Why is everyone is talking about these in-ear headphones? Do they have a revolutionary performance that seems too good to be true? Are they able to outperform other headphones that cost twice as much? If you want to see how they’ve managed to build their strong reputation in such a short amount of time – you came to the right place!
Throughout this review, we’ll do our best to help you understand the best and worst features they have to offer, as well as hopefully answering any questions you have! Our second goal is to point out where they perform at their best (and for what type of listener)!
If you’re anything like us, you probably agree with the importance of having all the facts before you make your decision! Keep reading our 1More Quad Driver Review to see why they’re the best in-ear under $200!
1More Quad Driver Review – Best In-Ear Under $200
Basic Features & Technical Specs:
- In-ear canal wearing design
- Connectivity: Wired
- Driver Type: 1 Carbon dynamic + 3 balanced armature (per each earpiece)
- Frequency Response: 20 – 40,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 99 dB
- Compatible With: Apple and Android devices
- Includes: 1/4″ adapter, leather traveling case, 9 pairs of ear tips, airplane adapter, & shirt clip
- Cable Length: 1.25 m (4.1 ft.)
- Weight: 0.65 ounces
Before you move on, take a quick look at the links below that you can use to navigate our review. Each section will provide an in-depth analysis for each individual performance aspect.
Here are the 5 most important features you’ll want to consider before making your decision:
- Build Quality & In-Line Controls
- Comfort & Passive Noise Isolation
- Benefits of 4 Drivers In Each Earpiece
- Sonic Performance – Best Sound Under $200?
- Are They The Right Fit For You?
Now that you’ve taken a quick look at the technical specs, let’s start by examining two of the most important features – their build quality and in-line controls!
Build Quality & In-Line Controls
As you can see in the picture above, these headphones have a very unique build design. Their sleek and stylish design (plus the premium packaging they arrive in) makes for a very enjoyable unboxing experience.
Each earpiece housing features a tapered barrel-shaped design that’s supposed to act as a mini acoustic chamber. The tapered ends also have what appear to be bass vents, although we’re not exactly sure whether or not they were added for purely aesthetic reasons.
Brushed Aluminum Housings & Oblique Ear Fittings
Everything from the brushed aluminum housings, to the housing at the y-split, and in-line remote feels very solid. Each earpiece also features a red ring between the tapered end and earpiece nozzle. They also have both left and right indicators (in white) on the inside portion of either housing.
The ear fittings themselves, sit at a 45° that’s slanted inwards. They were designed this way to point slightly downwards when they’re in your ears. This helps with not only basic comfort and fit, but also contributes to a more direct audio stream.
These in-ears are only available in the single color scheme pictured above. If you can’t stand gray earphones for any reason – there isn’t really a practical workaround (unless you want to paint them by hand, of course).
Before we move on to the cable and in-line remote, it’s important to keep in mind that these aren’t exactly ideal for working out. Although their fit may suggest otherwise, they are not waterproof or sweat-resistant. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s take a look at the Kevlar core cable!
Cable & In-Line Remote
The Kevlar core headphone cable is non-detachable. It’s made of twisted oxygen-free copper and has an almost ‘rust-like’ appearance. It also features a 90° right angle 3.5 mm connector that makes these ‘phones better for portable use.
Like most other premium headphones, the cable is also tangle-resistant. Unlike the previous Triple Driver model, the cable material is the same running all the way up to both earpieces. At the y-split, there is a small aluminum housing.
When you’re holding the cable in your hands, it feels very sleek, durable, and lightweight. Does the cable material cause any noticeable cable noise or ‘microphonics’ when it rubs against your shirt?
Microphonics & Leather Carrying Case
Due to its Kevlar core, you shouldn’t be able to hear any cable noise or microphonics. Once again, this mainly applies when you listen to music at a walking pace (or sitting down at your desk). You’ll also receive a 1/4″ adapter that you can use to pair your ‘phones with a receiver or external DAC/amp.
Although you will receive a 1/4″ adapter, it’s not absolutely necessary to pair these with an external amp. (We’ll cover their sonic performance in full detail below.) When you use the in-line microphone featured on the back of the control box, your voice will be very clear on the other end.
The included compact leather carrying case features a magnetic clasping design that makes a satisfying sound as you open and shut the case.
(It also smells like real leather, despite being a faux variation.) Next, let’s take a look at the 3 button in-line remote!
