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Nuforce NE800M

Rating:
4.08333/5,
  • Full rich sound due to carbon fiber housing w/ 8.6mm Titanium-coated diaphragm, Finished with brass.

Recent Reviews

  1. SirTrollik
    Really, really good
    Written by SirTrollik
    Published Jan 16, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Design, Sound quality, Bass, Materials, Comply tips
    Cons - Price for someone
    Really good and worth of their price.
  2. Tom22
    Carbon Fibre Brass, Warm and Intimate
    Written by Tom22
    Published Jan 9, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - warm midrange, full bass, smooth well treble with good extension,
    Cons - slightly stiff eartips, lack of strain relief at the certain points, limited accessories, isolation
    Optoma Technology had recently acquired Nuforce, and since then the company had been fairly quiet in the portable audio world. With the releases of the flagship, Primo 8 ($500) and the Ne800 ($150)  and the NE750s ($99) headlining their earphone selection. 
     
    The middle product, the NE800M utilize a body composed of a combination of a rigid carbon fibre shell with a solid brass nozzle housing a 8.6mm titanium coated driver inside. Let’s explore what resulted from this marriage between Nuforce and Optoma.
     
    Disclaimer- I would like to thank Nuforce and Optoma Technology for providing a the NE800M for review. If you would rather watch this review in video form, please click the link below (Like, Comment, Subscribe and share)
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Accessories:
    They come with a nicely sewed soft leather pouch (aesthetically speaking is quite luxurious, however a bit lacking in terms of overall protection). They also come with 6 pairs of silicone eartips (2 identical pairs), and 2 pairs of Comply TX400 (in both medium and large), and a shirt clip.  Altogether, it’s a solid package, that Nuforce & Optoma has put together.
    *note*(I was not a fan of the silicone tips as they felt a bit hard) and opted to use the included Complys instead.
    Overall: 7/10
     
      20151225_150919.jpg     20151225_152546.jpg     20151225_152605.jpg
     
     
    Features:
    They come equipped with a compact 1 button remote (below the left earpiece), that plays friendly with both iOS and Android Devices, providing functionality for play/pause/rewind/fast forward, call/ and Siri/S voice. The button has a sort of a rubbery feel with solid tactile feedback.
    Overall: 8/10 (It’s a safe option to make a 1 button remote (which I prefer), but those that play with the volume may be disappointed).
    20151225_150937.jpg
     
     
    Design:
    The NE800Ms brings a nice modern twist to the traditional “tried and tested barrel design”, a concept that many manufactures put forth in years past. Nuforce went with a gold and black colour scheme with an almost holographic carbon fibre layout along the body and rear. The attention to detail is impeccable. The grey cable is also nicely coordinated giving the 800M completing the nice, industrial look.
    Overall: 9/10
     
    20151225_150805.jpg   20151225_150902.jpg
     
     
     
    Build Quality:
     Its nicely made as the housing (including the nozzle) is made of a combination of carbon fibre and brass, making them a bit weighty in the hand. However, I prefer this approach the NE800M exudes a sense of solidity, without feeling cold.   The 1 button remote very compact and easily accessible, found about 5-6 inches below the left earpiece (compatible with both Android and Apple devices).
     
    The silicone double braided cable is well made to prevent premature tears or breakage, with a very low profile L shape jack that will sit flush against your smartphone and portable device. My primary issue with the cable is due to the lack of strain relief, making them more susceptible to bending when stuffing into the pocket, depending on where the headphone jack on your device, and how you put you put your device in your pocket.
    See the picture below for reference.
    Overall: 8/10
         20151225_150952.jpg      20151225_1510050.jpg   20151225_151021.jpg     20151225_151040.jpg
     
     
    Comfort:
     Despite their rather large housing, the NE800M does play fairly nice with my ears, I found comfortable (especially with the included comply tx 400 foam eartips) as they don’t sit very deeply. However, due to the larger housing, those with smaller outer ears may run into some edges on the front and rear of the housing.
    Overall: 7.5/10
     
    20151225_150843.jpg
     
     
     
    Isolation:
    Slightly below average, as during my flight to Beijing, (with music playing at about 47% on my ipod touch 3rd gen. I was quite aware of my surroundings. For daily usage, i think it will suffice. I suspect that this is due to the numerous vents on the rear of the housing (the gold trim), in additional to the large vent near the nozzle. However, the strong bass helped to counter some of the background engine noises.
    Overall: 7/10
     
    20151225_151142.jpg      20151225_151214.jpg
     
    Sound:
    Equipped with a titanium-coated driver, further supplemented with stiff carbon fibres and a bass nozzle, results in big bold bass, with warm, musical midrange.
    With the average consumer in mind, the NE800M has a bassy sound with a smooth treble (some would even call it slightly dark). They are easy on the ears regardless of the volume and the genre of music.
     
    Sound familiar? Well the NE800s differentiates itself from the rest of the “bassy” pack with a fuller more forward midrange (just enough to increase vocal intelligibility but not enough to cause any harshness to your ears). It’s the well- tuned kind of bass, similar to my retired Monster Turbines, which I enjoyed & missed immensely.
     
    The included comply t-400 with wax guard (which I used for the review) help tighten up the bass, and make the more midrange more liquid but takes some off top end extension.
    Spinfit tips also pair well, taming the bass and giving the treble a bit of lift.
     
