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1More – keeping the headphone world honest

  • “A lot of money” for a pair of headphones – how much? The answer depends on who we ask. For audio show regulars and devotees, we might be talking four figures. For the other 99% looking for a first step beyond smartphone-supplied IEMs, it might be as low as two.

    Pitching their wares to mainstreamers at CanJam Europe 2017 – whilst simultaneously keeping diehard headphiles honest in their high/er-end preferences – were the local arm of Shenzhen’s 1More who, HQ-d in California, have enjoyed an official presence in Germany for the last 14 months.

    At €85, their Triple Driver IEM – that appends two balanced armature drivers to a dynamic – has been exciting reviewers and troubling high/er-end manufacturers for some time. That’s to be expected given their Xiaomi Piston IEM lineage. Jumping to the flagship Quad Driver model (€199) calls for more than twice the cash – a trickier sell to the mainstreamer but still a smart money destination for those used to dropping north of a grand on portable audio gear.

    Pricking up the ears of this reviewer touring CanJam Europe with a digital focus were the MFI Triple Driver IEM. This Lightning connector-terminated model (€160) extends the functionality of the in-line remote/mic to include bespoke DAC and headphone amplifier – Auf Wiedersehen iPhone audio circuitry.

    However, sitting at twice the price of the standard model makes the iOS-matched version a challenging sell in Germany where the iPhone holds a mere 15% (fifteen!) of the local smartphone market, according to 1More Deutschland’s charismatic Nils Rabens. The standard Triple Driver version with its device- agnostic 3.5mm plug is the German arm’s biggest selling model.

    Perhaps the man in the street doesn’t see the value in spending additional Euros to side-step a smartphone’s audio circuitry. Stepping up with a more compelling argument for digital audio extraction where DSP manipulation executes Active Noise Cancelling is 1More’s Dual Driver hybrid – one balanced armature, one dynamic – also for €150. Review to follow.

    Further information: 1More EU

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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