Along with the Triple Driver, 1More sent me a review sample of their newest offering: the Quad Driver. As the name implies, it has four drivers; it uses one dynamic driver and three balanced armature drivers.
Fit and Form
These headphones come in similarly great packaging to the Triple Driver, although it is laid out a little bit differently. All of the included accessories, of which there are many, are readily visible once the buyer opens the outer packaging. Included are the headphones, the same magnetically-latched, synthetic leather, hard case that comes with the Triple Drivers, the same gamut of ear-tips as the Triple Driver, a branded, brushed metal airplane connector, a branded, brushed metal shirt-clip, and a nice, knurled 1/8" TRRS to 1/4" TRS adapter.
The included ear-tips can, again, like the Triple Driver, fit any person's ear canal, and I found myself gravitating towards the 11mm silicon tips. The included cable is permanently attached, and has a kevlar core with OFC wiring underneath, per 1More's website. It's a very quiet cable, which I appreciated, as motion noise was hardly noticeable even without music playing. I would, again, like to see 1More include detachable cables, as that would be (to me) one more step into the prosumer market. The cable has a 3-button controller with a microphone, just like the Triple Driver, but of a different design. It worked just as well with my Pixel as the Triple Driver's did, and I had no issues with microphone clarity in the few instances where I used them in a phone call. The cable terminates to a right-angle TRRS 1/8" auxiliary connector, with good stress relief. Just as with the Triple Driver (and please excuse having mentioned it so frequently, it will be abbreviated as TD over the rest of this review), the "S" is for the microphone, pause/play function, and volume controls.
The design of the IEM itself is very attractive to me. The subtle red accent gives a little color and flair to what would otherwise be a very bland, silver, aluminum casing. The casing has four vents, spaced around the body, and one on the front side that faces into the ear canal when worn; all of these are presumably for the single dynamic driver, which is mainly responsible for the low-end of these headphones.
Comfort was never a problem with these, as they are very ergonomically designed to fit into the ear while still wearing their cables down, and have good staying power, even despite running or fairly violent head-banging. I will say that the cable, as a result of its increased stiffness, can look a little odd, as it doesn't hang straight down right above the Y-splitter, but that's just nit-picking.
These headphones have a V-shaped sound signature, but it's very well executed. 1More has designed these such that mids retain their clarity and presence, while still allowing the bass to have the upper hand in terms of emphasis. Highs have good air and clarity, without becoming sibilant or grating.
The soundstage is, in 1More's own words, "intimate", which I concur with. It is pretty restrained, but I would expect nothing more from a closed-back IEM in this price range. The imaging, separation, detail, however, shoot above their price bracket. Instruments find their own place very solidly, with vocals cutting through appropriately. The texture and staging in more complexly mastered tracks is rendered well, and that makes for a very engaging listen, whether analytical or otherwise.
Songs used: Cane Shuga by Glass Animals, I Never Woke Up in Handcuffs Before by Hans Zimmer, and Makeba (Dirty Ridin' Remix) by Jain
The bass here is, in my eye, a more refined version of the bass in the TD. It has slightly less slam and punch than the TD, but gains a little bit more texture, touch, and detail. Attack and decay of faster-paced passages come through with more fidelity to the source and with less sloppiness. It retains the same satisfying, full character that I found in the TD. EDM and trip-hop, or at least what I listened to, came through with great texture and detail in their basslines, which was appreciable as that so often gets reduced to slop in cheaper, consumer headphones.
Key descriptors: full, detailed, and satiating
Songs used: Spottie by Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Hajanga by Jacob Collier, and Novocaine by Amber Rubarth
The mids here are a definite improvement over the TD as well. Although female vocals do sometimes take a slight hit in terms of forwardness, instruments and male vocals are generally very well presented, with a good sense of texture (which will become a theme throughout this review) and naturalness to them. This, in conjunction with the headphones omnipresent sense of general detail, leads to another range that kind of grabs you when listening. These, similarly with the TD, lie somewhere between lush and thin, with a tilt towards lush.
Key descriptors: engaging, detailed, and realistic
Songs used: Ageispolis by Aphex Twin, Drum Machine by Big Grams feat. Skrillex, and Because of You feat. Pigeon John by C2C
The treble is, yet again, an improvement over the TD. It is, in almost all ways, pretty much the same. Never grating, very rarely sibilant, and it has great extension, all like the TD. However, the Quad Drivers have a better sense of air and space in the treble, with their speed in attack and decay yielding a more realistic image of things like cymbals, and a more defined audition of the higher, faster passages in electronic genres.
Key descriptors: well-extended, airy, and pleasant
Minutia and Miscellaneous
Just like the TD, I don't have much to gripe on here. 1More has covered their bases very, very well with this product, from packaging, to construction, to sound. Reiterating, the one thing I'd like to see in the future is a detachable cable, either with a 2-pin connection or MMCX, as that would help with longevity, as I've shredded an IEM cable in the past, much to my own reprehension in sharing.
I think that 1More has pretty much killed it here. They took their Triple Driver, and refined it, improving detail, texture, and clarity in all ranges, with more speed in the bass and naturalness in the mids and highs. If you're in the market for an IEM in this price range, and find yourself stuck between the Triple and Quad Driver, I think the $100 jump is worth it for what you get back in sound quality. However, if you're just looking for a pair of IEMs to use while you're out and about, the Triple Driver may be more in your wheelhouse. At the end of the day, it's up to you, but I sure enjoyed the Quad Driver quite a lot, and found myself with less to gripe on than I did the Triple Driver.
I'm excited to see what 1More has in store for the market in the future.
These headphones were provided to me for review by 1More Audio. I am not being paid by anyone to write this review, to endorse the product reviewed, or for the content that I put in the review.
These headphones were powered by an Astell&Kern AK Junior, a Google Pixel, a Neurochrome HP-1, an iFi Pro iCan, and by whatever soundcard is in the motherboard of my computer.
I have had these headphones for about a three weeks, and I have put about 50 hours of analytical listening through them during that period.