1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones (Earphones/Earbuds) with Apple iOS and Android Compatible Microphone and Remote (Black)

General Information

Warning! You may need to be seated when you first experience our 1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones. They create an audio experience unlike anything you've ever heard before. The sonic expression of your songs is so detailed and intimate you feel as if you are right there with your favorite artist as a fellow band member. We achieve this through serene clarity, acoustic perfection, and seamless ergonomics. Sit down, slip them in, and become the music.  It's your music. You deserve it.

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Pros: + Build Quality
+ Clarity
+ Dynamics
+ Punch
+ Easy To Drive
+ Unboxing Experience and Package
Cons: - Comfort is not great for small ears
- Not the best resolution
- No detachable cable
- Can be sibilant
This review is part of a 2-Article, which is why some parts include information about a different product: https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2020/04/1more-quad-driver-iems-and-stylish-tws.html

1More Quad Driver IEMs And Stylish TWS - Two For Bass, One For Treble



1More Quad Driver is a 4-Driver IEM priced at 170 USD, while the Stylish TWS IEMs are priced at 100 USD. Quad Driver will be compared toiBasso IT01S, Shozy CP IEMs, and Final Audio E4000. Pairings with HIDIZS AP80, FiiO K3, and Shanling M2x will be included as well. The Stylish TWS will be compared with HIFIMAN TWS600, Lypertek Tevi, and RHA TrueConnect.



Introduction

1More is one of those companies that made a name for themselves for having one of the best unboxing experiences there are. The sound of their products has always been fair for the price, and they mostly have products in the entry-level and the midrange zones, without dipping in the high-end and flagship territories. Even their current flagship is priced at 200 USD, which isn't even midrange for some listeners. This being said, their products are some of the best made, with good overall quality, and they really make the unboxing experience nice. They answer emails quickly, and provide good service, but are usually not represented by local sellers, so getting 1More products directly from them or large shops like Amazon would be best.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with 1More, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank 1More for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with 1More Quad Driver and Stylish TWS IEMs. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in 1More Quad Driver and Stylish TWS IEMs find their next music companion.



About me

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/about.html



Packaging


First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

The name of Quad Driver may not be the most creative one in the world, but its package surely is. When a company has something really simple, like an IEM, without any particular features, without filters, they have a really hard time making a good package. I mean, there's not much, but there are tips, a carrying case, and a shirt clip.





















The package is great for the price, but compared to some of the competition, Quad Driver does not have a Balanced cable, and it doesn't come with more particular features. The tip selection includes foam tips as well though.

There is a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter, if you'll plan on using the Quad Driver with something like a Pro-Ject Pre-Box S2 Digital DAC/AMP.

You probably know a few headphones and IEMs that cost over 500 USD and which don't have the package of the Quad Driver. Sennheiser HD660S did not impress me that much in terms of package, and neither did the JDS Labs Atom, HIFIMAN Sundara, or Verum One, which didn't come with any package at all.



What to look for when purchasing an Entry-Level IEM / TWS IEM

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html



Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort


The Quad Driver has a full metallic build, and even comes with a good selection of tips. I found the fit to be better than expected, and just like Final E3000 and Final E5000, you can wear the Quad Driver straight-down, and given how many of us aren't exactly comfortable with an over-the-ear design for IEMs, this is a great thing.



The bore size and angle make it work much better for people with large ears than for those with small ears, and although it worked fine for me, my friends with smaller ears told me that the IEMs were large for them.

There is no driver flex, and I'm pretty happy for that, but the isolation is pretty average, so you will not get too much noise from the outside, but you won't have the ultimate isolation either. For something like that, you could look into Etymotic ER4XR, which isolate you from all the outside noise. Something with ANC, like Master & Dynamic MW65 also works well if you need more isolation.

Quad Driver is pretty easy to drive, and you don't need the ultimate source for them, and given their overall sound that isn't the most detailed out there, you're probably good to go with any portable source.

There is no cable microphonic noise even when wearing them straight-down, but if you plan on going for a jog while wearing them, you're probably going to want to use the Stylish TWS IEMs, or wear the Quad Driver over-the-ear.



Sound Quality

The Quad Driver is not necessarily the best IEM in the world when it comes to clarity, but it has a good, satisfying punch, a great bass, and a pretty sparkly treble to balance things out. There's that IE800 kind of signature where there's a good amount of sibilance, but the treble is smooth in texture, it is never harsh, there's a good amount of detail, and the thinner, less weighty midrange balances out everything to make the final result an exciting experience.



