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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Excellent audio quality
Many accompanying accessories
Cord stays tangle-free
Ergonomic earbud fit
Only one color option
The 1More Quad Driver in-ear earphones aren’t an average audio accessory, packing in technology that offers a rich listening experience that audiophiles and casual listeners both can appreciate.
The 1More Quad Driver in-ear earphones will keep you wanting to listen to whatever playlist you have in your rotation. These upscale wired earbuds offer a nuanced listening experience that expert and non-audiophile listeners will pick up on with ease. All of the inner workings are backed by impressive credentials. If you’ve ever wanted your listening experience to benefit from an award-winning sound engineer, you’ll find it here. I spent a few days using these earphones to listen to a range of music to see if the claims of cinematic-like audio held true.
These earphones aren’t heavy by any means, but portability is made easier—and fancier—with the gift of a leather magnetic carrying case that easily fits into a work bag or backpack. What I also appreciated was the lack of fuss when removing the earphones from the case. The cord is made of heavy-duty, oxygen-free copper wire (supposedly it enhanced audio quality) and wrapped in multi-colored Kevlar. It’s incredibly lightweight, yet tangle-resistant.
The aluminum and tungsten earbuds are a dark gray/silver shade and feel simultaneously substantial but also very lightweight—an attractive mix that lends a high-end feel. The earphone jack and button control panel also follow suit in terms of build materials and appearance. Unlike other earphone remotes that feature flat or rectangular buttons, the buttons are a pleasant circular shape and respond easily to touch prompts. And they’re easy to reach since the panel falls conveniently below the chin and around the collar bone.
While you do have your choice of eight different ear tip sizes ranging from 10 millimeters to 14.5 millimeters, I didn’t spend any time playing around with fit. The 14-millimeter buds that came standard with the earphones worked perfectly. I attribute the fit comfort largely to the 45-degree angle design of the rubber earpieces, which created a close fit that wasn’t too tight or loose. I used these earphones for one six-hour listening session and didn’t have any of the issues with discomfort that other earphones present.
The Quad Driver earphones have the distinction of being one of the first THX-certified earphones.
The Quad Driver earphones have the distinction of being one of the first THX-certified earphones. You’ve probably heard about THX in relation to George Lucas and pioneering the THX audio standard for movie theaters, car and computer speakers, and home theater systems. Given this impressive stamp of approval, you’d expect amazing sound—and that’s just what I experienced.
At first, I missed the heavy bass note I tend to gravitate toward, but I quickly adjusted. As I spent more time listening to different kinds of music—from hip hop to folk to classical—I started to pick up on new sounds that I thought were coming from outside the music at times, but were, in fact, a part of the arrangement or song. That included high notes from instruments, breathing, and even background sounds I’d never noticed before. That’s exactly what 1More says will happen. That’s all owed to the 40,000Hz high-frequency range of these earphones. That far eclipses the typical range between 20Hz to 20,000 Hz.
While these aren’t noise-canceling necessarily, the brand does claim that they’re noise isolating. I would say that’s true. Over several days of use at home and out and about, I noticed that sounds from my daily routine involving appliances like a washing machine, dishwasher, space heater and city traffic noises were largely unnoticeable. I did always feel very immersed in whatever I was listening to.
There aren’t any complementary apps or software with the 1More Quad Driver, but the accompanying accessories are quite thoughtful and packaged beautifully. Along with the eight additional earbud pieces, these earphones come with a shirt clip, a 1.4-inch adapter, and an airline earphone adapter.
Even better, the packaging is so attractive that you wouldn’t mind leaving those accessories you’re not using inside the book-like box and storing it on your bookshelf or among your record collection. While these extras don’t justify the price, they’re definite accents to a refined product.
The big draw of the 1More Quad Driver hardware is the driver construction. Most quad driver earphones employ four BA, or balanced armature drivers. Each driver has a mini arm-like structure that’s wrapped in wire and magnets, drawing current from the coil to the magnets to produce a balanced sound. The Quad Driver take this same application but combines it with another driver type, the dynamic driver, which is adept at transmitting bass. Unlike the typical quad-driver design that sticks with the four BA drivers, the Quad Driver combines one diamond-like carbon driver that takes on bass notes with two armatures that handle high frequencies, and another that takes on the highest sound waves.
If you want top-notch sound quality, the Quad Driver provides considerable value for less.
The 1More Quad Driver retails for about $170 MSRP. If you’re more accustomed to purchasing earphones for $100 or less, you may balk at the price, especially since these earphones aren’t wireless and sport the 3.5-millimeter plug that is becoming less compatible with the latest smartphones. That’s an easy fix with an adapter, which could cost as little as $9 for a straightforward 3.5 millimeter to lightning cable adapter.
But if having to purchase an adapter or forgo wireless connectivity aren’t issues for you, and you want top-notch sound quality, the Quad Driver provides considerable value for less when stacking it against high-quality single-driver options in the $200 range. And given this product’s unique quad-driver construction and price point, it puts up a strong fight against competing quad-driver models that cost nearly $500.
Talk of the 1More Quad driver will draw comparison to offerings from the Shure and Westone brands. Both companies specialize in producing audio equipment and supplies for professional musicians and music experts. One worthy competitor to the Quad Driver is the Westone W40 Earphones (see on Amazon). The major contrast is the $499 MSRP, which is considerably more expensive. For the extra investment, however, you benefit from Bluetooth and aptX audio codec technology for convenience on the go and CD-like audio quality.
Westone says that these wireless earphones have a range of 32 feet, offer 8 hours of battery life, and an IPX-4 dust- and water-resistance rating. Another plus is the longer 2-year warranty and additional accessories like the proprietary Bluetooth cable that’s compatible with any earpiece and swappable metal faceplates—but you’ll only get five pairs of alternate foam tips. If you’d rather not shell out this hefty sum, you can fall back on the fact that the less expensive 1More Quad Driver is distinct for its THX and Hi-Res certification and the unique driver configuration.
Headphones for customers who want an immersive listening experience every time.
The 1More Quad Driver earphones are ideal for the serious listener who wants to be able to listen, fatigue-free, for hours to whatever they want. While these earphones have an upscale feel, they also have a very particular look, which may not appeal to everybody. But if you’re interested in making a bit of an investment in an accessory that transmits professional, cinematic audio, these detail-oriented earphones could be the best earbuds for you.