Much has been released in terms of mobile IEMs, wherein these IEMS are designed to work with your mobile phones. While mostly designed to dual function as a music listening device as well as call making device, some of these actually are worth a look from an audio enthusiast market. One of those is the 1More 1M301, of which seems to be a sleek looking design from 1More, the company that Xiaomi used to partner with. With the Xiaomi Piston being so successful as it is, much is expected from 1More with their IEM offers as of late.
Hi, my name is Jow, and this is the inaugural article for the column That bEARded Library Guy.
Build and Packaging
I liked how 1More picked the color scheme of the 1M301. Not sure if the color naturally draws attention, but the color scheme somehow makes it look pretty sleek. Add to that fact the design of the shell; while it seems to use the conventional 1More design, the sleek stem kind of makes it looks a lot slimmer.
The plug and splitter also used similar design and material, adding to that sleek and stylish overall look on the IEM. The only thing that I might have a gripe on though was that 1More failed to add a more secure strain relief on the plug and probably on the splitter. I guess they are trying for a minimized look, but for the sake of durability, a better strain relief could have been useful.
1More took a different approach for the cable, wherein the cable from splitter down to the plug has a fabric shielding while the one from the splitter to the earpieces doesn’t. Given this fact, while I appreciate the shielded part of the cable having extra protection, it actually is a bit cumbersome as it has the tendency to tangle. Good thing though that the casing included in the packaging has a cable winder to keep this from happening.
I am not a big fan of in-line controls and mics on my IEMs; I feel they have the tendency to introduce unwanted noise and at a certain level, some imbalance on the sound especially if you are listening to your tunes.
Overall, a great design from 1More from the IEM itself to the case. It would have been better had they designed the 1M301 in such a way that it can be worn over the ear, as the earpieces are slightly heavy that it sometimes tend to feel like it is being pulled down.
Given that the 1M301 is designed to be used mostly for mobile phones, I took the IEM for a spin and used it in a phone call. Fair enough, the microphone was loud and clear, and was even able to pick up a few things apart from the talker, although it was not too significant to be bothersome.
It was also a nice touch to find out that the in-line controls were actually working with a DAP, in this case, the Cayin N3. However, the strange thing is that all 3 buttons function similarly when pressed once, which is to pause and play the track. double pressing the side buttons allow you though to go back at the beginning of the track or skip to the next track. Pretty nifty, although I thought it would have been nice if single pressing the side buttons would allow some control on the volume. Also, triple pressing the back button allows you to go back one track.
1M301 is pretty much a mid-centric IEM, which seems to be the standard house sound of 1More IEMs. In comparison with the Piston Fit and Triple Driver though, the 1M301 sounded a lot bassier. One thing I disliked though is that as much as I enjoy bass, 1M301’s bass tends to be muddy at times, probably dependent on the track being played. I find the treble a bit short for 1M301, of which the Triple Driver does better. I also find the overall attack a bit more aggressive with the 1M301 compared to the Triple Driver but is somewhat similar with the Piston Fit.
Imaging is decent, should be good enough for casual listeners who rely on their phones for portable music. Sound stage is pretty much intimate, something that some audio enthusiasts to be lacking. Then again, it is an aspect that can be expected from an IEM.
Torn – Natalie Imbruglia, Left of the Middle
Mirrors – Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Never Enough – Loren Allred, The Greatest Showman OST
100 Years – Five for Fighting, The Battle for Everything
Ashes – Celine Dion, Deadpool 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Signature is obviously very typical from the 1More IEM line, however as pointed out a while ago, the bass quantity is considerably more with the 1M301 compared to the Triple Driver. It also felt quite revealing so I would expect mobile phone users will find the sound a bit sub-standard if the on-board DAC of the phone isn’t up to par with better ones. Regardless of the fact though, I think the 1M301 is going to be a good buy, considering the price to performance ratio especially if you are tied up with a budget. If you do have a little more to spare, I would probably suggest going for the Triple Driver. Overall, 1More offers a no-nonsense, straightforward tonality designed for the mobile phone users.