The bass is boosted compared to the midrange, it is pretty deep, but it is not the most detailed in the world. You need a quicker source for driving it, if you're going to have a more reliable bass response, unless you're okay, or you like a slightly slower presentation. The bass boost can make them a bit muddy overall, and they are not tight at all. There's no special emphasis on the sub-lows, or the mid bass, the entire bass being boosted, and resulting in a somewhat boomy response, although I wouldn't say the overall sound is very thick.

The midrange has fair clarity, and fair detail, but the soundstage is pretty great, and so is the instrument separation. The resolution is fairly good, and there's a wet texture to the entire sound, and with the increase in the treble, the midrange of the Quad Driver reminds me the most of Sennheiser IE800 in terms of overall presentation. Not a very weighty one, lacking a bit of body, but having a smooth texture. The mids are recessed quite a bit compared to the rest of the sound, so the entire instrument and voice presence is pushed back, leading to a somewhat laid back mid.

The treble is similar to IE800 once again, with a really sparkly spike, that makes the entire treble slightly sibilant, but smooth in texture and it has zero harshness. The Quad Driver gives such a strong vibe that 1More was trying to give some of the magic of IE800 for a much smaller price point, and I think they managed to do this pretty well.



Portable Usage

Given the fact that both of those are intended for outdoors usage, both have top notch portable usage.



The first part is the design, and both the Quad Driver and the Stylish TWS look beautiful, making them really easy to wear outside. I mean, I am a fan of Verum one, but it looks weird, and I can't comfortably wear it while going for a workout, or when going shopping. The same can be said about Rosson RAD-0, and even Sennheiser HD660S, all of which look odd while being worn outdoors.

If you're a younger reader, then you may want to check the edgy Triple Driver Headphones from 1More, as they also look really nice.

Quad Driver has a poor passive noise isolation, but this can be good for portability, as, if something isolates a bit too well from the outside noise, you could get hit by a car, or run into other trouble while you're out. Stay safe and don't get eaten by a bear.

Of course, you could always get a Chifi IEM, like the AudioSense AQ3, or the Shouer Tape, if you wanted to get something that's a bit less stylish, but if you want to go all-out on style and elegance, then both Quad Driver and the Stylish IEM are pretty much excellent.

There's no microphonic noise with the Quad Driver, no driver flex with either, and I noticed no connection dropouts with the Stylish TWS, so both are ready for daily usage.


Comparisons

The comparison part of a review is always a battlefield, and with a price of 170 USD for Quad Driver, they need to provide enough sonic performance to stand their ground, while the Stylish TWS IEMs are already pretty great value for 100 USD, but they still have some fierce competitors they need to be aware of.



1More Quad Driver vs iBasso IT01s (170 USD vs 160 USD) - We start strong here, because IT01s has been a long time favorite for many music lovers, and I make no exception, it might as well be the one I recommend the most in the 150 USD - 200 USD price range. It is one of those IEMs that manages to do everything right, to have a balanced, natural sound, with a strong bass, lots of treble extension, air and sparkle, and with a cable that is both single ended and balanced. By comparison, Quad Driver manages to have a better package, better presentation, but IT01s has a better fit while you're wearing it. IT-01S is the kind of IEM that grows on your the more you listen, and it does sound natural, but if you're looking for some coloration, some excitement in the treble, some of the DNA of the mighty IE800, but for a lower price, a better fit, and for a more stylish package, you can always rely on 1More and their Quad Driver to provide that.

1More Quad Driver vs Shozy CP (170 USD vs 150 USD) - Shozy CP is mid-centric, but with some bass. This means that besides the package, which is better on Quad Driver, and the fit / ergonomics, which are better on Shozy CP, the sound differences will be mostly in the treble, where Shozy CP is fairly smooth and lean, and 1More has that unnatural spike that makes me love the wet and sparkly presentation they have. This thin kind of treble is actually quite different from the smooth, relaxed and pretty natural treble of Shozy CP. As for the rest of the sound, at the end of the day, they have very similar levels of detail and clarity, but Shozy CP is thicker, heavier, the music has more body and just feels more natural. If you're going for a mid-centric presentation, and if you like a natural midrange, you can go for Shozy CP, but if you want some excitement, and if you want a sparkly treble, and a V-Shaped presentation, the Quad Driver should serve really well.

1More Quad Driver vs Final Audio E4000 (170 USD vs 150 USD) - Final Audio is one of my favorites when it comes to providing an interesting sound, and once again, it does not disappoint. Besides being much harder to drive, and leaking sound, neither of which Quad doesn't do, E4000 is more comfortable, and can also be worn straight-down and over-the-ear. The package is better for Quad Driver, and so is the carrying case included in the package. The design looks cooler on the Quad Driver, although, if we were comparing Quad with E5000, both would be looking pretty sharp. In sonics, Quad sounds much more V-Shaped, where E4000 is fairly natural, no unnatural spikes or valleys. Nothing isn't unnaturally enhanced or dipped, where Quad Driver is one of the more colored V-Shaped sounding IEMS, with a strong bass and a strong treble spike. E4000 is not quite as exciting or as engaging as Quad Driver, and Quad Driver has more dynamics and more punch, where E4000 is more natural and has better midrange tonality, better clarity and more detail.



