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1MORE Announces New Quad Driver IEM @ CES 2017

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  1. SomeGuyDude
    What I'm saying is that the tech inside a headphone is important, but only in terms of how it's utilized. You have to look at more than just how many drivers they crammed in there. Now, if you've heard enough to personally know that you prefer this or that, that's one thing. All I'm doing with all of this jim-jam is trying to steer people away from going "what? That only has one driver? GARBAGE!" and then dismissing it out of hand. It is entirely possible the Balance 2 is complete trash next to the Quad, but declaring it to be so ENTIRELY because of the different driver setup is wildly off the mark, and (IMO) the P1/Quad pairing offers a great case study.

    Impressions and reviews matter a hell of a lot more than anything, because measurements may be a good guidepost but they're only there to explain what you hear, not instruct you what to hear. There are headphones that measure well but sound dull, headphones with weird charts that are enjoyable as all hell. Don't let people tell you that because X doesn't use the same tech as Y that means X must be bad.

    I'm not an engineer, I'm a hobbyist, but audio's been my thing for a long time (back in college I was huge in car audio systems). The main thing to remember is the execution is what matters, not the setup. It is entirely possible to make a total garbage massive 18-driver hybrid, and entirely possible to make a flagship single-driver.

    Like I said above, the "reason" behind all these IEMs using multiple drivers is the same reason that home theatre speakers have towers of drivers. By limiting the frequency range each one needs to cover, it enables them to do so with less worry about distortion (that's a vast simplification). In theory, you can keep adding drivers and it'll "clean up" the sound, not to mention it also makes it way easier to tune since you can just tweak each driver individually instead of trying to mess with how one driver behaves over the course of an entire spectrum. TBH I'd wager that's one reason why all these Chi-Fi IEMs are going with hybrid setups. Setting up crossovers to mess with the response curve will take a lot less work than trying to futz with a single driver to lift this or that portion of the response.

    I'm learning crap every day, so don't take this to mean I'm trying to set myself up like a know it all. I'm a know-a-little. One thing I think I've definitely learned is not to overreach when making statements about anything in this hobby. :p
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
    thejoker13 likes this.
  2. Jimster480
    Lol lots of "words" said with very little information offered.
    3500 IEM
    "consumers benefit"

    You are so lost in marketing garbage you don't even know what sound is anymore.

    Good day.
  3. SomeGuyDude
    The fact that at no point, during any of this, have you even attempted to refute any claim except going "science!!!" and telling us about all of your experience with JBL and Bose is starting to grate on me.

    Do you know what "consumers benefit" means? It means that because different companies have different philosophies on sound, we as the people buying headphones benefit since we have a lot more options. That has nothing to do with marketing.

    But you felt more interested in being snotty than contributing, so fine. Onto the ignore list you go.
    Steven Stone1 likes this.
  4. Jimster480
    Because science shows limitations of drivers of different sizes. Showing that IEM's cannot have proper full range sound with a single driver. It has to be compromised somewhere, even if the frequency response is perfect the instrument separation, sound stage, etc
    Something has to be compromised because of the limitation of the driver itself. No matter how many hours you spend "tuning" which is also subjective to the creator.

    There are better materials which reduce/alter compromises or increase response, etc
    I mean I don't have a full understanding yet of everything required when designing a driver or pair of headphones/IEMs. But I have spent the last year basically reading technical documents, about DAC's / Amplifiers and their classes and types / Op Amps / Mfg Processes and how they affect sound quality / materials / implementations / the recording of audio / formats (both digital and analog) / transport methods and their processes, etc.

    I am a very technical person and my profession is writing highly complex software which evades detection of the worlds best anti-cheating software using legitimate software principals vs hard code blocking techniques.

    I understand the inner workings of CPU's from their execution units to decoding to cache systems, and lithography study has been a long time hobby of mine. So yes I am more than capable of understanding the scientific benefits of different designs.

    I hate to break it to you but you do need multiple drivers for better instrument separation, and there is a reason why the most reference grade speakers contain many drivers, and even speakers costing hundreds of thousands of dollars have as many as 30 drivers per speaker unit (there is a law of diminishing returns here). But even cars contain tweeters, full range and subwoofers these days (atleast more commonly than decades ago).
    So in designing headphones if you are using off the shelf drivers it is about picking different frequency responses vs side and power draw and designing the audio "ports" and "resonance chambers" which even includes the pads (for classic over the ear headphones) and how it interacts with the audio waves. Even the angle of the driver and how the waves will bounce affects the sound.
    There are many ways to achieve relatively the same performance, but today technology has become so good with such precision engineering able for such low costs most of the audio world is just marketing using off the shelf designs with brands slapped on it and audio engineers doing a bit of tuning, picking pads (also available off the shelf) and selling it as a package.

