1More Triple Driver Over-ear head­phone re­view

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY THEO NICOLAKIS

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously checked out 1More’s first prod­ucts—dual Driver and Triple Driver in-ear-head­phones—and com­ing away im­pressed with the gor­geous pack­ag­ing, ex­cel­lent de­sign, and good sound at a mod­est price, I was keenly in­ter­ested to re­view its new Triple Driver Over-ear head­phones. I am happy to re­port that the young com­pany has de­liv­ered an­other great value in per­sonal au­dio.

As the name sug­gests, each ear cup is out­fit­ted with three drivers: A ce­ramic tweeter de­liv­ers the top end, while a

full-range 40mm graphene dy­namic driver paired with a bass reflector pro­vides ex­tended bass re­sponse. The head­phones are Hi-res cer­ti­fied, of­fer­ing fre­quency re­sponse of 20Hz to 40khz.

These cans weigh in at a mod­est 10.4 ounces. They present im­ped­ance of 32 Ohms and sen­si­tiv­ity of 104db, which makes them a per­fect com­ple­ment for just about any smart de­vice or high-res dig­i­tal au­dio player.

1More touts that the Triple Driver’s sound has been tuned by au­dio en­gi­neer Luca Big­nardi, who has won a Grammy for his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Laura Pausini as well as three Latin Gram­mys.

EX­CEL­LENT PHYS­I­CAL FEA­TURES

These are mod­est-sized over­the-ear head­phones sport­ing some unique styling. They fold into a half-cir­cle so you can throw into a back­pack or purse. The fold­ing de­sign is ex­cel­lent, but they don’t quite shrink down to the V-moda Cross­fade II Wire­less’ ( go.mac­world.com/ xfd2) foot­print, which is the gold stan­dard in my book.

The click-ad­justable head­band is wrapped in soft leather with a sil­ver-col­ored trim. Cush­ioned pres­sure points re­lieve ten­sion on the top of your head. The head­band it­self is metal, not plas­tic. Once again, these high-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als are a

tes­ta­ment to what I’ve found with 1More’s prod­ucts—plenty of bang for the buck.

The an­odized-alu­minum ear cups have a sub­tle and beau­ti­ful brushed fin­ish that re­sists fin­ger­prints while giv­ing you a solid, slip-free grip. The ear cups ro­tate slightly for­ward and about 45-de­grees to the back, al­low­ing them to ad­just com­fort­ably to dif­fer­ent head shapes.

I found the head­phones to be com­fort­able. How com­fort­able you might think they are will de­pend on your pref­er­ence. The ear cups are wrapped in the same soft leather as the head­band, with 10 well-hid­den vent holes in the ma­te­rial. When I wore the head­phones out­side for walks or light phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, they got hot and lightly sweaty, which is typ­i­cal for this kind of ma­te­rial.

Large “L” and “R” let­ters are screened on the acous­ti­cally-trans­par­ent grille fab­ric, so you can eas­ily tell which is the right and left ear cup; the same des­ig­na­tions are marked on the head­band as well.

The ear cup’s pad­ding com­presses eas­ily, caus­ing the driver hous­ing to slightly touch your ear. The ear cup cav­ity isn’t as spa­cious the B&W P9 Wire­less, V-moda Cross­fade II Wire­less, or Fo­cal Clear ( go.mac­world.com/f0cl). The ear pad sat partly on my ears. That 1More’s fit is closer to the Sony MDR-1A I’ve pre­vi­ously had in for re­view.

1More says the head­phones sur­pass in­dus­try test­ing stan­dards. The Triple

Driver Over-ear are sub­jected to a wire flex­ing test 15,000 times, for ex­am­ple, ver­sus the in­dus­try stan­dard of 5,000 time. For the drop test, they are dropped 18 times from a height of 1.7 me­ters, com­pared to the in­dus­try stan­dard of six times at 1.2 me­ters.

IN­CLUDED AC­CES­SORIES

There’s a zip­pered hard case, a soft car­ry­ing pouch, a 3.5mm ca­ble, and 1/4-inch adapter in­cluded. You’ll need to pro­vide your own two-prong air­line

adapter should you need it for travel. The oval-shaped hard case has a mold of the head­phones on one side for a sta­ble fit. The top cover sports a Vel­cro-re­mov­able pouch for car­ry­ing the 1/4-inch adapter or other tid­bits. A re­mov­able Vel­cro strap is in­tended to hold the Triple Driver’s 3.5mm stereo ca­ble.

Speak­ing of which, the head­phone’s 99-per­cent oxy­gen-free cop­per ca­ble is beau­ti­ful. It is built with an anti-tan­gle Kevlar sheath. The ca­ble has a ny­lon braid from the ca­ble neck through the stereo split. From the re­in­forced neck up, the ca­ble is wrapped in a rub­ber sheath. There is no in­line mi­cro­phone or other smart-phone friendly in­te­gra­tion.

