First I would like to give a hearty thanks to Wolfgang0119 @ NuForce for sticking with me and letting me in on something I wasn't aware of..
You guys have probably seen these in ears and the older NE-700 have been reviewed by Joker and many others here on headfi. Sometimes things happen for a reason and this little write up has been a while coming actually is interesting in that it is the very first time for me that an insider from a well respected company has reached out to me with a product that deserve some spot light.. I know many of you guys are gonna immediately look up Jokers review of the older NE-700 and think well these are gonna sound average at best. Not to my ears. But before I get to the description let me tell a little tale..
I initially got a pair of NE-650M to review and I have to say the NE-650M have one of the best builds I have seen for earphones.
- High-efficiency acoustic design
- Excellent bass impact
- Self-untangling flat OFC wire
- Microphone Sensitivity: -42dB, Directivity: Omni Directional
- Driver size 11mm
- 32 Oh impedance
- Frequency response 20-20Khz
- Sensitivity 100 dbs.
These retail for $40 currently on amazon and for what they cost the build and extras with the looks are all admirable. Thicker non microphonic noodle cord with a built in mic was all welcomed. The sound however.. I might have been a bit too critical at the time. The sound is definitely consumer oriented and made for street use. The mic works very well on my LG optimus and the sound has that bass youngins crave in everything they listen to. So that is the sound that actually is their strong point. These have authoritative bass end a good amount of mid to low bass that is quite ideal for modern music with strong punch and low rumble for bass lines..They immediately remind me of many other earphones that are more consumer friendly in sound. Very similar tuning perhaps. Decent balance with a good amount of bass end to make your music come alive. However in all honesty somehow I expected more for some reason. I am so used to hearing cheaper stuff impressing me that when I got these somehow I expected them to impress me like I was with the Zero Audio Bassos or many of the in ears that are featured in the discovery thread.
The sound while very adequate with proper stage and solid amount of width and depth has the highs that are rolled off for easier listening on the go and then there was the bass end. On open box the bass was more loose than I would have liked. Not in shape much but hey burn in is always the answer right? Burning them in for the required 100 hours I am glad to report the bass end has tightened up and the sound now has much better balance.. The sound is on the warm side and while not the most resolving of sound the earphones does the one thing many guys complain about in even much higher end earphones. The build is excellent on these earphone. The build is very similar in quality to the much more expensive Philips S2 with their L jack and flat cord.
For being semi open they do isolate well with music on above average for certain..The sound overall is enjoyable enough especially for guys that are into their bass phones will definitely like these for the non fatiguing well balanced sound they have. These earphones are about the bass. They have plenty of it and a strong sub bass not quite vpulse strong but not lacking in the least in the bass department.. Modern music with much synthetic bass will benefit the most from the sound on the NE-650M. For casual listening they do very well but since when do I ever do casual listening? To be critical the sound does not have the best timbre detail but again at this price range it is realistic in this sound level. These are the type of earphones for guys that are outdoors all the time and need something built strong with a solid amount of bass to drown out extra noise.
I was gonna write this review a while ago but decided to hold off on it as I was too enamored with some other earphones. At this point I am certain the nice folks at NuForce are probably thinking I am a sham.. I didn't hear from Wolfgang for a while I suppose I would have given up on me too. Lol.
Ok I am gonna come out right now and say it. Message to manufacturers.. I will not do a review on a phone if it don't move me. Simple as that. I suppose I am different than most that would be eager to get a sample to do a review for but I think I hold a greater responsibility to the guys that follow the discovery thread..Not to sound snobish or arrogant but I feel manufacturers should strive to make products that are one up on the other guys. My question to anyone making headphones and earphones is. What separates the sound of your phones from the myriad of others that are out.? For the NE-650 the build absolutely. The sound not as much. I suppose my ears have been spoiled with some of the best in ears various manufacturers come out with at all price levels.. I do realize the sound is admirable for lesser concerning guys and will certainly get great reviews on Amazon. But I just didn't find myself reaching for these..
So that was the reason why I held off.. That is until now..Wolfgang understood what I was saying in my long rant about how many in ears out there in the sea of in ears have a similar sound..Out of the blue he reaches out to me again and says. Why don't you hear the new NE-700M.. Simple and plain.
Hugh? Let me get this straight. You want me to hear another NuForce earphone?. At this point I truly didn't know what to expect. As any of you guys would do I immediately reached out to my earphone bible the resource that is Jokers iem reviews. I read his reviews and thought. That is pretty much how the NE-650 sounds like..So I didn't expect much when I received the NE-700M.
