Friday, Mar 23, 2018 | Last Update : 04:29 PM IST
Well-balanced, clear audio performance enclosed within a premium build.
In-ear headphones can’t sound as good as most over-ear headphones. Point taken! But when you check these in-ear headphones, you will probably say, ‘hmm — things are changing.’ Well, it’s true — things are changing and most audio accessory companies are beginning to make a difference in what they have to produce. Here comes in 1More, a little-known company that has set foot in India recently, but well known in China for its audio goods. 1More Inc is actually a company formed by three former Foxconn execs that established the company with investments from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi — surprised? Well, 1More went on to challenge Apple’s Beats in the global market and took off in the US to shake them ‘more.’
Brought into India are two variants of its in-ear headphones called Triple Driver LTNG. These headphones definitely sound great and completely justify the price. While one variant is for all smartphones, the Apple compatible variant comes with a Lighting connector and a built-in DAC that puts a unique force into its sound producing capabilities. We have both for our scrutiny and were impressed with what these can do.
When it comes to convenience during outdoors, in-ear headphones can offer the best benefits. 1More offers the same with least compromise — comfort, looks and audio. The iMore looks a bit better than most conventional in-ear models. It does not overcrowd your ears and fits snugly — thanks to its angular design and silicon and foam ear tips. However, they do poke out a bit, which many don’t prefer. The aluminum build is sturdy and light weight.
A variety of tips are included with the headphones and offer a range of silicon and foam tips between 10mm and 14.5mm to suit most users. We preferred the foam tips as you can squeeze them to make them fit snug into the ear canal. Moreover, the foam tip helps keep the headphones in your ear apart from adding to ambient noise isolation.
The cable is braided with nylon, which helps in keeping you out of the knotty situations. Sadly, 1More decided to restrict the wires from the connector to the in-line remote under a braided nylon, but chose to opt for the usual silicone round wires from there to the earbuds, which are not as tangle-free as the rest of the cable. Though it does not hurt the style quotient as much, the wires could be prone to damage. While the nylon coating helps keep it from knots, it also helps reduce friction from clothes when moving around.
The cable has an in-line remote that also include DAC. Do note, this is the iOS-compatible headphones we are referring to. The standard variant has a simple three-button remote and a 3.5mm headphone jack that allows it to be used with any audio device or smartphone with a headphone out port. The iOS version has a DAC with a built-in 5-way control joystick to set the volume, move between tracks and answer calls. The in-line controller is designed similarly like the earbuds with a dual-tone colour — silver and black. The controller looks well-built and has good tactile joystick buttons. An in-line microphone is also provided between the DAC and the right earbud.
The headphones also bundle along a hard leather case to make it convenient to carry the earphones without any damage when kept in your bag. A belt clip would have made it easier for the user to carry around as the case is not pocketable easily.
The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones sports three drivers in each earbud. While there is a single dynamic driver to deliver the mids and lows, two balanced armatures over the main driver work hard to deliver the highs like tweeters. The three drivers unite to give out a proper, unmatched audio output with almost zero cross-talk between the highs and lows. This makes for better quality audio with least amounts of distortion. The in-line DAC includes a High Resolution digital audio converter, and the earbuds together are claimed to be tuned by an expert — a Grammy Award Winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi.
Each earbud has an impedance of 32 ohms, with a sensitivity of 99dB and a frequency range of 20Hz – 20KHz. The rated power output is 5mW in total.
The in-line DAC converter basically doubles up as a 5 – in – 1 controller to control your music playback and answer voice calls. 6 sets of silicon tips, 3 sets of foam tips, a travelling case and a matching shirt clip are provided with the earphones.
As for the performance, we would like to say that the Triple Driver earphones from 1More are almost no match to anything close we have heard till date. Though the product seems expensive at first glance, definitely sounds as expensive too — justice to the price it demands. Playback of audio quality across a range of genres sounds way above average in comparison to other in-ear headphones around. The bass response is pretty excellent and the mids and highs are neatly defined. These earphones are equipped with a dynamic driver that is designed and tweaked by a professional to handle low frequencies. You are destined to experience a rich and detailed bass. However, the bass is a tad low and for all those bass-heavy listeners, including us, you ‘could’ be a bit disappointed.
One has to make sure you play some really good audio tracks stored in high-quality audio packages. What we mean here is that you should make sure you are listening to high-quality audio files such as Flac. If your audio file is highly compressed, you would lose on the actual quality of audio these earphones can produce.
We did find a few drawbacks, but not enough to complain either. Though the audio quality is pristine, the audio level is not as loud as some would love to have it — we think it could have been a bit louder. The supporting app is great, but the equalizer modes need to tweak a bit more. You cannot save edit your preset settings or custom settings and each time you make a tweak to the particular frequency bands, you need to save them as a new profile. However, audiophiles usually scrap an equalizer, and with these headphones, should do it too — you won’t be disappointed. Sadly, these headphones have a Lightning connector, which also means you cannot pump up the volume or use another DAC/audio accessory to bump up the music.
While the regular version with the 3.5mm audio jack can be used with almost every audio player out there, one has to make sure that the player’s output does justice to these earphones. As for the one we reviewed, the Lightning connector connects to Apple devices (iPhone and iPad) and works wonderfully well. In fact, when we tested out both the earphones individually on an iOS device, we preferred the Lightening version, since it has its own DAC and controller to ensure you get the best of your music.
Lastly, the audio quality for voice calls — no complaints here. The sound is crystal clear and loud.
To sum up the whole experience, we must say that the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones do live up to the price it retails for and the expectations one can have from it. The headphones have a well-balanced and clear audio performance enclosed within a premium build and are possibly one of the best in this price range. Trust us; you won’t be disappointed if you are looking for investing in this set. The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear headphones retail for a price of Rs 8,999 for the 3.5mm jack version, while the Apple Lightning jack version will cost you Rs 10,999.