Recommended Pairings

1More Quad Driver is a smoother / warmer type of IEM, so brighter sources would typically compliment it more, but at the same time, given its price of about 170 USD, most sources would be within the 200 USD price point. This makes FiiO's K3, Shanling M2X, and HIDIZS AP80 really good contenders for pairing the Quad Driver With. 1More Stylish TWS IEMs are Bluetooth, so they won't care what source you're using them with, they will sound the same from FiiO M11, iBasso DX229, or a typical smartphone, because as long as the source has the proper codecs, it is the IEMs who do all the decoding and the amplifying, the source only sending the data to the IEMs.



1More Quad Driver + FiiO K3 - FiiO K3 does a really good job at driving the quad driver. It has a fast enough bass to keep it in pace, and there's no hiss, nor is there any undesirable noise. Furthermore, the price of K3 makes it really easy to recommend, and although FiiO doesn't state this publicly, it should work with most smartphones, although it may drain those a bit fast.

1More Quad Driver + Shanling M2X - If you want an affordable DAP that does a great job at driving any IEM under the sun, M2X should be it, and it has the advantage of having a magically musical midrange, a clean bass, and a punchy sound, without sounding warm and thick, like most of its competition. In fact, M2X is a really great one, that is overlooked, because it stays comfy with driving IEMs and only very easy-to-do headphones, rather than having a ton of power like some of its most direct competitors do.

1More Quad Driver + HIDIZS AP80 - Who could forget about AP80, the tiny DAP from HIDIZS that really made a name for itself, for its warm-ish sound, clear delivery, and for a really good price performance ratio. There's also the M0 from Shanling, which has a very similar design, but I picked AP80 for this pairing, because HIDIZS managed to put a bit more punch and power in their AP80, and Quad Driver takes advantage of that, it gives them slightly more body, which helps the overall balance in the sound.



Value and Conclusion

In the end, the value of both Quad Driver and Stylish TWS IEMs is great, and 1More managed to deliver a nice overall package for the money they asked for. They even deliver a modern take, and a special unboxing experience, so they are dual purpose, especially if you have a loved one who would love the kind of signature that Quad Driver has, or the Stylish TWS has, you could get them something they'll really remember.



The build quality is great for both IEMS, but I feel like if you wanted a TWS IEM, you probably wouldn't go with a pink rose color, unless you are a lady, or were getting it for a lady. I think that they look gorgeous in photos, and I appreciate that 1More sent such a beautiful color to me, but I don't think it is quite that practical for most users. On the other hand, the slightly edgy design of the Quad Driver should work well for anyone, they would fit with any environment, regardless whether you are at work, going for a jog, or using them while commuting.

The sound is warm for both, but while the Stylish TWS is a smoother sounding IEM, with a thick mid, the Quad Driver is a unique piece, with much less body, a slightly thin sound, and with a very sparkly treble. Both deliver a nice bass for those who love some impact. Both the Stylish IEM, and the Quad Driver works really well for Pop, EDM, and commercial music. The Quad Driver dips its toes into playing metal and rock as well, and you even get Bluetooth 5.0, and aptX for the Stylish IEMs, so don't worry, they sound the best it was possible for them to.



At the end of this review, if you want a really modern-looking, elegant IEM that offers a really nice unboxing experience and has a nice package, along with a strongly V-Shaped, sparkly, punchy sound, the 1More Quad Driver is a really good choice.



On the other hand, if you're looking for a top-class TWS IEM that offers a clear performance, with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX, and has a Titanium driver, and 24 hours of music playback, with the charging case's battery included, you could really consider going for the 1More Stylish IEMs.



Full Playlist used for this review

While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Youtube Playlist


Tidal Playlist

https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b

Song List

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet
I hope my review is helpful to you!

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Pros: Excellent imaging and separation with balanced-sound that gives every genre to shine and revealing a lot of hidden details. Good fitting too!
Cons: Its average isolation and vocals can be a bit muddy in busy-sounding music.
P1020997.JPG


I bought this when my Sony XBA-N1AP had started to stop working and it totally goes beyond my dying pair for giving many little details which used to hide in my old earphones, yet they both share a very similar sound signature to each other. However, 1MORE Quad Driver steps to a slightly brighter path in terms of sound. Nonetheless, the Quad Driver still sounds great in dark-sounding music such as Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Stoner Rock and so on.

