NiceHCK Lofty

General Information

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Specification:

1. Product name:NiceHCK Lofty HIFI Flagship Audiophile In-ear Earphone Monitor
2. Brand:NiceHCK
3. Model:Lofty
4.Product type: In-ear
5. Impedance:16Ω
6. Eerphone sensitivity: 108dB/mW
7. Frequency range: 20-26000Hz
8. Earphone plug type:3.5mm/2.5mm/4.4mm straight plug optional
9.Connector:0.78mm 2pin
10. Cable Length: About 1.2m±5cm
11.Whether with Mic: No Mic​
12. Color: Gray/ Rose gold
13.Shell Material :5-axis CNC aviation aluminum Alloy
14.Cable material:With an upscale 6N OCC material
15.Drive unit:10.1mm pure beryllium dynamic
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Latest reviews

Kathiravan JLR

New Head-Fier
NiceHCK LOFTY – Audiophile Perspective
Pros: 1)Airy and forward Midrange
2)Soundstage
3)Layering
4)Build
Cons: 1)Not the Punchiest Low End
2)Treble lacks extension
NiceHCK, a Chinese earphone manufacturing company that has a lot of expertise in the audio industry, has already launched a lot of audio gears namely the NX7 series and the EBX21 in the earbud category. The Lofty is their new product with the highly acclaimed Beryllium Dynamic Driver. In this review let’s see whether they really deliver the output of what a real beryllium driver does.


SPECIFICATIONS:
>Impedance: 16 ohms.
>Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-26kHz.
>Sensitivity: 108dB/mW.
>Termination Plug: 3.5mm, 2.5mm, 4.4mm Optional.
>Connector: 2-Pin 0.78mm
>Large 10.1mm Dynamic Driver Unit.
>Pure Beryllium Diaphragm material.
>High-Quality 6N OCC Cable.
Credits: HiFigo
DISCLAIMER:
I received this Lofty as a part of a review circle organised by HiFiGo and I thank them very much for providing me this opportunity to test it out. This review is completely my subjective audio review and this may differ from person to person since the audio mainly depends on the source and gear we use to test them. I have not been influenced by any person or by any means to manipulate this review.

PACKAGE AND ACCESSORIES:​

I received the earpiece, cable and the case alone since this is a unit provided to me as a part of a review circle and please check the website for the full package and the accessories details.
The Case is very premium and looks fantastic. The case is made of faux leather and the finish is excellent in blue colour. The stitching is perfectly done and the lid closes magnetically. The inner portion of the case is lined with a soft touch smooth liner with an elastic sleeve in the lid for storing the ear tips or the dongles.

DESIGN AND FIT:​

The design of the Lofty is done beautifully. I liked the design a lot with a nice matte texture in grey coloured and the faceplate pattern is quite nice representing some kind of water ripples. The shell is completely made out of CNC machined aluminum and the shape is custom shell shaped which gives nice ergonomics thus the fit is very comfortable. The ear fin mould is quite sharp and edgy other than that even after longer listening sessions they are very much comfortable.
The weight is also not that heavy despite the aluminum build and it feels very lightweight on the ears. The 2 pin connectors are kept flushed within the body which is pretty nice hence they look aesthetically pleasing. The Lofty branding is done on the corner of the earpiece and looks very subtle. The pressure vents are given on the top and the inner side and the L and R markings are clearly mentioned near the 2 pin connector area. The nozzle length is however very small hence the isolation is very less and changing the eartips is one hell of a difficult job.

The cable is quite nice and it’s a usual thing frmo NiceHCK. The full sleeve of the cable is cloth braided and they are very sturdy and premium. They don’t get tangled but get twisted around frequently. The microphonics are slightly noticeable while moving around. They are not the softest cable available but the longevity of the cable is guaranteed. The termination end is metal encased and the metal splitter looks very premium too. The strain relief is provided to the termination plug. Ear Guides are present on both sides of the connector area which is quite supple.

SOUND:​

The sound signature of the Lofty is a somewhat U shaped sound which I’m generally not a big fan of. The whole sound output is delivered by the single 10.1mm Beryllium coated dynamic driver and I have quite a lot of expectations but in the end this is just another mean sound to me. In this review let’s dive into each frequency and see where the Lofty went wrong.

LOW END:​

The low end of the Lofty is just disappointing. It doesn’t stand to the term what a beryllium driver would do to a low end. The low end lacks the weight, quantity and the speed. The speed especially since the beryllium is very well versed in this. The Lofty has a sloppy slow bass hence the texture, resolution and the separation are not good at all
The body in the bass is completely lacking and sounds very hollow and dull. The sub bass is null or non-existent! When listening to tracks like Hans Zimmer “WHY DO WE FALL” the sub bass presence is very poor and the track itself sounded very congested. The sub bass is not pronounced at all hence it only calls upon whenever the track calls for it.
The Mid bass is quite average where it mostly lacks the tightness hence they sound very sloppy. The ear tips provided by the NiceHCK are average of quality and when changed to the final audio eartips the bass got slightly improved in terms of slam and attack but still the speed can be improved.
Overall the bass is not good for the tech they have used namely the BERYLLIUM! The bass is just sloopy, slow and uncontrolled. The bass has good amount of quantity but they lack the definition and the tightness that the Beryllium are very famous for instead they just sound very slow and sluggish.
Tracks Used:
  1. Shed My Skin – Within Temptation
  2. Why Do We Fall – Hans Zimmer
  3. Animal – The Siege
  4. Even Heaven – Aimer