3 Button In-Line Remote & Microphone Clarity
There is a 3 button remote on the right side of the cable that runs directly into the right earpiece. Each button is circular and the center button protrudes slightly further than the top/bottom buttons.
Since the center button is slightly elevated, it creates a much better tactile response which also, in turn, makes it easier to tell which button you’re pressing (without having to look down). The actual controls are extremely straightforward and intuitive.
Here are the basic button control functions:
- Top button – volume up/skip forward
- Middle button – pause/play & answer incoming calls
- Bottom button – volume down/skip back
That seems pretty straightforward, right? All of the controls listed above should work seamlessly with your Apple/Android smartphone, tablet, and/or computer. Now that you know what to expect in terms of build quality and the in-line remote functions, let’s take a look at how comfortable they are!
Comfort & Passive Noise Isolation
As you were quickly scanning the tech specs above, you may have noticed that you’ll receive a total of 9 different pairs of ear tips. When you open up the package, they will be separated by size and labeled in millimeters. Out of the 9 total, 6 are made of silicone. The final 3 tips are made of memory foam.
Some people find that the silicone tips are more comfortable, while others prefer memory foam. If you’ve never used memory foam tips, using the right size can help form a tighter seal. After you’ve removed the silicone tips, replace them with a pair of memory foam tips.
Once they’re in place over the ear fittings – use your thumb and index finger to squeeze each tip. Once the memory foam is compressed, put them in your ear. After they’re in place, your body heat will cause them to expand and take the shape of your specific ears.
It’s hard to say which ear tips are more comfortable since it will ultimately boil down to your personal preference. We find that the memory foam tips are more comfortable for longer listening sessions. Regardless of which ear tips you decide to use, the overall build will remain fairly lightweight.
They cause hardly any noticeable inner ear fatigue (if any at all). You should have the same experience once you find the correct size and material for your ears. Are these meant to be worn cable-down or looped over like IEMs?
Most people wear them cable-down the same way you would regular in-ear headphones. If you find that the weight of the in-line control box is pulling down too much, you can loop the right and left cables over your ears. Although these weren’t necessarily designed to be worn this way, it’s a quick and easy way to solve the issue.
Passive Noise Isolation
You will be almost completely isolated from ambient noise, regardless of which tips you’re using. Both the silicone and memory foam tips provide an above-average amount of passive noise isolation. In most cases, you will be able to block more ambient noise using the memory foam tips.
Then again, it isn’t always black and white since some people still prefer using the silicone tips. In quiet environments, you won’t be able to hear any outside noise – especially when you’re listening to music. In louder environments, like a crowded coffee shop or walking down a busy street, your surroundings will be significantly muffled.
Most people are very satisfied with their noise isolation, especially for casual everyday use. That being said – if you’re someone who frequently flies on airplanes or almost always works in extremely busy areas – it might be worth considering the Etymotic Research ER4XR instead.
Comfort For Extended Listening
Overall, these earphones are fairly comfortable for extended use. They aren’t very heavy at all (especially considering their all metal build). They also have a flexible design that allows you to wear them cable-down or looped over your ear.
In terms of comfort, there are plenty of ear tips to choose from and they leave very little to be desired. Before you read about their audio quality, you might want to see a few possible benefits of storing 4 drivers in each earpiece!
Benefits Of 4 Drivers In Each Earpiece
Many in-ear headphones have only one or two drivers. Often times, they house either dual dynamic, single dynamic, or a single balanced armature. These ‘phones have a hybrid combination of both. Does the extra driver make a significant impact, or not?
Each earpiece has a single carbon dynamic, as well as 3 balanced armature. What are the benefits? Is it overkill? Well, since each of the 4 types handle different frequencies, the audio reproduction should sound extremely detailed.
Dedicated Frequency Separation
The dynamic handles the low to mid bass response and each balanced armature handles frequencies in the upper mid range and treble. Since each one is dedicated to a specific frequency, the instruments, vocals, and other elements should be clearly separated. How do they perform when you put them to the test?
Sonic Performance – Best Sound Under $200?
To put it bluntly, these ‘phones not only look great, but sound great too. As we briefly mentioned above, they are extremely easy to drive. You can plug them right into your smartphone, laptop, or DAP and experience everything described in detail below.
