1 More Triple Driver LTNG In-Ear Headphones REVIEW Enjoy Lightning connected listening.
I have a confession. I have owned only two non-Apple smartphones in my adult life, the Samsung SGH-1760 and the Droid Incredible. I moved over to the iPhone 5, iPhone 6s Plus and then the iPhone 7 Plus. I do not see myself moving away from the Apple ecosystem anytime soon. My wife has been a little behind, with multiple Galaxy phones. She has recently been won over by the reliability and ease of use. As a family, we enjoy family sharing, we enjoy iTunes and we enjoy FaceTime. I hear many people refer to Apple lovers as Sheeple or other derogatory insults to one’s intelligence. Personally, I am willing to pay for a product that works for me and one that works with other devices I own. Interestingly, Virgin Mobile announced in June of 2017 that they will stop selling non-Apple phones.
One of my colleagues, Brian Wharton, wrote an amazing review about the Triple Driver Headphones from 1More. He commented about the freedom of wireless listening devices, but like good Old Faithful, he returned to a quality corded option. 1More combined quality packaging, with quality sound and artistic style, to provide an amazing listening experience. I was excited for Brian and for his experience with the 1More device. As many of you may be aware, Apple decided to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack in its latest iPhone 7/7 Plus. I do appreciate that Apple included a lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter, but this adaptor is easy to misplace and is never around when I need it. Luckily 1More has done away with the need for this $9 adapter and many of the issues that you can read about on Apple’s website. Many people talk about the lack of compatibility with in-line controls, in call controls, square reader, etc. 1More has adapted with the time and has created a device that solves the issue of requiring a 3.5mm adapter while maintaining their drive for a quality product.
The packaging is incredibly eye catching, with a matte black background and a black on a silver color scheme for the in-ear earphones. You will notice the MFI “Made for iPod, iPhone, and iPad” logo along the bottom left and details about the headphones along the bottom right. The case has an old hardcover book feel to it, with an external slip cover and an internal hard cardboard box. The back of the packaging is rather busy with quite a bit of writing, in a variety of languages. The case promises a weight of 24.1 grams at 1.25m, lightning cord attachment with in-line control enabled. It promises audio output from 20Hz-20kHz (standard human range of hearing). Removing the slip cover, the packaging further resembles a book. The cover shows the 1More logo alongside a red heartbeat-esque logo and the slogan “Here I hear.” The entire experience is very visibly appealing and makes you want to save the box as a memento. The metallic opening flap is definitely correct in the statement “1More Design.” If they focused as much attention on the product as they did the packaging, I knew I was in for a real treat.
Lifting the magnetic flap, you will immediately notice that the inside of the box resembles a Leonardo Davinci sketch book. To the left, you have a diagram of the 5-in-1 controller, the lightning connector, the quality/function and science of the 1More Triple Driver LTNG. To the right, you will see a very modern/trendy pair of in-ear headphones, with a controller. Beneath this, you will find three individually packaged cardboard boxes. There is a long thin box, which contains eight pairs of headphone tips (14.5mm, 13mm, 12mm, 11mm, 10mm silicone and 11mm, 13mm and 14.5mm foam tips). One of the smaller boxes has an amazing textured leather earphone case, with red stitching that really pops. The other smaller container has a 1More sales pamphlet, a 1More bear sticker with 1More headphones and the multi-language instruction manual. If you are not careful, you will miss one other piece of tech within this last box. Do not throw away the cardboard without first sliding out the silver colored lapel clip. At first glance, it will seem like an embellishment, but do not miss this accessory.
I tried each of the included ear tips and actually found the included/attached pair of silicone tips to be the most comfortable. The included earphone tips appear to be roughly the size of the 11mm silicone tips. The cable is made of aluminum alloy body with a kevlar core cable. The external appearance is speckled with a coppery colored nylon. The material is designed for lightweight enjoyment, yet built ruggedly and with decreased cable tangling in mind. I found the end from the in-line controller to the lightning adaptor had reduced tangling but the rubberized cords from the controller to the ear pieces still tangled. The lighting adaptor is rounded and should fit nearly any smartphone case. I love that they did not make this end boxy, like some lighting cables that I have tried. Some cases like Catalyst and Lifeproof have rather tight lightning adaptor access ports. Having Catalyst Case on my iPhone 7 plus, I can attest that the 1More LTNG does fit nicely into the lighting port. The 53 1/4 inch cable is sufficiently long to not pull on the phone when attached at your hip or resting in your pocket. The in-line controller is located 37 3/4 inches from the lightning tip and is 1 15/16 inches long and 1/2 inches wide.