MIDRANGE:​

The midrange is nice and forward. The vocals sound nice but sometimes they might sound very peaky especially the female vocals. The fullness in the vocals is nice due to that mid bass presence and even made the stage deeper due to that mid bass presence in the midrange.
The aftermarket tips tamed the bass a bit and also made the vocals forwardly placed which of course made the stage less deeper. The upper mid range is quite nice and smooth and never faced any fatigue in my listening sessions. The midrange is overall very smoother and forward.
The airiness and the separation are really very nice here and have no timbre issues since this doesn’t have any BA to replicate any timbre issues. The tonality appears brighter to me and the timbre is quite natural. The tonality is slightly coloured with some brightness which appears evidently. Occasionally the midrange instruments may sound thin and they are very genre specific and happens if you use any aftermarket eartips.
The piano notes and the guitar strings appear slightly brighter whereas the drums sound overall natural with precise hits.
Tracks Used:
  1. Cannonball – Damien Rice
  2. Blessed – FKJ
  3. Santeria – Sublime
  4. Black Space – Taylor Swift

TREBLE:​

The treble is very shy in the Lofty. The roll off is very evidently noticed and thus the extension is pretty average. The upper treble end is just absent where the shimmer or the splashiness is completely absent. The sparkle in the top end is just lacking.
The lower treble is just very shy to bring out the details in the track. The engaging or the aggressive factor is not present in the lower treble end. They sound very smooth and just dull without any bite or attack. They are too polite to listen hence treble lovers this is definitely not for you.
The cymbal crashes are very hard to listen to since the lower treble and the upper end are too polite to hear hence you need to increase the volume to listen to them. Even though they sound very natural they sound too polite and silent in the track.
Tracks Used:
  1. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
  2. Graffiti – CHVRCHES
  3. Move Your Body – Sia

TECHNICALITIES:​

The technicalities in the Lofty are surprisingly well done after the underwhelming sound. The soundstage especially is very nice and wide with good enough depth. The layering is done exceptionally well and it’s one of the best aspects of the Beryllium.
The imaging is very nice too with good transitions across the channels. The precise placement of the instruments made the imaging very well and even in busier tracks they can be pinpointed. Since the bass is very light the imaging isn’t hazy or congested and hence the instrument has a nice sense of air thus providing good imaging capability.
The airiness is very good and the midrange is very much airier. The vocals sound very spacious and never feel congested. The separation is average and especially in the busy tracks the instruments gets congested and feels very intimate.The detail retrieval is average and does good in simple tracks but when the track becomes busy or complex this just fails again.
Overall the technicalities are satisfactory in the Lofty hence its not very bad or not very good instead it just does fine.

VERDICT:​

Lofty, the latest offering from the NiceHCK is a U shaped In ear monitor with average bass which is quite interesting since it uses the Beryllium driver! The midrange is nice and forward with a lot of airiness and nice layering. The treble is too shy to reveal outside hence they sound very smoother and soft instead of engaging and energetic The overall sound signature is very different when viewed from the perspective of what a beryllium driver will do.
The Lofty has great potential but it cant able to reveal it. The driver that they have used in then doesn’t justify at all! They just sound like polar opposite to what a beryllium driver sounds, especially in the low end where in the Lofty they just sound very sloppy, slow and loose, thus completely lacking the tightness and the control which the beryllium is mainly known for. The technicalities are nicely done though since the beryllium does the work. The airiness and the soundstage are one of the main aspects of this Lofty.
So overall would i recommend this pair? Well it depends. Personally it doesn’t fit my taste but if you like a nice midrange with a lot of airiness, good enough soundstage and layering then this can be in your sidelist. As per my taste and listening I just consider this Lofty as just another mean sounding earphone.
Last edited:
G
gmdb
You write "The whole sound output is delivered by the single 10.1mm Beryllium coated dynamic driver", but this is pure beryllium driver, yes?