Their v-shaped sound signature provides a very exciting listening experience that may or may not line up with your personal preference. They have extremely engaging playback that comes across in a way that’s somewhat similar to the V Moda Zn. How do they sound in the low, mid, and upper range?
Bass Response – Extended Rumble
There is a noticeable (and satisfying) rumble in the low end that you don’t always get from other in-ears. They have significant sub-bass extension and a more-controlled mid bass response.
Despite the rumbling low end, the bass rarely (if ever) comes across as being too overpowering. That being said, it does have a noticeable effect on the mid range.
Mid Range – Laid-Back or Overshadowed?
Unfortunately, the mid range tends to have a somewhat subdued presence when listening to certain genres. On certain recordings, the vocal presence can become slightly overshadowed by the extended sub-bass rumble.
If the vocals were elevated by just a few notches, the sound would be almost perfect right out-of-the-box. While the vocals aren’t as bright as some would like them to be, other acoustic instruments in this range have a very warm tonal quality.
All things considered, they perform very well on orchestral tracks where the strings are able to cut through any excessive low end instrumentation. Tracks like “Fear Will Find You” from The Dark Knight Rises Official Soundtrack are great for testing this effect. Listen to the full audio below to get a better idea:
Treble – Not Enough Extension?
On most tracks, the treble is very detailed and smoothly rolled off. The only minor downside is that it isn’t extremely spacious or extended. When you’re listening to songs like “Time” by Pink Floyd, you may have to slightly lower the volume. Listen to the full audio for “Time” below to get a better idea:
Although the highs don’t become piercingly-sharp, we think it’s worth mentioning since there is a pretty obvious emphasis.
Imaging & Detail Separation
When it comes to detail separation, it’d be hard to find a competing pair of in-ear headphones at this price point. You can clearly hear each individual layer on tracks ranging from classical to electronic and rock.
They have noticeably-improved detail and clarity (especially in the upper range). Their imaging is also fairly accurate with the only downside being their slightly narrow soundstage. When you’re listening to most styles of music, you won’t feel extremely closed off. On the flip side, it won’t feel very spacious either.
For the most part, the imaging isn’t exactly mind-blowing, but still manages to remain wider than many other in-ears. How would we describe their overall sonic performance?
Are They Engaging or Analytical?
If we had to describe the way these perform in one sentence, here’s our best shot: They have a unique sonic performance that makes them extremely engaging and very fun to listen to. What do we mean by that? Well for one, they’re definitely not ideal for critical listening. This is mainly because they aren’t flat, analytical, or neutral by any stretch of the imagination.
They are also significantly more v-shaped than the 1More Triple Driver (which is likely due to the extra balanced armature). Compared to their predecessor, they have a little bit more sparkle in the treble and rumble in the low end. Who are these most ideal for? Read our final recommendation below!
Are They The Right Fit For You?
These would be a great fit for you if you enjoy extremely engaging playback that forces you to pay attention to your music. If you need some quality in-ears for everyday listening at home or on-the-go – they are definitely worth considering.
They’ve proven themselves worthy of competing with other similarly-priced IEMs and were also featured on our Best In-Ear Monitors Under 200 roundup. If you only prefer a well-balanced and neutral response, they probably aren’t the best option for you.
Their futuristic build also matches well with a wide variety of fashion choices. (When you wear these outside, you’ll be making a fashion statement – whether you want to or not.) Their engaging playback and comfy wearing design leave very little room for major improvement.
If you aren’t quite sure whether or not these will fulfill your needs – we suggest you take a look at the review table below. There, you will see the main pros/cons as well as how we calculated their final rating out of 10.
Now that you’ve read our entire 1More Quad Driver review, what do you think? Are you satisfied with their overall performance? Do they deserve to be called the best in-ear under $200?
If you’d like to see more information before you decide, click the link below!
Let us know what you think by leaving a question or comment below! We always do our best to respond as quickly as we can! Thanks for stopping by to take a look at our overview, we look forward to hearing from you!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones
Build Quality & In-Line Controls9.0/10
Comfort & Passive Noise Isolation9.0/10
For Everyday Listening9.5/10
- Strong Sub/Mid-Bass Response
- Impressive Detail Separation
- Very Comfortable For Extended Listening
- 4 Drivers Dedicated To Each Frequency
- Compatible With Apple & Android Devices
- Slightly Subdued Mid Range (On Certain Recordings)
- Narrower Soundstage
- Only Available In One Color Scheme