1More Quad Driver In-Ear Earphone Review

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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.

 

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 fit.

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.

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

29 Comments

  1. Bryan on

    Thanks for this really great review, i looking for an earphones around the 200$ price range, something with great sound quality and durability, i plan on using for 2 years or more, I don’t have a lot of money so I can’t afford trial and error nor can i easily replace a broken one[ i live in Nigeria so no warranty for me] . I Iove the 1more sound signature, so i am leaning towards the quads.

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Bryan,

      The Quad Drivers are well built, I feel that the cable is strong and the terminations have nice strain-relief. The sound is also a great progression of 1More’s signature tuning with a nice bump in quality so I would wholeheartedly recommend them to you on sound alone.

      That being said, it sounds like longevity will be more important to you in the long-run, especially if you have no warranty. In that case, you should look into an earphone with a removable cable, the Meeaudio Pinnacle P1 is a great choice with a well-rounded sound and fantastic build.

      Again, I do have confidence in the Quad Driver’s build, but if something does go wrong or your get a defective unit, repairs would be very difficult. Before you commit to any purchase, you can contact 1More and see if they will cover your country.

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

      • Bryan on

        I heard the p1 is difficult to drive on a smartphone

        • Ryan Soo on

          Not really, it’s not the most sensitive earphone, but it’s no harder to drive than the 1More Quad Driver. In addition, since the Quad Driver is a multi-driver, it is more affected by output impedance than the single dynamic driver Pinnacle P1 so the P1 will sound more similar from different sources while the Quad Driver may experience roll-off and other tonal changes.

    • Robert on

      ..i owned couple of in ear sets within the range of 150 usd…
      ..few months ago i bought 1more triple driver and i truly consider them the best…
      ..at first i was litle disapointed about the sound (still dont understand why) and the size and their weight…
      ..but now if i compare them to my hifiman re-400 i can say that the 1more plugs beat them in the quality and quantity of sound and soundstage…the diference is huge in my opinion…

  2. Bilal on

    Hey Ryan, thanks for the detailed review. I have a question for you. I have been using the standard Shure SE215 for almost two and a half year and now i’m on the market for a new pair of iems. Do you think upgrading to 1more quad driver from se215 is going to worth it? I love how well se215 isolate noise and i’m afraid of not having the same level of isolation when i change my setup. Do you think sound quailty will worth my upgrade and is isolation gonna be a problem? Thanks again.

    • Ryan Soo on

      I personally don’t find the SE215 to be a super competitive earphone in terms of sound quality, but the fitment, isolation and removable cable are all pretty great around their asking price. The Quad Drivers are significantly better-sounding earphones, but the sound signature is also vastly different so it may take some adjustment.

      As for isolation and fit, you might want to look into another set of sealed over-ear earphones, something like the Meeaudio Pinnacle P1, Oriveti New Primacy, maybe even some lower end Westones, since they will provide you with the isolation and fit that you want. The 1More Quad Driver sounds great, but it’s design is geared more towards convenience than versatility.

  3. Brad on

    Excellent Review Ryan –

    I actually purchased the Quad’s before I read your review. I came upon thl after they shipped and I have been a frequent visitor since. The Quad’s are very comfortable with a great sound; however, I find the highs to be a little bright/harsh for me. I wore them for three hours at the doctor’s office and became quite fatigued.

    Next, I purchased the RHA T20i’s. The sound is excellent and very balanced; however, I ear hooks are quite a menace. I can’t past them.

    I just purchased the Mee Pinnacle P1’s. The sound is also excellent and they are very comfortable. I find the mid’s to be a little subdued, but it does not detract from the sound. My issues with the P1’s are that the inline mic does not have volume adjusters and they isolate noise a bit too much for me.

    I am in the market for IEM’s with a mic. We are moving next month and I will be walking approximately 2.25 miles per day. I do not want extra equipment (i.e. DAC), so I will just utilize my iPhone 6s. I am not an audiophile; however, I appreciate sound quality. I have recently become a supporter of warm to neutral sound. I also believe that I prefer the style of the Quad’s, which do not go over the ear and have a slightly offset eartip (albeit, it is not a deal breaker).

    Based on this information, would you be able to recommend an IEM please?

    Cheers

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Brad,

      If you still have the Quad-Drivers, they are generally the earphone I would recommend if you want lower isolation, cable down fit and 3-button remote with mic. As for the sound, you can try eQ to bring down the treble response either through IOS or through a third party music player, generally bring down frequencies around 8KHz to smooth out the treble. Otherwise, give them a few days, it can take some time to get used to different sounds but your ears will adjust. I always give earphones a solid week before I start forming any impressions for my reviews since some sound so radically different from others.