Also did you burn in before reviewing. many have said the Lofty needs a lot of burn-in?

cqtek

500+ Head-Fier
Be Music, My Friend
Pros: Unique sound sensation due to the beryllium diaphragm.
- Quality of construction.
- Quality of accessories, cable and case.
Cons: Tuning does not extract the full potential that the driver is capable of providing.
- Copper wire may not be the best choice for "improving" the sound.
Introduction

At this point NiceHCK needs no introduction. It's already more than just an audio shop on AliExpress, because it has been selling its own products for a long time now, be it cables, earbuds or IEMS. Now even Bluetooth devices, such as the new HB2. But, this time, we're going to talk about their new top-of-the-range IEM. We are talking about the beautiful Lofty. I must admit that NiceHCK knows how to prepare a product to be at the premium level expected of it. And so it is, the Lofty is exquisitely crafted. First and foremost, it has a 10.1mm dynamic driver, whose diaphragm is made of pure beryllium. It is not easy to find IEMS made of this material, although, in fact, its characteristics make it seem predestined for this use. Second, the capsule is perfectly designed, machined and polished, made of aviation-grade aluminium alloy, which gets its final shape thanks to a 5-axis CNC machine. Thirdly, the classic NiceHCK star occasion cable is a 6N OCC, coated in braided fabric yarn. In total there are 4 thick strands, which are fitted with pins and very shiny metal sleeves to match the capsules. All this without forgetting a simple but beautiful presentation, with a leather box with a magnetic clasp. And the best thing is that their price is not to go crazy, given their final performance. These and other more relevant issues will be discussed below. Come on in.

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Disclaimer

NiceHCK Official Store, offered me this model, in exchange for writing an honest review. I want to make it clear that all my opinions written in this review have not been conditioned by this fact, nor will I ever write anything that I do not really think or feel here. I will only write about my personal opinion in relation to the revised product.

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Specifications

  • Driver Type: 10.1mm dynamic driver with pure beryllium diaphragm. Dual 1.8T magnetic circuit system.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 26kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 108dB/mW
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Capsule material
  • Cable length: 1.2m±5cm
  • Cable material: 6N OCC.
  • Jack Connector: choice of 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm
  • Capsule connection type: 2Pin 0.78mm
  • Choice of Colours: Grey and Rose Gold.
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Packaging

NiceHCK Lofty comes in a medium-sized white box, measuring 171x127.5x54mm. Its exterior is covered by a sliding cardboard sleeve. In the centre of the main face is a realistic photo of a product capsule. Underneath is the name of the model, written in lower-case, cursive, gold lettering. At the bottom, in black ink, is the product description, in Chinese and English. Finally, the brand logo is in the top left-hand corner.
On the back side, at the top, approximately ⅔ have a clear grey background. On it is a soft drawing of the exploded view of a capsule and some specifications. The rest of them are on the remaining white third, plus other notations such as company address, website, EAN13 code and brand logo.
Removing the cardboard reveals a black textured box with the logo engraved in its centre. After opening it like a book or chest, the capsules can be seen stuffed into a thick protective foam mould, along with their cable and the gleaming blue leather box. The total contents are:

  • The two Lofty capsules.
  • 1 6N OCC cable.
  • A blue leather box.
  • One magnetised leather loop to hold the cable.
  • 3 pairs of black silicone tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • 3 pairs of white translucent silicone tips, size SxMxL.
  • 1 pair of white translucent silicone tips, size medium, installed in the capsules.
  • Several warranty cards and quality certification.

The glossiness of all the materials is outstanding. The leather case is of good quality, although a bit small for such a bulky cable. The EBX21 case, due to its size, would have been more suitable.
On the negative side, the set of tips is quite classic and there are no foam tips.

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Construction and Design

The capsules are constructed from aviation grade aluminium alloy. They are machined on a 5-axis CNC machine. They are highly polished and very smooth. They are not exactly light, and with the cable, the overall weight is noticeable, although this is not a negative factor. As is often the case with similar IEMS, the great ergonomics save the weight. The shape of the external face is of African continent, but thinner in its lower vertex. Its curves are very rounded and the three waves on its surface are its hallmark. On the inner side, the Lofty have all the vertices and rounded edges to fit perfectly in all the nooks and crannies of our ears. There are a couple of holes, one located at the foot of the mouthpieces, the other on the edge, next to the 2Pin 0.78mm connectors. Next to it, there is a white ink mole inside which is the letter that identifies the channel. The mouthpiece is the classic H-profile mouthpiece, protected by a dense metal grille. The largest diameter of the mouthpiece is 5.9mm and its total length is 4mm.
The cable consists of 4 strands covered with blue braided fabric. It is 6N OCC. The connector sleeves are highly polished metal cylinders, gently depressed in the middle. This pattern is repeated on the divider piece as well. The pin is a transparent ball that fits perfectly. You can choose between 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced plugs, also in the classic 3.5mm SE. For the cable management there is a classic purple leather strap with magnets, which has the brand logo engraved on it.
Finally, on this occasion, the case is made of blue leather, with dimensions of 96x73x43mm. Its closure is magnetised and its top cover has a padded inner protection, in addition to a rigid interior.
The dynamic driver is 10.1mm, has a pure beryllium diaphragm and a dual 1.8T magnetic circuit.
The construction is completely premium. The shape and design, although very neat, cannot be said to be very original, but it is very effective and totally durable. On the negative side, the overall weight of the set, more of the cable than of the capsules, is worth mentioning. Also, the size of the box is a bit too small for so much cable and its magnetic tape.

