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1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones

02-05-2018 | By Editors at Positive Feedback | Issue 95

The following review is from our guest contributor, Sarah Grant. Sarah is a dear friend, as well as a music, coffee, and beer lover. Plus she is cool.

1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones

This review might have an especially affirmative character to it but I have a deeply personal relationship with this product after months of use. And although I am decidedly not an audiophile, I am audiophile curious. With that in mind, here is my first affirmative statement: the 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones have been eye opening for me and my listening needs. I want to take the rest of this space to explain why and hopefully give you a sense of what it means for someone like me to appreciate these headphones.

Again, I am not an experienced audio consumer by any stretch of the imagination but I do feel like I might be the perfect demographic for a number of products in the industry, creative marketing techniques, accessible quality and design. Design. I am a sucker for design and functional design in particular. And I am a semi-firm believer in the mantra that the little things really do matter. I am also a person who might be a good gateway consumer to this world—the kind of person who is looking for a product that makes me think "I get it now." The 1More Quad Drivers were not exactly the first headphones to make me "get it" but they were certainly the first headphones to make me think "of course, I would pay this price for headphones if this is what they can do for my listening experience."

And experience these headphones I did. I use headphones regularly in a number of different environments—on 15+ hour transpacific flights, while exercising in noisy environments and on quiet hikes, while clandestinely listening to podcasts at my office desk. 1More nailed down many things with their Quad Drivers but it is the little things that set them apart from other headphones at a similar price point (or significantly more). Oh, and the Mids made me understand for the first time why good headphones matter.

Out of the (Particularly Awesome) Box

Opening the 1More Quad Drivers is like opening a tiered birthday gift that keeps on giving. There's a lot going on in this meaty box—the sharp looking box itself, a detailed glossy instruction manual, custom ear tips (9) in their own handsome slots, a solid leather case with a magnetic closure for storing and transporting the headphones, a ¼ inch adapter and an airline adapter and…wait, what on earth is that last thing? It's a "matching shirt clip." I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with the matching shirt clip and I'm sure the guys will figure it out but personally, I'm open to suggestions.

1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones

The Spectrum

To date I have put a solid 150+ hours of listening into the 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones and they are still improving with each minute. However you feel about burn-in, my listening trajectory certainly shapes the way I feel about these headphones. My first week or two revolved around Kamasi Washington's The Epic—out of the box I did find myself wanting to tune down the treble but this feeling didn't last long and dissipated soon enough.

The Mids stood out to me in the aforementioned way—I had no idea this is what Sufjan Stevens and Come on Feel the Illinoise were meant to sound like. The vocal timbre and complexity that comes through with or without a headphone DAC is ultimately what sold me on these headphones.

The Lows in Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp and Butterfly, classic J Dilla and instrumentalist Pete Rock's tracks sound incredibly well balanced in context—these are IEMs that are providing a wholly immersive experience. Even well produced podcasts have a balanced soundstage like quality.

Most recently, I was able to try out the airline adaptor while using these IEMs for approximately 44 hours of flying. Imagine the audio quality you experienced on your last long haul flight. Now imagine what a tolerable experience would be like. Ratchet that experience up from tolerable to decent and that's what these $199 headphones can do for you. I didn't even take them off for my zombie-like transit in Incheon, lest I have to face the real world and my jetlag.

Creating Dialogue

If you're a regular at Positive Feedback or happened to be at the 2017 LA Audio Show, you'll know that one of the most popular rooms at the show was specifically designed to feature gear that "the rest of us" can afford. I always assumed that I am "the rest of us" in this context. In reality, I am not quite there yet. Although infinitely curious about what affordable means in the high end audio world, I cannot speak with expertise about what constitutes the best. I can, however, speak to my own experience with headphones and these in particular. I don't even know if I would refer to these headphones as entry-level; these headphones are, simply put, exactly what I didn't know I've always needed. And sure, there is debate about the terminology here—affordable, entry-level, budget audio—but Steve Lefkowicz is right. It's all relative (and relatively complex). The audio world is a complicated place for a newbie to navigate but these headphones don't require navigation. They remind people like me that there is an accessible way to make my music and podcast listening experience better.

The thing about the 1More quad driver in-ear monitors is that they are for everyone—the full consumer spectrum from amateur listeners like me to those far more experienced but looking for a new kind of experience. If you're on a budget but enamored with the idea of having something of exceptional quality to listen to—the 1More Quad Drivers might just be the best bang for your buck out there. I haven't even fully delved into the intelligent controls and microphone but that's just me – I'm typically not listening on a device that allows phone calls. I could do with or without this feature but my general sentiment is, why not make amazing headphones more versatile and accessible to a broader community of consumers?

Lastly, these IEMs are dialogue creators. They stand out in terms of design and people will undoubtedly ask about them. A quick switch of an ear tip and a few minutes of listening and suddenly you have your friends questioning their entire audio past. Okay, maybe it doesn't happen exactly like this but the Quad Drivers as an entire package are conversation starters and a good opportunity to chat about what makes our respective listening experiences worthwhile. These headphones certainly offer up plenty of talking points.


The Kevlar core cable is the greatest thing that's ever happened to my mobile listening needs. It is unique looking, tough as bricks, and cannot be tangled (I have unwittingly tried).


  • Weight: 18.5 g
  • Cable Length: 1.25 m
  • In-line Remote Control and Microphone
  • Oxygen-Free Copper Wire 
  • Plug: 3.5 mm Gold Plated
  • Frequency Range: 20-40,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB
  • Rated Power: 5 mW

1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones

Retail: $199.99