Updated: Added information about the Triple Driver’s availability in the U.K.
Perhaps best known as the acoustic developers behind Xiaomi’s Piston 3.0 headphones, China-based 1More recently unleashed a wide array of headphones aimed squarely at the rapidly-exploding American market. The Triple Driver in-ears are the first pair from 1More we’ve tried firsthand, and if these value-packed headphones are indicative of the rest of the line, 1More may just be poised to make some serious waves this year.
So named for their formidable combination of dual balanced-armature drivers matched with a dynamic driver to pump up the lower end, the Triple Driver have all the trappings of an upper class headphone — inside and out. These in-ears boast plenty of impressive features, but perhaps the most remarkable thing about them is the price: At $100, they make others in their class look embarrassingly overpriced.
While the satiny finish on the exterior gleams like fresh copper, the casings are actually cast from an aluminum alloy, designed for both durability and a clean, sparkling finish. The gleaming exterior has been sandblasted, and the entire casing has a premium feel.
The braided cables are wrapped in Kevlar to stand up to the rigors of everyday use, and are equipped with a snazzy-looking triple-button inline microphone, compatible with iOS and Android devices.
As for the headphones’ namesake triple drivers, the company chose balanced armatures — which are heralded for their laser sharp accuracy — to handle the more delicate upper register instrumentation, matched by single dynamic driver in the low end for a smoother, more authoritative punch in the bass.
As for the performance, the headphones definitely impress, offering a clean and clear presentation of the upper frequencies (with a claimed 40 kHz max frequency range), easily exposing finer details, and drawing out instrumental texture. The dynamic driver down below reproduces balanced, weighty bass, but definitely doesn’t go overboard — You never feel like these buds are going to blow you out of the water down low.
Our only real critique on the performance is that, on some tracks, the armature drivers can sound a tad thin and cool in color, rendering instruments like cymbals and brass with a little too much zing. In turn, that makes for a larger gap between the lighter top side and the more powerful lower register, which makes it harder to create a smooth blend from top to bottom. The buds are also a little wide at the tip, which may make them a difficult fit for some ears — a small price to pay for sound this good in a headphone at this price point. In fact, we expected these buds to cost at least twice as much.
Those looking for a high-value option are going to have a very hard time finding this kind of build quality and design elsewhere at this price point. Those looking for a brilliantly accurate headphone with balanced bass — and a gorgeous finish — will definitely want to give 1More’s new Triple Driver a long look.
The earbuds are available online from multiple retailers, and in May 2017 they made their way to the U.K. market as well.