1MORE Quad-Driver Hi-Res In Ear Headphone Review
Peter Donnell / 2 years ago
A Closer Look and Performance
The design of the headphones doesn’t look like it’s reinventing the wheel, they’re larger “out of the ear” drivers funnelled into an earbud driver. Of course, with four drivers built in, they’re hardly going to be compact anyway and big sound typically comes from big hardware. With that in mind, they’re not that heavy, surprisingly. 18.5g is pretty modest and that’s in no small part thanks to the building materials. Carbon fibre main driver and a slick aluminium housing make them incredibly strong, capable and lightweight… Likely contributes to the price a fair bit too, but that’s to be expected.
Luca Bignardi Who?
I couldn’t care less that the drivers are tuned by Luca Bignardi, even if he does have a Grammy for his sound engineering talents. As one person’s professionally tuned ear is not reflective of another’s audio listening preferences. However, Luca got it spot on and delivers drivers with a terrifically balanced sound. Cheaper headphones tend to over saturate the low end of the spectrum and boost the highs. This is fine, as it makes music sound big and loud, with lots of bass. Unfortunately, that’s not how the record will have been mastered, and by giving us a flatter response, 1MORE ensure you hear the album as it would have in the recording studio.
THX – Bass That Shakes Your Soul
Does that flat response mean the bass is lacking? Not in the slightest. Is music isn’t meant to sound bass heavy, then fair enough, it won’t. However, through some Cannibal Corpse through them and the double bass with rumble your soul with a phenomenally fast attack from the drivers. Headphones, even high-end ones tend to sludge the sound of Death Metal a bit, and that kinda works in a way. It’s simply because the driver is unable to respond to the sound fast enough and falls behind. There’s not of that here, and it’s really something to behold.
Low Lows to High Highs
Typically single driver headphones average out a lot of the sound, albeit they do a pretty damn good job of it. If you tune the bass up, or you have a lot of bass in the audio, it can compromise the mid-ranges a lot, and even take some of the brightness out of the highs. With three more drivers handling those more delicate and warmer frequencies you can hear a pin drop in the high-end of the EQ range while bass explodes in the low end, and I mean seriously low.
Extended Frequency Range
Running through 20-40,000 Hz they can produce bass frequencies that you can only hear in your soul, and they’ll do it without distortion. Meanwhile, it’ll push way past the typical human hearing limit of 20,000Hz to 40,000Hz. This mean’s they can easily produce anything you need, but also add some inaudible sonic frequencies that can open up the sound. This is subjective, but if you have Hi-Res audio files that are mastered for full-range, it’s time to pour a strong drink, close your eyes, feet back, and enjoy the masterful sound these headphones can produce.
Quad Drivers > Tri Drivers
The 1More E1010 headphones let the big driver deal with the bass and the bulk of the midranges. The next two drivers deal with the delicate higher frequencies, splitting the lead to prevent distortion and improve clarity at any volume, low or high. The fourth driver deals with the extreme high frequencies, adding that sparkle and air quality to the sound that gives things a real to life and natural feel. They sound like a studio-grade full-range driver, despite being quad-drivers and terrifically smaller than their studio counterparts.
They didn’t skip the little details either. With durable quality connectors, and a 99.99% pure oxygen-free copper wire (OFC). For those who like their audiophile-grade hardware, a humble cable can compromise a lot.
Heck, I felt like a beast using my phone for some of the tests rather than a dedicated amp, PSU, and a few hits from my Vinyl collection. But hey, these are portable, so kicking some FLAC files on my phone (Samsung S9+) while laying in a comfortable chair hardly felt like second best.
They’re pretty comfortable too, and I typically don’t like these larger in-ear designs. The 45-degree ear channel fits pretty snug, and even more so with the extra earbuds in the box. The lightweight aluminium construction and the surprisingly skinny, yet very strong, cable didn’t hinder anything either.
Even the in-line controller feels refined and cared for. It has all the usual buttons for pause, play, skip and volume controls, and works great on mobile devices. There’s a pin-hole microphone too, and while I lack the specifications for it, I can’t fault its performance. Call audio was bright and clear on the listener side. I was more surprised how natural other peoples voices sounded for me though, those drivers handle anything you throw at them with style.