    For example knowles makes many BA drivers which are commonly implemented into a variety of headphones from cheap to expensive and from chi-fi to globally known brands people "trust".

    But to tell me that I went to best buy and then saw that the quad drivers had 4 drivers and that made them magically better is just absurd. They are not the only headphones I own, but I was looking for the best sound reproduction vs price and I took a chance on the triples first and they sounded really great so I pre-ordered the quads and they are infact better.
    If you listen to only things like Rap music you won't really tell the difference and the quads will have a good bit less bass than the triples, but if classical and jazz are something you frequently listen to then you will absolutely tell the difference in the instrument separation and accuracy even on very difficult to reproduce notes (provided you have a transparent DAC/Amp with enough resolution).
    CarefreeBoy likes this.
  5. AlwaysForward
    Being great at computer science doesn't make one an authority on sound engineering.

    IMHO SomeGuyDude is making the better points based on my experience in the music world.

    The example of large speakers is a bit of a non starter for IEM physics comparisons. Sound reproduction is about moving air. As you scale up the speaker size and requirements for SPL, the driver is just not as capable of covering as wide a spectrum.

    An IEM single driver has the advantage of being very small and only needing to move very small amounts of air.

    And when it comes to science, it's proven on frequency graphs that a well designed single driver IEM can very successfully cover the full range of what humans can hear.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
    SomeGuyDude likes this.
  6. Jimster480
    Its not about covering range, its about lifelike reproduction.

    I know that a 10mm driver can cover the full range, but it cannot match the instrument separation of a multi-driver setup.

    Also clearly I'm not into "computer science" alone as that is mostly software development. But I have studied hardware and circuits since the time I was a little kid.
    CarefreeBoy likes this.
  7. SomeGuyDude
    THANK you, yikes.

    TBH I think the multi-drivers are as much about having really fine-tuned control over the response as they are about the supposed sonic benefits. It strikes me as a lot easier to be able to control the curve shape when the various portions of the spectrum are all controlled by different speakers. Heck, I can say from experience in car audio that it's definitely true that you can really work on how the system sounds when you're controlling crossovers and individual outputs.

    Again, I am not at all saying these things are bad. I love my Quads. I love my ZS5. I love my P1 as well and I'm probably gonna be picking up a multi-BA IEM next. But it's not BECAUSE of the drivers in it. It's because of what the company has done with what they've got.
    Steven Stone1 likes this.
  8. Jimster480
    I don't buy things based on what companies have done.
    I just got a set of DT770 Beyerdynamics and they literally don't sound any better than my $35-40 RP-HT360's that I bought back when I had no money years ago.

    Their sound signature is very V shaped and the bass is super bloated, I paid only $90 for them but its amazing that people pay $300 for something that is not better than $50 (other than nice build quality).
  9. SomeGuyDude
    BTW what 3rd party tips fit these? They have a super damn wide bore, I've heard some people have managed to jam Spinfit C100s or Comply T500s but I'm not really looking to wreck tips that could have other homes.
  10. AlwaysForward
    6mm is the best fit
    SomeGuyDude likes this.
  11. AlwaysForward
    IMG_0635.JPG So I got the Symbio MandarinE tips.
    TLDR: These are hybrid tips with silicone shells and memory foam inside. They are my tip end-game after exhaustive tip rolling.

    I got into high end IEM this year for the first time. I'm a big perfectionist when it comes to sound and went tip rolling with the entire Comply line. Every.single.one. I sunk at least $200 into the journey. Probably close to $300 in tips at this point.

    There are pros/cons I found for each tip design along the way.

    Silicon had tighter lows and more shimmer up top but lacked -desnsity- in their sound.

    Comply medium comfort were just about perfect until I noticed something. When I changed out an old pair for a new pair, the stiff/new foam captured the fidelity of silicone but it only lasted a few days before some of the performance dropped.

    Upon realizing that I loved new/firm foam, I started trying off brand foamies on Amazon. Unfortunately, those were a bit soft to start and didn't offer the right design which would get me close to the Comply Comfort which I loved.

    Luckily, I've found my tip end-game in the Symbio MandarinE. They're only able to be purchased in eBay from what appears to be a small home business in Italy.