    Bass:
    Think ….deep, powerful, full bass. The bass suffers from a bit of bloat (with that mid bass hump), so this makes the NE800s less clean or tight, compared to for example, the Yamaha eph 100 (bassy nowhere as bassy though, at a similar price). However, in retrospect the tuning of the NE800M is less aggressive making them more forgiving for a wider variety of genres and demographic. The bass can be intrusive at times, but gives it bass drops more added weight, and more fun, it provides more punch then the AD01 (another one of my bassy favorites).
     
    Midrange:
    The slightly forward midrange is a pleasure to listen to. Its intimate, and rich. Voices have a nice natural tone, without shouting being shouty, or thin. The upper midrange does suffer from some veiling due to the warmth, but still retains enough energy, listening to Yiruma’s piano sonatas was easy on the ears without the fear of the piano keys sounding sharp.
     
    Treble:
     The treble extension has good extension with a “blunt” sort of quality. There’s a smoothness to the treble, that avoids any harshness or stridency ( I wouldn’t call them “sleepy” or boring, more like polite. Normally I would prefer a brighter, “edgier” sound, but this tuning is safer and better for those that are either:
    1) Those more sensitive to high hats and cymbals
    2) Those that listen at higher volumes.
    Thus, catering the NE800M to a wider demographic.
     
    Soundstage:
    The multivented design, helps in portraying depth and placement, with adequate separation.  However, the soundstage can get a bit congested at times, as if the bass and the midrange are competing for space/attention.
     
    Overall: 8/10 It separates from the rest of the pack by pushing the midrange slightly more forward instead of it getting buried underneath the bass that many of their competitors suffer from.
     
    In conclusion:
    The NE800Ms are a fun, attractive design that’s easy on the eyes as it is on the ears. It’s a bassy, well constructed earphone, coupled with a smartphone remote, appealing to the mobile listener.
     
    They deserves a very Strong Recommendation!!
    Overall: 54.5/70= 78%
     
    Possible feedback:
    Softer and more diverse selection of tips (instead of two identical sets of single flanges)
    A more well rounded or smoother housing (the front near the nozzle and the rear)
    Better strain relief (and a slightly raised L shape jack)
      nick n likes this.
  3. MacedonianHero
    If you are in the market for a great pair of IEMs and don’t want to have to spend a fortune on them, I strongly recommend you give the NE800Ms a try.
    Written by MacedonianHero
    Published Dec 18, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great price to performance ratio
    Cons - Bass might be a bit too much for some
    [​IMG]

    I’ve been a big fan of NuForce and its products for many years. I’ve owned several of their headphones, IEMs (in-ear monitors) and their well renowned u-Dac 3 portable headphone amplifier and DAC. So I was a bit dismayed when I learned that Optoma had purchased NuForce as I wasn’t sure what direction the new ownership would take this well respected audio company. Thankfully, NuForce is back and with a bang! It is releasing some great new products for the portable audio enthusiast.

    I was recently contacted by NuForce to try out their new NE800M IEMs and I leapt at the opportunity to give them a try. I’ve always felt that NuForce’s products have offered outstanding value and often punched well above their price points to compete with much more expensive options. I was curious to see if the NE800Ms would continue in that tradition.

    The IEMs arrived quickly and upon first inspection, their build quality reminded me of IEMs in the $300+ price range. The shells are manufactured with carbon-fiber (one of the highest strength to weight ratios of any known material and something usually used for considerably more expensive audio products) and the sound nozzle is machined from solid brass. The inherent damping properties of carbon fiber help to provide one of the most acoustically inert materials known. As a result, the NE800Ms are free from micro-dynamic vibrations that can increase sound distortions.

    An added benefit of using carbon fiber is that the NE800Ms can last you a very long time and withstand even the most taxing daily use you can throw at them, while still remaining very light and comfortable. NuForce selected solid brass for the nozzle as it is often used for its balanced acoustical transmission and damping properties. I’ve played trumpet (also a solid brass instrument) for over 35 years and can definitely attest to this. Brass is also very difficult to corrode and should last you many years with absolutely no issues.

    The NE800Ms utilize a single large 8.6mm titanium-coated diaphragm, a N45 neodymium magnet and an innovative lightweight copper-clad aluminum voice coil. This design; along with the acoustic enclose of the carbon-fiber body and solid brass nozzles, yields extremely low distortion product with a powerful sound and an extended frequency range. Throw in the handsome black/gold package they come in; their extreme light weight and comfort, my hopes were quite high for these new earphones!

    For this review, I used several different sources to put the NE800Ms through their paces so to speak. I used everything I had on hand; from my pedestrian iPhone 6 to my high end Astell & Kern AK240SS DAP and finally to the ultra-high end Chord Hugo TT desktop amplifier/DAC.

    [​IMG]

    Right off the bat, I went with my iPhone 6. This is usually my first source when trying out portable earphones or headphones as I am of the opinion that portable listening devices need to sound close to their very best with a minimal setup to be truly useful as portable components. I was lucky with the fit as the pre-installed Comply foam eartips worked just perfectly with my ears and the comfort was very good, just as they were as advertised: light as a feather.

    The noise isolation was above average. I would say that the much more expensive Shure SE535s ($499US) were one of the very best pair of IEMs I’ve used in terms of noise isolation, but the NE800Ms weren’t too far behind with the Comply eartips. I quickly selected a favourite recording of mine: Andrea Bocelli’s “Passione”.

    As I’ve come to expect from NuForce, the sound quality was again excellent and competed with IEMs that I’ve heard costing 2-3x as much. Andrea’s voice was forceful and upfront. The male vocals as portrayed through the NE800Ms were simply magical. The passion of Andrea’s voice flowed through the NE800Ms and really impressed me.

