Earbuds, or as they are now more accurately called now, in-ear headphones, come in varying designs and prices. And many feel that they “sound” better because they provide a more direct path for the audio to reach the ear. But while many may appear similar on the outside, it’s the technology used inside and the shell holding that technology that makes or breaks their ability to deliver quality audio. 1MORE’s latest, the Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones pushes the boundaries of what can be positioned inside minimal space to create maximum sound. But it’s not about volume, it’s about resolution.
Forming a sound-field, where what is being heard through the ear can approach reality is done by through the application of “drivers” — which is to say that the idea is for the sound being outputted to reach both low and high frequencies just as the ear itself does. In the Quad’s case this is done by utilizing not two, but three balanced Armatures (call them “tweeters”) working in concert with a diamond-like Carbon Dynamic Driver (the “woofer”). This increases the overall sound intensity, so saying it makes for high-resolution sound has to come from the drivers being able to segment and deliver a full range of audio frequencies, rather than an outputting en mass. This full frequency response (reaching 40,000 Hz), also enhances the sound so as to better remove distortion. 1MORE also continues having the “sound stage” of the Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones tuned by Grammy Winning Sound Engineer Luca Bignardi. This is unlike most in-ear headphones which rely on standardized procedures that decline the human touch.
Of course the chassis (“build”) is important too, since how the audio technology is contained affects their performance. The Quad’s sound chamber is of an anodized aluminum construction that allows for a streamlined path for the sound. Insertion in the ear is handled through a replaceable ear tip (9 sizes provided to choose from), which makes for a strong fit that also seals out extraneous background noise. And the cabling is of high fidelity copper wire Kevlar fibre wrapped.
But all the technical jazz is meaningless if 1MORE fails to deliver when the in-ears are inserted. For those who have spent the $199.99 retail cost and have been using a low-end or even moderately priced in-ear headphones, the difference in sound quality will become immediately apparent (if not astounding) because all of the frequencies are in play — so the mid-range is strong and vibrant, just as the low and high ends maintain their presence as well. Or to put it more simply, listen and realize just how much better everything now sounds.
The Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones retails for $199.99 and includes a number of accessories (going beyond the MEMS microphone and audio controls for iOS/Android phones); this includes a 1.4″ and Airline adaptor, matching shirt clip and leather carrying case. But the single most important accessory is your ear and what it can now hear.