    The design completely shatters the pro/con list and delivers the best of both worlds. It's easily the best sonic performance I've achieved via tip rolling. Isolation, comfort, soundstage, crisp details. It's all there.

    These tips are silicone shells with memory foam inside which presses them to just the right seal. They won't lose the rigidity at the contact points, which is what I believe leads to the performance of both silicone and BRAND NEW Comply tips.

    So by designing a rigid exterior shell around what is essentially the Comply Comfort (shorter designs seem to provide larger soundstage) that is everlasting in its rigid shell... I'm very happy. It's only been 48 hours so long term durability hasn't been tested but I can't see any design problems with cause for concern.

    Honestly, they sound better than any tip I've heard.

    Now, there was a little discomfort at first: the back of the shells were a little sharp against my ear canal when the foam expanses. I used a file to brush along the edge and the problem ceased.

    Highly recommended to all IEM fans.
  12. griff06

    Do you have a link for that? I cant seem to find them on ebay
  13. griff06
    Found them...
  14. griff06

    What size bore hole are these quads do you know? I got the wide bore tips but dont know if they are the wrong size ones!
  15. fjhuerta
    Here's something many people won't like to hear...

    I've had some experience with audio. I love music. I build speakers. I build tube and SS amps. I've studied the principles behind solid sound reproduction, room EQ, phase EQ for more than 20 years. I love this stuff. I'm no expert - I just love studying about it.

    One thing that happened is - like it or not, your ear gets trained, and you can zero in on imperfections in no time at all. It's not a golden ear thing.It's just practice, like everything else.

    Having said that, I've had some truly extraodinary headphones. My favorite ones are the Sennheiser HD-600 and the Ety Er-4S and SR. The Etymotics are, in my mind, the best in ear ever made. Although I also have, say, an Oppo PM-1 and AKG 712 Pros, among others, those two are the ones that sound the most like a finely tuned speaker in a well treated room, with the Etymotic being the closest to a "perfect" transducer, from my experience.

    Why am I typing all of this? Because I've been able to compare the 1More Triple Driver and the Quad Driver vs. the Etymotic ER-4S, ER-4R, the Sennheiser HD-600, and the Oppo PM-1 directly. And while I'm convinced that the voicing will be liked by some people, I'm not that sure that those 4 drivers are working in phase with each other.

    The Triples and Quads are basically identical sounding, with very minor differences. But the issue I found with both is that they are extremely music dependent. Some music sounds great, other music sounds weird, and other music sounds pretty lackluster. I find the Fiio EX-1 to be quite a lot more consistent.

    I think, from what I heard, that the issue sounds a lot like driver integration issues. Sounds quite a bit like dynamic drivers on a speaker not in phase. If making a 1" driver mate with a 7" one is kinda complex, I can't imagine trying to integrate a bass-mid driver that is milimetrical, with 3 HF and ultra HF drivers. Honestly, without DSP or a complex passive circuit, I don't know if it can be done. I don't think the Quads or the Triples have one. So I wouldn't be surprised if the drivers were sometimes in phase, and sometimes out of phase.

    There's simply no comparison with the Etymotic ER-4S or SR. Simply none. The Etys sound cohesive, like a whole, their detail retrieval is simply staggering, they are tuned expertly, they are completely in a different league. Same with the HD-600s. The 1More are interesting units, they are built like tanks - I wish the Etys were built half this good -, they are expertly packaged, they have incredible accesories, their service is amazing, and they have built quite a reputation thanks to strong social media tactics, but I can't help but feel they can't compete sound-wise with other companies that have slowly built their reputation over years of R&D.

    I'm also pretty sure people who haven't listened to a good in ear will think the Quads are the best earphones they have ever listened to. I'm also pretty sure people who have listened to the Etymotics will immediately find the flaws within the Triple and Quad drivers. They are too obvious. Theres' no need for A&B tests, although if you do them, they become even more obvius.

    I'm absolutely sure chinese companies will one day be as good (or better) than AKG, Sennheiser, Etymotic, etc. but in my mind they still have some ways to go. For now, I think chinese companies simply can't compete with established audio companies that know their game (although they don't have the gung-ho social media strategies the new startups have).

    Long story short: I hear what seems to be driver integration issues with this earphone, which aren't there in other models. I wonder if this is true. One thing's for certain - you can do better for your money. Just ignore the social media / internet hype, try tons of headphones as often as you can, and listen thru your ears, not thru an unknown blogger opinion on the Internet.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    HiFiChris and beowulf like this.
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