I once took a sound engineer friend with me to a specialty audio store to get a new pair of living-room-sized speakers. He recommended a certain brand of “studio monitors,” and we listened to them using one of my favorite LPs (yes, it was that long ago). Then I asked the salesman (yes, only salesmen back then) to switch to another speaker brand I was interested in. Night & day. And my audio engineer friend agreed that my choice, at about half the price, was much better sounding. With that in mind, let me tell you about the 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones.
They say “over-ear” because 1More is best known for “in-ear” devices and they wanted to make sure buyers knew this was different. Opening the box, you’ll definitely know these do not go in your ear. The headphones are inside a zippered semi-rigid clamshell “travel” case, where they fold up neatly for storage. There’s also a light fabric carrying bag if you prefer. The 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones have detachable cables, and come with one set of pluggable “oxygen-free” copper cables about 4 feet long that end in gold plated plugs – a 3.5mm one for your audio device – and they include a quarter-inch gold plated adapter too.
It’s pretty easy to tell left from right, as the right-side plug & jack are marked in red, and more conspicuously, there’s a printed “L” or “R” both on the inside of the headband and on the inside of each earcup. The 1More Triple Driver headphones are not heavy at about 8.5 ounces, fit comfortably on my ears with their cushioned, leather-covered muffs and blocked most outside sound.
1More boasts about the sound quality of their design, saying that instead of having just one driver as many over-the-ear headphones do, they opted for a design more like speakers, with three drivers, essentially a woofer, a tweeter and a mid-range driver, so their headphones will sound as if you’re standing in front the stage.
My “test” of the 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones was in two parts: first plugged into my computer where I listened to a few streaming audio tracks, and then I picked a favorite & much listened to CD – Steely Dan’s Aja – and plugged into my high-quality (but not Hi-Res) audio system for a few tracks. Then I did the same with my long-time favorite headphones, the Sony MDR-7506, used in recording & broadcast studios for some 30 years; my go-to phones during my time on the radio.
There was such a difference that I asked my visiting stepson – half my age – who is a musician & audio engineer when he’s not teaching high school, to listen to the same tracks with both headphones. Without a hint from me, he came to the same conclusion in a few seconds: the Sony sounded better than the 1More.
The 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones had a lot of “bottom” to us, and maybe if you listen to bass-heavy hip-hop it’s what you’d want. The high end was there too, but it was in the middle it got muddled for both of us as we listened to the Aja tracks. Lots of elements in the complex mix: bells, horns, vocal-backing, seemed lost in the 1More, but clearly present in the Sony.
I tried both on three other CDs – Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon & Fleetwood Mac – didn’t change my opinion, but my wife picked the Sony for Paul Simon, the 1More for the other two.
As I’ve said before, choosing audio equipment is a personal thing; if it sounds good to you, whatever the price, it’s what you want. For me, and I suspect I’m not alone, the Sony MDR-7506 at $80 from Amazon, is more worth it than the 1More Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones, $249 at Amazon or direct, although the 1More got very good reviews from many audiophile sites. Use your own ears.