Echobox Nomad N1

General Information

  • Expansive sound stage for wide-spread in-game audio performance.
  • Unobtrusive in-ear wear style, designed for use with VR headsets.
  • Tuned for professional performance with our signature PEEK dynamic driver technology for powerful & detailed audio.
  • Constructed from solid titanium housings for best-in-class durability.
  • Complythermal reactive ear-tips for military-grade noise isolation & "universal custom" fit.
  • Unique Echobox "Tangle-Free" Cable Technology for more enjoyment with less mess.
  • Naturally hypoallergenic, sweat resistant and "throw resistant" to withstand any gaming tirades.
  • Signature Echobox AFT (Acoustic Filter Tuning) sound customization system to fine tune your sonic presentation.
  • Replaceable MMCX cable connection for upgrade capability (you can even go Bluetooth by getting one of these).

Latest reviews

Pros: Unreal build quality, filters to adjust sounds
Cons: Big V sound

Echobox Nomad N1(a)

Disclaimer: B9Scrambler was kind enough to provide me with a handful of IEMS that I had not had a chance to audition yet. Amongst them was the Echobox Nomad N1a. Thanks to B9Scrambler for his generosity and if you haven’t visited the Contrationist’s blog yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Its a good read.

I had previously used and enjoyed the Finder X1 from echobox and had liked it a good deal. While not perfect it was a great freshman effort and quite frankly far better than I had anticipated. Having said that when given the chance to audition their new flagship, I immediately agreed. If lessons learned were combined with the same quality of materials of the first generation product, it should be something special.

Unboxing / Packaging:

I received the Clamshell case containing the Nomad and its filters and tips without its retail packaging so cannot comment.


The Kit is well fitted with a small clamshell case holding the earphones themselves and a removable rubber tray that holds 6 sets of tips and 2 of the three sets of filters. The tray lifts out so make it easy to get the filters in and out and has a firm grasp on the tiny filters which is nice as I suspect they would otherwise quickly be lost. The three filters provided are black for bass, silver for reference, and red for treble enhanced. Tips include two black silicone tips, two clear, a set of double flanged and a set of triple flanged with the single flanged tips having a decidedly spinfit like quality albeit of slightly softer more flexible compound.


The earpieces themselves are a titanium shell with a soft silicone rubber cover on the inside. I call it a cover rather than shell as it is removable to expose the screws that hold the driver together should you ever have a desire to disassemble them. (I refrained). The rubber cover matches the harder material used to house the mmcx connector at the rear of the outer shell and gives the earpiece a nice two tone appearance. The titanium shell has a nice ribbed pattern with the echobox name in the center and the L/R markings clearly indicated on the lower surface immediately beneath the mmcx. Nozzles have a forward rake and are threaded for the filters. When a filter is not installed, the threads act as a lip for the tips to attach but no screen to prevent debris from entering the earpieces is present. When a filter is installed, it provides a large lip for the tip to grab and also serves the purpose of a debris screen. While the Nomad is not particularly small, the use of titanium throughout has done a good job of reducing weight and they are lighter than many earpieces of similar size.


The Nomad again uses the PEEK technology first seen in the Finder X1, this time in the form of a 9.2mm dynamic driver. The listed impedance is 22Ω with a sensitivity of 96 dB/mW making the Nomad very easy to drive using portable devices. I did find that the driver scaled well and enjoyed listening using my Opus #1s at moderate volume level on high gain.


The cable provided uses a straight 3.5mm TRRS jack with a titanium housing to match the buds and a good strain relief (in contrasting black) as the cable exits the jack. The cable itself is silver plated copper similar in diameter to that used on the Campfire Tinsel cable. The splitter is black silicone rubber with a chin slider mated to the upper end and also shows good strain relief at its exit although having almost none at the entry point. The microphone/remote is positioned rougly 6 inches below the earhook and puts the mic in a good position where it is suspended rather than rubbing against clothing. The case on the remote is titanium with prominent knurling (improved over the X1) so I was hoping they would upgrade the buttons to matching titanium as well but they are still the plastic buttons as on the X1. The rear of the knurling has an A imprinted for android and the remote did work properly with a HTC m9 and Samsung S9 phone as expected. At the north end of the cable we find pre-formed earhooks followed by black rubber housings for the mmcx connectors. These again have a short strain relief that when combined with the earhooks should provide good durability.