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Adjustment and Ergonomics

The fit is trivial and simple. The lower apex fits very well, as do the curves of the inner face. It is possible that the upper slit of the inner face may rest more than necessary on the lower branch of the antihelix due to its weight. This may cause some discomfort during long listening in sensitive ears. Personally, I feel this contact, but its rounded curves make it not very annoying. The fit is very good and they do not move once in place. The cable is a little heavy and, together with the connectors, may contribute to a slightly over-ear feel, as this weight can make the rubbing a little more pronounced.
In the end, these are subtle and slight drawbacks, which add up to a negative, within a much more positive total. The insulation is very good, despite the fact that the insertion is not more than superficial to medium.

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Sound

Profile


I find the Lofty's profile somewhat classic. To think that one of the most advanced materials to make a diaphragm is tuned with a soft V-profile, with more predominance in the upper mids, is something I didn't expect. I would have preferred a higher sub-bass, freeing up more of the first half of the midrange, so that the midrange would be more emphasised and linear. Meanwhile, I was also hoping for a less clipped treble, with a little more sparkle and liveliness. If I am honest, perhaps the criticisms received with the NX7, precisely in that area of the upper mids and treble, which I joined, may have made this tuning more conservative, shall I say. And I don't blame them.
The profile of the Lofty is something that many people may like, but other enthusiasts may not find it very daring. This is something that happens with successive iterations of TFZ models, where the bass gets better with each driver, but the profile tends to change little, leaving it in a niche for fans of the brand (and I include myself in it). A good bass punch, together with apparent, but well controlled treble, seasoned with extra clarity, the result of a soft emphasis on the high mids, never makes me bitter in a good music session. Especially when it comes to the unique sonority produced by a beryllium driver. And here lies the crux of the matter, in the uniqueness of the sound this driver produces, a very exclusive touch, with a distinctive tone and timbre, coupled with a very particular note development and execution. I could go so far as to say it is the Beryllium sound, but I have no others to compare it to.
I would also like to comment, although I am not a great believer in burning, that the Lofty, right out of the box, sound very bland, so much so that I think what have they sold me here? Actually, the initial sound is extremely congested, with no sense of air, no dynamics, no elasticity, all very concentrated. I don't usually burn IEMS, I just listen to them for hours on end. And after two weeks of intensive use, I don't think the sound is going to get any better, but now it is very good. I'm going to keep trying to describe it.

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Bass

As I have already mentioned, the bass is rounded in its curve, emphasised in the upper part of the sub-bass, leaving the lower sub-bass area slightly orphaned and renouncing the benefits that a greater emphasis there would have brought: a more sensorial, powerful, deeper, more complete and complex sound. In this way, the bass is a little more limited in the description of texture and the development of sound layers. The bass goes from being more physical to being more palpable, or rather, listenable. It is the difference between feeling a bass and hearing it. Once this lack of authority in the low end is assumed, the bass is very pleasant, never lacking in power and with a good punch. It's not a delicate bass, but it feels like it's in a "black tie" dress, but without a "licence to kill". The low end of these NiceHCKs is rather gentler and more polite. In this way, the bass is reproduced in a totally canonical way: if there were a reproduction guide for how a bass should be played, the Lofty would be very close to it. This, which seems like a great virtue, sometimes becomes a liability: at times, the low end calls for war, for a wilder, rounder, more visceral side. But don't expect the Lofty to play that game. They possess a good balance of speed, resilience, poise, decay, roughness and descriptive aptitude. All this, together with that unique feel that beryllium seems to be endowed with. It is no longer a question of whether the bass is tuned one way or another, but that its tone, timbre or whatever it is that produces that sensation, is there and not in other IEMS. Part one of the uniqueness of the Lofty.

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Mids

In the middle zone, the description of the Be sound becomes more complicated. Or I'm simply not able to express it. We come from a low end that sounds quite compact, but it doesn't completely free up the midrange. Therefore, the warmth comes through without fail. But, this is where the beryllium technique comes to the rescue. Its ability to discern bass lines from bass voices is very accomplished, being able to introduce air and separation between such close zones, both in hertz and in volume. This is also true in other parts of the sound spectrum. Part two of the uniqueness of the Lofty: its ability to stratify both in volume and frequency, giving the sound a micro three-dimensionality that confers a minimal body to the main parts of the music. It is a very particular recreation capacity, to which it is easy to get used to and which one takes for granted when using other IEMS. And this is not the case, that feeling of "extra" body does not flourish in just any product. But, on the other side of the scale, the ad hoc, warmly sourced timbre still doesn't get out of line, even when the upper mids are perceived as excited. In this way, the central zone possesses great musicality, sweetness even, and is still enveloped in that patina of soft haze, which is never lost. There is no risk, but is there excitement? It depends, if one is looking for a well-crafted, matured and respectful sound, the Lofty can be a real end-game in this budget. It possesses a great capacity to unravel the detail, but without being analytical, it is part three of the Lofty's uniqueness. But if one is looking for risk and excitement, the cut, the space, the chasm, the gap, the blackness, the absolute darkness hand in hand with the light... There is some of that, but it's not what I know. This is what I am not able to describe, something that is there and that others don't have, something that unites softness and definition and wraps it in a different sonority, surrounds it with air and shows it as a floating hollow, that nothing touches and doesn't disturb. Definitely, a distinctive and special sensation.

