of a fine appreciation for all forms of music (with picky tastes in quality), then the quad drivers are worth giving a shot. They are twice the price as the triples, marking the biggest price jump thus far for 1MORE, but boy do they sound good. Coming soon to a store near you! (or, online).
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Cable Length: 1.25m
Cable: Kevlar fiber wrapped high-fidelity oxygen-free copper wire
Plug: 3.5mm Gold Plated
Frequency Range: 20Hz – 40kHz
Rated Power: 5mW
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.