1More Triple Driver over-ear headphones review

These triple-driver headphones sound gimmicky -- until you listen

1More’s Triple Driver Over-ears ramps up your favorite tracks in all the right ways.
1More’s Triple Driver Over-ears ramps up your favorite tracks in all the right ways.
1More’s Triple Driver Over-ears ramps up your favorite tracks in all the right ways.

Highs

  • Very comfortable
  • Clear and sparkling treble
  • Punchy, solid bass
  • Dual traveling cases

Lows

  • No mic piece or controller on cable
  • Stylized sound and aesthetics won’t be for everyone

Chinese audio company 1More’s Triple Driver earphones bucked the odds when they hit the U.S. a few years back, becoming that anomaly in the audio world that back up their gimmick with extraordinary performance for the money. As the name suggests, each earbud uses three separate drivers — dual balanced armatures and a single dynamic driver — for sound that far exceeds what we expect from a pair of $100 buds.

The company’s latest headphones, announced at CES in January and finally making their way to market, pull a similarly gimmicky trick, bundling a graphene driver, a ceramic tweeter, and a bass reflector together to keep 1More’s highest-profile branding intact. While not quite the same head-slapping bargain as the original, the Triple Driver Over-Ear are much more than hype, providing a sparkling clear, revved-up sound signature that’s worthy of their namesake.

1More book

Every 1More product we’ve received comes in a similar box, designed to look like a hardback book, with aesthetic cues that look equal parts electronics and makeup box. A gold magnetic seal opens to a salmon-tan paper exterior, cut around a black-matte hard case. DaVinci-esque sketches of the headphone’s architecture line the box’s interior, along with a separate box with a soft-case for tighter traveling scenarios.

1More Triple Driver Over-ear headphones
Riley Young/Digital Trends

The headphones rest folded in on themselves inside the hard case, revealing a highly stylized design, including earpieces adorned with transparent windows and what appears to be wheel rims along the exterior. Accessories inside the case include a fabric-sheathed black connection cable and a gold quarter-inch adapter.

Features and design

Love it or loathe it, there’s nothing vanilla about the Triple Driver Over-ears’ design. The perfectly circular earpieces look like stylized truck tires thanks to the rim-like protective plates, while matte black lines along the aluminum-alloy cups are met with plenty of laser-cuts of silver. The exterior windows at the sides are actually the clear bass reflectors, but there’s some definite ‘90s nostalgia at play anytime you can see inside your electronics.

Generous padding on the earcups and along the wide band is jacketed in smooth leather — a welcome touch at the $250 price. Designed for long listening sessions, the Triple Driver Over-ear are light (293 grams to be exact) and quite comfortable. “Intelligent grooves” in the band are designed to take pressure off your head and 45 degrees of rotation helps each earcup fit just right.

At the back of each earcup is a stereo input for the bifurcated cable, with helpful color coding to delineate the left and right channels, matched by oversized “L” and “R” lettering inside. 1More says the oxygen-free copper cable boasts a Kevlar core, but what it doesn’t offer is a mic piece or control keys of any kind, which have become standard at this price tier (and well below).

1More will argue this away by saying these headphones are designed for “studio” listening, but though the performance is impressive, you won’t likely choose these for mixing or tracking, and a single-button mic piece at the least would have been appreciated. On the other hand, dual traveling cases do add some extra value.

Generous padding on the earcups and along the wide band is jacketed in smooth leather.

While the Triple Driver Over-ears’ namesake isn’t just hype, there are technically just two active drivers in each earcup, including a 40mm graphene-coated dynamic driver and a ceramic tweeter designed for faster transient response, coupled like a miniature two-way speaker. The passive bass radiator makes up the third “driver,” pushed by the woofer for enhanced bass.

A Hi-Res certification badge means the Triple Driver Over-ears offer an extended frequency response, reaching from 10Hz to 40kHz, while a 32 ohm impedance rating makes them easy to power with virtually any device.

Performance

If we had to sum up the Triple Driver Over-ear’s sonic performance in one word, it would be “fun.” The sound signature is highly affected, which is why these probably shouldn’t be used for studio work — for that, you’ll want something with a flatter (and, some might say, more boring) frequency response.

Instead, the Triple Driver Over-ear provide a colorful sonic flavor, marked by a bright and sparkling midrange, sweet and clean treble, and some revved up bass for a vibrant ride across frequencies. That said, while they’re anything but flat, the headphones offer plenty of detail and textural revelation, matched by a relatively open soundstage to allow all each instrument in a track to flourish.

1More Triple Driver Over-ear headphones
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Vocals, piano, and woodwinds sound especially smooth and silky with the Triple Driver Over-ear, with voices pushed prominently to the forefront. Elton John’s Tiny Dancer serves up a piano track that’s equal parts crystal and cream, while percussion is snappy and tight at the attack. Similarly, John Denver’s Poems, Prayers, & Promises from his gorgeous Wildlife Concert recording provides striking instrumental separation, from the perfectly cut triangle at the far right, to the fluttering breath of the flute, to the dreamy slide guitar at center left.

For ears used to the less stylized response of balanced armature and planar magnetic drivers (i.e., those of yours truly), bass can very occasionally get a bit boomy thanks to some extra scoop in the midbass, but to our delight, it never masks the higher register, leaving the treble and midrange free and clear to take up their own space. Putting that bass reflector to work on songs like Too Short’s Just Another Day makes for some exciting listening, too, holding its own with solid, powerful hits that rock through your eardrums.

Warranty

1More offers a one-year warranty for all products purchased from authorized dealers. You can find out more about the warranty from the company’s website.

Our Take

1More’s sweet and salty Triple Driver Over-ears add another check mark to the brand’s win column, offering a comfortable fit matched by a lively sound signature that ramps up your favorite tracks in all the right ways.

Is there a better alternative

There are so many headphones in the $200 to $300 segment we could be here all night naming alternatives, but we think the Triple Driver Over-ear hold their own quite well. That said, we’ll name a few to consider, including wireless models like V-Moda’s bass-happy Crossfade 2 Wireless, Even’s wood-grain H2, and perhaps the closest to the 1More as far as sound quality, Audio-Technica’s MSR7, which offer a cleaner, more professional-looking design and a tighter lower register, though we don’t think they’re nearly as comfy.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re looking for colorful style in both design and performance, 1More’s latest addition to the Triple Driver family are another great buy.

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