All my listening notes were done with the neutral filters and large sized Comply tips. I tried to use the silicone tips but found isolation to be less than good due to the shallow fit. The Comply tips did a much better job of eliminating outside noises. This will be a consideration for those thinking of using these as a travel companion. Notes on the other two filters are included in the sound discussion.


Sub-bass is well extended and mildly forward of the mid-bass which brings a nice thump to the Nomad. Mid-bass is reserved and well regulated with only minimal bleed into the mids which gives the Nomad a slightly warm signature. There is no denying that the Nomad is a V-shaped signature and the mid-bass, mids, and lower-treble are all in the trough to varying degrees. At times this can make the mid-bass seem slightly distant or thin in comparison, but good detail and texture is maintained.


The mids definitely sit at the bottom of the V and are recessed compared to either end of the signature. The silver filter does allow a bit more of the mid to shine through but even with that it is recessed and comes across as slightly thinner than I would like. Lower register male vocals take a bit of a hit on this and can seem thin and nasal at times as a result. As we move into upper register vocals we begin to climb out the trough and female vocals tend to be a bit richer and full-bodied than their lower counterparts.


Without question, this is the focus of the Nomad. Treble is well extended and very emphasized unless using the bass filter which brings the treble closer to neutral but still not into line with the rest of the signature. Cymbal hits are sharp without an overly metallic sound and detail level is very good throughout the treble. I did find some sibilance using the silver filter (and admittedly on tracks that are prone to it) so avoided using the red (treble filter) as only the most serious trebleheads will likely need it to be happy with the sound. For me, I prefer the treble of the black filter with the rest of the signature from the silver.

Soundstage / Imaging:

The stage on the Nomad is wider than it is deep by a good margin but has some height to it. The width and height combined with excellent instrument separation and better than average layering make up for some of that lack of depth by keeping things from being congested in that small space. I did find that the Nomad was able to keep up very well with tracks that got busy without getting muddy in doing so. With the imaging of the nomad, I could see these being useful to gamers on the go as long as isolation is good enough to prevent distraction.

Comparisons: Again, all assuming silver filter.

Finder X1 (1st Gen – Echobox)

Treble is improved on Nomad compared to X1 with less of a pronounced spike in the lower treble. Detail in the mids and lows are better which makes the Nomad sound cleaner and clearer overall. Bass is slightly more forward on the Nomad which gives the sound a bit more weight. Both share recessed mids.

Brainwavz B400

B400 is not as well extended on either end as the Nomad. The B400 is much closer to neutral than Nomad which is deep V shaped. Fit is about equal as shape is similar but build quality goes to Nomad by a good measure.

Campfire Comet

This one is a tough compare as the Comet is mid centric and much warmer/thicker than the Nomad which is treble forward and thin in the mids. Both have outstanding build quality and both cables are roughly equivalent although I’d give a slight edge to the Nomad cable. This one is going to come down to what signature you like best.

Thoughts / Conclusion:

I must say that the Nomad is a good looking package all the way around and has a very good sense of design from start to finish as all elements seem to work very well together to make up the whole. The only thing I found off-putting about the appearance was the black plastic buttons on the remote that do not appear to be of the same quality as the rest of the build.
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Pros: Material and build quality - Ergonomics - Vibrant clarity - Sub-bass control
Cons: Filters may be tough to change for those with large fingers - Isolation very much tip dependent

Today we're checking out Echobox's new flagship earphone, the Nomad N1[a].

A couple years back I had the chance to check out Echobox's first earphone, the Finder X1. It impressed with it's nigh-invincible yet comfortable titanium shells and hyper detailed sound output from PEEK dynamic drivers that could be tuned with the included filters. It remained a benchmark product in my review process for quite a while. Late last year, Echobox expanded their lineup with a new entry level model, the Traveler, and a new flagship, the Nomad, with the Finding settling in as their mid-range offering.

Having spent over a month and many hours with the Nomad, it's safe to say that it's a noticeable step up from the still excellent Finder, and a competitive flagship that confidently represents the brand.

Let's take a closer look.