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Treble

But when you get to this zone, everything becomes more normal. The idea of canonical reproduction persists, although this time it is too controlled. It is here that the emotion, the risk, the spark and the brilliance are truly missing. Only a little of that appears and it is where the timbre loses its naturalness, too warm, too calm. Some will congratulate themselves and think that this high zone is the culmination of a good idea. Others, like me, who think that the true art of the best tuning also lies in the treble, find this range too low and are left wondering what the beryllium would have sounded like at higher hertz levels. And all this means that there is no uniqueness of the Lofty in the upper range. Or not, there can always be a second part. I think NiceHCK has always been sympathetic in that respect, taking good note of what reviewers comment. So be it, for beryllium's sake, part II.

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Soundstage, Separation

If one thing is clear to me, it is that beryllium has physical characteristics that favour the technicalities of sound. I find that the Lofty has a great ability to recreate excellent resolution, definition, detail and nuance. But all this would be even superior with improved treble extension. In this way, the micro detail coming from the high end becomes a little pale due to its warm tuning.
On the other hand, the facility to give body and generate isolated sound spectra enhances the spaciousness of the stage on all its axes, but without the scene feeling enveloping, although it does feel quite high and spacious. A certain sense of an invisible halo prevents the background from being darker, although the separation between elements is high and a very remarkable point in the sound of these IEMS. Still, both soundstage and separation are clearly excellent, so I'm just very critical of IEMS whose potential surpasses the vast majority of products in their range. That's the great pity.

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Comparisons

Rose QT9 MK2


One of the best IEMS I have tested to date, in a price segment very similar to the Lofty. With totally different philosophies, the Rose is a hybrid with 4BA + 1DDD built in ultra light polycarbonate. The Lofty, on the other hand, is a metal construction comprising 1 DD with a beryllium diaphragm. In terms of size, the Rose are very small, incredible to hold so many drivers, besides, they are very comfortable. The Lofty, without losing comfort, are heavier and a bit bigger. In these respects one can opt for the lighter weight and size of the Rose or the bulletproof durability of the Lofty.
In terms of sound the Rose is more balanced, with a more complete and deeper low end, even a little more emphasised and with a higher point of power. Their punch is forceful, perhaps a little longer, with a greater amount of substance and texture. But the real changes are felt in the mid-range, where the vocals are closer, fuller-bodied, wider and more predominant. The Lofty's male vocals are a little thinner, less warm and a little cleaner, with a little more sparkle. On the Rose they are perceived as more neutral and flat, but very complete throughout. In them, the low end and mids blend very well, coexisting in presence and power. In the Lofty, the mids are a little more loose and their facility to separate elements and groups gives them a greater sensation of separation, but also isolation. On the Rose, that sense of fullness contributes to a more exciting and intimate sound. On the other side, the Lofty's more V-shaped profile gives a cleaner sound, a more panoramic and somewhat more distant feel. Their high mids and first highs are more emphasised, while balance and neutrality fall on the Rose's side. They are even softer and more restrained at that point where the Lofty has the second apex of the V. And this is something you notice, that initial sparkle is not as present in the Rose, hence they seem more neutral, even bland in some situations. Then, in close extension, I could say that the Rose is better matched, elongating a less emphasised, but wider treble. In the NiceHCKs, it's the other way around, the near treble grows upwards, rather than in width. This sharpens them, but also shortens them. At the end, in the air zone, the Lofty feels quieter and more detached than the Rose, whose top end is perceived as more muted.
The Rose's soundstage is wide, somewhat flatter, basically because the elements feel closer together, not because of a lack of depth. Whereas in the Lofty the soundstage is more panoramic and concave, where the bass, high mids and first highs feel closer together. This also provides a greater sense of three-dimensionality and openness. Even the separation and cleanliness of the sound contribute to these characteristics. While the Rose's separation, detail and nuance recreation are enhanced by its BA drivers, their finesse and delicacy, the Lofty's are more sonically involved than just the technical capability of its driver. It is likely that a larger enclosure helps to recreate more air and decongestion, a more ethereal and three-dimensional space. In the recreation of details and nuances, although the sonority of both is different in profile and timbre, there are no major differences in quantity or extraction capacity. Each, in its own way, is capable of representing very small details but offering a different sound, flatter and more muted in the Rose, more vivid and with more sparkle in the Lofty.
I can't say that the Rose's profile is flawless, I would also have liked a larger high end, but both the bass and the midrange are complete to my liking, pending testing better ones, of course. The sound of the Lofty is not something I can overlook, despite the difference in profiles, when I try them I immediately recognise the quality of their sound and I think that few are up to their level. But the profile...