What surprised me the most is how it can separate each instrument so greatly. In busy-sounding music with a lot of layers like tracks in a self-titled album The Dark Element. For example, The Ghost and the Reaper. The earphones deliver dozens of layers from instruments and synthesis so clearly. You can hear almost everything, if not everything in the track.


A majestic symphonic track like Edge of the Blade also shines in terms of fun-sounding and revealing hundreds of minor details such as a lingering flute from a back left side of the soundstage and a brass from the right side during some parts. Moreover, it can balance the heaviness from practical instruments, a synthesizer, and vocals greatly.


The problem for me is how vocals stay slightly behind in those 2 tracks during choruses with a lot of raging instruments going on, but it's only a minor issue.

How about its low, mid and high ranges?

They all are fine while the mid-range is the greatest one by far. High-range is pleasant and will never ever hurt your ears. Additionally, it can reach the far side of this range while staying relaxingly. The low-range is surprisingly good. Surely, it's not bassy, yet it can bring enough bass to please you without ruining another range. It can be heavy when whatever that you're listening is trying to impress you with the bass aspect, not to mention that you can easily notice this range since your first listening if you choose a right song or a right listening matter for testing. The range also displays its power really well in Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Stoner Rock etc. which I mentioned them in the first paragraph. In King Goat's Conduit album which is the Progressive Doom Metal record, the bass lies behind, yet easily noticeable. If you're looking for a bassy pair, this one is not for you.


I have another extra thing besides music. A highway scene in Deadpool below is the sequence that reveals the true power of this pair fantastically. Its imaging and separation are so realistic. It's like I'm in the scene myself; it blew me away while I was watching this scene for the first time with Quad Driver. Whether you have the pair or not, you can try watching or listening to this video to test on how your earphones or headphones work in terms of cylindrical degrees, imaging, and separation work.


In conclusion, 1MORE Quad Driver is the definitive and quality v-shaped earphones that can beat some, if not many higher prices pair. Like I said in the beginning, it totally and undoubtedly beats my old Sony XBA-N1AP.
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Pros: Incredible separation and soundstage depth, linear midrange, clarity, build and design are truly exquisite, Fantastic universal remote
Cons: Isolation, Size, Bass missing last bit of texture, Uneven highs, Huge nozzles limit tip rolling options
Introduction –

Once a subsidiary of Xiaomi, producer of the renowned Pistons earphone line, 1More has since branched off into its own, more premium audio brand. But as with many Asian manufacturers, 1More can get a little exuberant with their innovation, producing truly oddball products like their Capsule In-ear and even their very unorthodox E1008 earbud that I reviewed here. And while innovation is an imperative driving force in the industry, I would still argue that 1More’s strength lies within their more traditional products, their classic Piston derivatives, and their widely celebrated value champion, the Triple Driver Hybrid.

But 1More’s experience with smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has definitely influenced their development strategy; 1More have begun refining their current products rather than further branching out through the innovative and unorthodox, something that I would consider just as important. And leading charge is 1More’s very striking Quad Driver In-ear, an evolution of the triple driver that came before. With an asking price of $200 USD ($300 AUD), the Quad Driver once again represents terrific value on a per-driver basis. But as always, specs and real world performance often live in complete isolation. Let’s see how the 1More Quad Drivers hold to up some of the best hybrid driver earphones on the market and whether their sophisticated driver array is refined enough to outperform more traditional earphones such as the Meeaudio Pinnacle P1 and Hifiman RE-600.



Disclaimer -

I would like to thank Ari from 1More very much for his fantastic communication and for providing me with the Quad Driver for the purpose of review. There is no monetary incentive for a positive review and despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.



About Me – Some background, Gear of choice, Preferences and Biases

I generally prefer a slight v-shape to my sound, but still closer to neutral. I like a lot of detail and clarity, but can appreciate a smooth, laid back sound such as that on the X10`s. I prefer a more neutral midrange within a relatively tight tolerance, but I`m probably more forgiving of brightness over darkness. I`m not particularly treble sensitive and can tolerate large amounts without fatigue, though too much ruins the enjoyment. If I use a different eartip/pad/cover during the review I will note that and describe the sound changes.

Read More



Accessories –



As with the E1008, the Quad Driver is impeccably packaged with punchy renders and a magnetic latch embossed with a brushed metal 1More emblem.



Within the box, 1More presents the buyer with a very systematic accessory layout that is both satisfying and comprehensive.



