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 fit. 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.
But through well-angled nozzles combined with the tapered housings, the Quad Drivers produce brilliant long term comfortable and a surprisingly stable fit 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 fit 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 fit 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 fit 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 the 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.
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.
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