Pros: Bassy, decent fit, and thunderous in games
Cons: No detail in anything else with bass that typically will overwhelm the other freq ranges
Build Quality:These headphones are not too heavy nor are they light. The materials aren't prone to easy breakage at any part but the plastic is not meant to be twisted. Just the normal that you would expect. The sliding headband mechanism is quite tacky feeling. It keeps in place with no problem but the ease of how it slides out otherwise does give it a more of a weak feeling to it. There is a metal on top of a plastic design for the sliding mechanism as a reinforcer which is nice aesthetically and functionally. This headphone is closed. The meshes are painted on. The pads with the slightly above average clamping do create a sweat zone. Most headphone I have used begin like this anyway. Beware though. Gamers tend to get lost in their game that glasses wearing gamers may walk away from this with an impression.
Cable:The cable featured is a standard straight plastic covered cable. It isn't very hard which is nice and is flexible enough for daily solutions. It isn't spahgetti either. It terminates to a triple pronged end. This allows for left channel, right channel, mic, and the ground apparatus. For those with more "special" computers or plugs or just devices that don't support a triple pronged receiver(a lot don't), Oblanc gives you an adapter. This adapter plugs terminates to a Mic end and a stereo end.There is also a Mic that comes with it. The video for its test is above. Please keep in mind that the quality of what you will hear depends on the ADC as well. My desktop has a very bad ADC and so its captured audio was very faulty, this can happen to many people. I thus captured this audio with my iPhone which has a good ADC. The cable by itself is also short enough without the adapter to be used on the go. This is very important to many people these days where the cable has to be good enough to not make trouble on the go.
Comfort: The headphone pads aren't super soft in that they let your ears feel the plastic. They are decent if not slightly better than what you would find for this price. They don't have any weird flaking(yet), patterns, or roughness that would otherwise irritate the skin of many people. The inner driver cover pad is also a nice addition to people who have larger ears like me.
Testing Procedure:This was tested with the FiiO E07K Andes, Audio-gd NFB 12.1, Miu Audio MRB, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 2G, Macbook Pro.The equipment I have and could have used are in my profile page. Some people prefer to listen to music at a very low volume. I see nothing wrong with that but for testing purposes some problems or highlights can only be unveiled at more "modern" listening levels in my opinion. These do not include blow your ear scream-o levels, but more like the type that isn't too loud but comfortable enough for most modern adults or teens.
Burn in:I did not detect any difference in real burn in or brain burn in. I was too busy competitively gaming. For testing purposes of course.
Driveability:An iPod has more than enough juice to drive these. For most modern mainstream hip hop songs, there is enough power for the bass to rattle uncomfortably with an iPod.
Amping:Not needed. Throw on your PC and go.
Portability:Very stuck on head design and short skinny cable make it very easy to bring around. A lot of PC Gamers like to use their gaming headphones as their actual headphones too so these work well for that.
Games Tested with it:BF3 (4 hours)Far Cry 3 (4 hours)Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (1 hour)Spec Ops the Line (10 minutes)Assassin's Creed III (2 hours)Dishonoured (20 minutes)Stalker: Chrypiat (20 minutes)
Sound Quality:The sound of this headphone is a bit veiled with pulled back vocals. It has a virtual sounding soundstage and very heavy bass.
Highs:These have little to no high frequency "responce" at all. And that is a pro as much as a con. Many sub $150 headphones have problems in the highs where they try to attempt giving it a sharp high frequency range. This nearly always fails and delivers a very fatiguing and sharp mess with the highs. The NC2-1's lack of articulate highs can be said to be helpful to me really. Gun shots from BF3 and many other games thus sound very dull and just like a punch instead of a snap. But they do have their uses in music and also as hearing protection.
Mids Vocals:The highest I have heard any upper-mid vocal go up to is about 2K(use a sin gen or something) which itself does cut off some of the awesome performance of some artists and people. However a good thing is that they aren't flat sounding. They do have life. They aren't forward but pulled back. Singers and people in games don't really get to you. The vocals will often(especially in games) get distorted by the rumbling of the bass. Not a volume problem either.
Instruments:The moment of truth in whether a headphone has the infamous nails on the chalkboard effect. What I am describing is the effect in the mid range instruments(especially guitars) that literally can not be discerned from each other. These are a mess of highs and cause massive fatigue and metallicness to a headphone. These headphones thankfully do not have that on much of any level. Instruments are not exactly seperate and are still hard to tell apart. They instead of sounding like instruments sound like drums. The heavy bass kicks in and crowds around many of the instruments playing.
Lows:Bass Bass Bass. If there was a sound I would use to describe these, it would be wub wub wub packed into a teenagers car. The mid bass is extremely present. It isn't tight nor does it try to be. It's hits last and tend to go with mainstream music more as a preference. The mid bass is overly present and will spill into the mid range a lot. The sub bass on these is also there. It goes decently deep but sometimes has a hard time relapsing and going with the song.
Overall:The NC2-1 are not flat like soda and thin like cardboard but for $39.99 they do present some strengths due to its lack of fatiguing elements that are commonly found in headphones at this price. The HARX700 for example has much better vocality and everything at every range but it's sound was just so lifeless that I would probably choose this over it. The NC2-1's not only come with a decent amount of portability to its sound but its bass compliments tracks that many will listen to at this price range. I can hear the difference from others but it isn't anything new.
Specs:Design: ClosedFR Responce: 20Hz-20KHzDriver: 50mm Neodymium 32 Ohms
Build Quality: 7/10
Sound Quality: 8/10