    The bass performance was definitely both powerful and visceral. I might classify the bass as a bit on the more “fun” side of things when compared to what I would deem as strictly neutral, but it was indeed very satisfying. It certainly wasn’t bloated, nor bled into the mid-frequencies like some IEMs can that are made for the “average consumer” in mind, but if you like some thunder down low with your music, the NE800Ms certainly will keep you happy.

    The sound staging of the NE800Ms again, punched well above their weight class. I was expecting a more “closed-in” experience, but after about 75 hours of burn-in, they really opened up and sounded incredibly spacious; so much so, that I was shocked that they were only retailing for $149 on Amazon. This type of performance is usually reserved for the $300 and up crowd.

    The treble was very nicely portrayed. Cymbals and flutes were never strident or etched and the overall presentation was incredibly musical. One small critique is that I would have liked a little bit more presence in this frequency range. I certainly am glad I’m not hearing any treble that comes off as grating, but a little more energy would help in the portrayal of both detail and continue to improve the sound staging even further in my opinion.

    The overall enjoyment factor with “Passione” was truly outstanding. In fact, the NE800Ms have become my prime defacto pair of IEMs that I keep at my desk at work. They isolate out the daily grind of the workplace and sound just great straight out of my iPhone.

    Next up I selected a DSD recording of “The Cole Porter Mix” by Patricia Barber and played it through my Astell & Kern AK240SS portable DAP. As soon as I plugged in the NE800Ms, I knew that I was no longer listening to 320kps music on my iPhone!  As enjoying as the NE800M IEMs were through my iPhone 6, they just really seemed to open up when using my AK240SS DAP and DSD quality music.

    It seems like you can have your cake and eat it too with the NE800Ms. You get a pair of great sounding IEMs that sound incredibly well out of your smart phone, but will scale up as the upstream gear and music quality improves! The imaging was that much more holographic, the bass quality improved by a few notches and the detail retrieval hit on all cylinders. Again, I found myself surprised just how good these lower priced IEMs sounded. Some of the issues I had with the subdued treble presentation from my iPhone 6 were definitely allayed when switched over to this setup.

    [​IMG]

    Finally I moved over to the Chord Electronics Hugo TT desktop amplifier/DAC. My source music came from my iMac via USB and included 192kps PCM files, DSD audio and lossless music played over Tidal. Again, the NE800Ms continued to impress. I hate to bring up their price point, but the quality of construction and sound never ceased to impress me. I would definitely classify them as slightly bass tilted and treble subdued (with outstanding mid frequencies), but as soon as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” kicked in, I really appreciated that extra “thump” down low. It was deep and visceral bass with incredible texture and detail. When I listened to “2112” by Rush, I completely was sucked into the recording and really enjoyed the presentation that the NE800Ms put forth!

    So while the NE800Ms do improve with upstream gear and music, I didn’t feel that I was giving up too much when using MP3s played through my smart phone. They seem to work with all sources I used them with. Coming in at only 16 ohms impedance and 120S.P.L. any player you have can make them sound quite good and quite loud! But surprisingly, they have the ability to capture improvements in recordings, amplification and the sources you through at them — very transparent!

    If you are in the market for a great pair of IEMs and don’t want to have to spend a fortune on them, I strongly recommend you give the NE800Ms a try. They definitely punch well above their $149 price point and compete with products costing 2X or more. While not “strictly neutral” sounding IEMs, they can still satisfy with a wide variety of musical genres. And if you’re into strong and visceral bass and don’t want to have to drop an arm and a leg, I strongly recommend you give them some serious consideration. I’m glad to see that Optoma’s purchase of NuForce has not changed the great products that have been previously released by NuForce. Highly recommended!



      deteugma and H T T like this.
    1. Tom22
      I found them quite bassy, reminiscent of my monster turbines with a similar sort of slightly darker signature, with a smooth treble (decent extension) but a thick, quite warm midrange!  They are certainly a fun sound, and I really enjoyed them! now its time to put all that listening into text with my review!
      Tom22, Dec 19, 2015
    2. rajeevrn
      Great review, sir. You stated "Right off the bat, I went with my iPhone 6. This is usually my first source when trying out portable earphones or headphones as I am of the opinion that portable listening devices need to sound close to their very best with a minimal setup to be truly useful as portable components". This is the way I feel about portable components too.
      rajeevrn, Mar 26, 2017
  4. nmatheis
    NuForce NE800M: Warm, enveloping sound to kick back and relax with.
    Written by nmatheis
    Published Nov 22, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Rich sound. Deep bass. Good vocals. Smooth highs. Good soundstage. Comfortable. Attractive earpieces.
    Cons - Thin, sticky cable. Large / heavy shells. Stock tips don't bring out the best sound.

    NuForceNE800M-8.jpg

     

    INTRODUCTION

    NuForce made its name under Jason Lim's leadership developing high-performance audio products that didn't break the bank. Their IEM were known for their warm, smooth sound, and I've read great things about their Primo8 quad-BA IEM. Jason Lim has moved on, but the NuForce brand is still going strong under the new Optoma NuForce brand name. Optoma is a well-known projector company that decided to diversify into the home and portable audio markets with its acquisition of NuForce. Recently, @jyri at Optoma NuForce reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their flagship NE800M IEM. While I was familiar with the NuForce brand, I'd never tried any of their products. So I told Jyri that I'd give them a shot and will let you know what my experience using them as my daily driver IEM for the past week has been.
     