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Ikko OH10

The Ikko OH10s have a very similar profile to what I would like the Lofty to become. But, of course, being equal to other IEMS is not the point. The Ikko's have an emphasised sub-bass, virtually identical mids and more extended treble. Does that make them better? We'll see. But first I'll talk a bit about the externals. Construction-wise, both products are built like tanks, with the Ikko's being heavier, they are also slightly flatter and their fit and comfort is noticeable, despite the heavier weight. But in terms of accessories and cable, the Lotfy is clearly superior.
Turning to the sound, in a quick comparison, one can realise the benefits of a higher sub-bass, something that not only affects the lower range as a whole, but also the vocals, especially the male vocals, as they have more body. When the bass sounds in the Ikko, it's easy to realise the greater sensory capacity it possesses, as well as a greater and more pleasing rumble. It is that power that emanates from deep within that is capable of flooding the ears with waves of very low frequency waves. The punch is also superior in the Ikko, although both have a similar texture and also share technical capabilities, but the more complete body of the Ikko outweighs the overall lower range note in its favour.
In the midrange, as I have already said, the male voices have more body in the Ikko; but the female voices, however, seem clearer and more liberated in the Lofty. I think the higher sub-bass pressure negatively affects the upper midrange of the Ikko. On the other hand, the sound of the Ikko, as a whole, is cleaner and more transparent, the BA produces a very smooth and polished sonority, completely flat, although it lacks some of the punch and realism that the Lofty does have, achieving a more natural and not so satiny timbre and texture.
In the upper range, in the first treble of both, there are similarities, with the Lofty sounding subtly more emphasised. The performance is different, the BA origin of the Ikko is noticeable, with that slightly more analytical, but also clearly more extended sonority. The treble on the Lofty sounds more clipped in extension and, although there is an initial flare, it is less pronounced and disappears sooner. This detracts from its realism and also gives it a lower degree of resolution in the recreation of micro nuances and minute details of the high spectrum. On the other hand, in mid-range detail, the Lofty is likely to be superior in many instances, due to its better separation and ability to recreate individual details.
The Lofty's sound is more ethereal, while the Ikko's sound is more concrete and defined. As a result, the NiceHCKs have a more openness and a more pronounced three-dimensionality. The Ikko's sound a bit flatter, even less wide and without as much headroom.
Overall, I don't think the sound of one or the other is clearly superior. It is obvious that if you want to enjoy the potential of the Ikko, you have to use a better cable, whereas the Lofty comes with a better cable as standard. Perhaps a silver cable would have been more appropriate to improve the treble extension, but this could be a matter of subjectivity. The Ikko's have a profile more suited to my tastes, in this sense they have what I miss from the Lofty's and the Lofty's have a bigger and more spacious sound. I would like to know how the Lofty would sound with the frequency response of the Okko OH10.

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Conclusion

The NiceHCK Lofty are an IEMS that every audiophile should at least try. Basically, because the uniqueness of their sound alone is reason enough to support this claim. NiceHCK has managed to recreate a product that oozes "savoir faire" in all its aspects: from the materials, the design and construction of the capsules, to the absolute protagonist of the IEMS, its beryllium diaphragm, continuing with the cable and finishing with its case. On the other hand there is, surely more important than all of the above, the sound. And this is where its creators have taken a cautious approach, knowing that they could stake a large part of their reputation on something so valuable. And it can't be said that they were wrong, I wouldn't agree with anyone who said that the Lofty's sound is bad. But yes, it's not complete, it's one step short of being superior and unforgettable. And this, my friends, is what causes me the unease that affects my critique of this great product. But, yes, let no one take these IEMS out of my ears while I'm lamenting.

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Sources Used During the Analysis

  • E1DA #9038D.
  • Hidizs S9 Pro.
  • Earmen Sparrow.
  • S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th MKII + iFi ZEN CAN.
  • Burson Audio Playmate.
  • Hiby R3 Pro.
  • Tempotec V1-A + Hidizs DH80S

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Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 95
  • Adjustment/Ergonomics: 80
  • Accessories: 80
  • Bass: 87
  • Mids: 88
  • Treble: 84
  • Separation: 94
  • Soundstage: 93
  • Quality/Price: 93

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Purchase Link

https://es.aliexpress.com/item/1005002847886317.html

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You can read the full review in Spanish here:

https://hiendportable.com/2021/07/18/nicehck-lofty-review/


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Dsnuts
Dsnuts
Excellent review my friend.
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Reactions: cqtek
cqtek
cqtek
Thank you very much, but it was easier because I had a place to look... hahaha.

Dsnuts

Headphoneus Supremus
Beryllium dynamic earphones from NiceHCK
Pros: CNC machined aviation grade aluminum alloy strong as nails yet not heavy. Flat 2 pin design for easy cable switches. Beryllium technicalities and timbre with careful attention to detail from the design to the accessories. Includes a higher grade 6N OCC cable in any termination you need when ordering.
Slight V shaped signature with excellent dynamics, impactful rich smooth beryllium sound, impressive imaging good stage and depth. Very musical sound tuning.
Cons: Somewhat reserved treble tuning with a large upper treble dip that skews the sound to have a slightly warm hue to the sonics add to that a Cable as good as it is, does not make for an ideal pair up for this sound signature. Rolled off treble lacks air finesse and articulation due to a reserved treble tuning.
NiceHCK Lofty
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Beryllium is what's for earphones. This exotic material used for sound is nothing new but at the same time produces some astounding sonics for earphones. It has been a while since NiceHCK has introduced a new earphone and it was interesting to see their newest earphones called the Lofty is using what is supposedly a pure 10.1mm Beryllium dynamic driver. Can’t confirm or deny that they are using a pure Beryllium driver but I do know that to tune and utilize such a driver requires quite a bit of work and some trial and error.

