Dongle life isn’t so bad

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Swanky design • Excellent sound • Long cable with well-placed controls

Some distortion at higher volumes • Requires a dongle for some smartphones

The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones deliver such great sound that you might reconsider your switch to wireless headphones.

“Where’s my dongle?” was my first thought when I received the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones. Turns out, it was worth finding, as these wired headphones deliver an impressive listening experience even if you’ve cut the cord ages ago.

I reluctantly made the switch to wireless headphones after upgrading to the current generation of Android smartphones, many of which no longer brandish a headphone jack. I wasn’t thrilled with this idea, considering every pair of headphones I’ve ever owned has been wired.

I’m also prone to losing things, and I know I’m not alone in that. And if you’re like me, the inconspicuousness of wireless headphones can spell trouble, sending you on panicked searches through all your pockets to figure out where you left the dang things. 

That’s why it’s reassuring to see that long, braided fiber cable running down the 1More. As long as my headphones tend to be physically tethered to my listening device, I’ll run less of a risk of misplacing it.

So, about that dongle. I found it, and now we’re in business.

Design and accessories

I enjoy packaging details, and, as a person who still buys only physical books, I really appreciated the tactile experience of the 1More headphones’ packaging, which was a book-like package. 

Just pop the tab up and open the cover to reveal the 1More, nestled with its carrying pouch and an embarrassment of ear tip options. There’s a tip for any ear and any canal size. There are nine options in total (six silicone and three memory-foam options) ranging from 10mm to 14.5mm.

Image: Charles Poladian/Mashable

There are also some subtle design choices that make the 1More one comfortable pair of headphones. For starters, the headphones are angled to better fit your ear canal. It’s not something you’d notice on the outside, but the design has a reassuring snugness to them. They’re also very comfortable, which makes them an easy choice for wearing all day. Considering how many tip choices are included, you should experience a similar fit and feel.

The muted rose gold aluminum-alloy body adds a subtle bit of polish to the headphones that are also found on the in-line controls. Those metallic elements are sandblasted so there are no unsightly fingerprint smudges.

There are three buttons to control the volume, music, and calls, and 1More places the mic and buttons in a way that’s convenient. I don’t typically notice that sort of thing unless it’s wildly out of place, but it does look like the ideal spot, and the buttons are easy enough to locate. You’ll find yourself pressing the center button quite often (twice to skip a song and three times to go to the previous track). Phone call controls are relatively simple, with one press to answer or hang up, and a long press to decline the call.

Image: CHARLES POLADIAN/MASHABLE

My favorite bit of subtle design work by 1More is in the cable itself. How many headphone wires have I torn after throwing them in a bag, getting them tangled in one of a million different ways, or just snagging them on something during my commute? Luckily, that won’t be the fate of the 1More as the design includes a braided fabric wire. A layer of Kevlar protects the wires inside, and I like the subtle blue dots sprinkled along the cable.

I’m usually not a fan of headphone pouches. I know this could solve a lot of my issues with headphones, but I’m a grab-and-go kind of person. If it’s trying to leave my house or getting out of a crowded train, I don’t want to add a step to stowing my things away.

However, a travel pouch can come in handy when you’re on an airplane, especially with the 1More. That’s because it comes with a rose gold dual-prong airline adapter, a nice and unexpected touch. So, I’ll make an exception in this case just so I can keep that adapter handy. The branded shirt clip, on the other hand, is a pass for me. You might have more of a need for this, but, for me, it’s definitely something that will get lost as I shuffle and move around during my commute. 

The wire is also a generous length, which is ideal for a more stationary listening experience (which we’ll get to in a second). I can see myself lounging in a chair with a bourbon in one hand, a book in the other, and the 1More plugged into my home theater as I listen to some jazz on vinyl.

To recap: The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones retails for $99.99, and it’s built and sold as a premium product. Luckily, it passes the first test through thoughtful design and accessories. There’s a lot going on that will go unnoticed during daily listening, but not unappreciated. Come for the lightweight ergonomic headphones, stay for the bonus memory foam tips and airline adapter. You’ll get compliments on its looks and bold choice to stay connected even as the world goes wireless.

Sound that packs a punch 

You don’t spend $100 for a pair of headphones on looks alone. There’s usually the promise of great sound, dynamic bass, or something else. In the case of these headphones, the name gives it away: three drivers are in each earbud to deliver on good sound.

The 1More packs two balanced armature drivers and a third dynamic driver in each earbud to deliver a great listening experience. By using balanced armature drivers, 1More can add multiple drivers in a relatively small body. Additionally, the triple-driver design lets 1More’s sound engineer — in this case, Grammy winner Luca Bignardi — tune the drivers to create the best listening experience. 

Image: CHARLES POLADIAN/MASHABLE

There’s another certification to let everyone know that these headphones sound great. 1More claims to be the first headphones to be THX certified.

That’s a lot of claiming. But if you’re not convinced 1More’s approach is good for overall sound quality, just listen to the headphones.

The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones deliver on a balanced listening experience. You put the earbuds in and the quality comes through loud and clear — it’s rich and full and exactly what you want when you’re listening to music. The bass is very present and nothing ever sounds muddy. Even at extreme volumes, the sound holds mostly true.

There may be times when things feel a little too busy, but that’s if you’re really trying to suss out all the instruments in the mix and figuring out the highs and lows at a louder volume than you would be listening to during your commute. Everything on Spotify’s “Today’s Top Hits” playlist, for example, sounded exactly like you would hope it would sound. My personal preferences, usually in the rock or folk category, get treated well by the 1More.

Image: CHARLES POLADIAN/MASHABLE

There’s an overall fidelity and joy that you should experience every time you listen to music. You might not be able to leave the office, but, with great sound, you should be able to close your eyes and feel like you’re in paradise with a great beat. And the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones can get you there at a pretty reasonable price.

Are they worth $100?

To recap: The 1More delivers in the sound department, and I never felt unsatisfied by how the headphones performed on any particular song or genre. Through it all, the bass booms while everything else stays nice and clear. You can probably find a few things you don’t like at louder volumes, but at the levels where most people listen, the 1Mores are outstanding.

I’ve worn these headphones on my commute, plugged them into my laptop, and back into my phone (with my dongle never too far away) and never thought twice about that experience. I even got a little nostalgic for cables. I also didn’t have to worry about charging them — another perk of wired headphones I had forgot about.

When I’m looking for an everyday pair of headphones, I’m thinking about convenient design, good-to-great sound, and general build quality. The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones check all those boxes. They’re not cheap at $99.99, but there’s a lot of value. And you’ll forget all about the price after they become a regular part of your daily routine.

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