The Muve Acoustics Drive (MA-1000SB) isn't a bad sounding in-ear headphone by any measure. It isn't particularly great either. In fact, a few critical flaws like the low flexibility silicon tips and non-inclusion of a hardcase take away major points. We recommend you spend another Rs.200 and go for the E10C or Twinwoofers M 2.0. Even the Delta which is currently available at a discount (and hence at the same price) is a better option.
To start off, the Drive is available in Black, Blue and White. The blue unit that we received definitely looks nice and the earphones themselves feel decent to hold. Although they don’t really inspire too much confidence in terms of build – being extremely light – but they are definitely not flimsy.
An interesting thing about the drive was the elaborate box at this price point. It’s just that it is not every day that we see a budget earphone coming in a magnetic flip cover box and more than sufficient styrofoam padding. If some of that effort and money would have been put into creating a better travel case, it would take the build quality much further.
Coming to cable quality, the flat tangle-free cords are a plus. The translucent silicon tips do look nice as well and come in three sizes. However, they do hamper the performance a lot due to their design. Because of the way they're made of the particular material, they lack flexibility and the springiness needed to create a good seal. The material also felt quite thin. Since getting a good seal is difficult, the bass performance suffers because of the tips.
As for the other features, the remote control works flawlessly. It goes beyond the music player and FM app to also work with other apps like Youtube. Microphone quality is pretty standard with moderate clarity, which is something expected at this price point.
The sound signature on the Drive is bright and sparkly. On some of the bass heavy tracks, you quickly notice the low end is lacking. But that could also be because finding a good seal with those paper-like tips is so difficult. The passive isolation is pretty bad too because the tips are unable to create a good seal.
On Chris Rea's Call On Me the vocals seemed recessed while on something like the Twinwoofers 2.0 they feel more full-bodied (even if the bass is a tad overpowering). Tracks with heavy instrumentation like Selkies by BTBAM sound clear and crisp but without enough bass, the presentation feels devoid of depth.