    Optoma NuForce Website: LINK.
     
    Dedicated NuForce NE800M thread: LINK.
     
     

    DISCLAIMER

    There is no financial incentive from Optoma NuForce for writing this review.  I am in no way affiliated with Optoma NuForce, and this is my honest opinion of the NE800M. I would like to thank Optoma NuForce for giving me a chance to review the NE800M, and I hope my feedback proves useful for my fellow Head-Fi members as well as for NuForce.
     
     

    ABOUT ME

    I'm a 43 year old father who loves music.  While I listen mostly to electronic and metal these days, I do listen to a wide variety of music - from electronic (Autechre, Boards of Canada) to modern/minimalist composition (John Cage, Philip Glass) to alternative rock (Flaming Lips, Radiohead) to jazz (John Coltrane and Miles Davis) to metal (Behemoth, King Diamond) to classic rock (Eagles, Rush).  
     
    I'm primarily a portable audio enthusiast. My portable music journey started with the venerable Sony Cassette Walkman and then progressed to portable CD players, minidisc recorders (still have my Sharp DR7), and finally on to DAPs like the Rio Karma, iRiver IHP-1xx, iPod 5.5, iPhones, and the newer crop of DAPs from Fiio and iBasso.
     
    Being a portable audio enthusiast, I typically listen with IEMs but am enjoying listening with full-size headphones more and more and tend to like u-shaped sound signatures, although I break out v-shaped IEM & HP from time to time for fun.
     
    As with a lot of people my age, I've got some hearing issues.  I've got mild tinnitus and suffer from allergies, which can affect hearing in my right ear.  I'll admit it, I'm not blessed with a pair of golden ears.  That said, I've been listening to portable gear for a long time and feel confident in assessing audio gear - just wanted to be transparent up front.



     
     
    SPECS
    1. Driver: 8.6mm Titanium-coated Single Dynamic 
    2. Rated Impedance: 16Ω
    3. Frequency Range: 18Hz - 22kHz
    4. Sensitivity: 120dB at 1mW
    5. Rated Input Power: 10mW
    6. Cable: 1.3m cable
    7. Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated L-plug 
    8. MSRP: ~$150 ($100 promotional price) 
     

     

    PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES



    As usual, I'll go over packaging in pictorial format below.
     
    Front
    NuForceNE800M-1.jpg
     
    Rear
    NuForceNE800M-2.jpg
     
    Inside
    NuForceNE800M-3.jpg
     
    Accessories
    NuForceNE800M-4.jpg
     
    NE800M + Case
    NuForceNE800M-5.jpg
     
    Silicone Tips
    NuForceNE800M-6.jpg
     
    In all, you get:
    1. NE800M
    2. S, M, L Silicone Tips
    3. M, L Comply Tips
    4. Storage Case
    5. Shirt Clip

    As this was my first experience with NuForce, I didn't know what to expect. The accessories package was adequate, but I'd like to see more silicone tip choices included. As I'll outline below, I found the stock tips weren't doing these any favors and worked my way through several tips before I settled on my favorites. I'm glad a shirt clip was included because the rubbery cale is microphonic without it. I put it on straight away and would recommend you do the same. Finally, the storage case I received is the older version. The updated case in @HiFiChris's review is the case you'll receive. It looks like a nicer case, so if you're curious about that please head on over to his excellent review and check it out. I should be getting the updated case in the near future and will update my review at that point.
     
     

    BUILD & ERGONOMICS

    Again, I'll walk you through the NE800M's build in pictorial format, commenting on what I like and what I think could be improved along the way.
     
    NE800M Without Tips
    NuForceNE800M-9.jpg
     
    Even if it doesn't look like it, there's a lot to talk about in this picture. The earpieces are constructed of carbon fiber and brass. I think they're pretty swank. I'll point out that I'm happy NuForce put the vents on the front of the earpiece just under the nozzle. This makes wind noise a non-issue unless you're outside in gale force winds. I actually took a walk with these today. It was really windy out, and I got absolutely wind noise. That was surprising to me, as I usually get at least some wind noise even on moderately windy days. NuForce did a good job on that!
     
    You can also see that the vent holes are rather large, meaning isolation is compromised a bit more than you might expect. It's not terrible by any means. Once you crank the music up, most environmental noise is dampened pretty well. Just not as well as some of my other dynamics with smaller vent holes. 
     
    The nozzles are standard size and have a good lip, which means you can tip roll to your heart's content and not worry about tips not fitting or falling off.
     
    The flexible strain reliefs get the job done but don't fit the overall aesthetics of the NE800M, especially the red bead. I understand what NuForce was going for here. As my in-ear pictures will show below, the NE800M sit pretty flush with your ear. This means the strain reliefs will most likely rest along he bottom of your outer ear. In that respect, they're a really good design. The soft, flexible material is quite comfortable, and the contact with my ear isn't at all bothersome. And the red bead makes grabbing the correct earpiece easy no matter the lighting conditions because you've got both visual and touch indicators for the right earpiece. I just think they could be redesigned to better fit the overall aesthetics of the NE800M while remaining comfortable and practical.
     
    Final thought for this picture is the cable. Yes, that cable. I'm not a fan of the cable. It's pretty thin, is sticky, and again just doesn't fit the overall aesthetics of the NE800M to my eyes, but it is practical. Stickiness is caused by a dual-layer silicone coating to increase durability. The lighter grey lines are nylon weave to again increase durability. So once again, I see what NuForce was going for, I just think that the same durability goals could be accomplished in a more aesthetically pleasing way.
     