So. These are called the new and improved NE-700Ms. What is improved on them? I asked the man himself.
Build and Sound Quality
We are mainly addressing the weakness in reliability of the previous NE700, particular, we had a new supplier to provide the 'monster like' earphone cable, which has 50% more and thinner strands of copper. All the strain-reliefs are new structure for to prevent wire pulls, the 3.5mm is now 90-degree to reduce stress when the phone is in a pocket. Also the Aluminum chassis change into matted surface. Cost went up, but MSRP remained the same, $65 for X, $75 for M.
- Machined aluminum chassis
- Titanium-coated 8mm drivers
- Full spectrum sound
- Exceptional soundstage and imaging
- 16 Ohm Impedance
- Frequency response 20-20Khz
- Sensitivity 105 dbs
So how do they sound? My immediate thought was. They sound much like the Zero Audio Bassos..Now we are talking..It is amazing what refinement can do for sound tuning. These are basically a much more refined sounding version of the NE-650M..The one thing I wish there was more of on the NE-650 now comes out on the NE-700M. Definition..Now we got good definition with the solid bass end on these much like the bassos..I got these over a week ago before I wrote this so I can get used to their sound and performance as well as doing my one week long burn in.. Much like how the NE-650 has gotten better with burn in these also have tightened in the bass area with burn in..
Now we are talking more my speed. If your gonna go nicer consumer sound. You better have that definition and the titanium coated drivers here deliver. The sound is smoothly balanced with good definition and not lacking in depth or stage..I think the sound qualitiy and tonality on these earphones are excellent for the price..The highs are not as rolled off as the NE-650s giving a better sense of treble definition and sparkle on these. The mids have better clarity and distinction over the NE-650..The bass thankfully is lesser on these than the NE-650s. But these do have a good amount of bass end so guys that think bass is the worst part of your music and you like your music with an anemic low end. You need to look up another earphone. Thanks for reading to this point.
Back to the sound..I have them in my ears as I am typing and these actually have surprised me with how good they actually sound..These are in the musical sound realm and have a fullness and bass end to them that guys that listen to monster earphones or even the ATH-CKS earphones can relate to.. I am a bass fan as most of you guys know by now but bass don't amount to much when mids or highs are lacking and these have that right mix that makes your tunes sound right. I mentioned tonality earlier and I think taken the sound as a whole with their technical abilities and add to that a very natural sound and you get one NE-700M that actually surprised me. Even better on my Audinst MX2 or my Meridian Explorer. These take to amping like a champ and end up sounding more like a nicely balanced full sized headphone.. Something I look for in earphones. The dynamics pass with flying colors here and the sound has the right amount of treble that never reach sibilant territory. Full evenly distributed mids with a touch of warmth to the sounds. Sure there are others that do this and that better but you know what, I will take all these parts to this sound and just enjoy it. What you know. I was impressed with these enough to give them a review..
VS Zero Audio Basso DX210..
The tuning is very similar to the bassos. I think on some tunes I wish the bassos had just a bit more treble presence. The NE-700 is just this. It definitely has the treble beat as well as having overall a bit tighter sound over the bassos. Bassos has more bass over the NE-700s just by a hair but overall bass is tighter than when I heard them on open box. I prefer vocals on the Ne-700. It is a touch more emphasis on the upper mids over the bassos. Vocals seems to pop out a bit more on the NuForces.. The extra sparkle is just the right amount without being artificial sounding. Vocals sound a touch thinner on the bassos. So textured fullness in the mids and a bit of extra sparkle on the Nuforces are what is winning me over. The bass level overall is similar but the bassos have a bit more sub bass presence. The Ne-700m has a touch more mid bass but instead of being obnoxious it gives a nice n tight amount of mid bass great to enhance the low end. The sound is a mix of many good sounding earphones is the best way to describe them. Sound positioning and separation is excellent as well..
Isolation on these earphones are actually good. They block out sound real nice. Much better than both the bassos and my CKS1000. With some tip rolling I settled on them marvelous Auveio tips sold at your local Radio shacks. Bass is much more in line with the rest of the sound using these tips. The stock tips are standard issue but tip rolling does help lean the sound to your preferred sound signature more so..
So for guys that are curious of the bassos yet don't want to tred the overseas tenso shipping waters it is simple. Try these instead. If you never tried a NuForce earphone try these.. While I can't say these are clearly a leap over the bassos like the CKS1000s are they certainly does a few things better than them. The sound is natural and engaging.. Thanks for reading. And as always. Happy listening.
Edited by Dsnuts - 11/2/13 at 11:54am