      Otherwise, perhaps consider having a cheaper earphone with a remote for commute, something like the Fiio F5, with a more expensive earphone for home and long-distance travel, like the Pinnacle P1. A lot of earphones assume an over-ear fit around this price and very few have a remote though I too would like to see more include one. One earphone that comes to mind with a warmer sound, cable down fit and 3-button remote is the Klipsch X10/11/12i (they are all sonically identical). They don’t have the greatest build, but if you can find one for a good price, say under $150 US, then they are a really comfortable, convenient earphone. Isolation is quite strong however not obtrusively so when out and about.

      Hope that helps,
      Ryan.

      • Brad on

        Thanks for the reply, Ryan.

        I believe that I am going to keep the P1’s for flights and the house.

        The Fiio’s look very intriguing; however, they are not available in the states just yet. I considered the Klipsch, but the build quality scares me. Additionally, the x11’s are out of stock everywhere.

        I may look at wireless as well; either the Byron BTA’s or the Bose Soundsports. It may be a great option walking to/from the office on a daily basis.

        Thanks again for your input.
        Brad

        • Ryan Soo on

          I think that’s a nice setup. Also, you mentioned needing a 3-button remote, you might want to look into replaygain. It’s completely free, you can do it through Foobar, it basically equalizes the volume between all of your tracks.

          • Brad on

            Ryan –

            I will definitely check out replaygain, thank you.

            If I may, I have one more question. Since I am going with a two iem set up, how would you compare the P1 to the Oriveti New Primacy? The NP caught my eye, but I initially dismissed them as they do not have an inline mic.

            Also, how do I create an account? I found the log in page, but it does not provide an option to create an account.

            Happy Friday
            Brad

            • Ryan Soo on

              I actually really like the New Primacy, it’s an incredibly well-rounded earphone and my personal pick within this price range. Compared to the P1, it is more detailed, more balanced and deep/sub bass extension is far more linear. They have a nice full-bodied but very clean midrange and a smooth high-end.

              The design is smaller than the Pinnacle and very ergonomic. They isolate well but slightly less than the Pinnacle as they have small vents on the inner housings.

              Don’t worry about the login, that’s just for the writers on this site, I’m not sure you can make an account.

              • Brad on

                Thank you for your insight, Ryan. The New Primacy’s seem to fit my preferences, especially when compared to the P1’s.

                Have a great weekend.
                Brad

  4. Kamran on

    This against Custom art Music one? Which one is a better bang for your buck?

    • Ryan Soo on

      Sorry Kamran, I don’t have any experience with customs!

  5. Tom M on

    Really Nice Review,
    I’ve been looking at any and all options in the 100 to 200$ price range and had pretty much decided that the 1More Triple drivers were the best option as they seemed to offer the best value for money. However after reading a number of reviews about them breaking or deteriorating over time I thought it might be wise to spend closer to 200$ for a more durable and reliable pair that will definitely last me longer. Do you think the Quad Drivers are worth the upgrade in terms of durability over the Triples. I live in South Africa so I cant just get them replaced easily if they break. Bearing in mind I am a relatively amateur music listener exploring high end IEM’s for the first time
    Thanks

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Tom,

      If durability is a concern then you might want to look into a set of earphones with a removable cable such as the Meeaudio Pinnacle P1 which actually comes with two cables from factory. The Quad-Driver’s are still quite good in that regard, I feel that they are well put together but if you do happen to damage the cable outside of warranty, they would be difficult to repair and would probably have to be replaced. That being said, the cable is much improved over the triple drivers, it is thicker all the way through, smoother and feels firmer under tension.

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

  6. Shaan on

    Do you find quads to be an upgrade over triple drivers considering the price difference? Or may be if you can suggest me any other iem with just a little less warm sound than triple drivers in this price range.
    And thanks for the review..

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Shaan,

      The Quad Drivers aren’t too warm, they are modestly bassy but they have a clear and balanced midrange. Of course, with diminishing returns, they aren’t twice as good as the Triple Drivers and given their relatively similar tonality, I think many reviewers have struggled to quantify the difference in performance. For my tastes, the Quad Drivers are quite a bit better, especially their soundstage. They are also more balanced with increased resolution across the range. It’s a bigger difference than that between the Hifiman RE-400 and RE-600 for example. If you prioritize sound quality and don’t require a whole lot of isolation or fit stability, the Quad Driver is a nice choice around this price.

