1MORE is one of those brands that's pretty damn easy to like. They keep making killer stuff that doesn't cost very much. Their popular Triple Driver In-Ear Monitor is hands-down one of the most frequently recommended products in all of high-end audio. And they managed to top it pretty nicely without breaking the bank last year with the 1MORE Quad Driver IEM ($199), which I also reviewed. Now, the company is trying to see if they can create the budget-priced magic once again with another bang-for-buck contender in the new Triple Driver Over-Ear ($249).
After a few false starts in the 1970's, multi-driver over-ear headphones are a bit of a rarity these days. The EnigmAcoustics Dharma made a bit of a splash a couple of years ago, combining a dynamic driver and an electrostatic super tweeter, but few other notable options of any consequence have cropped up in recent history. The engineers at 1MORE saw potential here, shifting a technology the industry had put on the back burner squarely onto the front burner of their R&D department.
The 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear combines a 40mm graphene dynamic driver and ceramic tweeter with a passive bass radiator in a single handsome design. Aside from its striking sports car style looks, the build is quite tough, with an anodized aluminum and hard plastic body and a tangle-resistant Kevlar cable. It feels like it could definitely endure more than a few drops and come away unscathed. The clamping pressure is slightly tight, putting it right about in the middle of the pack comfort-wise. It also came with a nice travel-size hard case, so bonus points in the build quality department for that.
But ambitious build intentions and thoughtful extras don't mean anything if the headphone doesn't sound good. So how does it measure up? Let's find out.
Built For Excitement
The bass here is definitely elevated in volume, but is also articulate with pretty good separation and extension. I was actually impressed at how easy it was to make out complex bass lines, likely thanks in part to the passive bass radiator. Decay is slightly slow on the low end making the TDOE warm and a touch boomy overall, but it still had enough separation and moxy in the attack to keep pace with the music when I fed it fast bass lines and double kick drums.
Unlike other mid-priced closed options like the OPPO PM-3 and NAD Viso HP50, the Triple Driver Over-Ear doesn't come off as overly thick from its bass to midrange transition, which gives the music more of a free and easy feel. It's able to pull off the feat of being a warm closed headphone without sounding terribly stuffy. Still, the midbass is quite elevated, probably by about 4dB or so, and if that isn't your cup of tea, you might want to look elsewhere.
The midrange on the Triple Driver Over Ear is solid overall, and much better than I would expect for the humble price of $249. Seasoned audiophiles will notice a recession of a couple decibels as the headphone climbs up toward 2kHz, which can make the headphone sound a little distant at times. This has never been something that bothers me personally, a recession here and a little elevation in the bass is a common signature for a warm and relaxed sounding headphone.
As is often the case with closed back headphones, some of the middle midrange can occasionally come off as slightly hard sounding due to resonant frequencies in the cup. Overall, I wouldn't call this a huge problem, but depending on the music, TDOE may pair better with a more relaxed/forgiving source.
The treble offers a little bit of sparkle, but holds back before getting too bright. The overall grain level is lower than I would expect for $249, which automatically gives it a slight leg up on many historically popular budget options like the Beyerdynamic DT770, Audio Technica ATH-M50X and V-MODA M100. It probably lands a little closer to very respectable the OPPO PM-3 in terms of overall fidelity, albeit with a significantly different sound signature, in my opinion.
Deep inner resolution is very good for the price, offering similar levels of insight into the individual instruments as my Grado SR225i. Because of it's open nature and boosted treble, the Grado was able to show and extra layer of ambient micro-details from the room, making live performances a bit more engaging. On pop/rock studio recordings things got a little bit closer between the two.
Paired up with electronic music and hip-hop, the 1MORE Triple Driver Over Ear really hits its stride, narrowing the gap between itself and many higher-priced options. Bass hits with good force and the headphone maintains a bit of nice sparkle while staying relatively non-fatiguing until you reach pretty high volumes.
And while the warm tint of the headphone's stock tuning may not be for everyone, it does respond fairly well to EQ. Adding a 4dB dip around 70Hz and a little 2dB bump up around 2kHz really flattened out the headphone pretty well for music that worked better with a more neutral signature.
I also found that the spatial characteristics of the headphone were quite good. Orchestral sections provided some interesting insight into the headphone. While the soundscape isn't huge, it is certainly surprisingly large for such a compact closed back headphone, showcasing a nice orb shape overall and a pretty cohesive center stage.
While there isn't a ton of complex depth layering going on compared to flagship level headphones, there was way more than I thought I'd be getting from a $249 closed back, that's for sure. String sections showcased some variation in depth distance from the ear, which gave the music some exciting contrast. While it scales up a bit here, the microdynamics are still a little flat overall, graying out some of the more nuanced gradations in volume in the music, so the presentation isn't perfect. But the TDOE tends to makes up for it at least somewhat with its big macrodynamics – trading in some of the fine nuance for pure power in its delivery.
Fit For Fun On The Run
Overall, the 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear is a well-built headphone and an admirable performer for its humble $249 price tag. I wouldn't consider it to be a reference headphone, but if you're just looking for something fun to rock out to while you're on the road or at the gym, I'd definitely consider it a very fun listen at an extremely reasonable price.
Used Within This Review
Voice: (855) 551-6673