The Nomad was provided complimentary of Echobox in exchange for a fair and impartial review. I am not receiving any monetary compensation and all views and opinions within this review are my own. They are not representative of Echobox or any other entity.

At the time of this review the Nomad retailed for 249.00 USD and could be purcahsed with an Andoird or iPhone specific inline control module. This review is of the Android [a] version:

Be sure to check out Echobox’s social media platforms as well; Instagram / Twitter / Facebook


For at home use the Nomad was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp with my Asus FX53V laptop sourcing music. During gaming, audio was piped through to the HA-501. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, Shanling M1, HiFiMan MegaMini, or HiFi E.T. MA8, all of which easily brought it up to listening volume. The Nomad doesn't need to be amped, but it does sound best through a warm source. Like the Finder, this earphone has a bright signature.

Personal Preferences:

I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy. I generally listen at very low volumes, so keep this in mind when reading my thoughts on how an earphone sounds.

  • Driver: 9.2mm PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone) dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 60kHz
  • Sensitivity: 96dB/mW
  • Impedance: 22ohm
  • THD: <1%
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -42 +/- 3dB
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Packaging and Accessories:

Anyone that follows my reviews knows I value a quality unboxing experience and a solid accessory kit. Making a good first impression is important, and Echobox doesn't disappoint.

The exterior sheath is made from a very dense cardboard stock and is covered with a unique texture that looks reminiscent of marble or some other similar stone. On the front at the top is the bright orange Echobox logo, below which rests the model information and an image of the Nomad's ear pieces and control module. You also find the Hi-Res logo as well as a quick image of their tuning filters which they call “Echobox Aft System”. Just above that image is notification that you'll find an offer for Snugs custom ear tips inside. On the left of the sheath is a wire frame image of the included carrying case and a glimpse of the tip organizer inside, along with a few bar codes. To the right are the specifications and accessories lists. On the rear you are presented with the company's business ethos. The most important aspect to take away from this are their goals for their products; to “make great sounding audio products that are well built and affordable.”; and that they donate 1% of all their profits to charities that use music to better the world. Cool. Lastly, you're provided a few bullet points on some of the Nomad's features; PEEK diaphragms, titanium shells, silver plated wires, and their tuning system which enables some customization of the sound.

Removing the sheath reveals a matte black box beneath. It is completely barren save for the Echobox logo printed in a contrasting glossy black. Inside the ear pieces are proudly in display in a tailored holster, under which lays the cable neatly wrapped. Beneath a separate flap is the same excellent clamshell carrying case included with the Finder (sans a mesh pocket on one side) which contains the tip/filter organizer, spare tips, and filters. Finally, you are also provided a manual, warranty card, Snugs offer, and a sheet of paper containing links to their social media pages. The package is pretty darn comprehensive. In all you get:
  • Nomad N1 earphones
  • Removable silver-plated cable with MMCX connectors
  • Crush-resistant clamshell carrying case
  • Rubber tip/filter organizer
  • Comply T400 Isolation tips (1 pair)
  • Tri-flange silicone tips (m)
  • Bi-flange silicone tips (m)
  • Black single flange silicone tips (s/l)
    Clear single flange silicone tips (s/l)
  • Filters (bass, reference, treble)
The single flange tips get special mention because they're not your average tip. On first glance I thought they were simply a re-colored version of the tips that came with the Finder X1. Not a bad thing because those tips were great. These aren't those though. Anyone familiar with Spinfits will be right at home here, just imagine them crafted from a significantly more flexible silicone. For me they work amazingly well, though some will find them a little flimsy. I also find the absence of a medium size an odd decision, though the included large tips are nearly the same size as mediums from other brands.

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Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

The Nomad features unique, low profile titanium shells. The exterior features are reminiscent of the growth lines on a bivalve seashell, emanating from the Echobox branding set just above centre. The interior portion that rests against your ears is covered in a thin but substantial layer of removable, soft, cushy silicone. In the winter, this will provide relief from what would otherwise be a freezing cold earphone resting in your ear. There are plastic shafts extending upwards containing the MMCX input ports, while titanium nozzles extend towards your ear canals. At the tip of the nozzle is fine threading to accept the interchangeable filters. Everything is perfectly constructed with amazing fit and finish. I expected nothing less from the brand based on how well the Finder was crafted.

