True wireless earphones might be the present and future of personal audio, but there are still takers for the more traditional neckband-style design. Apart from the cost advantage to this design, there's also the fact that you can get better hardware and specifications thanks to the larger form of the headset itself. A good example of this is what we're reviewing today: the 1More Triple Driver Wireless Bluetooth earphones.
Currently priced at Rs. 8,599, the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth is the wireless version of the 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones. While the actual earphones are the same, with a familiar triple-driver setup, the newer headset features wireless connectivity and a neckband to keep the headset secure. Can the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth live up to the high standards set by the wired version? Find out in our review.
As the wireless version of the excellent 1More Triple Driver earphones, there are naturally a lot of similarities between the two models. The earbuds are identical, with the same metal casings and shape, along with the angled ear tips that let them sit comfortably in your ears. As before, we quite like the way the earbuds look, and they were comfortable as well. A short rubber cable runs from each earbud to the neckband, and a small clip lets you keep them attached when not in use.
Like many other earphones from 1More, the Triple Driver Bluetooth earphones come with nine pairs of ear tips; six of these are silicone, while three are foam. Although we typically favour foam tips for their superior fit and noise isolation, we found the silicone tips to be better for these earphones as they're a bit more flexible and offer a better seal. The sales package also contains a USB Type-C charging cable and a carry pouch for the headset.
The neckband is made of a combination of plastic and rubber, and holds the battery, electronics, and controls of the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth earphones. The rubber part of the neckband is extremely flexible and can be stretched out as you please. It can even safely be twisted into loops for easy storage as well.
The left collar of the neckband holds the controls, and the USB Type-C port for charging sits under a flap at the end. You can control power, playback, and volume from the neckband. There's also an indicator light and the microphone for the headset. It's a simple, tried-and-tested design that works well enough even today.
Inside each earpiece is the familiar triple-driver setup we saw on the wired version - one dynamic driver to handle the low-end, and two balanced-armature drivers for the mids and highs. The 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth headset is Hi-Res Audio certified, with a frequency response range of 20-40,000Hz. Bluetooth 4.2 is used for connectivity, with support for the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. There's no aptX support, but the presence of LDAC means this isn't really a problem since Android devices widely support the codec.
Battery life on the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth earphones was ordinary at best; we were able to use the earphones for around six hours per charge, with mixed usage that consisted of listening to music, taking calls, and a bit of standby time. Charging the earphones took around three hours, which we thought was a bit too long considering how small the battery is.
We loved the 1More Triple Driver wired earphones, so we had big expectations of the wireless version. The earphones did not disappoint us, with a balanced audiophile-friendly sonic signature, detailed sound, and almost the same level of quality that the wired variant was capable of. We tested the earphones with a OnePlus 7T Pro (Review) and Apple MacBook Air as the source devices, using Spotify, YouTube Music, and our collection of high-resolution audio tracks to play music.
Starting with Summer Dem by Basement Jaxx, we were immediately impressed with how detailed and balanced the sound was. Like much of Basement Jaxx's music, the track combines a lot of prominent elements with fainter ones ringing in more distant-sounding parts of the soundstage, which the 1More earphones managed to replicate beautifully. Segments of the track which had two vocalists singing together sounded good, with both distinctly separated, further showing the level of detail on offer with these earphones. The core benefit of using a multi-driver setup is clearly audible, and 1More makes the most of the technical capabilities of the drivers.
Moving to Hold Back Love by Kraak and Smaak, the early bass sounded tight and calculated, but stopped short of being as punchy and fast as we'd have liked to hear in this peppy house track. The sonic signature stayed reliably balanced, giving every element of the track its time to shine. While this is appreciable in its own way, we still wish that these earphones were flexible enough to let different elements of the track take centre-stage.
As with the wired version of the 1More Triple Driver earphones, listening to high-resolution audio tracks on the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth earphones tended to bring out a bit more in the sound. Not only did we hear more detail, but the sonic signature seemed a bit more adaptable and accommodating as well. Close To You by The Avalanches in FLAC format sounded beautiful, bringing out the faintest of details in this sample-based track and giving the bass just a hint more thump than with a streamed version of the same recording.
The drivers themselves are well tuned, and this can be heard in the tightness in the bass and the crispness of the mids and highs. Three drivers dividing up the work also meant that even the busiest and most detailed tracks weren't slowed down by the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth earphones. Listening to a high-resolution version of Life On The Nickel by Foster The People showed how even this beat-filled busy track didn't cause the earphones to falter.
We did find performance to be significantly better when using our Android smartphone with the LDAC Bluetooth codec. Performance with the AAC codec was decent as well, but the LDAC codec's higher bandwidth made for a much more wholesome and detailed sonic performance from the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth earphones.
We used the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth earphones for voice calls as well, and performance was decent enough in both indoor and outdoor environments. There was some cable noise to be heard, but their short length meant that they didn't often rub against our clothes, making this an insignificant problem.
Neckband-style wireless earphones aren't quite as popular in the mid-range and premium price segments as they once were. While we still see plenty of these earphones in the budget segment, buyers who can afford true wireless or fully-equipped over-ear headphones understandably tend to prefer them instead. A small segment of the audience - particularly audiophiles - might still see the value in the 1More Triple Driver Bluetooth because of the audio quality it delivers along with the convenience of wireless connectivity.
The earphones look good, sound great, and are comfortable enough for everyday use. Battery life is the only significant drawback; at under six hours per charge, it might not even last you a full day of reasonable use. That aside, this is a good pair of earphones for buyers who want high-quality sound on the go.
Price: Rs. 8,599
Ratings (out of 5)