1More Triple Driver Over-Ears: flawed, but beautiful!
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Hey guys! Its Your Friendly Neighborhood Reviewer with InToit Reviews. Welcome back to the Neighborhood!
Today, we’re taking a look at the 1More Triple-Driver Over-Ears. This is a unique headphone, both in build and in sound, but I don’t know if there’s a better closed-backed over-ear under $200 dollars right now?
So, let’s get InToit…
We’ll start things out with the build, and for the price, it is spectacular. This headphone is made mostly out of leather or metal, and its strong and sturdy.
Because they gave these away if you bought a particular Maserati (I’m unsure, which one, specifically), the grill of the headphone supposedly looks like the hubcap of that car; and I dig it!
The ear-cups are small, and so are the pads that they come with the triple-drivers, which is good for portable use, but suggests that these are on-ear headphones, for most people, in their stock configuration- rather than over-ear ones as their name implies. But more on that in a moment.
The ear-cups also fold-in for storage, and the headphones also come with a nice, rather rugged hard-shell case, that appears protective, but also on the chunky side for a daily commute. Available colorways include the silver, which I purchased, or a rose gold variant.
Returning to the ear-pads, they come adhered onto ear-cups, which is a major oversight by 1More. But, the pads are made of a comfortable memory foam if you have itty, bitty, baby ears and they fit inside the opening. Unfortunately, my ears are on the medium to large side, and as a result, they did not fit.
As such, I wore them as on ears, to start with, but the clamp also was uncomfortable even though the pads were plush. My ears began to hurt, and would get red after about 20 minutes of use. The clamp really, isn’t that forceful on its, so if you have small ears, this won’t like be an issue for you, but for me a pad swap was a must.
As the stock pads came glued to the headphone, I had to destroy them in order to do so. Luckily, there is a plastic, mounting ring underneath the backing of the glued-on pad. Using goo gone, and some elbow grease, I was able to remove the plastic, mounting ring from the original pads, clean them up, and then mount BRAINWAVZ Round Sheepskin Pads onto the ring instead. Be forewarned, this takes a lot of work, the final result isn’t a perfect fit, and it is irreversible- destroying the original pad in the process of this modification. Having said that, for people with normal sized ears, you may find that this modification is a must from a comfort perspective, and should prepare yourself in advance for the strong possibility of having to undertake this mod if you decide to purchase a 1More Triple-Driver “Over-Ear.” The outcome of this modification is that the fit of the BRAINWAVZ rounds on the mounting ring is “good enough,” the pad openings are “just big enough for my ears, and it maintains the look, feel, and sonic capabilities of this headphone- all while restoring comfort to it.
Although the cans, can still fit into the carrying case after this modification, it does squish down the pads a bit when you zip up the case, so I wouldn’t recommend storing the headphones in the case long-term if you make this adjustment.
The headband is also made out of metal, appears to be wrapped in a high-quality leatherette, and has plush square padding lining its underside. Although the padding was sufficient, a pressure point does form at the top of my head with extended use, most likely due to the headband itself being rather slight in its width.
There is some swivel to the yolks, and they rotate inwards more than they do outward, but they do not lay flat- another oversight by 1More. Both the ear-cup connections and the termination of the wires are marked with white for left and red for right; however, which was a nice touch, which did not go unnoticed by this reviewer.
The stock cable initiates at the ear-cups via two 2.5mm plugs and terminates in a 3.5mm TRS connection. It also comes with a quarter-inch adapter, is about 4 ft long, and is made of OFC cooper. It is a rather small and short cable; which, like the size of the ear-cups, the frame’s foldability, included the case, is suggestive of the manufacture targeting portable use.
From a design perspective, there are many unique aspects about the build items of its driver configuration. It has a small, ceramic-plate, piezo-electric driver for the highs and a 40 mm graphene-coated, myler driver for the mids and bass reproduction. There is also a passive radiator added to enhance the performance of the low-end. So, this is a very unique and interesting driver construction, indeed. And, here’s the kicker, it’s integrated well for the most part, and produces a relatively unique sound signature due to this design.
If you’re new to the channel, welcome! But, if you’ve been around for a while, you may have noticed that I rarely comment on the unboxing experience. However; in this instance, it was quite exceptional, so I must!
The outside of the box actually appears rather pedestrian, and consists of a simple cardboard sleeve, which pictures the headphones and encases the box. The box itself; however, can best be described as a vinyl presentation box. If you’ve unboxed a Sennheiser HD600 series it appears quite similar, at first, but then you open the flap by releasing the rose gold magnet to reveal beautiful, schematic, pencil drawings of headphone and its driver configuration etched onto manila paper, underneath the cover, which lines the box.