I’ve had plenty of ex­pen­sive head­phones that have come with cheap 3.5mm jacks. Not here. The jack’s black neck is metal with a brushed fin­ish that matches the ear cups. I im­me­di­ately felt the in­creased fric­tion on my fingers; but I only truly ap­pre­ci­ated the fine de­sign af­ter look­ing at it through a mag­ni­fy­ing glass. The jack’s neck is fur­ther re­in­forced by a rub­ber-ten­sioned neck where the ca­ble en­ters to pre­vent fray­ing or dam­age. Once again, you see an­other ex­am­ple of 1More’s value propo­si­tion.

HIGH VALUE SOUND

I paired the Triple Driver Over-ear head­phones with three high-res dig­i­tal au­dio play­ers: The Astell&kern Kann ( go. mac­world.com/kann), Astell&kern AK70 MKII ( go.mac­world.com/m270), and the Fiio X7 Mark II ( go.mac­world.com/fix7). I used the Astell&kern play­ers for tracks from my hi-res col­lec­tion and stream­ing mu­sic from Tidal. I used the in­cred­i­bly flex­i­ble Fiio X7 to pull hi-res mu­sic from my Roon mu­sic server ( go.mac­world.com/ roon) with the Roon app for An­driod. While I also played the Triple Driver

Over-ear head­phones with my iphone XS, my com­ments below re­flect the pair­ing with these high-res play­ers.

The head­phones em­pha­size a clean midrange, solid top end, and a more ac­cu­rate—as op­posed to over-em­pha­sized—bass re­sponse. If you pre­fer bass-heavy head­phones, ei­ther ad­just your player’s EQ or look else­where.

The 1More Triple Driver head­phones can ren­der clas­si­cal’s fi­nesse or rock’s en­ergy. They’ll be right at home with both De­bussy or Def Lep­pard.

Speak­ing of Def Lep­pard, Joe El­liott’s vo­cals were pris­tine on the band’s al­bum, Hys­te­ria. In fact, one of the first things you’ll no­tice is how clean the midrange is. Peo­ple who pre­fer a warmer sound won’t find it here. The up­per bass never im­posed it­self or dis­tracted from the midrange. The track, “Gods of War” fea­tures the bands’ in­stru­ments over­laid with var­i­ous sound clips. The Triple Driver Over-ear head­phones did a very good job of main­tain­ing the dy­nam­ics and en­ergy of the song with­out los­ing the fine de­tails.

Bass re­sponse—es­pe­cially chest-

thump­ing mid­bass—was well done. U2’s “This is Where You Can Reach Me Now [For Joe Strum­mer]” and “The Trou­bles” had good punch, though the songs ex­hib­ited some bass bloat. On the down­side bass lines lacked the snap and nim­ble­ness I’ve heard on ref­er­ence-grade head­phones.

To be sure, the 1More Triple Driver Over-ear isn’t the last word in trans­parency. While still very good, the 1More didn’t ex­tract the airi­ness and del­i­cacy from stringed in­stru­ments in “Ser­e­nade No. 13 for Strings in G Ma­jor,” by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, nor did it de­liver the spa­cious­ness around the drum-stick strikes at the be­gin­ning of U2’s “The Mir­a­cle (of Joey Ra­mone). De­tails such as these were ef­fort­less on high­erend head­phones like the Fo­cal Clear or B&W P9 Sig­na­ture ( go. mac­world.com/9sig). And that’s per­haps the best way to sum up my ex­pe­ri­ence with the 1More. These are very good head­phones but they can’t pull out the last ounce of re­fine­ment nec­es­sary to be con­sid­ered a great, ref­er­ence pair. But at this price, what

PROS

• Ex­cel­lent sound and a strong value for the price.

• Ex­cel­lent build qual­ity and at­ten­tion to de­tail.

• High-qual­ity ac­ces­sories in­cluded.

CONS

• Lacks the trans­parency and re­fine­ment you get from more ex­pen­sive heapdhones.

• Ear cups might not be spa­cious enough for some.

PRICE

$249

COM­PANY

1More head­phones are?

The slick de­sign on the ear cup re­veals the bass re­flex driver through the clear back­ing.

BOT­TOM LINE

1More has done it again. Great sound at a great value sums up the Triple Driver Over-ear Head­phone. While you can get higher per­for­mance from pricier cans, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bet­ter over­all value. From per­for­mance to build qual­ity to in­cluded ac­ces­sories, you have a com­plete pack­age that few other head­phones can match. If you’re in the mar­ket for head­phones in the sub-$300 price range, be sure to au­di­tion this pair. ■

The Triple Driver Over-ear head­phones (right) fold to a com­pact size, though they’re not quite as small as the V-moda Cross­fade II Wire­less (left).

De­tail view of the brushed fin­ish on the ear cup.

The top of the leather-bound head­band is em­bossed with the 1More logo and are ac­cented in sil­ver.

Both a hard and soft case are in­cluded.

The ca­ble is made of oxy­gen-free cop­per with a Kevlar core. The high-qual­ity ny­lon braid re­jected tan­gles.

The left and right ear cups and ca­ble are col­ored, so you know which is which.

The slick de­sign on the ear cup re­veals the bass re­flex driver through the clear back­ing.

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