      Regards,
      Ryan.

      • Shaan on

        Thanks for the reply,
        Your excellent comparison ‘It’s a bigger difference than that between the Hifiman RE-400 and RE-600 for example’ might come in handy for potential buyers like me. They should be a clear upgrade over triple drivers, I understand what you said about diminishing returns though. I just bought Cayin i5 and I don’t find triple drivers to be a good match because of overly warm sound of the set up. Before getting a new iem I just want to make sure to get the right iem for my taste. I also have titan 1 and the bass is perfect for me but they are a little brighter and don’t sound natural to me in the upper midrange. Do you still think quads suits the best?
        Apologies if I sound confused as I don’t have much experience and also English isn’t my first language.

        • Ryan Soo on

          I don’t have the Titan, only the Fiio EX1 2nd generation which should generally sound quite similar. The low-end tuning is similar, the Quad-Drivers have more midrange presence and their treble is more natural. Ultimately, I don’t know if the Quad Drivers will suit you the best, but they certainly aren’t a bad choice.

  7. Akshay on

    Great review! Loved reading it.
    How would you compare these against say gr07 classic, flc8s and shure 535?
    I currently own the gr07 classic and was wondering what a good upgrade might be under 300$

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hey Akshay,

      If you enjoy the GR07, you might want to look into a more balanced earphone. I would personally rule out the SE535 unless you need a lot of isolation, I haven’t heard the FLC8S for a while so I can’t give you accurate comparisons, apologies.

      Otherwise, I definitely recommend the Oriveti New Primacy which is exactly $300, it’s a very well done earphones with a great balanced tonality. The Pinnacle P1 and Quad-Driver are both great choices within a slightly lower price bracket closer to $200, I provided plenty of comparisons within the review already. Compared to the GR07 (I haven’t heard the classic), the Quad-Driver is a little more v-shaped and more aggressively detailed with much more soundstage depth. The Pinnacle is brighter and the soundstage is wider, it has a little more mid-bass as well. If you have the extra budget, definitely look into the Oriveti, may as well maximize your budget and be content a little while longer before you go all the way!

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

  8. SergeyDGWyn on

    if you have Sony XBA-N1AP, i would love to know how 1More Quad Driver sounds when comparing to the N1AP because i’m using the Sony one and i have an interest in changing my pair next year.

  9. Nick on

    Thanks for a comprehensive review of Quad Driver, which I’ve been interested in for a long time. Up to now, I’ve heard lots of reviewers saying the armature for the highest frequency range shines only if the sound quality is high enough to utilize it. This is a bit of concern for me as I always listen on mobile and cannot afford to store FLAC on my phone. Do you consider that as a valid statement?

    Again, thanks for comparing QD’s sound signature to neutral instead of providing subjective view.

    • Ryan Soo on

      Appreciated Nick,

      I wrote a few impressions in the driveability section, I think a decent smartphone will drive them perfectly fine but smaller sources like the Hidizs AP60, iPod Nano, etc will probably struggle a bit. They sounded a lot better from my HTC 10, I gave them a go with my iPod Touch 6G and S6 Edge as well and experienced none of the issues I had with the Nano. Since the earphones were intended for portable usage, I would not consider a dedicated AMP/DAC necessary at all, but of course, it doesn’t hurt to have one. As for the FLAC vs MP3 debate, I actually did a lot of this testing on 320kbps MP3’s, in my experience, it’s more track dependent.

  10. Tom on

    Great review Ryan.

    I was ready to pull the trigger on a pair of Pinnacle P1s earlier today (after several week’s weighing up the options in this price class), so thanks for muddying the waters now that I read how impressive these 1More quads are.

    I’m still inclined towards the Pinnacle because of my preference for over-ear fit, and appreciate the replaceable cables and standard nozzle size (for spinfits/complys).

    Keep up the good work.

    • Ryan Soo on

      Thanks Tom,

      Don’t mean to muddy the P1’s, they are a very good earphone overall. Perhaps in terms of audio quality, they didn’t come off as outstanding to me as some reviews would suggest. They are still a fantastic option if you don’t mind the brighter tonal balance and the fit and build are exemplary. At the cost of fit and isolation, the Quad-Drivers are a little more balanced while remaining just as engaging though it’s ultimately a matter of preference.

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

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