You probably haven't heard of 1More, a Chinese company based in Shenzhen, but its Triple-Driver is one of the best sounding in-ear headphones we've heard for $100.
It seems well built, with nicely finished aluminum earpieces and a Kevlar-reinforced cable that's designed to limit cord noise when it rubs against your clothing. The headphone comes with a variety of silicon and foam eartips to ensure that you get a tight seal and the inline three-button remote and microphone are compatible with both Android and Apple devices (the volume controls work with both). A hard carrying case is also included.
Each earpiece hosts a single dynamic driver, plus two balanced armature drivers -- thus the name Triple Driver. The impedance is listed at 32 ohms. Typically, a 32-ohm headphone would be harder to drive than a more typical 16-ohm headphone, but we didn't have a problem getting ample volume from a smartphone.
The Triple-Driver's sound is not only full and warm but nicely detailed. There's plenty of bass oomph and definition is decent enough. The midrange sounds clear and natural; this is a headphone that will appeal to audiophiles.
Steve compared the Triple Driver with his favorite under $100 in-ear headphone, the FiiO EX1, and found the sound very different. While the earpieces of the two designs have a similar shape, the Triple Driver is finished to a higher standard and did a better job blocking external noise than the EX1.
The EX1 is clearer and more transparent while but the Triple Driver's sound is richer and more textured. It was akin to listening to headphones plugged into a tube amplifier -- everything was just a little prettier and nicer sounding with the Triple Driver. The EX1's treble is more exciting, and more accurate, but the Triple Driver's sound is more of a guilty pleasure.
David, meanwhile, compared the Triple Driver to Bose's SoundTrue Ultra in-ear headphone. The Triple Driver sounds superior, with richer, more detailed sound. But the Bose, which offers very smooth sound, is a lighter, more comfortable headphone with a better, more secure fit, particularly when walking the streets of New York.
We like both headphones, but given the choice between the two, we'd probably opt for the Bose for everyday use for the fit, and because the Bose works better when working out (the Bose has a winged silicon tip that holds the bud securely in place).
1More also makes the more affordable Dual Driver ($70) and Single Driver ($30) in-ear headphones, as well as the over-ear MK801 ($80). Those aren't so special, however.
In the end, our only reservation about the Triple Driver is its design. There are other headphones out there that look similar and while the headphone fits comfortably, it worked better during stationary sessions than when walking around. While in motion, the bud needs frequent adjustment to keep a tight seal, which is crucial to getting the high-quality sound the headphone is capable of producing. So this may not be the best headphone for active users.
But that small caveat aside, The Triple Driver is a great sounding in-ear headphone for its $100 price point and the inclusion of the hard carrying case and large selection of eartips is a nice bonus.