The silver plated cable features preformed ear guides that loop the cable up and behind your ear, flexible, yet resilient enough to hold it in place during the most strenuous of activity. The y-split is a compact mass of flexible rubber providing plenty of protection from bends and tugging. Roughly halfway between the right earphone and y-split is an inline 3-button control module with mic. This module is nigh identical to that used on the Finder X1, but with slightly more prominent knurling. This gives your fingers plenty of traction when pressing the clicky, responsive buttons. On the back by the pinhole for the mic is a small [a] denoting compatibility with Android devices. Moving down to the straight jack you notice how compact and well-relieved it is, able to slip through the bulkiest of cellphone cases.

Despite being composed mostly of metal, the Nomad is light thanks to the use of titanium. Their small size doesn't hurt either. The curvy exterior, silicone padding, and impressive ergonomics make the Nomad near invisible to the ear, ideal for long listening sessions. If comfort is important to you, and it should be, you'll undoubtedly enjoy wearing the Nomad.

When it comes to passive isolation, the tip you select has great effect on how well the Nomad blocks out incoming noise from the world around you. The stock silicone tips are very thin. This combined with a cleverly hidden driver vent at the base of the plastic stock holding the MMCX ports leads to limited noise blockage. Sitting at my laptop which has a fairly quiet keyboard, I can hear the keys snicking away quite prominently. Out on the streets of London (the one in Ontario, Canada), the silicone tips just don't cut it, forcing me to up the volume significantly to compensate for other pedestrians, cars, and other forms of noise pollution. Now, toss on the included Comply isolation tips and it's another story entirely. Those prominent keystrokes are reduced to nothing more than dull thuds. Cars are a subtle murmur, and the people around me are nearly gone. Night and day really. I'm glad they included Compy tips for those times where strong isolation is needed.

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Tips: Both the stock silicone and included Comply tips sounded excellent with the Nomad. Silicones are a little brighter and more airy. Foams tone down the treble slightly and bring out a bit more mid-bass. I did explore with some other tip options but ended up sticking with the included set since they worked so well.

Filters: The Nomad comes with three filters. Black (bass), Silver (balanced), and Red (treble). The differences between the three are not extreme, and seem to focus mainly on taming treble quantity with Black having the least and Red the most. The silver filters seem to dial in the extremes a little bit. Greater tuning variation out of the box would have been nice, but it's not a huge deal if you don't mind either EQing or performing some basic mods. The filter design is easy to make reversible changes to and as such it is fun to experiment with various materials to see how they change the sound output.

The Nomad carries itself with a high energy signature that is vivid and intense, yet still capable of nuance and calm. Treble is well-extended, highly emphasized, and rife with detail. It is the perfect earphone for an album like The Prodigy's “The Day is My Enemy” which is equally as frantic with crashing cymbals and piercing effects in nigh every song, The Nomad's impressive separation and layering is aided along by a somewhat lean presentation that easily makes sense of The Prodigy's chaotic mixing. This presentation is clear and bright and not for the treble sensitive, especially if you dive into the red (treble) and silver (balanced) filters which increase treble further. I found they were better suited to other forms of media, like film and gaming. The red filters in particular were a little too emphatic of the treble regions for music, but with movies they did an amazing job of highlighting fine detail, like barely audible background noises in quiet, tense scenes.

The mid-range is quite lean and slightly recessed but still has a strong presence in the overall presentation. The silver filters bring out the best of the mid-range. They let the Nomad flex it's lungs and impress with the level of detail their single dynamic drivers can pull out of a track. I particularly enjoyed running through the power metal album “Triumph and Agony” by Warlock. Doro's distinctive, somewhat raspy vocals sounded powerful and dynamic showing off why she earned the title 'Queen of Metal'. “A Touch of Evil” showed off the Nomad's prowess with guitars and drums, also serving to highlight some impressive layering and separation. Doro also screams. It's awesome.

The Nomad's low end brings just enough warmth to the overall signature, with a focus on deep, rumbling sub-bass that tickles the ears. That doesn't mean the mid- and upper-bass regions are left hanging to dry. They're not, with just enough emphasis to give the Nomad some punch and vocals some weight. Like the Finder before it, the Nomad has taken on the role of metal-head earphone extraordinaire. It's one of the few quick enough to handle some speedy double bass, among everything else, without breaking a sweat. The Nomad's bass never trips up. Ever.

