Headphones come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, and quality levels — there are so many options, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to know what to purchase. In the sea of competition, companies often differentiate their products by focusing on a particular niche. The following two audio specialists have done just that. For purest, 1More has created a set of earbuds that brings music-studio sound quality to the listener, while Treblab has made comfort a priority with its Bluetooth-enabled headphones. Read on to learn more about these two products.
TREBLAB Z2 Wireless HD Headphones
“We started with sports earbuds because we saw the opportunity,” said Alexander Malamud, Treblab CEO, explaining the 2015 origins of his company. “Many big brands overcharge for a quality product because they’re working through a retail shop; we’re working direct to a consumer [so] we’re able to [offer] … the same quality at a substantially lower cost.” Malamud turned his idea into reality in the course of a year. “I did research, and I have a business degree; I already had the idea of how to operate businesses, how to get first sales, and stuff like that,” Malamud said. “I went to China a few times. I found a way to manufacture high-quality products while saving on costs.”
Dealing exclusively in wireless gear, Treblab has multiple earphones and speakers in its catalog but only one headphone — the Z2 wireless HD. One of the Z2’s outstanding features is the comfort of the earmuffs. “We use a special leather-like material …[that’s] made to be super soft.” Indeed, the cushiony, supple feeling allowed for hours of wearing without discomfort. They also extinguish background din, thanks to the noise-canceling feature. As for what is to come for Treblab? “In the future, we are going to expand to more sports-related products, like fitness trackers, possibly,” Malamud revealed. “We’re thinking about developing special earphones for swimming.” Stay tuned.
Pros: Affordable; comfortable design; nice noise-canceling option.
Cons: Had glitchy connections with some Wi-Fi.
Cost: $89.00; see treblab.com
1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones
“I think that the sound that some of the major companies are going for is what they think the consumers like,” said Ari Morguelan, 1More’s director of marketing and PR. “Our approach was to re-create music the way the artist intended, the way artist meant for it to sound.” And so they have: 1More’s Quad Driver earbuds are the best I’ve come across yet. The explanation for their unique ability lies in its name — the apparatus has four speakers that convey the music to the listener. “Most headphones have one driver or one speaker on each side … the quad, you have four,” said Morguelan. “What that does is split up the sound frequencies so each one the drivers or speakers can focus on a particular segment, to do it better, rather than trying to have one speaker do the entire sound frequency by itself.”
The Quad Driver’s superior sound also comes via “a melding of technology between dynamic drivers and balanced armatures” and the design of the acoustic chambers. Add to that input from Grammy-nominated sound engineer Luca Bignardi, who “tunes all of our headphones,” and the result is an incredibly nuanced experience for the listener. The subtleties of the recordings aren’t drowned out, ensuring that the entire musical vision of each song’s creator is heard.
As far as packaging and accessories are concerned, 1More takes a page out of Apple’s notebook — CEO Gary Hsieh was the lead engineer on the iPod touch and the Amazon Kindle. “If you’ve ever bought an Apple product, you know it’s all about the unboxing experience and opening it up and all that. So [the engineers] took some of that DNA and brought it [to our products],” said Morguelan. “We actually design, manufacture and build [our product] all ourselves, which is one of the ways we’re able to do such better prices.”
Pros: Delivers high-level sound quality; slick design; stellar comfort.
Cons: Tethers listener to phone, etc.
Cost: $199.00 regularly; $99.00 sale; see usa.1more.com