Plugging the headphones into the iPhone 7 plus lightning port, I was immediately alerted to a message “App Not Installed.” Furthermore, the message states that the accessory uses an app that is not installed and then asks if I want to download the App or to Ignore. Once the app is downloaded it will run through a Burn-In process that takes about 12 hours for the first phase. I decided to stop this after 1 hour, after reading an article at wired.com that states that this is basically not necessary and delays enjoyment. Additionally, I really cannot let my iPhone 7 plus just sit there playing the same sounds for 12 hours. It is true that you can do this in pieces and save your place. I had it on charge overnight and played the static noise that they furnished and finished up with about 8 hours total. I may ultimately finish, to see what the second phase entails, but for now, I want to enjoy music. The app required an update to the headphones to improve the microphone. I did download the upgrade to version v1.1.8. If you tap the “?” in the top right of the app, you will be taken to a Q&A regarding the Burn-IN Process. It is recommended to use white noise or similar to improve the sound of the new headphones.
If you have read any of my headphone reviews, you know that I love to use audiocheck.net to evaluate the low frequency, high frequency, and the stereo imaging test. I found the headphone to display 20Hz at the low end and 15Khz at the upper end. Remember the upper end is very dependent on the limits of hearing of the listener. Most of us aged 18 to mid 30’s will be able to hear up to ~13–15Khz. The channels for left and right were correct and the same sound localization knock test (The Real thing) proved to be just as enjoyable. Once this testing is complete, I tend to turn to my test tracks. For evaluation of the bass, I use Dark Knight Joker Theme “Why So Serious,” I listen to the opening for Star Wars Attack of the Clones and to most of the Gladiator soundtrack. Lately, I have also listened to CeeLo Green “Bright Lights Bigger City.” It may be worth noting that the 1More Quad Drivers may have more bass and more depth, but the Triple Driver LTNG headphones work better with the iPhone 7 (my wife’s phone) and the iPhone 7 Plus (my phone). I have used the lighting adaptor and found the Quad Drivers to be a great music listening choice. Personally, I would actually prefer this headset and to do away with the need to carry the extra adaptor.
To appreciate the fullness of the sound and the upper range, I turn to a few of my favorite instrumental soundtracks such as “Far and Away,” and “Braveheart.” I love to listen to Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” and “The Longest Time” and “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. I absolutely love “Seven Spanish Angels” by Willie Nelson and Ray Charles and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf. Lastly, I absolutely love to listen to anything by John Williams, yes I truly mean anything. The sound proved to be full. In fact, it was somewhat painful to listen beyond 5 bars on the iPhone volume slider. Star Wars sounded amazing, even when turned up. To further test sound quality, I watched a few episodes of Daredevil on Netflix, I listened to “The Dark Prophecy: The Trials of Apollo Book 2” by Rick Riordan on Audible and I listened to a variety of songs through Amazon Prime. It was incredibly convenient to not have a battery life to deal with for the headset. The fit in the ears may be one of the most important features, as wearing the wrong size will decrease fit and lead to ear fatigue. Additionally, this style of the device relies on the seal with the ear canal to generate the quality sound. I was and remain incredibly attached to these headphones. They are incredibly comfortable for casual and for work/exercise related listening. No longer fret about finding your adaptor or if your cables are charged.
The in-line 5-in-1 controller is fantastic and may be one of the best I have tested thus far. The controls are arranged in a “+” shape. Press up for volume up, down for volume down, left for previous track and right for next track. If you press the button in, you will be able to play/pause the track. If you hold the button down for 2 seconds you can have SIRI access. This is incredibly responsive and actually worked much better than I expected. Controllers can be finicky with the lighting to 3.5 adapter. Luckily, the 1More LTNG earphones seem to be very well programmed. I was able to have a phone conversation with my wife, who felt that the sound quality was good. Sometimes, holding my phone with just my shoulder causes her to lose my speech and hear muffled sounds. This frustrates her to no end. Using the 1More headphones, the microphone is located about 4 inches from the right ear piece and catches sound well. The speech was really clear and crisp. When outdoors, the microphone does pick up on ambient sounds, like wind and rain. This is not a complaint against 1More, rather about an external microphone. The controller options for calls are very similar to those for the music; you can answer a call with a simple press in of the button, end the call in the same way or hold to reject the call.
There are so many positives to list for this pair of earphones that it starts to feel more like an instructional than a review. In fact, I had to keep reminding myself that I am reviewing the headphones and not just pleasure listening. The weight feels great, the sound is quality and the included accessories are better than some of the more expensive headphones. The leather case is absolutely fantastic, the in-line controller was incredibly sensitive and reliable. The included ear tips ensure a nearly universal fit for any ear type. Find the right pair for you and enjoy comfortable long listening. You are now reliant only on the battery life of your phone. This is the biggest drawback to this device. Without an accessory, you cannot charge and listen. Luckily, Belkin has a device called the Lightning Audio and Charge Rockstar adaptor. This device works perfectly to charge and listen at the same time. It is true that it would be ideal to not have to use a dongle. However, I would rather carry the Belkin adaptor than the native iPhone 3.5 to Lighting adapter. I would rate the headphones at 5/5 stars and would recommend them for iPhones beyond iPhone 5 and any Apple device with a lighting adaptor.