    Remote
    NuForceNE800M-10.jpg
     
    The remote is Android / iDevice compatible, providing Play/Pause, and FFWD/REW functionality but no volume control. The single button is easy to click no matter whether you push in the middle or on the ends. There's also a mic for receiving calls. I use DAPs and don't tend to use my phone unless I'm listening to an audiobook or podcast, so the remote/mic module was more of a nuisance for me than anything. That's no fault of NuForce, and I point that out about every IEM I use that has a remote/mic module. For those of you who use a phone as your primary source, you should be satisfied with it but might be left yearning for volume controls. Once again, the remote/mic module is pretty plain-jane and doesn't fit the main aesthetic features on the earpieces.
     
    Y-Splitter + Chin Slider
    NuForceNE800M-11.jpg
     
    The y-splitter is fine, and the cinch stays put very nicely due to the sticky cable. Once you set it in place, it's not going to slide out of position on its own. But again, I can't help thinking the y-splitter doesn't fit the overall aesthetics put into play with the carbon fiber and brass earpieces.
     
    L-Plug
    NuForceNE800M-12.jpg
     
    Okay. I know, I know, you're tired of hearing me beat NuForce up about the lack of overall aesthetic integrity. Well, I'm happy to report that I don't have that problem with the 3.5mm L-plug. Not only does it fit the aesthetics, it's practical. The low-profile L-plug is slightly textured, making it relatively flush with my DAPs and easy to grip wen plugging and unplugging. It's also just a bit bendy, which helps further decrease strain when the cord is tugged. Finally, it's smartphone case friendly and sits completely flush with my iPhone case. I'm sure they exist and plenty of IEM use them, but I've never experienced such a low-profile 3.5mm L-plug and I really like it!
     
    NE800M Ready To Rock!
    NuForceNE800M-7.jpg
     
    Worn Down
    NE800MWornDown.jpg
     
    This is obviously the way the NE800M are meant to be worn. My ears are a bit on the small side, and as you can see the NE800M really fill them up. Despite that, they remain comfortable for extended listening. In fact, I've had them in while typing away on this review for quite some time now, jamming tunes from such far-ranging artists as Candlemass, Nora Jones, and Ueno Masaaki. Three albums. Minimal fiddling. No discomfort. All sounded good. Not only is that pretty darn good, it also really surprising to me given how large the earpieces are relative to my ears. 

    Worn Over Ear
    NE800MWornOverEar.jpg
     
    Yes, you can do it, but for me it definitely wasn't as comfortable as wearing them down. But then again, I'm a wear 'em down kinda guy, so if you're an over ear person just know you can do it. You might even find them comfortable, especially if your ears are larger than mine. And then there's the remote/mic module to contend with. When worn over ear, it hangs just below my jawline compared with at the bottom of my throat when worn down. Me? I'll be sticking with wearing them down!
     
     
    SOUND
    I listen to a lot of experimental electronic and metal and mainly used those genres to evaluate the NE800M, using the them as my sole IEM for a week. During that time, I mainly listened to them out of a new DAP I had in for testing, the Soundaware M1 Esther Analog (LINK). I did a bit of audiobook and podcast listening out of my iPhone 5s, as well. And just for kicks, I stacked the updated Aune B1 2016 Version portable amp (review coming soon!) with the M1 Esther and gave that a listen. I'll go over what I thought of the overall sound signature, my tip-rolling journey, what genres I enjoyed most, which genres didn't pair as well with NE800M, and which other IEM these sound similar to that you might be familiar with. 
     
    But first, a beauty shot with the Soundaware M1 Esther Analog in Silver.
    NuForceNE800M-13.jpg  
    Sound Signature
    On first listen, I found these more bass-heavy than I preferred. I contacted Jyri, and he recommended I give them at least 50 hours of burn-in before starting to judge them. Okay, 50 hours later they're getting a little more balanced. I started commenting on the NE800M thread at this point, and @Dsnuts recommended at least 100 hours of burn-in at higher volume levels. Okay, back to the burn-in rig they go! Another 50 hours with the volume cranked up, and I called it good. So what did I hear with all that burn-in? I hear a warm, rich lower end, neutral upper mids, smooth upper end, and average soundstage and instrument separation. The lower end sounded a bit boomier than I'd like, so I decided to start tip rolling. 
     
    Adventures In Tip Rolling
    I always start out with the stock silicone tips and then work through the rest of the supplied tips. If I'm not satisfied, I move on and start tip rolling. The stock tips were pretty good, but as mentioned above I found the bass a bit boomier than I'd like. They are also a bit stiffer than I'd like, so I moved on to the supplied Comply tips.
     
    Not bad. Not bad at all... There's a reason NE800M are shown with Comply tips on the Optoma NuForce website. With Comply tips on, the bass tightened up and the upper wasn't too compromised, although there was a slight toll on soundstage. Comply tips definitely made them more comfortable than the stock tips, but I thought I could still squeeze a bit more out of the NE800M. So I got out my tip collection and started playing...
     
    Foam-filled Sony Hybrids? Nope, not a fan. Regular hybrid tips? Nope. Neither of these helped with bass control and soundstage was compromised. 
     
    Heir-style tips? Those should work, right? Nice wide bore tips that they are. Nope. Still not feeling it.
     
    How about SpinFit? Hmm, there's something here... Bass seems a bit more controlled. Not as good as with Comply, but the upper end isn't compromised. If anything, it's better than with any other tip I tried, and the soundstage and separation improved. Yup, SpinFit tips it is. Once I put these on, I didn't take them off. 
     
