While a ton of IEMs were released in the market, there’s very few that has somehow captured the hearts of enthusiasts (audio and mobile phone alike) that has been quite versatile in both aspects, that is, excellently works with a mobile phone and has some serious sound quality to pass the standards for both. A handful came out that somehow favored both fans, yet there still are some gripes as (1.) there’s really non perfect IEM for use for both, and (2.) there’s always the argument about the mic having some adverse effect on an audiophile caliber IEM.
Thankfully enough, there’s a few in the list that, while may not be perfect, are capable of at least building a compromise to bridge those 2 aspects. Given that, we were fortunate to have a try for the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone, an IEM designed by the said brand that carries a dynamic and 2 balanced armature drivers in the hopes of carrying a rich, unique sound by fusing the capabilities of hybrid tuning. This we will be testing today.
Sound is as Good as it Gets
The idea of capitalizing on hybrid setup for drivers is to allow a better control on how the sound is; basic idea is that BA drivers have faster resolution while dynamic drivers allow that analog and more organic sound. While some other IEMs rely on letting the full dynamic range be taken care of by a particular driver type, hybrid setup would let both types synergize and take care of the nuances of each. Unfortunately, in the case of some hybrid IEMs, the biggest quirk that the designer has to face is the coherence between these driver types, as it is quite common for such setup.
Thankfully enough for 1More, they were able to design the Triple Driver IEM in such a way coherence was not a big issue; fact is, while it might sound a bit present, it is barely noticeable while listening to it. There goes a plus for the said IEM.
Tonality wise, it still carries the usual 1More house sound: mid-centric tonality that should be pretty enjoyable to listen to as it let’s a decent amount of details off the mid-ranges. There’s quite a hefty amount of bass coming from the Triple Driver, not as lush as the one from 1M301 but is definitely enough for casual listening. However, I really won’t recommend the Triple Driver IEM if you are into bass happy genre as it might leave you a bit discontented unlike the 1M301 that really shines with such genre.
Treble is quite good in the sense that it allows that crisp sound that should at least make the overall sound sparkly, although not letting sibilance in any way. I think 1More did it just right, if the plan is to make the sound a lot more balanced, quite a polar difference against the 1M301.
Sound stage is pretty intimate, something that is expected from an IEM given it’s sealed design, but should be pretty decent for some listeners.
Happy – Pharell Williams, Happy
Promise Her The Moon – Mr. Big, Big, Bigger, Biggest! – The Best of Mr. Big
Logical Song – Supertramp, Magnolia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Say Yes to This – Jill Scott, The Hamilton Mixtape
Tuesday’s Gone – Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd
Cayin N3 + Centrance HiFi-M8
Astell & Kern AK100 + Centrance Glove A1
Overall, in terms of price-to-performance ratio, I would highly recommend the Triple Driver if it was for the sound, something that you won’t always get out of an IEM designed for mobile phone use.
Hopes for a Great Build
What I liked the most about the Triple Driver IEM is the material used in the earpiece shell. The metal shell felt pretty solid to me, and while it may not be detachable (some IEMs in this price point would tend to be detachable these days), I still feel that it can last for quite some time if taken care off. The stem, while slim, still feels sturdy enough, which doesn’t seem to give up pretty easily.
The cable is pretty well-made too, and is shielded by a Kevlar-like material (this I will have to confirm) which I think should take care of the wire. My only gripe is that the wires can be a bit stiff, and can look sore over time if twisted or folded inappropriately. Still, I think the wire build somehow compensates for the absence of detachable option for the cable.
I dig the way the in-line controls look, using a very simple design allows some discretion of it. However, the casing of the controls felt a bit cheap with the use of a plastic material, and I thought that since 1More already used great materials for most of the IEMs, they might as well have gone all-out by using a similar material for this.
Cable splitter and 3.5mm plug also looks very simple, and used the same solid material. This made me wonder why 1More resorted to using plastic for the in-line controls housing, something that they could have done a better job with.
Finally, it was pretty nifty for 1More to include a really nice storage case for the Triple Driver IEM. It feels sturdy, uses a faux leather material, and seals with a magnet that gives the entire thing quite some flair. Pulling a black and gold themed IEM out of a leather box with a magnetic seal totally ups the looks of the Triple Driver.
A minor grip on the material used on the in-line control housing and the wires, but overall, the build doesn’t look something from a $100 IEM.
The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones are pretty good for $100, and should be an automatic pic if you have a few extra bills to spare if you are planning to buy a cheap IEM for your mobile phone. It does its job really well; excellent sound off the mic, great quality for audio, and a price that doesn’t inhibit you to touch your savings. If I am asked by both a mobile phone and audio enthusiast, I will highly recommend this, especially with tonality and build.