Lofty has a very nice all CNC machined aluminum alloy shell which is light yet very sturdy so build is as you would expect is solid with the inclusion of a flat 2 pin design. NiceHCK included a nice variety of tips, a clam case and a new higher end 6N OCC pure copper cable with a blue colored nylon outer covering. The inclusion of this particular cable is for the most part good but not exactly a perfect match up for the sound the Lofty produces.
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What you get with a set of Loftys is in the good but not great level of accessories provided for the level of earphone. I have certainly seen flagship models that provide less so the set of accessories is nicely done here. Two sets of different type of silicones, a nice square magnetic case and a newly designed cable just made for the Loftys. However all is not 100% great with what was included. Marketing on their sales page will tell you it is rare to see such an included higher end cable as a pack in for the industry. This is a true statement but as long as it matches the sonics of the earphone tuning then all is well.
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Unfortunately that is where the issue lies. It isn't that the cable is a bad quality cable, in fact it is an excellent quality higher end 6N OCC cable all be it due to design is a bit on the stiff side with the nylon covering but a great cable nonetheless. Best part of this cable is that you can purchase it in any termination you want be it single ended or balanced when ordering. I am big on my cables and consider the pack in cable an essential part of the sound experience. So in turn I do tend to get a bit more critical with included cables than most. To me it shows that the designers are paying attention to what they are doing or not at all when an included cables matches or not match up well with the included sound characteristics of the earphone it comes with. As nice as this higher end cable they included with the Lofty, the Loftys is a slice on the warm side of tonality and going all copper is actually not the best choice of cable matchups for the Lofty’s tuning imo. What they should have used is a more resolving silver plated cable of some type. Something like their own C4-1 or Litz pro 8 core pure silver cables would have been a better match up.
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A word about burn in.
Some believe in it, some don’t. Some earphones need it and some don’t. For the folks that don’t believe in burn in. I present to you the Lofty out of box experience. You will never be more disappointed for an out of box experience in sound quite like the Lofty. The sound out of the box could not possibly be worse. In fact you're gonna wonder what happened to your investment when you hear these out of the box. Nasal, muddy, one note bass and almost no treble. Yes it just doesn't get much worse. I have $20 earphones that sound better than the out of box experience of the Lofty. However Beryllium even plated Beryllium drivers needs a solid burn in so therefore.

Burn is absolutely required and important. I challenge anyone that thinks they don’t hear a difference with burn in. Try one of these for your own knowledge. They happen to sound good but only and I say only if you burn them in. If you don’t believe in any of that and think burn in is nonsense. You should look past this review and forget about getting the Loftys. I am gonna give you a stern warning.
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Standardly disclaimers. Thanks goes out to Jim and the nice folks at NiceHCK for providing a sample for review purposes. If how I describe the sound is attractive to you. You can get yourself a set of Loftys here. But again only if you actually believe and will do burn in on them or are willing to try.

Beryllium sound
Has a certain ambient airy characteristics combined with power and top dynamics to the sound which the Loftys got going on. While this does not prove that they are fully Beryllium they certainly sound like pure Beryllium. You can clearly tell the quality of the drivers NiceHCK is using on the Lofty. This being said it is how they tuned the drivers that count.

Sound was analyzed using my DAPs Fiio M15, Shanling M6pro, M5s, M3s, Ibasso DX160, Cayin N5ii, Pioneer XDP-30r. Ibasso PB3 and IFI black label for amping.
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I had them burn in for a good 150 hours straight non stop. The sound from out of the box to where they were after 150 hours was very different. This is a case where I wish more manufacturers would burn in their own earphones before selling them. My sound description is based on after burn in so if you get one and hear something completely different look at my description previously on out of box sound and see if that description fits more of what you're hearing.

NiceHCK went conservative on this one. Folks that had some issues with previous NX7 treble emphasis will be happy or sad to know the Loftys do not have a similar type of treble emphasis in fact they actually have somewhat of a reserved upper treble tuning which is my only real gripe about the sound. It is actually done tastefully with most of the treble emphasis from the lower trebles that gradually lessens energy toward upper trebles. This design is fundamental for a non fatiguing sound on a lot of earphones but in designing an easy going listening experience, they included a rather large anti sibilance dip from 5Khz to about 8.5Khz and then yet another large dip all the way to much weaker 12Khz peak according to their graph which in turn makes the Lofty a bit lacking for brilliance sparkle and air.
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The upper trebles are basically the area of concern here. Your super high pitched rings bells chimes, ride cymbals, little upper treble details and such if your tune has it in the recording will unfortunately not be as easily heard on the Loftys. Jazz especially suffers from this little bit of conservative tuning for the upper treble area. This is not a real deal breaker but at the same time folks that have heard nicely extended trebles with ESTs or BA based earphones will clearly notice the drop off.