That's also helped along by a spacious sound stage that forms a comforting cushion around your head. I found it reasonably even without depth or width coming across as distinctly more obvious than other aspects. Imaging, layering, and separation are all quite impressive for a single dynamic and let me pinpoint instruments and effects, and individual elements of a track with relative ease.

The Nomad's treble prominent signature isn't for those that shy away from bright sounding earphones, but for everyone else it will be a damn nice experience. The vivaciousness of the treble combined with extremely quick, deep bass and crisp vocals lends itself to an intense listening experience. This is an earphone meant to entertain, yet it doesn't skimp on the technicals. A lot like the Campfire Audio Polaris actually, but at a fraction of the price.

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Select Comparisons (Nomad equipped with the black filters):

Echobox Finder X1 (black filters): The Nomad is a natural upgrade path from the Finder, sharing PEEK driver tech and the same basic signature and tuning system, but with some critical enhancements. Treble is slightly less prominent on the Nomad which takes some bite out of presentation that can get tiring with the Finder. Notes are more well defined leading to improved clarity and detail. The Finder's mid-range is set physically further forward within the sound stage giving it a less spacious and open feel. It also shows some mild sibilance that has been tuned out of the Nomad giving Echobox's flagship an advantage there too. Bass is tighter and more controlled on the Nomad. Mid- and upper-bass has also been bumped up slightly giving the mids a more dense, but still fairly lean, presentation. Bass focus is still decidedly skewed towards sub-bass like it was on the Finder and gives the same awesome sense of physical feedback.

LZ A5 (red filters): Like the A5, the Nomad puts more emphasis on sub- than mid-bass. The Nomad has more punch, impact, and texture, but is much less emphasized and lacks the same visceral rumble. Lower mids seems fairly even in emphasis with the Nomad having a tighter, more breathy presentation with a smoother edge. Upper mids are more forward and clear on the Nomad, again with less edginess. The A5 is brighter showing less control. I found it much more tiring than the Nomad for whatever reason, despite both being fairly bright earphones. I haven't been able to locate measurements for the Nomad, but it feels like it places more emphasis on lower treble. The Nomad has a fantastic sound stage but doesn't display quite the same spaciousness as the A5. Echobox's offering has more accurate imaging than the A5 with similarly excellent separation; layering goes to the A5 which feels just a bit more dynamic. I found the Nomad's micro-detail and clarity slightly better; A5 feels more processed and less raw. The A5 comes across as the more v-shaped of the two with notably more energy at the extremes.

EarNiNE EN2J: The EN2J's dual-balanced armature setup is heavily mid-range and treble focused. Bass is much lighter, snappier, and less emphasized, particularly the sub-bass, when compared to the Nomad. It lacks the physical feedback you get from the Nomad's dynamic drivers. The EN2J's mid-range is more forward with EarNiNE's in house developed armatures somehow putting out even more detail. It displays some very breathy qualities that make it come across a little less natural than the Nomad, though I personally find it quite charming and unique. It's a feature that carries through all EarNiNE products giving them a distinctive sound. Treble on the Nomad is more upper focused giving it a more lively, shimmery presentation. The EN2J's treble is tighter and more controlled with more detail and greater clarity. It has a great sound stage, but feels a little more closed in than the Nomad which benefits from the extra presence in the brilliance region. The EN2j is not a fun listen in the same way the Nomad is, feeling better suited to track analysis.

HiFiMan RE800: The RE800's single dynamic drivers are much more neutral leaning in the mids and bass when compared to the Nomad, but share a similar level of upper level energy. Overall it is the better balanced of the two. The Nomad has more sub-bass quantity with similarly reserved mid-bass. The Nomad is a bit more punchy but not as textured. The RE800's mid-range is more forward with similar detail, clarity, and a more accurate timbre. Upper treble is more elevated on the Nomad giving it an even more vibrant presentation than the RE800. The Nomad isn't quite as capable as the RE800 and doesn't come across as refined sounding, but considering the difference in price you can certainly feel the law of diminishing returns kicking in. Doesn't help the RE800 that it's build quality is vastly inferior to the Nomads.