To the right of these drawings sits the case, with the moniker, 1MORE embossed on top. The headphones themselves reside in the case ready to go, with the wire wrapped in the Velcro-attached mesh that is adhered inside to the lining of the top shell of the case. It is was quite the impressive experience to unbox, and it really felt like I was unboxing a premium product; worth much more than the price I paid. At the time of this review, I was able to find deals for this headphone on Amazon between $135 and $184 dollars. I think, I paid around $130 from Drop. And, consider the build, the presentation, and the sound, I definitely think I got my moneys worth.
So, how do these sound? In general, they have a present mid-range, offer a load of detail for the price-point, and image well within a relatively large stage for a closed-back. And, although I hear good things about the AKG 371 and 361, I have yet to hear anything in a closed-backed that can keep up with these for under $300 dollars.
Having said that, separation isn’t the greatest, there is some sharpness in the treble, here or there, there are sibilance issues in abundance on certain tracks, vocals can get shouty, at times, and the bass, while great, is a unique, looming one, which will only be for particular people, who enjoy this type of presentation.
More specifically, I found that female vocals in particular could be somewhat high pitched or grating on the wrong amplifier. For example, when powered by the THX AAA 789, it could be a bit too intense, sharp, and piercing, on occasion.
Particular tracks, such as White Snake’s “In the Heat of the Night,” and Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” were simply too much to bear. I wouldn’t call this set bright, per say, as timbre was more opaque, and mildly brittle, but on the wrong amplifier; playing the wrong song, it can be taken as forcefully prickly. The snare in “Pray for Me” by Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd was grating, and the block strikes in “Rosa Parks” and the scratching in “Pink and Blue” by Outkast were relatively unlistenable.
Furthermore, the sibilance snake raised its ugly head on “Triumph” by the Wu Tang Clan, with S’s, V’s, X’s, and T’s exhibiting particular problems in the mix. If you want to know what I am referring to here, then skip ahead to 3:50 on this song: “The track renders helpless, and suffers from multiple stab woods, and leaks sounds that’s heard.”
Also, the passive-radiator bass, does have a certain tone to it. Although this headphone has accuracy in its other regions, the passive-radiator bass is definitely a fun component here, and not necessarily an accurate one. At times, it sounds like a haze of fog, which warms over the lower tones of your music. While this is quite a unique feature in the headphone space, it is much more common in speakers; yet these headphones do exhibit the same generally vicious flavor that a passive radiator would emphasize in speakers. So, if you like that presentation, then you might like the bass here; in this case.
In part, because of its bass representation and detail orientation, I found that the Triple Drivers excelled at both micro and macro dynamics. There were pretty much perfect for the music of Tool. At times, the it sounded like the listener was standing right next to the bass drum on Danny Carey’s drum kit. Because of its passive radiator, I could almost feel the low-end strikes on the polyethylene drum head on occasion.
Additionally, the Triple Driver Over-Ear is fairly sensitive, and displays hiss on high impedance sources. Furthermore, it can be over-driven quite easily as well; increasing harshness and sibilance from its ceramic twitter if over-powered. Because of this, I actually found that this headphone performed best on a phone; again, suggesting that it was designed primarily with portable usage in mind.
Paradoxically, I found that the Triple Driver Over-Ears did benefit from balanced operation, for some reason. Usually added power in sensitive cans can mean additional problems, but in this case it seemed to focus the drivers well. So, balanced, but low powered sources were best. Perhaps a lower-powered, warmer, balanced source, such as the FiiO BRT 3K, might be a good match for an external DAC/Amp for this device.
My current amp of preference for this set, is the Gold Note DS-10 utilzing an iFi IEMatch- which enhances the spaciousness of the Triple Driver’s presentation, and curbs its siblance and sharpness issues with this amplifier’s goldened, honeyed tones.
So, given its issues, what are the reasons I keep this set? Well it is a somewhat spacious sounded closed back, with a unique tweeter, a unique bass, a present midrange, and hardy, solid build. Again, these are probably the best closed backs, that I’ve heard under $300, even with the sibilance issues and harsh treble with certain tracks. Having said that, on 95% of music it is a very enjoyable headphone to listen to, but on some tracks, you will be quickly smashing the next button.
*Gold Note DS-10 available at: https://gestalt.audio/
InToit Reviews YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDhV3KByLSY2roqZ2aQ0XKg
InToit Reviews Twitter: https://twitter.com/IntoitReviews
InToit Reviews Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/intoitreviews/
InToit Reviews Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/intoitreviews