Perhaps most immediately noticeable is the extensive array of included ear tips. Due to the exceptionally large bore size of the earphones themselves, buyers are mostly delegated to the included ear tips though luckily, 1More include 9 pairs, 6 silicone, and 3 foam. The silicone tips, in particular, are very finely sized and I had no issue finding a tip that fit me. The fine sizing also allows slight tailoring of fitment depth, notably impacting soundstage and bass performance. Should buyers still struggle to achieve a proper seal, the included memory foam tips are of pleasing quality, slightly improving isolation and providing a more individualized fitment.



In addition, the Quad Driver is outfit with a nice magnetic pleather hard case, a ¼ inch adaptor and a nice brushed metal shirt clip and airplane adapter. So not only are accessories copious, each is also of excellent quality, contributing to the Quad Driver’s air of premium quality.



Design –

Like the HA-2 from Oppo, 1More’s ties with smartphone manufacturing giant Xiaomi can be appreciated through the Quad Driver’s impeccable build quality and absolutely eye-grabbing design. From the outset, the earphones are entirely metal though they rarely become cumbersome while feeling appropriately dense and premium. The tapered housings are visually reminiscent of streamlined jet engines while the red accented vents imbue interest without becoming gaudy or ostentatious. Although the earphones are comprised of multiple components, all mesh together with great accuracy, making every facet feel perfectly integrated and impressively rigid. The gunmetal colour scheme is more conventional though just as premium as the purple/rose gold scheme used before.



As their name would suggest, the Quad Drivers house 4 drivers (3BA+1Dynamic) within each housing. But while other hybrid driver earphones utilize an over ear fit with a negative profile, notable examples including the Dunu DK-3001 and Oriveti New Primacy, the Quad Drivers assume a more traditional, consumer friendly cable-down fitment. As a result, the earphones are more convenient to wear/remove, but this design also makes them quite large, dwarfing the minute Hifiman RE-600.



RE-600 - Quad Driver - XBA-40

But through well-angled nozzles combined with the tapered housings, the Quad Drivers produce brilliant long term comfortable and a surprisingly stable fitment that reminds me of the JVC FX range of earphones. Of note, I did try wearing the earphones over-ear, the RE-600 for example, lends itself well to such a fit, though the Quad Driver’s long stems and shallow fitment didn’t produce reliable results; they are very much a cable-down earphone.



Of course, the Quad Driver’s aren’t perfect and the nature of their fitment and large size do produce some notable shortcomings when compared to the very ergonomically sound New Primacy’s, RE-600’s and Pinnacle P1. For instance, by placing the 3 BA drivers within the nozzle, the Quad Drivers do have abnormally large nozzle diameter making tip-rolling extremely difficult. Those wide, short nozzles and large housings also produce a notably shallow fitment resulting in below average to average passive noise isolation. With the right tips (I had to go two sizes up from the default tips due to the shallow fit), the Quad Drivers attenuated just enough noise for public transport though they are definitely not suited for use in especially loud environments nor any form of activity.



I would consider the cable to be an upgrade over the fabric sheathed unit installed on the Triple Driver and E1008. The Quad Driver's come with an OFC cable with Kevlar reinforcement, great for tensile strength but I have found these cables to be stiff and microphonic in the past. Luckily, the unit 1More have used on the Quad Drivers is sound with a smooth texture that easily routes through clothing and clear sheathing that reveals the 3 conducting paths snaking below, adding some visual intrigue. A well relieved right angle plug, metal terminations and a fantastic remote complete the package with the remote being particularly notable both in construction and function.



For instance, all three buttons function both on Android and IOS, the integrated mic is of great quality and the aluminium buttons feel super clicky and responsive. In addition, the buttons are easily discerned with the volume buttons being slightly convex and the centre MFB having a concave surface.



As far as the cable itself goes, being Kevlar reinforced, it is a bit stiff and springy but also incredibly tangle resistant, essentially untangling itself when removed from a pocket or case due to that springy nature and smooth texture. This does mean that the earphones are difficult to coil and store though the tangle resistance is outstanding. Being stiff, the cable also picks up a decent amount of microphonics but when compared to similar cable-down earphones, the Quad Driver is surprisingly quiet in that regard, perhaps due to the very laterally placed stems that place the cable away from the face, similar to the Klipsch X10. I would prefer more strain relief on the remote and earphones themselves though by the looks of the design there should be some internal relief. The cable is not removable like a lot of earphones around this price though the cable is of great quality and various features such as the right angle plug and tangle resistance will prolong the life of the earphones by reducing stresses on the cable and terminations.