Gaming has always been an important part of my personal downtime, be it playing Mario 3 or Ferrari F1 Grand Prix Challenge on my original NES. Gradius III on the SNES. San Francisco Rush on the N64. Gran Turismo 2 on the PS1. Halo on, well, pick a system and game. I frickin' love Halo. Wipeout 2048 on the best hand held in the world that Sony stupidly abandoned...yeah I'm still salty about that. Maybe it's some PC gaming on Counter Strike, PUBG, World of Tanks, or Left for Dead 2. Regardless of the game, a good earphone helps immerse me in that fictional world. The Nomad aces gaming, so I completely get why Echobox has been marketing it at gaming events.

Let's take PUBG for example. Headphones can give you a distinct advantage in shooters with good sound design, letting you immediately recognize the weapon your opponent is using and where they're located. The Nomad is great at this, especially useful on the initial drop if you happen to land somewhere particularly spicy. You can use the auditory information the Nomad provides to pick and choose your fights, set up an ambush, or hide out entirely should you fail to find a suitable weapon early on. It's awesome.

With World of Tanks, a good headphone isn't quite as advantageous, and that's fine. What quality sound does do, however, is draw you into the battle. The Nomad shows off the sound of the tracks and the differing effects on display while crossing various surfaces. The subtle whine of the motors turning your turret and the light clinks and crunches when damaged. Sitting in a bush with a Soviet ISU-152 tank destroyer and being startled by the sudden thundering explosion and resulting bass line that fades after a shot from their 152mm cannon puts a smile on my face. If you ignore the shot indicators or refuse to turn them on, you can use the updated sound effects to get a rough idea of where a shot came from. Not to mention how damn cool ricocheting shots sound as they ping off your tank.

If you're looking for an earphone to use for gaming, be it at a desk or on mobile platforms, you'd be doing yourself a disservice to ignore the Nomad.

Final Thoughts:

A Nomad is a person without fixed living quarters. They wander the world being guided by the resources they need to survive. I don't really see why Echobox named this earphone the Nomad because I can't imagine one having a hard time finding a steady, stable home.

The build quality of the titanium shells and slickly integrated MMCX system is top tier. The cable itself looks attractive and avoids annoying flaws like being overly sticky, or memory ridden and never fully straightening out. The construction of the inline control module and mic is bulletproof and the ergonomics are well-laid out so you'll rarely find yourself pressing the wrong button by accident. The sound quality for calls is quite good too, giving your voice a natural body and presence. Pending you're not scared off by a brighter sound, the Nomad's auditory prowess is truly impressive delighting the ears with a level of detail, clarity, and control you don't normally get from dynamic drivers. The fact that you can alter the tune with the included filters, albeit somewhat minimally, is icing on the cake.

If looking to step up to a more premium earphone that doesn't skimp on anything, check out the Nomad.

Thanks for reading!

- B9Scrambler

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Some Test Tunes:

Aesop Rock - Skelethon (Album)
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (Album)
Elton John - Yellow Golden Brick Road (Album)
King Crimson - Lark's Tongues in Aspic (Album)
King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black (Track)
Supertramp - Crime of the Century (Album)
Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians (Album)
Infected Mushroom - Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (Album)
Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Album)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumors (Album)
Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels (Album)
The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy (Album)
Tobacco - F****d Up Friends (Album)
Felt - Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bone) (Album)


Pros: Excellent construction, MMCX, titanium shells, great case, a couple good tuning filters, good bass response, good detail retrieval, excellent control unit
Cons: Treble filter not usable, mild sibilance in mids
Echobox Nomad N1: PEEK Maturity
Echobox is an exciting startup based in the US. Their debut product, the Finder X1, was made with an incredibly durable titanium shell that resisted damage from even the most extreme cases. I personally ran it over with a Ford Expedition to test their claims of survivability and was left aghast when it survived without so much as a single scratch. So when I saw Echobox at CanJam SoCal and found out they had a bunch of new IEMs I was extremely excited. Was this the generation of products where Echobox finally cracked the code? Was this the IEM where Echobox’s PEEK driver technology finally hits prime-time?