    Genres
    If you're into warm, rich, smooth sound, then the NE800M are going to be a good all-around IEM for you. For those of you who listen to similar music as me, I found these worked well with black and doom metal and and also experimental electronic music. With doom metal from Candlemass, the enhanced bass and warm mids helped the music keep on chugging away and Messiah's voice was front and center. With black metal from Burzum, the warm lower end gave the music some body, while the smooth upper end controlled the harsh treble this genre is known for. With experimental electronic from Ueno Masaaki, the bass hit hard and was really satisfying and the SpinFit gave the NE800M enough soundstage and separation to let the music build up a nice atmosphere.
     
    With classic metal Iron Maiden and classic rock from The Eagles, I could've used less warmth. With blackened death metal like Behemoth, I found the rapid-fire kick drums started blurring together a bit. A bit of bass reduction would help with these issues. With female vocals like Bjork, the vocals could be brought forward a bit to make them pop more.
     
    Not music, but I found the NE800M sounded really good with audiobooks and podcasts. Most I listen to have a lot of male voices, and the NE800M really filled them out, giving them body and fullness. Much better than my more analytical IEM.
     
    Comparisons
    So what IEM have you heard (or heard of) that are like the NE800M? Think Brainwavz S5 but with a bit less bass and without the splashiness up top. These are fairly similar, but the NE800M come across more u-shaped as opposed to the S5's v-shape. Think RHA T20 with Bass Filter but with a bit more mid & upper bass and less upper mids / lower treble. These are more different than the S5 comparison, with the T20 having quicker, punchier bass, less warmth, and more energy up top (but without the splashiness that bothers some with the S5).

     
     
    SUMMARY
    So what do I think of the NE800M? I'm used to a cooler sound with quick, punchy bass and more energy up top, but I've listened to a few warmer, smoother IEM recently and they're definitely winning me over. They're not going to pull me away from my punchier, more energetic IEM by any means, but they give me a nice alternative. Quick, punchy, energetic for when I really want to plug in and engage with the music. Warm, rich, smooth for when I just want to relax and chill out with some music. Or say I'm heading out on a walk, the NE800M's warm, smooth, bass-enhanced sound signature now sounds balanced due to the environmental noise. I also like the earpiece design and aesthetics. NuForce did a good job there. I found the NE800M quite comfortable for extended listening, and their looks won't embarrass you or gain undue attention when you wear them outside the house. I also really like the low-profile 3.5mm L-plug. And for those of you who use IEM with a smartphone, these are easy to drive. I wouldn't see myself going much over 50% volume on my iPhone 5s with these.
     
    What could be improved? I think knocking the bass down just a bit would help make these a better all-around IEM for more people. I'd also really like to see NuForce use a more supple, less sticky all-black cable. This would make the cable more manageable while integrating better with the very aesthetically-pleasing earpieces. Along those lines, I'd also like to see reworked strain reliefs and y-splitter. If nothing else, a darker red indicator that was more integrated into the strain relief and looked less like an add-on bead would better fit with the aesthetics I think NuForce is going for with the NE800M. Similarly, the y-splitter would better fit the overall aesthetics if it were made from one material. I'd recommend losing the shiny hard plastic NuForce used on the bottom of the y-splitter and just using the whole y-splitter out of the matte black plastic the top half and cinch are made out of. And finally, volume control on the remote/mic module would make the smartphone crowd even happier. If these issues were resolved in a future iteration of the NE800M, I could see giving it an extra 1/2 - 1 star depending on how many changes were made and how well they were implemented.
     
    I hope you found this useful and would like to give a hearty thanks to @jyri at NuForce for giving me the opportunity to review the NE800M. It was a great introduction to the NuForce brand, and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.
      getclikinagas likes this.
    1. Deviltooth
      Another solid review.  I like the carbon fiber look.  I've bought NuForce in the past as gifts for bass loving friends.  I have one pair deep in a drawer somewhere but I haven't seen what they've been up to lately; thanks for the update.
      Deviltooth, Nov 22, 2015
    2. nmatheis
      Yes, they're a solid choice for bass-lovin' friends!
      nmatheis, Nov 27, 2015
  5. HiFiChris
    Good sound that benefits from dialing the bass back a bit
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Nov 17, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - excellent midrange, bass body, lows fairly controlled despite the quite strong emphasis, smooth highs
    Cons - rubbery cable, small soundstage for vented IEMs, treble could be more differentiated
    Preamble:

    When Jyri from Optoma (who already worked at NuForce before it was taken over by Optoma) contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing the NuForce NE800M in-ears (http://www.optomausa.com/soundproduct/NE800M), I was already in touch with their German representatives regarding another product which wasn’t available for review at that time, wherefore I took the chance and agreed.

    Optoma is a manufacturer of video projectors which is very well known all around the world and took over the audio manufacturer NuForce (that also builds amplifiers and headphone amplifiers besides headphones) some time ago.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: ~$150, sometimes around $100
    Transducer: 8.6mm dynamic titanium-coated driver
    Frequency Response: 18Hz - 22kHz
    Impedance: 16 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 120dB SPL


    Delivery Content:

    The In-Ears arrive in a black and gold packaging which has got a large picture of one housing of the in-ears and the model- as well as company name on the front. The rear features a smaller picture of both earphone sides and the microphone, along with a description of the in-ears. The catchy slogan “Hear more. Feel more.” is printed on the sides.