New Primacy - Quad Driver

The Quad Drivers ultimately provide a great first impression on comfort, design, and durability. They are ergonomic with a solid cable-down fit and ample stability for basic commute. Of course, I would prefer a removable cable, but the included cable is more pragmatic in daily use than the rubbery unit on the New Primacy and the thin cables on the RE-600 and Sony XBA-40. The Pinnacle P1 is probably the Quad Driver’s closest competitor with the same asking price and metal construction though the finish on the Quad Drivers is considerably more refined, making the P1 feel almost unfinished by comparison. Still, all of the aforementioned earphones provide a deeper fit, are similarly comfortable and also isolate a lot more, making them more versatile for activity and travel. But if you prefer a shallower fitting earphone or perhaps simply a cable down fit (though the Pinnacle P1 can be worn both ways), the Quad Driver is quite outstanding.



Sound –

On the hardware side of things, the Quad Drivers utilize 3 balanced armature drivers in addition to a single carbon dynamic driver for a total of 4 drivers per ear. However, 1More have utilized a very unorthodox crossover method, dedicating the dynamic driver to both bass and midrange while delegating 2 armature drivers to high frequencies and the final armature driver to ultra-high frequencies. Through such a setup, the Quad Drivers achieve a more consistent sound from sources of varying output impedance and a slightly more coherent bass to midrange performance when compared to less integrated multi-driver earphones like the Sony XBA-40.



Of note, I did find the Quad Drivers to be quite bassy on first listen though after 150 hrs of burn-in, I did find them to become a little more balanced throughout, not surprising since the majority of the sound is produced by the dynamic driver. In all fairness, I was listening to the very neutral Hifiman RE-600 before hearing the Quad Driver, but I would surmise that the sound differences are a combination of both physical burn-in and some psychological adjustment. After some more extended listening, I have found the Quad Driver to be just modestly v-shaped; they aren’t neutral or even balanced, but provide an engaging consumer reference sound.



Drivability –

The Quad Drivers have a relatively low impedance of 32ohms combined with an average sensitivity of 99dB. As such, they did require a few more volume notches than the New Primacy and RE-600, they were similarly difficult to drive as the Pinnacle P1. The Quad Drivers definitely benefit from a nice source, they struggled from my iPod Nano with a considerable loss of soundstage space, air and separation and plugging them into my HTC 10 or Oppo HA-2 immediately yielded superior results. That being said, I did notice a much larger difference switching from the Nano to my HTC than switching from my HTC to my HA-2, the Quad Drivers were definitely intended to be driven by smartphones, given the nature of the driver array, and most modern smartphones should have no issue driving these earphones. The earphones remained quite tonally consistent, they were vastly less affected by output impedance than the Sony XBA-40’s but unevenness in the high end was prevalent on high impedance sources. The Quad Driver’s aren’t overly susceptible to hiss but will pick up small amounts on particularly noisy sources, on my HA-2 and Hidizs AP60, hiss was just audible but easily overpowered when music was playing.


Tonality –

I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for v-shaped earphones and the 1More Quad Driver is a well-executed example indeed. They aren’t quite as balanced as the New Primacy and are considerably more v-shaped than the slightly mid-forward RE-600 though they are also more balanced overall than the Pinnacle P1 which I found to have quite an aggressive upper midrange/lower treble response and slightly scooped lower mids. In that regard, the Quad Driver retains plenty of balance to maintain genre versatility.



Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –

Being a vented, shallow fitting earphone, the Quad Drivers definitely hold an advantage over other sealed earphones in terms of soundstage performance offering an especially immersive performance. Booting up a live recording of Eric Clapton’s “Layla” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and the most immediately noticeable aspect of the Quad Driver’s sound was their exemplary instrument separation. Great layering and delineation between instruments, vocals and audience produced a performance that handily bested the Pinnacle, RE-600 and even the more expensive New Primacy. In addition, impressive handling of complex passages flatter faster genres such as rock and electronic without sounding disjoint like the XBA-40. Soundstage space is also very impressive, especially depth which provides almost holographic projection of vocals and atmospheric effects. Of these earphones, the Pinnacle P1 had the most noticeably large soundstage, mainly in width, though the Quad Driver almost matches that out of the head width with far more depth, once again producing a more immersive sound. Imaging takes a bit of a hit due to the size and nature of the Quad Driver’s soundstage though centre image is quite strong and instrument placement is easily discerned; they just fail to match the incredibly sharp placement provided by the RE-600’s and New Primacy. Overall, if soundstage is a large priority, the Quad Driver is hard to beat within this price range, especially with regards to separation. Fans of classical, rock and electronic genres, in particular, will find much to love within the Quad Drivers tasteful v-shaped tuning and exceptional soundstage performance.



