1More Triple Driver

After a long break I’m back — with a review of the 1More triple driver IEM.

Most everyone knows about these and how highly rated they are. I thought I should give them a try based on reviews — and that was a mistake.

These are nice comfortable units. I do have a dislike for any IEM without a replaceable cable. But the selection of tips, the packaging, and even the cable is all very nice. I gave up after 30 seconds or so, and let them break in for 4 days straight. I hoped about 100 hours of playback would see an improvement.

It isn’t that the sound is horrible, but it does not live up to the reviews and promises.  The bass is strong, and the mids are a bit muddy to me and the highs roll off.  The sound stage could use some improvement as well; it is all very dull and dreary.   I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from my first multi-driver IEM.

Something seemed familiar; I dug out old IEMs to compare it to. Surprise — they compare to my old Logitech UE500s. After quite a bit of A-B comparison, they sound almost perfectly identical. I’m not sure how a triple driver can match an old cheap single driver so well. It doesn’t seem possible and I wouldn’t have believed it.  This is not at all what I was hoping for and it really felt like false advertising to me. Could it be a defective unit? I don’t know, but I’m not willing to gamble on their products again.

Micca Origin+

I recently bought the Micca Origin+ to keep on my desk and free my Fiio X3 for portable use again. This is a USB powered DAC with pre-out and headphone  out — both 1/4 and 1/8 jacks!  (The volume knob controls the output from the pre-out which is perfect for my powered monitors.)  On the front are 2 switches, one to select gain and one to switch between pre-out and headphone out.  Being able to leave both headphones connected and monitors on has turned out to be quite nice.

On the back there is also an optical input should you wish to hook up another device such as a Playstation or Xbox, a switch to select optical or usb mode, and a dc power jack that is only needed when using an optical input without usb to power the device.  (One day I’m going to run an optical cable from my home theater amp and use this at the couch for late night concerts and gaming.)

The build quality is excellent, the switches have a great feel, and the volume knob is solid.   The sound is very neutral — I almost miss the warm tint from the Fiio x3 with the flat Mackie HR824 monitors.

Downsides?  The driver installation is a pain because of the unsigned drivers.  (Great instructions are included)  Because of this, it isn’t something I’d ever throw in my bag to take with me to work or with one of my laptops.  (Granted I have a Fiio x3 for portable use.)  If you use desktop speakers with a separate power amp with volume control, you may prefer line-out over the pre-out.

This is definitely one of my best audio purchases and highly recommend.