1More sent me an evaluation sample of both their Triple and Quad Driver, and I've spent the past 3 or so weeks with them. After the full respective reviews of each, I'll run them A/B as close as I can and post a direct comparison of the two, so that those that are stuck between the two can have a (hopefully) better perspective as to their differences.
Fit and Form
I've got to give 1More props for their packaging. It is elegant and simple, while still being very attractive and solid. All accessories reside in separate dedicated boxes by use-case, and they include an absolute plethora of ear-tip sizes, which I'm sure can satisfy anyone's ear canals. I gravitated towards the 11mm silicon ear-tips, which was abnormal, as I usually prefer foams.
I received the bronze/blue color combination, and I find it very attractive. The headphones sit well in my concha, and I experienced no discomfort during use. They are worn downwards, not over-ear, and even so, I didn't have issue with them slipping out of my ear. As these do include a dynamic driver along with the 2 balanced armatures, there are two (apparent) ports, one of the side that faces into the ear, and one where the shaft holding the cable meets the body of the IEM. The IEMs are both labelled, left and right, and that's also apparent in the design.
Here's a summary of all the accessories that are included: a very nice, magnetically-closed, synthetic leather hard case (identical to the one that comes with the Quad Drivers), a branded, brushed metal airplane convert, a branded, brushed metal shirt-clip, and the gamut of ear-tips aforementioned. These are all enclosed in separate boxes in the full, magnetically-latching package.
The cable is rubber above the Y-splitter, fabric below, and permanently attached. Although it isn't silent, it isn't microphonic to the point of annoyance, though you can hear your movement when no music is playing. There is a 3-button controller with a microphone that worked well with my Pixel. The microphone (only tested in one phone call) sounds good enough, as the person on the other side of the line had no trouble understanding me. The cable terminates to a TRRS 1/8" auxiliary connector, with the "S" reserved for the prior-mentioned 3-button controller.
These are a very good example of the now-common, consumer, V-shaped sound signature. Although mids do recess to the point that sometimes vocals can seem a little distant, and the bass can get a little bit boomy, they still sound great for just under $100. The bass, although not extremely controlled, is satisfying and has great thump/slam. There were at least a few tracks/albums where I noticed that vocals sounded a bit thin or recessed, but otherwise, they did a good job with vocals in general. Instruments fare a little bit worse, sitting slightly further back in the mix. Highs are present and in good quantity, but don't have too much air to them. They weren't ever sibilant, thankfully, but they just felt a little bit congested, if that makes sense.
The soundstage, as would be expected, is relatively small, but imaging and separation are good enough that there is still distinct space for each instrument and vocal line. Vocals, even when quiet, tend to sit relatively front and center, with a very solid "inside-the-head" presentation. Instruments and basslines spread out further.
Songs used: Alright by Kendrick Lamar, Down the Mother Volga by Kovcheg, and Three Ralphs by DJ Shadow
The bass is certainly large, and I will give them that. In complex, fast passages, it can get ahead of itself and get a little bit lost, but I only noticed that with particular cases. In general, it is a little bit boomy, but not so much so that it hugely detracted from the listening experience. Sub-bass presentation is very good, with tracks like "Three Ralphs" having a deeply satisfying rumble to them, without too much unwanted stuttering taking place. The attack and decay is a little bit muddled, but on the whole, it's fairly competent.
Key descriptors: big, slamming, and extended
Songs used: Rolling in the Deep by Dirty Loops, T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S by The Hives, and Red & Black Light by Ibrahim Maalouf
I think that this range was the weak-point of this headphone, but it is not bad whatsoever. Sure, the mids sit back in the mix, but vocals never recessed to the point that I found them unlistenable, by any means. In some tracks, vocals (particularly male) seemed somewhat distant, with instruments moving a bit further back behind them. However, these are not designed to be flat headphones, and I understand that. These make a great fun pair of headphones with some extra refinements that a lot of common consumer headphones don't have. The mids, in terms of quality, are pretty average; they aren't particularly thin, but they aren't particularly lush either. They sound pretty natural, which is definitely a plus in my book.
Key descriptors: light, recessed, and natural
Songs used: Ageispolis by Aphex Twin, K.K.P.D. by Christian Scott, and Viol by Gesaffelstein
The treble here is slightly emphasized, when compared to the mids. Cymbals are presented well enough, but the attack and decay is a little bit slow for a truly natural sound. The ding that ride cymbals produce in real life is slightly slurred into the decay that follows, but that's nit-picking, on my part. On the whole, the highs are not very airy, but don't come across as grating or sibilant, thankfully. In flowing passages of high notes, the continuity that I referred to earlier serves these headphones well in terms of creating a cohesive sound.
Key descriptors: forward, flowing, and liquid
Minutia and Miscellaneous
Given how well 1More has done with their construction and design, I really don't have much to say here. I would like to see 1More include detachable cables in the future for longevity's sake, maybe with an MMCX connector. I found that the included carrying case was pretty great, although it would have been nice for 1More to include a puck of some sort, like Xiaomi does, such that they would be less likely to get tangled, if the user doesn't have the time to over/under wrap them when putting them away.
In re-reading, I feel that this review comes across as very critical. I have just come off a number of higher-end headphones, and I think that has, to some degree, influenced the degree to which I'm nit-picking these. In sum, for under $100, these are a very good deal. Yes, the bass can get boomy, yes the mids are a bit recessed, and yes the treble is not particularly natural-sounding, but those are really the only three things that I could find to harp on. In simple listening, these are very pleasant, presenting modern music with fidelity to the source and a good representation of what I think the artist intended. They never become unrestrained or uncohesive, and are certainly a great time for anyone who is a fan of EDM, hip-hop, or other bass-heavy genres. For a pair of IEMs to carry with me and use on-the-go, these seem like a great choice.
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 40 hours of analytical listening through them during that period.