Bass –

Bass is boosted, but is well done in terms of tuning. The bass boost is mostly focussed within deep/lower-bass with surprisingly balanced mid-bass and upper-bass responses. Though the earphones still have a slight mid-bass boost, the earphones don’t sound particularly thick or warm and the low-end has both nice clarity and a notable lack of bloat. Due to the nature of this bass boost, the Quad Drivers can sound slightly muddy and even tubby at times, especially in stark contrast to very neutral earphones like the RE-600, though I would still consider them to be relatively balanced throughout their low-end in the grand scheme of things; the Pinnacle P1, for instance, is similarly tubby if not slightly more so. Bass also isn’t ever present nor does it ever drone as with more mid-bass boosted earphones, allowing for greater transparency on vocal tracks. The Pinnacle P1 is a similarly impressive performer in regards to bass with just slightly less emphasis overall. However, the Pinnacle places its emphasis more in the mid-bass, sounding punchier but less natural as a result. Bass also reaches considerably deeper on the Quad Driver than the P1, and those that thought the P1 was missing rumble or slam will find that physical bass response with the Quad Driver without bass ever becoming overwhelming or loose. The RE-600 and New Primacy provide tighter bass responses than both, excelling with greater PRAT whilst retaining a similar amount of extension, if slightly more in the New Primacy’s case. In terms of tuning, the New Primacy has more of a sub-bass emphasis while the RE-600 has similar tuning to the Quad Driver albeit with vastly less quantity; it’s really a matter of taste, but I would definitely lean towards the Quad Driver and New Primacy as their tuning generally comes with the least compromises.

Otherwise, bass is articulate with really nice bass resolution and definition to each note, they actually sound quite similar to the Pinnacle in that regard, perhaps a factor of their exemplary soundstages. However, when listening to The Cranberries “Wanted”, each of those notes was missing some texture, especially evident in comparison to the outstanding Oriveti New Primacy and the leaner RE-600. That’s not to say that bass is slow or sloppy, the earphones had no issue keeping up with the fast basslines and rapidly transitioning tones of Michael Jackson and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but that last bit of bass detail that I would expect at this price is missing. Still, the definition and clarity of bass notes are among the better earphones I have heard and when combined with the tasteful tuning, the Quad drivers rarely fail to impress; I think they’re a really well-performing earphone that provide no shortage of bass definition and slam without encroaching upon bass-head levels of quantity.



Midrange –

It may come as a surprise, but to my ear, the most impressive aspect of the Quad Driver’s audio performance is the midrange. It’s an evolution of the very balanced tone carried by 1More’s E1008, with greater clarity and resolution throughout. Breaking it down, the Quad Driver has quite a clear, balanced midrange that sits slightly behind the bass and treble but remains easily discernible and almost perfectly prominent. This is achieved via a moderate clarity boost and a slightly brighter tone. That being said, the midrange is very even, vocals are smooth if not quite as clean and sliky as the New Primacy, and this clear character remains consistent throughout the entire midrange. When compared to the RE-600, which I consider to be somewhat of a midrange benchmark, the Quad Driver had a similar emphasis on upper and lower midrange instruments though mids were considerably clearer and slightly fuller. Meanwhile, the New Primacy was even more full-bodied and slightly darker and the Pinnacle P1 was very aggressive though its upper midrange, sounding detailed and revealing but also a little unrefined and at times fatiguing. The Quad Driver sits in-between the New Primacy and RE-600 in terms of body, being slightly fuller than neutral but hardly thick or warm. Vocals are very clear with great layering and definition and clarity is fantastic without coming across as strident; the Quad Drivers have that smoother dynamic driver midrange tone, not unlike the Sennheiser ie800. This clarity does grant a slightly raspy tone to the midrange, especially with female vocals, though vocals never sound thing or overly artificial.

The Quad Driver is quite aggressively detailed, not to the extent of the more forward Sony XBA-40 and Pinnacle P1, but more so than the New Primacy with the RE-600 being even more laid-back. Listening to R.E.M.’s “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” and Indigo Girl’s “Sugar Tongue” and the Quad Driver impresses with great clarity and detail to acoustic guitar plucks and strums, revealing small intricacies that the more laid-back RE-600 tended to skip over while sounding more natural than the, even more, detail forward Pinnacle P1. The New Primacy did tend to resolve more detail though it is also a smoother earphone that places details more in the background with the Quad Driver sounding more engaging and excited. Similarly, listening to Modest House’s “Float On” and the Quad Drivers provided a reproduction with very nice midrange resolution and layering. Due to their v-shaped tuning, vocals were more recessed than the other earphones I’ve mentioned in this review though the Pinnacles were similarly recessed due to their thicker midrange and brighter tonal balance which pushes lower mids a little further behind in the mix. Still, all of these earphones provided pleasing intimacy to vocals though I did prefer the presentation of the RE-600’s and New Primacy’s which provided a little more balance to this slightly mid-recessed track and a little more raw detail and coherency. The Quad Driver ultimately produces a very clear, layered midrange with great resolution and very good detail retrieval that is edged out only by the most exemplary earphones around this price range such as the slightly more expensive New Primacy. Being v-shaped, vocals are slightly recessed, though the midrange is more even than most v-shaped earphones like the Pinnacles and their clear character means that midrange notes are never overshadowed.