You can find the Nomad for sale here, on Echobox’s official webstore, for $250.

About My Preferences: Heads up, I’m a person! As such, these words are my opinion, and they are tinged by my personal preferences. While I try to mitigate this as much as possible during my review process, I’d be lying if I said my biases are completely erased. So for you, my readers, keep this in mind:

  • My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass.
  • I have a mild treble sensitivity.
Source: The Nomad was powered like so:

HTC U11 -> ZorlooZuperDAC-S -> earphones


HTC U11 -> HTC USB-C Adapter-> earphones


Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones


HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones


PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC. I generally avoided pairing the Nomad with the ZuperDAC-S as it made the Nomad too sibilant to enjoy.

Tech Specs
  • Frequency Range: 15–35000 Hz
  • Impedance: 22 ohms
  • Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 96 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <1%
Sound Signature
Please note: all impressions are taken on the neutral filter unless otherwise specified, such as in the Tuning Filters section.

Sonic Overview:

Even with the neutral filter, the Nomad is V-shaped, though not particularly aggressively. A “natural” timbre emerges from the responsible emphasized treble and mid-bass while the mildly recessed midrange leans slightly to the warmer side.

Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy, Little One

As with many V-shaped IEMs, the Nomad’s treble is emphasized, though unlike most V-shaped IEMs, it isn’t pushed very far ahead of the upper midrange. Speed and resolution are above average for a single DD IEM at this price range. Micro-details and other small little inflections in sound are mostly picked up by the Nomad.

As a result of the well-extended and very capable treble things like, string instruments, high-hats, and cymbals each have an airy tonality that opens up the songs they appear in and impresses upon a listener a good sense of layering. The massive instrumentation present in the orchestras of Outlands felt the benefits of the Nomad’s treble characteristics. Individual components of the instrumental groupings that would otherwise be lost were subtly presented to my ears in a way I’d not experienced on a DD IEM in a while.

Midrange: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams, Too Close, Little Black Submarines

The Nomad’s midrange is recessed slightly behind by the treble, and a mild bit more behind the mid-bass. As such I would expect instrumental body and detail to suffer a bit. That certainly isn’t the case though, as the Nomad showed me. All of the instrumentation in I Am The Highway, remained clear at all times, as it did in the rest of my test songs, barring Little Black Submarines. The treble began to wash out the upper midrange during the chorus, though this was mitigated a bit when switching to the bass filter.

Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

Bass is very well-tuned. The synergy between the mid and sub-bass is top-notch. It never became overbearing or muddy, even during the filthiest of drops in the likes of Gold Dust and War Pigs.

As a function of the bass’s high speed, the low end of the Nomad is quite punchy. Emphasis of the mid-bass sits at about 3–4dB from neutral. Bass extension is impressive as well, with the Nomad reaching down to the lowest frequencies I can hear quite often. It manipulated the sonorous bass line of

Tuning Filters:

Bass: The bass filters up the emphasis on both the mid and sub-bass, and really put the Nomad where it needs to be in order to claim that it is for “bassheads”. This didn’t remove any resolution in the bass, but did warm up the mids more.

Treble: This filter was my least favorite. I was hoping that it would even out the spike in the 4–6KHz range, but instead, it aggravated it. I’d not really recommend this one.

Packaging / Unboxing

The Nomad’s packaging feels premium and does a good job keeping its contents safe and well organized.

Construction Quality

The two-toned housing of the Nomad is made of a very durable and light-weight titanium out-facing shell piece pressed firmly onto a soft-touch in-facing shell piece. The seam is subtle and very thin.

The nozzle is built out of the same titanium as the outside face of the shell and is very cleanly machined. There were no assembly or manufacturing flaws anywhere on the Nomad.

The Nomad features detachable MMCX cables. Its MMCX jacks are housed in the same soft-touch plastic as the inner-face of the shell. These jacks are some of the firmest I’ve felt, and there are no signs of loosening in the 25–30 hours I’ve used it for.

The cable is very well built as well, and is indeed free from any manufacturing flaws. Its silver tone complements the housings really well and does a good job highlighting the inner texture of the cores. Embedded along the cable is the microphone and controller. The controller is machined from titanium, a nice holdover from the Finder X1, and the buttons are made from a very firm plastic. The construction on this thing is top notch, and the stress relief is very well implemented. All three buttons are clicky and tactile, and the center button is raised and textured differently to help you find it while you’re wearing it and it’s outside your field of view.

