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NAD Viso HP50 : Another superb headphone from Paul Barton?

post #1 of 1368
Thread Starter 

Based on the available info from CES 2013, The NAD Viso HP50 is the new headphone introduction that I am most anticipating from the brief product description link below.  While the flood of new headphone introductions from respected names in audio has been hit or miss over the past year, Paul Barton, the man behind PSB and the PSB M4U1/2, is also overseeing the launch of the NAD Viso HP50 which is being described as a PSB M4U1 with more bass!  While the preference for more bass is subjective, I came away from my listening experience with the M4U2 thinking they were close to perfect if only there was a bit more bass presence (in passive mode which = M4U1).  If they live up to this description, IMO, the HP50 will be hard to beat at $279.

 

From the picture, the headband looks smaller, more durable and flexible to address the headband cracking issues of the PSBs that seemed to be their Achille's heel, although it does not appear to fold like the M4Us (yes, I recognize this is an assumptive leap from a prerelease photo). 

 

Anyone who has read any of my posts knows I am a huge M-100 fan due in part to the quality and presence of their bass in relation to the mids and highs.  However, if the M-100 never existed, I would be a proud PSB headphone owner and I anxiously await the day I can A/B the M-100 with the HP50.  I do prefer the classic, more mature look of the HP50 since I have the self-awareness to know I am much too old to look "right" wearing M-100s.

 

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/photogallery/ultimate-ces-headphone-guide-n-z

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/nad-viso-hp50

 


Edited by Craigster75 - 1/18/13 at 9:10pm
post #2 of 1368

Looks nice!

post #3 of 1368

Yes, those look rather cool! Nice design.

 

But the extra bass thing, not so sure about that frown.gif

post #4 of 1368
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

Yes, those look rather cool! Nice design.

 

But the extra bass thing, not so sure about that frown.gif


I admit I am more of a basshead than you, but based on their looks and pedigree, I don't think they are going for rapper-can bass.  It is even possible they will use the M4U1 driver and just slightly ratchet up the bass a few dB.  I much prefer this design if that is the case.

post #5 of 1368

I note this Stereophile blip that hinted at them being bass-shy. I guess we will have to wait and see, er, hear.

post #6 of 1368
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

I note this Stereophile blip that hinted at them being bass-shy. I guess we will have to wait and see, er, hear.


Agreed.  Now I am thinking PSB took an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." approach with the sound and the NAD = M4U1 sonically.  The rebranding may be a way to radically change the headband design of the M4U2  which wasn't as well thought out as the sound.  I am really liking the minimalist looks of the NAD in the Stereophile photo.

 

Ultimately, it is as you said, wait until we hear. 


Edited by Craigster75 - 1/19/13 at 7:35am
post #7 of 1368

Maybe it will be like the Alessandro/Grado thing for Paul Barton. Getting his headphone sound out using two different brand names.

post #8 of 1368

Don't know if it's known but according to this article:

 

http://the-ear.net/show-reports/ces-2013-pt1-2-3-4-5

 

the cable is detachable and can be plugged both into the left & right side. :) (checking both pics below you can confirm that too). This looks to be the second headphone able to "stand up on its own" after V-Moda M100 as it has similarly designed cable entry points.

 

I really like the concept of this headphone so far, it's said to be a lightweight design (The M4U isn't very lightweight) and it looks like isolating outside noise extremely well (I'm guessing we're talking ~18dBr here even or thereabouts compared to 12~13dBr typically for closed) if you check how thick & soft the pads also look like (seems to shape nicely to the head, reminds me a lot of Sony MDR-1R's / the new Denon series pads which are said to be extremely comfortable too), it looks almost like some hearing protectors lol. Also the top headband looks to be extra thick, maybe not so wide but the paddening there is clearly thicker than average. This must be a very comfortable headphone to wear if it's actually lightweight (if it's heavy enough the headband since it's not very wide could still be putting excessive pressure on the head) but seen from this pic the headband actually hovers in the air above the dummy head so probably the pads hold the headphones well in place alone.

 

 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 1/20/13 at 3:32am
post #9 of 1368

I will jump in here and tell you that after a weekend with the M4U 1s and having been a previous owner of the M4U 2s, the 1s definitely have "Room Feel" eq tuned passively whereas the 2s give you the eq through the amp. I could be wrong but I just do not remember the 2s having nearly as much bass as I am hearing from the 1s. That being said I am very interested to see if these have the same drivers as the PSBs and are just tuned differently. Knowing NAD, they have always been a budget friendly audiophile company. I would think there are a few compromises here to lower the price. Maybe not and they are just taking less margin. Who knows but I am interested. 

post #10 of 1368
Quote:
Originally Posted by awtryau89 View Post

I will jump in here and tell you that after a weekend with the M4U 1s and having been a previous owner of the M4U 2s, the 1s definitely have "Room Feel" eq tuned passively whereas the 2s give you the eq through the amp. I could be wrong but I just do not remember the 2s having nearly as much bass as I am hearing from the 1s. That being said I am very interested to see if these have the same drivers as the PSBs and are just tuned differently. Knowing NAD, they have always been a budget friendly audiophile company. I would think there are a few compromises here to lower the price. Maybe not and they are just taking less margin. Who knows but I am interested. 

 

Hmm, if M4U 1 truly have more bass than M4U 2 in passive mode then I'm not sure if I'd need that more bass. Difficult to say as we don't know exactly how much more these NADs pack, 5dB more and it's probably too much for me, 2-3dB may be acceptable.

post #11 of 1368
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

Hmm, if M4U 1 truly have more bass than M4U 2 in passive mode then I'm not sure if I'd need that more bass. Difficult to say as we don't know exactly how much more these NADs pack, 5dB more and it's probably too much for me, 2-3dB may be acceptable.


The M4U2 isn't bass heavy to my ears, either passively or even actively, so if the M4U1 is slightly boosted from the M4U2, it might be perfect for an audiophile with a basshead lean.

post #12 of 1368

So I'll read your impressions, and if you are happy with the bass, I will avoid them. If you think the bass is lacking, I'll give them a shot. :]

post #13 of 1368
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjames View Post

So I'll read your impressions, and if you are happy with the bass, I will avoid them. If you think the bass is lacking, I'll give them a shot. :]


No release date on the HP50 yet as far as I know.

post #14 of 1368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post


The M4U2 isn't bass heavy to my ears, either passively or even actively, so if the M4U1 is slightly boosted from the M4U2, it might be perfect for an audiophile with a basshead lean.

 

I don't hear any more bass on the one than I did on the 2 in passive mode.

post #15 of 1368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

 

I don't hear any more bass on the one than I did on the 2 in passive mode.

For my ears I certainly do. When I had the 2s I did most of my listening through a Fiio and I much preferred using the bass boost eq setting. Now with the 1s I don't come close to needing it. When I engage it it becomes much more bass heavy than even the M100s. I use my go to tracks and I definitely hear more bass. I will say if you go back through my posts in the PSB thread, I had a original pair very broken in and they developed cracks. I got a new warrantied pair of 2s and I thought I heard more bass in those but it was very slight and only in the sub bass. I sold them in mid December after I got the M100s so I haven't listened to them since then. I had M100s, Momentums, UE600s and the new M4U1s all at the same time and compared them. The one variable I can always rely on is the amp and bass boost eq setting. For me that is the main giveaway. The one issue that might come into play is break in. These 1s only have about 65 hours on them so far.

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