If you read my post, Best Sounding Headphones Under $100 (2018), then you know i’m a big fan of 1MORE’s Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone ($99). At that time, I said it had the best sound of any earphone under $100, and I have yet to hear anything better. I instantly fell in love with its open, balanced sound, and delicate sense of detail. I also liked its ability to be a great all-around headphone, sounding good with pretty much any Genre you threw at it.
Because of this, I was really excited about checking out their new offering, the over-ear portable Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphone ($249), and seeing how it stacked up to its In-Ear sibling. I was hoping to get what I got from the In-Ear, but more of it. I know, greedy right? That being said, my results were mixed. Read on, and I will explain.
Now from my understanding, there are two different versions of this headphone, one made for Asia and Europe with a black and gold color scheme, and another for the U.S. Market, with a black and titanium (silver) color scheme. The U.S. Version is also said to have different tuning with more emphasis on the midrange and less pronounced treble than the UK/Asian version.
I am reviewing the black and titanium model, and while it shares some of the spacious sound and wonderful detail I loved in the Triple Driver In-Ear model, there is definitely a huge emphasis on the low end with the Over-Ear model, which may turn some audiophile purists off. However, for those who like their bass on the plentiful side, these could also make you very happy.
From when I first picked them up, 1MORE Triple Driver Over Ear seemed to have a quite durable build, being made up of a combination of mostly black and silver metal, mixed with a little plastic trim. I liked the fact that the adjustment arms and yokes which held the earcups were made of metal, since this has been a weak point on many headphones in the past.
The padded headband and earpads are covered in protein leather, which is soft to the touch and feels pretty comfortable when you are wearing the headphones. The clamping force is pretty light, just firm enough to keep them from flying off your head. I would say they got this aspect right. The earcups also rotate 45 degrees to aid the fit, and allow you to fold the headphones into a pretty compact package when you swing the arms up towards the headband.
There is also a detachable cable with color-coded 2.5mm plugs going to both earcups, a red trimmed plug matching up to the red trimmed jack on the right earcup, and a white trimmed plug matching up to the white trimmed jack on the left earcup. There are also L & R markings on the inside of the earcups as well as right above the adjustment arms showing some attention to detail.
On the side of both earcups, is a hard plastic cage of sorts, protecting a clear side panel which allows you to see through to the passive bass radiator on the inside of the headphone. (more on that later) It looks pretty cool, and puts me in the mind of the new Sennheiser HD820, with its see-thru side panels. Due to the massive price difference, I will go no further with that comparison.
If I had one gripe, it would be with the shallowness of the earpads. While they were ample enough to comfortably surround my ears, the shallow depth meant that a good part of my ears constantly rested on the interior of the earcup, mimicking the feeling I get from on-ear headphones. I found myself adjusting the headphones ever so often to avoid this. Overall they were pretty comfortable for long listening sessions though.
Once again pointing back to the Triple Driver-In Ears, I found the packaging of the Over-Ear model to be pretty similar, and that is to say very nice. Just like the In-Ear, the Over-Ears were packed inside of a nice flip top cardboard storage box secured with a gold plated magnet, which slides out of the outer retail box.
Inside the storage box is a hard shell zippered storage case, which contains the folded headphones, along with the headphone cable and 3.5mm to 1/4″ adapter which store in their own compartment within the case.
Inside of the storage box there is also a separate little envelope which carries the documentation, a sticker and a drawstring carrying bag, which is a nice touch since the hard carry case may take up too much room in certain situations.
Getting to the technical aspects of the headphones, I will mention that this model carries the Hi Res Audio Logo of the Japan Audio Society on the outer packaging, which means they meet the specs required by that body for Hi Res audio reproduction. The jury is out on what that actually means from an objective standpoint, but I won’t weigh into that debate here.
The Triple Driver Over-Ears are closed back, even though like I said before, you can see through to the interior of the headphone, and noise isolation is pretty good, even though not up to the level of a studio monitoring headphone. I was able to hear a little bit of talking from some people about 5 feet away when the music was off. I didn’t hear much with the music on.
Regarding the detachable cable, 1 MORE refers to it as: “AUDIOPHILE-GRADE DETACHABLE CABLE” and their description of it is,
“Oxygen-free copper wire with Kevlar® core and elegant braided sheath deliver meticulous sound.”
I’m not sure about its effect on the sound, but it is braided and it is pretty tangle resistant, which is nice.
My only issue with the cable is that it doesn’t have a mic or play/pause button on it. For a portable headphone in this day and age, I consider that a must-have, since many people will be listening from their phones. I get that they are doing the audiophile thing, and a mic with controls could affect the sound, but maybe they could have included a second cable for phone use, so people could have a choice. I don’t think that is out of the question for a $250 headphone.