    Once the seal is broken, the in-ears as well as a nice pleather carrying case with a stamped “nu” logo, a cable clip, three pairs of black silicone tips, three pairs of semi-transparent dark-grey silicone tips as well as two pairs of Comply Foam TX400 tips (in M and L) get revealed.
     

    IMG_0592.jpg   IMG_0595.jpg
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    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    The in-ears with titanium-coated drivers are made of carbon fibre and brass. On the faceplate which is made of carbon, the NuForce logo is cut out and well visible due to the brass plate which is located behind. The bodies have got a wide vent on the front and seven smaller ones for pressure compensation in the back. Conveniently, there is a red ring for easier side identification on the right in-ear piece just below the strain relief.
    The bodies’ build quality is just flawless.

    The cable visually reminds me of the one of my Sennheiser IE 800, but is more flexible, though unfortunately a bit rubbery at the same time. A chin slider is located above the y-split; sadly there is no strain relief except for directly underneath the in-ear bodies, wherefore more care should be taken.

    The carrying case is well bolstered and offers a good amount of space for the in-ears and is generally well manufactured; the ear tips are soft and feel good.

    The cable remote has got a pleasant pressure point and is located on the left side, but I can’t test the microphone at this time because my cellular phone is currently sent in for repair.
     

    IMG_0600.jpg   IMG_0603.jpg
    IMG_1303.jpg   IMG_1305.jpg
    IMG_1306.jpg   IMG_1309.jpg
    IMG_1311.jpg   IMG_1313.jpg

     
     
     
    Comfort, Isolation:

    The in-ears’ bodies aren’t overly large and are therefore easy to insert and position. Wearing the cables straight down, microphonics are very present even if the cable clip is attached, but cable noise can be drastically reduced by wearing the NE800M with the cables over the ears (which is by the way the method of how I wear all of my IEMs, as this improves fit as well as comfort and reduces microphonics), wherefore microphonics are immensely reduced and even completely eliminated if the chin slider is pulled up.

    Due to the vents, isolation is rather mediocre.


    Sound:

    Just in case and as recommended, I burnt these in-ears in for at least 100 hours with noise and sine signals before I started more critical listening. The main source devices I used for testing were the iBasso DX80 and Shanling M2 which played mainly FLAC, but also 320 kBps MP3 files

    Tonality:

    Bass-bloated (not bass-emphasised) would be a fitting description of the NE800M’s sound signature. With a bass emphasis around 12 dB, lows are quite strongly emphasised and bassheads should be satisfied, although there are in-ear models on the market that have got an even stronger emphasised bass. The mighty bass somehow reminds me of my youth when I was a basshead myself and turned up the volume level of the active subwoofer I connected to my stereo system very high.
    But let’s go on with my analysis:
    As just mentioned, lows are quite strongly emphasised by about 12 dB. The major emphasis concentrates on the mid- and upper bass as well as the lower ground-tone. Sub-bass rolls somewhat off, but is still present. From the middle ground-tone up, level decreases again, but still bleeds a little bit into the upper ground-tone. Voices are tonally very correct, but the mighty ground-tone makes very low voices a little warmer.
    Presence area is recessed, though not much, but enough to allow for a non-fatiguing listening experience. Generally, the very even treble is a bit in the background and level decreases in the upper highs – a little more sparkle in the upper treble and above 10 kHz would have been nice.

    Resolution:

    What comes into my mind here is “wasted potential”, but more about that after this short paragraph about general resolution.

    Despite the strong bass emphasis, lows remain surprisingly controlled and even quick double- and triple bass punches are still recognisable as such, though it would have been nice if there was more control in the mid- and sub-bass. At least bass body is really nice and there is also a good amount of details in the bass and it is punchy (probably as punchy as it can be with that emphasis).
    Playing faster music with more and deeper extending bass on the recording, the drivers seem quite strained.
    Mids’ resolution is clearly a core strength of the NE800M and outstanding compared to the lows and especially highs, though the sound seems strained at times, as I just said.
    Unfortunately, treble lacks naturalness as well as definition and sounds somewhat compressed – although it is fairly even and just slightly in the background, but other dark headphones in this price range do a better job in the highs.

    It is quite striking that the mighty bass overstrains the in-ears’ titanium-coated drivers. Halving the bass with a good parametric equalizer reveals the actual potential the drivers in these in-ears are capable of:

    The whole low range appears more arid and less soft, gains control and the mids totally lose strenuousness. The bass-reduced, but still bass-emphasised (but not bass-bloated anymore) sound seems more “tidied up” and the level of precision and resolution is much higher and even treble gains some details, though not many. With the reduced bass, the sonic qualities are much better comparable to good dynamic driver earphones below/around $100 like for example the SoundMAGIC E80 or DUNU Titan 1, and even with fast music the NE800M doesn’t seem strained anymore.
    It is not that the guys at NuForce don’t know what they are doing, the strenuousness is just a slight negative side-effect of the strong bass.

    Soundstage/Spatial Presentation:

    The generated soundstage is relatively small and narrow to my ears. There is some spatial depth, but it isn’t overly present, though it offers (at these limited possibilities) a very decent layering. Instrument separation could be better, but it isn’t blurred at all and at least instruments don’t bleed into each other.
    On the other hand, it is a bit sad, because well vented dynamic in-ears usually have got a larger soundstage, and here it is size-wise only about the same as the Shure SE425, but with not as good instrument separation.


