Lately I have been getting really busy with my life, thus not acquire any new gear and probably you have already noticed, I have not done any audio gear review lately, it is not that I don’t have thing to write of but I am just getting really busy, guiltily speaking, 90 percent of my music listening session is done when I am jogging around my living area compound, I was searching for a reasonably good sounding and cheap (dirt cheap) IEM for me to pair with my Meizu MX4 while jogging. The first that came into my mind is indeed the Xiaomi (by 1More) Hybrid IEM that utilizes 1 dynamic driver and 1 balance armature driver for just 23USD in my country with free shipping (if bought together with other Xiaomi’s product)! This is not only dirt cheap but insanely cheap for such a good spec IEM, not to mention that it has a volume control (I know you audiophile don’t favor this, me too, but really convenience for doing sport activity) and tuned by Grammy Award music producer (Luca Bignardi), also, it is made by good quality metal too! What a bargain, it seems like I am committing crime if I am not buying one, thus it is in my inventory not long after that.
I am seriously surprised when I put it on to my ears, its midrange can get little plasticky (The Xiaomi Hybrid IEM), but after burned in the plastic feel has gone (Believing burn in or not, the differences are clear, sound is way smoother), the bass response is good and I have got decent speed, soundstage and a rich sound with good dynamic, it is not regular cheap IEM with significant weakness, it just felt really good and the sound quality is really decent, clarity is very good as you can expect from the contribution of balance armature driver, if the midrange can get a better body I believe it will be an IEM that I can live on (Even without, it is very enjoyable), when I noticed the hybrid IEM is made by 1More I instantly contacted 1More to get in touch with them and I am lucky enough to get this opportunity to review their flagship (Albeit not really expensive, only 129USD for a flagship), the 1More Triple Driver IEM (Will be called TD for the rest of the review).
1More Triple Driver (Will be addressed as TD for the rest of the review), 129USD
You will surely know that it is product by 1More when you see it, they share the same design language (as the Xiaomi Hybrid IEM), a solid metal housing (albeit different colour scheme, TD use a more elegant Gold with dark brown duo tone colour housing), it looks nice and elegant, nice look is not the only merit but it is very well made too. I am surprised at how they can use so little money to build such a high grade IEM. The cable itself is made by Kevlar fiber sort of thing and the microphone and volume control is fully compatible with my android phone (Meizu MX4), I can’t find any fault on the build quality and finishing of the product, even if I raised the bar to 400USD IEM, in fact I do found that a lot of higher contender IEM manufacturer have to learn from 1More, how they sincerely and thoroughly designed an IEM is what other manufacturers need to learn.
The packaging is indeed one of the best that I have ever encountered, the box itself is quite big and very elegant looking, for the money you get ample of accessories that including a very nice IEM pouch, metal shirt clip, 3 pairs of different sizing foam tips, 5 pairs of different sizing silicon ear tips (which not yet including the one which is already in the iem), instruction manual and an airplane adaptor. The packaging itself is well contained and beautiful, a well-designed IEM with thoughtful packaging is what 1More present to their customers, I will say well done 1More! I am sure I have become your fan ever since, impressed by how well the build quality and packaging (accessories) at this price I will give them 9.5/10, get another 0.5 mark from me if they have including a 6.25mm stereo converter.
I have paired 1More Triple Driver (TD) with Meizu MX4 while I am jogging and streaming through Spotify Premium and KKBox Premium, lossless music files through iFi iDSD Nano, Centrance DACport HD and Soundaware Esther M1 Analog edition. IEM has been burn in more than 50 hours.
Without surprises, TD is very good sounding, better than the Hybrid from Xiaomi for quite a large scale without my surprise. When I first put on the TD in my ears and play music directly out from my Meizu MX4, the same dynamic and fast pacing sound signature came into my ears, it is such a pleasure that the speed of TD is exceptional, like how we will expect from balance armature driver. But now, it is blessed with better music body and the mid has carry more body too now, the bass while never get lost control, is tight, detailed and very fast.
Let’s start with treble performance first, this is what I really like about 1More, they really know how to make their IEM with exceptional treble performance, it is detailed, not only detailed but the micro-detail level is very good, the treble never made me tiring, please, I have never think that it has emphasize the treble response, if ever so slightly, but it won’t make you feel tired to listen to it, because the treble is very fast and silky smooth, it reminded me a lot about the Rudistor MD2, which in my opinion has superb treble too. The treble never caused any problem on the vocal performance or make TD sounded thin, it is just a very good performance here, good energy, dynamic and clean but never tiring, it is just how 2 balance armature driver should behaved. Bravo here!
The midrange, vocal performance now carry more body and it is quite good here, but honestly for those who always listen to mid-centric songs then TD might not made for you. To be honest, the midrange is not really recessed, it is quite balanced but it is not thick and warm, for those who love to listen to vocal-centric song usually favored thick and warm sounding midrange, but TD is just not like that. The vocal performance is not thin, it is just like how it should be. It is very clean, might not as expressive as some would like but it is well detailed, so you are not losing any spectrum here. The vocal might lacking some emotion/expression/emotion sometime but it is quite good here, better than let say my Vsonic GRD07 and the vocal is at least quite smooth and without significant edge, but I will say that midrange performance is above average but definitely not its strongest selling point, but very well performed at this price range.
The bass itself is clean, fast and detailed here. Bass impact is just average but TD has a good depth, speed and tightness of bass here. If you are listening to a lot of EDM you won’t really like it, because the bass is not particular big nor enhance here, it is well balanced and neutral, but definitely not lacking. However, I don’t really think anyone will be letting down by the bass performance when listening to rock, hip hop and EDM music because TD is quite a fast and dynamic IEM here, the sound reproduction although is quite neutral and true to life, the tempo and rhythm of the music can easily keeping up with the speed of this particular music, what you get here is not those sluggish and slow bass response like most of the bass enhanced IEM, what you will definitely enjoy here is the rhythm and tempo of the music, what will definitely make your toes tapping! Believe me, when come to EDM, bass quantity is not the only thing you should look at, speed is equally important too.
What I like the most out of TD is not only how clean, fast and detailed it is, but also for its very decent soundstage performance which at the same time has very good centre image too, no matter which source I plug it into, the soundstage is wide and the depth is good too, let along you listen to pop, classical or jazz music, the soundscape is real good here. Besides, TD is really quite easy to drive as well, my Meizu MX4 is powerful enough for TD to reach hazard listening volume, TD never distort a little even if I crank up the volume. I especially found that classical, jazz, rock, pop and hip hop play well on the TD, in another words TD is a genre master.
I especially love how the 1More Triple Driver (TD) paired with Centrance DACport HD, the bass is solid and detail level is exceptional, with a full bodied midrange, I think they have been born for each other, this didn’t mean that they can’t sounded well with other device, it is just that they are so well put together.
Now, in my honest opinion I do think that TD can easily outperformed my personal favourite Vsonic GR07, I know GR07 has been around for very long time but it is still my favourite although I have listened to Dunu D1000 too before, I still prefer my GR07, however, TD is another beast, it is my favourite now, in fact I have not listened to another IEM anymore lately, it is an exceptional IEM in this price range, and maybe most of the IEM beyond the price range too. You should give it a try too!