Now let’s get to the main course. Let’s talk about the “Triple Drivers” in the “Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones.” According to 1MOREs website, the complement of three drivers is referred to as such:
“40 mm graphene dynamic driver + ceramic tweeter + bass reflector deliver a hyper-realistic detailed sound stage with silky highs, precise mids, and deep bass.”
However, there seems to be a little discrepancy between this and what’s on the box, because the box refers to the 40mm driver as “titanium”, which I would assume is titanium coated, and not graphene, which is a form of graphite, and is typically more expensive than a titanium coated driver. This may warrant some more investigation for an update.
Regardless of what the 40mm driver is made of, their description of the sound is pretty accurate, so let’s talk about what that means in terms of…
I’m really torn about the sound of these headphones. I would basically describe it as the typical fun V-shaped sound signature present in many headphones today, characterized by elevated highs and lows framing a slightly recessed midrange.
The V-Shape sound sig is popular because it sounds good with a lot of modern music, like hip-hop and electronica, but the drawback is it can sound uneven with acoustic, vocal or jazz music, and that is mostly what I encountered with these headphones.
When I first put them on, the bass sounded really boomy and uncontrolled, the highs had too much sizzle, and the mids sounded really recessed in the mix. But after a couple of days of burn-in, constantly playing music, they really mellowed out and I was able to get a better handle on the sound, so the following descriptions come from my listening after burn-in. I also did the majority of listening connected to my LGV30 smartphone since that is what I would usually connect my portable headphones to. I also listened with the ESS SABRE quad-dac activated on the V30, along with Hi-Res 24/96 music files.
Starting with the highs, they are really detailed and smooth, rolled off just a tad bit to avoid brightness. This is the domain of the ceramic tweeter mentioned earlier, and it really provides a good amount of detail.
When I listened to “My Friend The Forest” from Nils Frahm’s new album “All Melody”, the fine detail effects coming from the mic placed inside of the piano were reproduced with stunning accuracy and delicacy, along with a nice amount of air. The decay of the piano notes were also reproduced with an uncanny realism. It was very nice.
The highs also helped to create a nice wide soundstage with nice imaging, with all the effects and instruments hanging in their own bubble. It was almost 3D. When I listened to the same track on my go to portables, the B&W P5 series 2, it sounded flattened in comparison.
The only issue I heard with highs on the 1MORE headphones was a tad bit of hardness reproducing really high-pitched sounds, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the music whatsoever.
The mids, although slightly recessed, were also very detailed and present, although they had a slight amount of veil. But overall they mixed in very well, and I enjoyed this part of the presentation as well.
When I listened to “Tight” from Jazzmeia Horn’s “A Social Call”, she came across a little bit recessed in the mix, as opposed to front and center like she does on my B&W P5 Series 2s. But she sang through loud and clear although from the middle of the stage as opposed to the front.
The bottom end is where I had mixed feelings. These things have some BASS! I mean a LOT of it. 1MOREs “Bass Reflector”, which is basically a passive radiator similar to what you would see in a hi-fi speaker, resonates from the air pressure created by the movement of the 40mm dynamic driver and sends it back to the ear in the form of really deep bass tones. This results in a presentation similar to what you would get from a really good subwoofer, meaning that the bass is controlled and articulate, not boomy and sloppy. What they did with the Passive Radiator in a headphone is actually remarkable.
The only problem with this is with some types of music, like Jazz and Acoustic tracks, it can sound like the level of the subwoofer is turned up too high, and it can be distracting. Again when listening Jazzmeia Horn’s “A Social Call”, the double bass sounded way too forward and aggressive, almost having a rumble instead of the normal attack.
But with electronica albums like Nils Frahm’s “All Melody” and Perera Elsewhere’s “All Of This”, the deep, extended, articulate, bass accented the general open detailed sound of these headphones very well. It also lent itself well to Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN”, with the deep bass providing an intense rhythm that really got me moving.
I had a lot of fun with these headphones, especially with electronica. They had me pulling out all my electronica albums and hearing them more fully than I have before. But I wouldn’t call these audiophile cans for critical listening, the quantity of bass overall is too much for that. But for those who like a lot of bass, the ones who have two and three subs in their hi-fi systems, they may like these a lot. They are also well built and come with a nice carrying case to take them on the move. The sound signature will just not be for everyone.
Here’s a full list of specifications:
Type: Over-Ear Headphone
Name: 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones
Weight: 293 g
Wire: Oxygen-free Copper
Cable Length: 1.35 m
Plug Type: 3.5 mm Gold Plated
Speaker Impedance: 32 Ω
Sensitivity: 104 dB
Frequency Response Range: 20-40,000 Hz
Maximum Power: 50 mW
Implementation of Standards: Q / WMSX 003-2016
IN THE BOX:
Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones
Removable Oxygen-free Copper Cable
Gold Plated 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm (1/4″) Adapter
Deluxe Travel Case