Decent headphones aren’t inexpensive, but they don’t necessarily have to cost $300 or more. If you’re willing to compromise just a little bit on sound quality and features, the 1More Over-Ears headphones will give you good sound and comfort, and will be somewhat easier on your wallet. They aren’t wireless, however, and they lack active noise cancellation (ANC), common features even at this price point.
Good First Impressions, But Too Many Wires
Unboxing the 1More phones is a pleasant experience. They come in an impressive box, and when the box is opened, you are greeted with a hard-shell travel case. Inside the case, you’ll find the phones, which fold up to take less space, and a cable with a 3.5mm plug on one side of the cable (the side that plugs into the audio source ). Also included is a small adapter that allows you to plug the cable into a standard 1/4-inch headphones jack. Phones without a 3.5mm headphone jack will likely need an adapter.
The cable splits about 18 inches from the other end, into two separate 3.5mm plugs—one for each earcup. The phone cups are labeled with a large “L” and “R,” though this lettering is almost the same color as the grille cloth and is rather difficult to discern. The jack on the right earcup is rimmed in red, and the end of the cable that plugs into this cup also has a red ring, so you know which way to plug the cables in.
The right end of the cable also has a small switch that allows you to place and answer calls, which also contains a small mic. This switch, however, does not also serve as a track control letting you move back and forth between songs when playing music. Nor does the headset have any kind of volume control, something that’s often found on ‘phones at this price range.
Most wired headphones these days use only a single cord which, in many cases, is connected to the right earcup. Having separate cables running to each earcup isn’t the end of the world, though I found it slightly uncomfortable when wearing the ‘phones as I had to spend a bit more time looking for the small switch on the right cord to position the phones correctly. But that might be just because I’m so used to cans with just a single cable running between the headphones and audio source.
More Drivers Than You Can Shake a Stick at
1More calls these triple drivers. As far as I’m concerned, they are actually double-driver phones with a Bass Reflector that boosts bass response, somewhat similar to bass reflex speakers. The main pair of drivers use a graphene diaphragm and a circular ceramic tweeter. The combination, along with the bass reflector, produces sound that is mostly flat, though adds slightly enhanced bass.
I tend to enjoy music that leans towards bass, but many headphone users will expect almost flat response over the frequency spectrum. This is one place where you can definitely hear the difference between these and a more expensive set of ‘phones. Still, on tracks such as the live version of Dwight Yoakam’s Fast as You, or Jane Ellen Bryant’s version of Make That Call, there is a noticeable sense of presence that some less-expensive headphones don’t provide. As mentioned previously, you can hear the difference, in the emphasis on bass rather than flat response, on these tracks with an A/B comparison with a more expensive set of headphones, such as the Poly Backbeat Pro 2 or Sennheiser Momentum 2.
The Good, the Bad, and the Blah
Overall, I really liked the 1More phones. They sound really nice, and unless you do a direct A to B comparison with headphones in the $300 or higher range, you’ll most likely be quite satisfied with the audio range and sound quality. In fact, with many of the songs I used in listening tests, I found it difficult to hear any actual differences between these and several different pairs of more expensive phones. And with some songs, the 1More’s actually sounded better to me. I tend to like more emphasis on bass, so you might not appreciate the phone’s sound as much as I do. The triple drivers really delivered on their promise.
Also appreciated is the hard travel case. I don’t do a tremendous amount of traveling, but those times when I do, I want to use a set of headphones on a trip, I really appreciate a hard-shell case rather than a fabric case or no case at all.
There are two features that I wish the 1More phones had offered. Most disappointing is the lack of Active Noise Cancellation. Not everyone needs or even uses this feature, but its lack in a pair of $200 headphones is, in my opinion, a serious flaw, especially considering that there are numerous headphones for $100 or less that incorporate ANC.
There are also plenty of headphones in this price range that also offer Bluetooth capability. If you anticipate using these to listen to your TV set at a distance, you’re either going to need a long extension cord or a different set of ‘phones. And whether you listen to music or TV with these, you’ll have to set the volume on the device providing the audio. Unlike many on- or over-ear headphones, these have no volume control.
Overall, however, many casual listeners will find the 1More Triple Driver over-the-ears headphones to be quite adequate. They offer good, though not perfect, audio quality, and are comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. And perhaps best of all, they won’t put a huge hurt on your wallet.
Here’s What We Like
- Really good sound for price
- Hard-shell travel case
- Comfortable to wear for hours
And What We Don't
- Cable separates and runs to both earphones
- No Active Noise Cancellation
- No Bluetooth