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1More Triple Driver IEM

1More kindly send me a pair of their Triple Driver In Ear Monitors for a reduced price in exchange for an honest review.

Background

I have been an avid headphone user for many years now. The reason for this was mostly the birth of my first daughter. At that time I had a rather excellent British turntable based hi fi system which had a wonderful mellow yet detailed sound. It’s this sound which I have strived to reproduce with headphones since then. When my daughter came along I realised that it was severely susceptible to toddler attack - I decided it had to go.

I have had a number of different headphones and players over the years. Moving from CD ‘Discman’ players, through Mini Disc portable players (I really did like those) and finally, when storage became more affordable, MP3 players. Headphones included Sony, Sennheiser, Koss, Shure, etc. I have finally ended up with the following equipment and headphones:

Players:
Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Benjie S5
AGPtEK H1 (an excellent player)
AGPtEK Imp
Apple Ipod Nano
Google Nexus 7 2013

Headphones:
Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 In Ear Monitor
Audio Technica ATH-M50x
Sony XBA H1
Etymotic ER4P
Shure E500
Apple Earpods
Bluedio UFO (in bright red)
Puro 5200 (in gold)

Physical Description

I won’t go into too much detail with this because there are countless reviews which describe these headphones far better than I could do. The packaging is something other companies should take note of. The headphones come with an assortment of different sized tips - silicone and foam, a clip, an airplane adaptor and a neat carrying case. The perceived value for money with these headphones is very high.

The headphones themselves are made of metal and yet are extremely light. The insertion depth is considerably less than the Triple Fi’s or Etymotics. This is perhaps a good thing and a bad thing. It’s taking some time to adjust to the shallow insertion depth - with the others I can physically tell when I have a good seal but with these I tend to have to rely on the bass response to be sure they’re inserted correctly.

It’s nice to see the entrance to the sound tubes have a grill over them - this is something that Ultimate Ears should consider doing with their headphones. I don’t usually suffer from excessive earwax but I have had to dig the sound tubes out with a pin from time to time.

The cabling is partially covered with a Kevlar material - but the cables that connect to the earphone themselves is a more conventional plastic type material. They feel slightly flimsy but apparently 1More do some pretty extreme stress tests with their earphones so hopefully there’s no problems there. The cables are not removable so if there’s any problems in the future you would have to return them to 1More for repair. They are certainly not the only earphones out there which don’t have removable cables and from what I’ve been reading on-line, even the removable cables can sometimes suffer with connection problems.  The cable features an in-line remote which, rather refreshingly, allows you to alter volume as well as track selection - on both Apple and Android devices. I had no problems using them with my Samsung Android devices but when used with the Apple Ipod Nano, the volume down function didn’t appear to work. Not a deal breaker for me.

Comfort

Comfort is a strange thing to describe simply because everyone’s different. Whilst I think it’s fair to say that these are comfortable earbuds thanks to their shallow insertion depth and good choice of different sized tips, I personally felt that I was wanting to continually adjust their fit as I am so used to wearing in ear monitors with a deeper insertion depth. I tried several of the supplied tips - eventually I resorted to using an old pair of comply foam tips that I had kicking around - their slightly longer shape than those supplied with the headphones allowed me to insert them slightly deeper into my ears giving me the stability of fit I was looking for. Having said that I have noticed that it’s a lot easier to find the ‘sweet spot’ with the 1More’s when it comes to inserting them into your ears - I’m constantly having to adjust the Triple Fi’s to maintain the consistency of sound.

Sound Quality

First things first. These headphones are aimed at audiophiles. They are not bass monsters and exhibit a very flat frequency response - from bass to treble. They are the sort of headphones you can wear for a long time without getting listening fatigue. The details in the music are beautifully presented and you can focus on a specific instrument or detail in the recording without having to concentrate. This is something that you only find on the very best headphones out there. Out of all the headphones in my collection - both past and present, only the Ultimate Ears and Etymotics offered this level of effortless detail retrieval.

I let the headphones burn in a little before doing some serious listening. Straight away I noticed their flat sound signature - something I’m used to with the Triple Fi’s. The soundstage was a little narrow but that’s something I expect with in ear monitors but the music exhibited considerable depth front to back - something I like. Although the frequency response of these headphones is aimed at bats and dogs - ie well beyond the threshold of human hearing, they didn’t sound bright, just nicely detailed. When compared to the Triple Fi’s, the sound is a little ‘thinner’ and perhaps with a little more detail in the top frequencies but never excessively so. Considering the Triple Fi’s top out at something like 18khz the differences were not all that great though. I felt that the bass was slightly better on the Triple’s but again not by much. This is quite a testament to the quality of these headphones when you take into account the difference in price between the two.

The bass on the 1More’s is delicate, tuneful and fairly deep but also lean. It’s fair to say that these headphones are not for bassheads. They remind me of the Etymotic ER4P in many ways. Again, this is a compliment because the ER4P’s are a very impressive in ear monitor. The mids really shine on these headphones. Whilst they exhibit a slight V shape in their eq, it’s not as apparent as it is on the Triple Fi’s. Female vocals sound very clear and precise, piano is a revelation - you can hear piano keys and foot pedals being pressed quite clearly in some recordings and even some of the ambient sound information comes through.  Treble is where these really start to shine through - thanks to their extreme frequency response, cymbals shimmer with a metallic sheen without sounding bright and details that are often lost in the mix with lesser headphones come through without any problems.

If I had to choose between the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi and the 1More triple drivers, from purely a sound quality perspective I suspect I would pick the Ultimate Ears - but the 1More’s are really not that far behind at all. This coupled with their metal build, price and slightly better comfort make buying them a no-brainer - they offer at least 90% of the Ultimate Ears at less than half the price. The 1More Triple Driver Hybrid headphones retail for 99.99 UK Pounds on Amazon.co.uk or alternatively can be purchased directly from their website.

1More’s UK web site
http://uk.1more.com/

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