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NAD VISO HP50 thread

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Headfimaniacs,

I've just received these amazing cans today as a day early birthday present from my lovely lady. I've got so much to say about how amazing these headphones are, but I just need some more time to formulate how to express my thoughts about them. So, I'd love to be able to start an official appreciation thread on my birthday!

Sorry I don't have any detailed dialogue at the moment, it's late and I'm not in the zone to apply myself to that just yet.

I can say though that I'm more impressed off the bat than with any other headphone I've ever purchased (though I didn't have to purchase these!). They are getting by the minute as I adjust and begin to appreciate what these cans are doing.

As far as closed back portable goes, these are without doubt my endgame. One journey has finally come to a close.

Review to follow...
Back to listening...
post #2 of 13

Great cans. However, they ultimately didn't satisfy my hunger for bass and lower mids warmth. The AKG K545 is literally a much better looking and more robust sounding HP50. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SonusAudio View Post

Great cans. However, they ultimately didn't satisfy my hunger for bass and lower mids warmth. The AKG K545 is literally a much better looking and more robust sounding HP50. 
Absolutely fair point. I'm a sucker for big orchestral stuff (on top of jazz, death metal, hip hop and electronica!), but my point is that I crave neutrality and these headphones are playing my music to me without the feeling of imparting themselves onto it with some character or noticeable tonal balance. I'm enjoying the music not the headphone, which is a refreshing change!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've not had time to do an extended review yet, but I just felt compelled to share a couple of very direct and (some may think) sweeping points in praise of these amazing headphones.

I'd like to begin by saying that I am a purist at heart and until just a couple of years ago, I would have never entertained the idea of EQ.  Buying the HifiMan HE-400s and being so very nearly over the moon with them despite that inherent treble spike lead me to start judiciously using EQ to get a result that I preferred.  Being a serious musician and someone who is not only very passionate about good sound reproduction but who is also acutely aware that record producers use EQ throught various stages of making a record, my aversion to using any form of EQ in the past for listening has been purely based me wanting to hear as close as possible on my gear what the artist intended, whether I like it or not.  Since getting wrapped up in Head-Fi though, I have shaken myself from a few audiophile dogmas and started to live more in the real world.  My point is that, through VERY subtle EQing, I have experimented in tuning a number of my headphones more towards my 'taste'.  The results have been mostly very positive, like slightly lifting the lower bass on my HD598s, reducing around 4k slightly and giving a very small boost to the upper treble (8k upwards).  To my ears, those 598s now sound more appealing on most material.  The curves are very, very slight so as not to interfere drastically with the headphone's innate character.  The method I have used has been to use just a simple 10-band multi EQ, have a go at pushing each slider right up then right down to give you a clear idea of what region you are manipulating, then just closing my eyes and rolling slowly until it feels right.  The amazing thing is that with the NADs, every time I opened my eyes, every single time, the band faders across the whole range that I had adjusted with my eyes closed were at zero! Thus, it confirms what I first stated, which is that I am TOTALLY happy with the tonality of these lovely cans and I have never had that before with any headphone.

Edited by amigomatt - 2/21/14 at 11:33pm
post #5 of 13

Such a highly regarded can for many months and the "appreciation" thread is 3 posts long?  Lots of "vs" threads with this one though.  I can't wait to compare them to my P7s and HD650's.  I will have my HP50's on Tuesday at the latest.  I'll be posting my thoughts back here, as we need to get their OWN thread going instead of a bunch of specific comparison threads.

post #6 of 13

I got mine yesterday and didn't take them off the rest of the day. They are truly amazing for the cost.......or even 2x the cost. This thread has seen more action : http://www.head-fi.org/t/646735/nad-viso-hp50-another-superb-headphone-from-paul-barton


And is where I gave my first impression:


"Don't know what to say that has not already been said. They sound amazing. I'm now a believer in "Room Feel". Hard to explain. It's not like your actually sitting in a room with high end speakers but at the same time the "sound" is very similar to sitting in a room with high end speakers. No harsh treble.....but the highs are still there like they would be if you where sitting in a quality listening room. It's just a very "comfortable" sound........something you could listen to all day without ever feeling fatigued by it.


The usual adjectives - warm, neutral (without lacking anything). Solid bass, mids, highs. They come across as rather airy for a closed can....sort of an enveloping sound that is very pleasurable. Comfort has been just fine so far. If you put them on "snug" then the top band will probably bother you. But these are very light for their size and you can wear them "loose" where the top is just barely touching your head. The fit over your ears keep them in place (although it's not tight).


If you like "bright" headphones then these will not be for you. Sibilance will never be an issue with these. It will be interesting to see how I feel about my Beyerdynamic DT 990's after listening to these for a while. They make the 990's sound quite bright."

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yes, good to see the love arriving here on this thread. I've had these a few months now and they may well have become my favourite headphones ever up to now! Must get round to posting a detailed review soon.
post #8 of 13

Would you consider the HP50's a comparable replacement for the HE-400?  I am considering the HP50 as a closed back for use at the office since my HE-400s let in too much office chatter.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I own both and the HP50s get more head time. Certainly for the reasons you stated and they are much more comfortable in both fit and sound for longer listening sessions. Plus, they are incredibly easy to drive and need no amplification whatsoever.
post #10 of 13

I have had mine for about a month and listen mostly at work..... when appropriate....  I am so pleased with these. They massage my brain! I enjoy listening through these as much as any speakers and certainly any headphones I have owned. Once I turn off the critic in me, I just feel the pleasure of the sound. As I said, it is rather like having a massage.... and addictive.

post #11 of 13

Im no audiophile and a very newbie at this but I just got the NAD HP50 yesterday and these cans produces the sound that I have been searching high and low for. Value for money with decent build quality as well.

post #12 of 13

If anyone is interested in trying these cans without the full MSRP, I'm selling mine: http://www.head-fi.org/t/721715/nad-viso-hp50-red

post #13 of 13

I first posted in the 'portable headphones...' forum, asking for advice in regards to how these compare to the Sennheiser Momentum:




Not much traffic there, so I made it my mission seeing and hearing all kinds of closed sub EUR 300 portable headphones I could get my hands on in person (Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, AKG, PSB M4U, Parrot...).


Probably following a known pattern, these came out on top followed by PSB and Sennheiser Momentum; all otheres could not hang in regards to sound quality and I decided to ditch noise cancelling entirely but to keep some more traditional forms of travel convenience (small footprint, passive isolation).


Very happy with them. Kinda flat sounding at first (coming from rather non-portable Denon AHD2000), so I put them through a night of drum and bass workout. Not sure if that changed anything, but I appreciate their neutrality now (probably just got used to it).


The Denons have always been a little too 'scooped' for my taste: Too much bass/treble and the mids kind of 'cool' (or nonexistent?). The NADs keep the music more 'in one piece'.


The Sennheiser Momentums were no good for my travel needs (not foldable) and the PSBs were very similar in passive mode, but active, bass sounded bloaty and I am not into their clunkier design.


On top of sounding great, these fit my head and ears and nicely fold into my carry-on bag. Plus I appreciate not having to deal with software installation and batteries at all. Although the jury is still out there in regards to how the passive isolation will be sufficient when on a plane.

Edited by schotter - 7/8/14 at 4:25am
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