Treble for the Loftys can sound a touch blunted at times due to this aspect. With that out of the way the rest of the tuning is actually done nicely with a fairly larger 12dbs of pinna gain for upper mids. Mids have good presence, moderate clarity with good body and that roomy textured Beryllium sound. Timbre for the mids is very good and sounds natural, lower mids is not as pronounced as the upper mids but mids for the most part shows a typical lush beryllium prestation and is layered well . As you can guess it is the mids and bass that are really the main focus for the Loftys.
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Bass end is more mid bass vs sub bass as it does show a bit of a roll off not too bad here but the bass end is enthusiastic in impact detail and reaches easily to 20hz. Speed is not the fastest I have heard for Beryllium but is fairly tight and is not lacking for balance. Beryllium bass always has a solid footing on earphones that use them; it is a matter of tuning of the bass end that shows their ability and the Loftys have a moderate amount of emphasis for bass and does not sound lacking. Tonality for bass is very natural and sub bass emphasis sees a moderate amount of decay. Bass is fairly punchy and for the sound design is a good solid bass end.
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BUT!
The sound is actually done really well here but that upper treble emphasis or the lack thereof is really hampering what these drivers should be able to do. Overall the design is original and the sound is surprisingly resolving due to the much higher end driver being used but then you have this reserved upper treble. To be fair I would say 95% of your music will not be affected too much, give or take a few % depending on how much Jazz you listen to. It was easy for me to notice this missing aspect of the treble tuning as I just got done reviewing an EST hybrid earphone with some very nice extended treble. So this is where I am coming from. I think for the most part for folks that like a bit of a rolled off treble for easier listening the Loftys are most definitely easier listening. To be fair, there is ample lower to mid treble presence; it's just that the super high notes are very reserved, if not just out right missing.
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Technicalities are very good regardless, even great for the given price range showing more evidence of the superior drivers the Loftys are using. Loftys have a spacious sounding stage which to my ears is above average in width and depth and good height of sound, imaging and layering of that Beryllium sound is evident topped off by a very natural tonality. In fact the entire sound is good including a full ranged bass end. BUT that upper treble dip skews the sound to be ever so slightly on the warm side of tonality and lacks a bit of treble articulation and air. Their included cable actually does nothing to help with the sound tuning here but more enhances what the tuning is. Which I suppose is the goal for the tuning and design so not a complete fail. But you see what I am saying here. A warm copper cable for a warmish tuning, warm plus warm does not equal synergy imo.
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This might or might not be a deal breaker depending on your sensibilities. Folks that are treble sensitive and want an easy going smooth Beryllium sound. These will be ideal for you. But for folks that demand a complete treble presence in their earphone sound with extension, air and plenty of sparkle. These will be a difficult one to embrace. Personally, I am a fan of NiceHCK and what they have done throughout the years. Some of the best value earphones and cables are to be had by the NiceHCK crew. It's just that the Loftys could have been something truly special but as they are they are very good given the type of sound tuning and ability the Loftys have however due to that conservative upper treble, it is not exactly perfect. It is so close, so very close to being something astounding for the price. Again it will most definitely come down to how you like your trebles to be.
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There is a lot to like about NiceHCKs newest dynamic earphone. Given the competition for pure Beryllium single dynamics at this price range or the lack thereof, your only real choice for a cheaper Beryllium earphone is the Loftys and the Loftys. The KB EAR Believe came out last year with some fanfare but those have been discontinued. Periodic Be earphones have never really been received all that well so it is an opportunistic move by NiceHCK to bring out a pure Beryllium dynamic earphone in this price range. For the most part there are lots of great aspects about the sound and build of the Loftys. They have great dynamics, a spacious sound, very good imaging, natural tonality and stand out for vocal performances be it male or female with excellent timbre for instruments especially guitars. Sound is tight and very musical. Only if they had just a bit more emphasis for the upper trebles the Lofty would have become an instant classic. I still think the Loftys are worth owning for budget minded enthusiasts as they provide an easy listening yet dynamic full on immersive sound experience. You don’t develop something this substantial with a new housing design and a premium driver and not have the sound design be deliberate. So close.
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Loftys have decent passive isolation due to the all metal build and NiceHCK's own HB2 TWS adapter here transforms the Loftys to a every day walking companion. Lofts actually end up sounding better here as there is no warm copper influence to the Lofty sound signature making the Lofty have a cleaner overall sound as a result.
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Dsnuts
Dsnuts
Sorry never got the Believe. I think it might be using a very similar driver as the Believe. The Loftys have a smooth warm signature but with a large stage presence. I would imagine if your a fan of the Believe the Loftys will be tuned differently and might be worth a look for you.
ce3eoa
ce3eoa
I have both, and I prefer the Lofty over the Believe, and the Lofty are easier to drive
G
gmdb
Nice review. Good points about burn-in and cable matching!

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