As a side note: there are separate versions of the Nomad for iOS and Android users. This separation was to allow Echobox to enable platform-specific parts of in-line control that isn’t really doable in all-in-one control units. Furthermore, the Android control unit also works with modern consoles quite well, and even has mic-pass-through capabilities.

The cable’s termination, a 3.5mm jack, is also housed in titanium and stress-relived well.


The Nomad is quite small, in spite of its appearances. As such it fits very well into my ear. On top of that, it seals well, making it an ideal travel companion. Comfort is average, but that’s mostly a function of my ear canals not being so accommodating to deeper insertion IEMs.

Inside the box you’ll find:

  • 1x pair of Comply eartips
  • 1x semi-hard carrying case
  • 2x pairs extra tuning filters
  • 1x pair of triple-flange eartips
  • 1x pair of double-flange eartips
  • 3x pairs of extra silicone eartips
  • 1x rubber accessory holder
Something I’ve always liked about Echobox’s approach to accessories is their novel way of storing them: a little rubber cutout! you can stick all your extra eartips and filters onto it and then tuck it away into the case (which it is cut precisely to fit) and still easily fit your Nomad in with it.

The case itself does feel high quality and will no doubt protect your shiny new IEM with ease, though thusfar I’m not sure how much protection it really needs!

For the sake of technological comparability, I’ve selected a number dynamic-driver IEMs that I quite like that are in a similar price range to the Nomad.

1: DUNU Falcon C ($220)

The Falcon C has a much brighter sound signature than the Nomad. The mids are elevated across the board and are far more linear. The bass is less emphasized, as are the lower mids. The 4–8KHz range is elevated on the Falcon C as well. Resolution and detail retrieval is about the same, though the Falcon C does have a mild advantage in the lower mids and mid bass.

As far as build goes, I’d say the two are fairly comparable: a durable cable with high-quality metal construction. The key differences here are the fit. The Nomad is much smaller and as such sits closer to the ear. I get a better seal with it than the Falcon C too, though the Falcon C is admittedly more comfortable for longer listening sessions.

2: Chord and Major 8'13 ($200)

The 8'13 is remarkably similar to the Nomad sound-wise. The bass response is the most striking similarity, with the 8'13 having a slightly less aggressive mid-bass hump. Sub-bass rumble on both is satisfying and dynamic. The Nomad does have a much brighter treble though. The 4–10KHz range is boosted past the 8'13. The 8'13 tends to pull through more mid-bass tonality and nuance, though it tends to miss some of the smaller details in songs that the Nomad readily picks up.

The Nomad’s build is superior to that of the 8'13 in terms of durability. The 8'13 has worse sealing potential due to its shallow seal, but some listeners will definitely appreciate the 8’13’s comparatively noninvasive wear style.

3: Thinksound USP1 ($180)

The USP1 has a significantly different midrange and treble presentation than the Nomad. Where the nomad has a recessed midrange with a warm lower segment, the USP1 maintains mids that have a mild warmth and a more emphasized upper portion. The USP1 also differs from the Nomad inasmuch as it has a more mellow midbass that synergizes a bit better with its sub-bass. The USP1 does have a more temperamental 5–6KHz range though. Poorly mastered tracks are harder to listen to on the USP1 as a result.

The USP1’s metal shells are similar in quality to the Nomad’s, and while neither are at risk of premature breakage, the Nomad does indeed have a clear durability advantage. The USP1 is also a bit more comfortable to me, and it does have a similar amount of sealing potential.

The Nomad represents the great strides made by the engineers at Echobox. They’ve made a visually appealing IEM that doesn’t compromise on durability. High quality components and materials will keep this thing running for a long time. Echobox’s tuning of the Nomad leaves not much to be desired, either. High resolution combined with an acoustic tuning system allow the it to perform quite well for a wide variety of listeners. While it isn’t quite cheap, the Nomad does make a good case for itself value wise. As such, bassheads and fans of V-shaped IEMs should definitely go listen to the Nomad. It packs quite the punch.

As always, happy listening!
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