Overall rating: 8/10
Personally, I think 1More makes some great audio products. I own a pair of 1More Triple Driver earphones and I like the sound signature, despite all the hate it receives from the core audiophile community. Also, did you know that 1More is a Chinese-subsidiary of Xiaomi, and actually makes Xiaomi Piston earphones and their hybrid driver earphones?
Therefore, when 1More India decided to send a unit of the Dual Driver earphones for review I must admit, I was excited.
However, my excitement was short-lived after the first few listens. I immediately dismissed the 1More Dual Drivers for being muddy and boring.
In fact, I had a word with a friend from the industry and he had the same opinion. Now while I was disappointed, I continued using these earphones primarily because I had to review them - good or bad. And for the sake of the review, I started using the 1More Dual Drivers as my daily pair of earphones.
Then something happened, it started opening up and sounding much, much better than my initial impression. Let’s find out what changed.
1More Dual Driver: sound signature
Like I mentioned, the 1More Dual Drivers started opening up after about 20 hours of continuous listening. Nope, I didn’t run the traditional pink noise for burn in. Instead, I listened to my regular test tracks as usual. I could notice that the soundstage and stereo separation improved drastically. Liquid Dance from Slumdog Millionaire has an exquisite arrangement, one that uses stereo separation - Rahman’s forte - to great effect. The 1More Dual Driver for a pair of earphones offers you a great sense of space around your head. In fact, I couldn’t find any noticeable difference between the soundstaging of the Triple Driver and the Dual Driver. And, that’s saying a lot.
The other great aspect of the Dual Drivers is the imaging. These earphones can do instrument separation really well weeding out the congestion. Even in tracks like Arctic Monkeys’ Do I Wanna Know, which is layered with many instruments, the Dual Driver distinguishes each one with ease. Just ensure that you are listening to a hi-res track. Unfortunately though, since these are budget IEMs, don’t expect much in terms of great timbre. But the combination of Graphene and PET diaghram layers ensures you get a good transience response, at least for a pair of affordable earphones. This is where the Dual Drivers distinguishes itself from other earphones in the same price range.
As far as the overall sound signature of the 1More Dual Drivers is concerned, it is warm and slightly coloured to emphasis the bass. Vocals shine on the Dual Drivers. Be it, Rahman’s raspy whispering in Jaage Hain from Guru or Shakthishree Gopalan’s operatic rendition of wistful yearning in Yenga Pona Raasa from Maryan, the Dual Drivers can do justice to their singing.
The mid-bass response on the 1More Triple driver is tight and clean. But, the extremely low end of the frequency range sounds a little wavy and loose. In fact, it is the similar, characteristic bass response of 1More Triple Driver earphones. Therefore, if you are a fan of modern EDM tracks, the Dual Drivers might disappoint you.
Also read: Fiio F9 Pro vs 1More Triple Driver: which are the best triple driver earphones for you?
The treble response is pretty good too with no sibilance or unpleasant spikes. However, don’t expect any audiophile-grade performance found in earphones like the KZ ZS5/ZS6 or the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2.
1More Dual Driver: design, build quality, and fit
On opening the box, you will see - in typical 1More fashion - a very attractive box which houses the earphones. You get a four different sizes of tips but no foam tips here, which is a letdown. You also get this neat carry pouch and a stainless steel clip, which you will definitely appreciate.
As far as the design is concerned, the 1More Dual Driver follows the same ideology as the more expensive 1More Triple Driver. The earphones themselves have a 45-degree oblique design, ensuring that you get a good seal. The noise isolation was decent, nothing too great. Although, the earphones tend to jut out a bit from the ear. But, not so much that it is a hindrance while sleeping on one side. The housing is made of metal and it definitely feels sturdy.
The housings are attached to plastic cables that meet at the Y-end split. From here onwards, you get a single braided cable terminating at the L-shaped gold-plated 3.5mm plug. While it feels very premium, the cable tangles very easily. Also, the braided part of the cable has memory and therefore if you form a kink, there is a strong chance that you won’t be able to straighten it. So, be careful.
For some odd reason, the volume buttons on my inline remote wasn’t compatible with my iPhone 7 Plus. But, the microphone on the Dual Drivers were pretty darn good.
Should you buy the 1More Dual Driver?
The Dual Driver sits nicely in between its siblings -the Single Driver and the Triple Driver - as far as the price and tonal fidelity is concerned. At its current price tag of around Rs 3,799 on HeadphoneZone, the 1More Dual Driver is not too cheap nor too expensive for a pair of in-ear earphones.
Overall, the 1More Dual Driver is a superb pair of earphones that will definitely not disappoint fans of rock and classical music. Also, the Dual Driver responds well to a good, clean source. I evidently enjoyed the Dual Drivers more on my Cayin N3 than on the iPhone 7 Plus. So, if you use a dedicated DAC for your phone/desktop or a DAP the 1More Dual Driver will sound well.
Under Rs 5,000, the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 was one of my favourite pair of earphones. It came with replaceable filters! Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find ‘em online anymore. In fact, the FiiO X1 2nd Gen sounds pretty good too. They’ve been replaced by the FiiO F5, which offers a similar level of audio fidelity. If you are a bass head, take a look at the LSTN Bowery (review) instead.
Therefore, there are no dearth of options in this price range but the 1More Dual Driver still impresses.
These earphones rock hard and rock tight.
Purchase link and important information
In case you are interested in buying the 1More Dual Driver earphones, you can buy the earphones from here.
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