A titanium dynamic driver IEM utilizing PEEK technology. Featuring MMCX cables and acoustic tuning filters.

Echobox Nomad N1

Rating:
4.5/5,
  • FEATURES
    • 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).

Recent Reviews

  1. Cinder
    Echobox Nomad N1: PEEK Maturity
    Written by Cinder
    Published May 9, 2018
    4.5/5,
    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
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    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

    or

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

    or

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

    or

    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

    or

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

    Build
    Construction Quality

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    Comfort

    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.

    Accessories
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    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!

    Comparisons
    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.

    Summary
    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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