Treble –

Despite having such a comprehensive treble driver array, I didn't find the Quad Driver to hold any significant advantage over the Pinnacle, New Primacy or even RE-600 in regards to high-frequency performance. They do depart from the New Primacy and RE-600 in terms of tuning, with more similarity to earphones such as the ie800 and Sony XBA-40. A middle treble boost around 8KHz imbues the sound with aggressive detailing and clarity but also slight irregularity to treble, resulting in a loss of detail and some coherency issues (tested from a low output impedance source). The RE-600 and New Primacy, though more laid-back do sound more coherent and linear in the highs which contribute to their fantastic detail retrieval though the Quad Driver does have slightly better top end extension and a lack of any high-end roll-off. Once again, I found the Quad Driver to be more linear than the Pinnacle though the P1 also produced considerably more treble sparkle and was slightly more detailed. Despite this, I still prefer the Quad Driver for long-term listening and their aggressive, slightly forward treble response combined with their expansive soundstage and stellar separation creates an intoxicating sound with great air and shimmer.

But coming back to that uneven middle treble spike, I do feel that the Quad Drivers produce some harshness on treble-forward songs such as Radiohead’s “Creep”. That being said, treble does behave itself, for the most part, producing a well-detailed and textured sound that flatters cymbals, electric guitar, and atmospheric effects. When listening to Creep, the Quad Driver produced a nice rendition with cymbals sounding extended and well-bodied. On the contrary, the Pinnacle sounded slightly thin and splashy but also resolved slightly more detail in the upper registers while the more linear New Primacy and RE-600 both resolved more texture to each treble note along with a cleaner presentation than both the P1 and Quad Driver. Similar impressions carry over when listening to Queen’s “Killer Queen” where the Quad Driver was appropriately revealing and crisp with nice clarity to the finger snapping within the intro and high-hats throughout the chorus without sounding overly like wood sticks. The RE-600 immediately impressed with a very even treble response that provided more insight into those snaps though cymbals and high-hats were more rolled-off, losing out air and shimmer. The New Primacy was similarly revealing to the RE-600 while maintaining a natural tone and had no issue with extension apart from a slight roll-off at the very top. So I do think that Quad Driver is a nice sounding earphone though due to the nature of 1More’s treble boost, the can sound a little disjointed at times. More neutral earphones like the RE-600 do have noticeably more detail in the lower treble region along with more texture to high-notes. The 1More’s redeem themselves through greater extension, a lack of any roll-off and a slightly forward sense of detail and clarity that infuses the sound with excitement and energy without being quite as grating as either the Sony XBA-40 or Meeaudio Pinnacle P1.



Verdict –

I feel like the $200 price class is where earphones start getting really good with some truly outstanding offerings providing splendid price/performance ratios that make me question earphones within higher price ranges. I also like to take a look at the manufacturers marketing pitch for these earphones before getting down to my review. Though marketing will always be a sell, it does reveal glimpses of the designer’s intentions and goals and it’s interesting to see these actualised within the finished product. With the 1More, their marketing led me only to concern with 1More clearly selling towards a more consumer audience.



But upon hearing their latest earphones, those concerns were immediately dispelled. The Quad Drivers provide a clear, engaging and mostly natural sound that comfortably matches the best in class through their notably strong soundstage and midrange performances; of course, they should, given their more open form factor. The earphones also aren’t too source picky so long as they have adequate power. So while the Quad Drivers may be sculpted, they are an exceedingly tasteful take on the popular V-shaped tuning that I know a lot of listeners enjoy. They actually remind me of the Bowers and Wilkins P7’s, not a balanced, neutral or even linear set of headphones, but one whose delicate sculpting produced a rewarding listen.

Overall - 8.5/10, The Quad Drivers have a very tastefully tuned v-shaped signature that will likely come off as balanced to consumers and charmingly engaging to enthusiasts. While their shallow fitting form factor fails to match the practicality of the ergonomically exemplary New Primacy, RE-600 and Pinnacle P1, the Quad Drivers are more convenient to use with a more conventional fit and universal remote/mic. The Quad Driver is a gorgeous in-ear whose consumer exterior houses the internal workings of an audiophile masterpiece.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my review, please have a look at my website for more articles just like it:
https://everydaylisteningblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/1more-quad-driver-review-consumer-reference/
M
msvrthexkid
So is it normal for it to sound muddy in the beginning!?

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