Nuforce NE-700M Review
NuForce has always been one of THE companies in headphone audio that you look for for amps and other such accessories. But their decision to dip into the IEM market has been met by many with curiosity. Can they perform? And at what price? Are the most common questions people ask when a company takes a step in a new direction. Well today, PTR has got itself a hold of Nuforce’s newest revision of the NE 700M. Does it perform at the price tier, and if so, how well? We’ll answer that in the article today.
The Nuforce is a solid unit – hell, it’s one of the most complete and systematic ones I’ve used – from the cable jack, to the cable itself, and finally to the driver housing. The first thing I noticed was that it was uniform throughout, utilizing a high quality build complex. Some units feature great build quality in the driver housing, and then give you a piss poor excuse for a cable and jack. Thankfully, Nuforce hooks us up with the whole shabang, no mods needed to make it barely usable.
The driver housing is completely metal, and it is quite utilitarian in its shape; the housing doesn’t impede on your ears. It has a rounded – yet blocky – style to it which reminds me of a telescope. But despite its build, the driver remains light to hold, and stays confidently in the ears for prolonged periods without issue.
The NE-700M’s cable is thin, but it offers good durability, and more importantly, flexibility. It doesn’t whip around a lot, and it untangles fairly easy as well which is a solid plus. It should be noted that my units microphone was faulty. The jack is CTIA as it is iPhone compatible, but it didn’t work with anything I plugged into it. Nuforce offered to replace the unit, but I declined it as they were more than helpful to me already in procuring the unit. Despite this glitch, I am still fairly confident of Nuforce’s quality control, and in their cables.
The NE700M has an adverse effect – like most IEM’s do – when exposed to very cold weather. The driver suction is affected negatively, and the silicone tip suction works in varying degrees. It is recommend to use Comply’s in this situation. I almost had a fit of rage with the NE700M because it kept falling out, having bad driver flex, and acting up in the winter. Thankfully, the Comply’s saved my relationship with the IEMs
There is barely a noticeble amount of microphonics when the IEM is used as intended. This means worn properly and using the neck slider and shirt clip. Without those, and the sound of the cable is audible, so I recommend you do at least one of those tips.
Isolation and Leak:
The NE700M fairs as one of the better IEM’s on the market for native isolation. It offers a great personal experience and keeps out a plethora of outside sounds. This is to be expected of an IEM of course, but the 700M fairs as one of the better units for its innate passive ability to isolate.
The unit doesn’t require an external amp for the sake of driving it. It is capable of being powered off a mobile device.
The unit was used with the FiiO X3, FiiO X5, iPhone 4S, Miu MKTP-1, Project-H, Matrix Audio mini-i Pro, and many more. The NE700M was predominantly used with the Comply tips.
The NE700M’s have a mellow sound signature that can primarily be described as warm, and bassy. The vocals are a bit laid back with a slightly dark background, whereas the instruments kick butt hard. The bass kicks quite heavily with the tracks as well. It is a fun unit for sure, and compliments mainstream genres very well.
The highs on the NE are like most IEMs of this tier, barely noticeable. They don’t offer much presence in most songs, however they do appear and are consistent with its note when it is required. I would have liked to hear a bit more from the unit though, despite its darker signature.
The mid range of the unit have a slight dip in them. The vocals are a bit subdued and have a slight veiling effect. However, despite that, they are for the most part full. It is almost a V shape, except that it is nowhere as extreme. The NE700′s do have issues sometimes in where the upper mid range vocals lose clarity due to the instruments in that area. Despite this, the Nuforce’s have good extension in them and work well for most genres.
The NE700M excels more at instruments thanks to its favorism in the upper mids. Some call this airy, and this is one of the few times I will agree. Commonly, airy headphones are described as such when they have painful peaks in the upper mids. The NE’s with Comply tips, thankfully, do not. They are pretty much absent except when called for. When the instrumentals do arrive though, the NE’s deliver hard and fast. Cymbals and string instruments are beautiful to listen to on this unit. If there is anything to be said about the NE700 it would be that it is great for people who want mellow vocals, and kick ass instrumental sequences.
The NE700M is innately a bassy IEM, and it kicks hard. The best part about the bass is that it is so situational on this IEM. It adds the subtle thump to the song, and makes many nuances in the song shine. I can’t really imagine a world without bass to be honest. And the NE700M can’t either, thus, it adds a bit to everything it can. Some purists won’t like this, and I can definately see that. But for those that do – and believe me, there are many – this is the perfect thump for you.
In conclusion, at $70, the new revision of the NE 700M is well worth the price. The sound signature is lusciously dark, and despite its flaws in the mids, it still manages to shine by making the best of what it has. The unit kicks through most tracks without problem and with the Comply tips, the NE 700M’s work in virtually any weather condition or time of year. And considering that its build quality is strong as well, I can only say that this unit is a winner. It sports great sound in a uniform package, and its fairly easy on the wallet as well. I highly recommend this unit for listeners of pop, rock, and rap.