I’m astounded by the 1More Triple Driver.
Forget how clunky and unfamiliar that name is for a second: This is a pair of in-ear headphones that look, feel, and sound like they should cost much more than their $100 going rate. Everyone wants to upgrade those dinky earbuds that came with their phone, right? Well, this is how you do it.
Some context: 1More is a young OEM that the
Wall Street Journal once called “China’s answer to Beats.” I wouldn’t go that far, but it has sold millions of headphones in its home country, and it does have close ties to a big smartphone maker in
made its big push into the US late last year, with its whole schtick being that it’d provide quality audio at affordable prices.
Of course, everyone says that. But here, at least with the Triple Driver, it’s true.
Everything about the Triple Driver screams attention to detail. The aluminium earpieces are smooth and substantial. You pick them up and realise you’re not dealing with a toy.
This means they’re a bit weighty — enough for me to tell you to look elsewhere if you looking for something to take running — but they balance that heft well. They don’t drag down your ears. They always have a presence, but I never found them uncomfortable. The Kevlar cable doesn’t make any noise, either, and it has both a mic and a useful three-button remote.
They also create a very tight seal. Whenever a friend asks me about which headphones to get, the topic of noise-cancelling inevitably comes up, and most of the time I tell them to stay away. In-ears like Triple Driver are why: Unless your job involves being in or around an engine room, chances are you will not hear the outside world with these things in, and the music on.
Now, my ears are not your ears. If you can’t find a good fit, though, 1More puts nine sets of extra tips in the box, each of which come in different sizes and/or materials. That’s a ton. There’s a leathery little carrying case, a shirt clip, and an airline jack adaptor in there too. Even the box itself is nice. It all feels like a flagship product.
All of this would amount to lip service if the Triple Driver sounded like junk, but that’s entirely not the case. The name “Triple Driver” comes from the fact that 1More’s put, well, three drivers in each earpiece. Without getting too deep into the technical weeds, just know that “drivers” are the vibrating bits of a headphone that create the sound you hear, and that very few earphones under $100 include three of them.
The idea is to make it so the Triple Driver can hit more frequency ranges, and in practice, that’s largely the case. Bass is punchy and impactful, but not bloated. It strikes a wonderful balance between being fun and not being inaccurate. Highs are clean and clear — things like the harmonica solo on Bob Dylan’s “Queen Jane Approximately” break through the mix without feeling dull or overly harsh. Even the mids, which tend to get lost with smaller in-ears, are given (relatively) good depth and detail.
All told, this is a rich, well-measured sound that will appeal to cheapie audiophiles and “regular” people alike. No one part of it dominates the others, but it doesn’t go for that ultra-flat sound that can make high-end cans feel boring. Instead, it’s exciting, without selling out everything but the bass to get there. There’s even some width to it.
So, yeah, it’s great. I could wish for a little more oomph in the sub-bass, a little more smoothness in the treble, or a sweatproof design, but for $100, this is as out-and-out nice as in-ear headphones get. If you still own a phone with a
headphone jack, go buy them. Even if you don’t, and you care about audio, they might make using that dongle worth it.
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