    Conclusion:

    The included accessories as well as the build quality of the in-ear bodies with carbon fibre and brass are sublime, the rather weakly appearing cable with the missing strain relief isn’t and is not that nice to see in the otherwise good build quality.
    The in-ears’ tonality is very bassy as well as consumer-oriented and will be a delight for bassheads, but that is something that doesn’t affect my evaluation. Though, it is perceptible that the dominant bass is overwhelming the drivers especially when fast and complex music is being played, wherefore a lot of potential is being wasted: lowering the amount of bass by using an equalizer, the titanium-coated drivers’ actual potential and strengths get revealed and they can then also compete with the SoundMAGIC E80, Ostry KC06A or Brainwavz M3 regarding resolution, but with a better bass body due to the titanium-coated driver. Treble is quite even and slightly in the background and offers a non-fatiguing listening experience, though resolution could still be better in that specific area.

    As the drivers seem a bit strained without an equalizer and because a lot of potential is wasted by that as well, and because of the so-so cable without any strain relief and rubbery appearance, I come to a result of 70 percent or 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is a bit sad, as it has been proven that the drivers are capable of much more sonic qualities by reducing the lows, wherefore 15 percent points more for the sound and 5 more for a better cable would have been possible.
    My advice: reduce the bass by 3-4 dB, it really helps the drivers to breathe and reveal their full potential. Then sound would be a straight >>4 out of 5 stars, as at the moment, they are “only” good headphones, but not with fully used potential.
      nick n likes this.
  6. Dsnuts
    Full natured rich sounding Nuforce NE800M.
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Oct 2, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Warmer tone but with solid imaging and fuller, deeper bass. Very great with vocals. Forward signature. Great sound on the mic.
    Cons - WARNING: Need a lot of burn in to sound like what the designers had in mind. A bit heavier than their NE750 due to materials.


    Thanks to Jyri of Nuforce for the review sample. 
     
    I have been around headfi reading everyones reviews and threads like many of you.. I have to say we got some of the craziest good and some not so good enthusiasts around here. Regardless, everyone adds to the discoveries and it seems with every new year there are newer and exciting advancements in our hobby. I like to thank the guys that keep it real on the threads.
     
    Now onto a little review of these NE800m. 
     
    Build
    The build of the NE800m is I would say about average in quality. The cord looks solid and is covered with a soft rubbery type coating. It is supple but does have a noodling. Attached to a mic for use on smart phones. People on the other side of the conversation gets good clarity as far as my vocals go.Cord is a bit on the thin/smaller side. I would expect a more heartier cord for street use. Comes with a smaller pouch. 2 pairs of complys, 3 pairs standard silicone tips. Which make the packaging about average.
     
    Now onto the sound.
    The sound of the NE800m was crafted for a more richer tone, deep full sound including a solid emphasis on bass.  More elevated in the mid bass band which drops off in the sub a bit but surprising low end rumble. Vocals show good range and emotion. A bit of a warming to non bass guys. This sound signature got big bold bass. But manages to do a good job having solid clarity throughout the mid bands which leads me to their best trait. For me it is clearly the Mids of these earphones that I truly enjoy.
     
    True confession: I burned these things in silly and the sheer sound transformation will make anyone a believer.  I started a thread based on these and soon to be a review of the NE750. The aluminum housed little brother of the NE800.  I recently read a review posted on Amazon reviews of a guy that probably heard the same thing I heard out of box on these. Mud does not describe what I was hearing. lol. Anyway I did at one point thought Nuforce folk must have really dropped off the deep end. You can read more about what I wrote to Jyri when I was burning them in. (WARNING) Burn these in. I don't care if you believe in burning in or not. http://www.head-fi.org/t/781582/the-new-nuforce-ne800m-titanium-for-your-vocals-carbon-fiber-in-your-space-brass-for-your-bass-a-review#post_11930776
     
    Strengths of the sound is that these are actually very good for a street tuned sound. The coloration of the phones make them sound engaging on the go without using a amp. They sound even better using daps with some power or using a small portable amp. These have what I would consider a borderline bass head levels of bass. Good or Bad. That is your call but for the type of musical presentation these have they do make for hours of fatigue free full sound on the go. Titanium coated phones have great definition on all the ones that I own and heard. These are no exception. Stage has a good amount of width to depth ratio. While I have heard wider earphones, for a fuller musical presentation the imaging and sound positioning is solid.  These are anti analytical yet they have enough technical merits and has a solid stereo depth of sound space and positioning.  The treble is non fatiguing due to a bit of treble roll off which is a hallmark of Nuforce sound. Smoother treble presence with good vocal clarity, range, emotion, texture becomes one of it's strong suits as well.
     
    Weakness of sound. Bass I would have liked to be a bit less elevated. Treble should have a bit more shimmer/upper treble. Nuforce need to come out with a hybrid. You gotta be a dedicated crazy man to keep blasting your burn in tracks in order to actually hear these correct. There could be some variation of how the drivers burn in for others. There seem to be phones out of box that might sound close to their intended signature. Even then I highly recommend burn in. Bass was not that tight on open listen lets just put it that way.
     
    Overall. For their current price. Guys that want a fun sound signature on the go. Vocals on these cans envelope your senses and gives much roomy low end tone to tunes that call for it with vigor.  Surprising low end rumble and power.  Wanting a smooth full engaging fun sound experience these are worth trying out.(B.O.A.B.I)  I do feel their NE750s are a bit of a better value and I will get to that one later. But the one thing the NE800 has over the NE750 is the vocal projection and range of the NE800. 
     
    (But Only After Burning In!) [​IMG] 
      MynnyD likes this.
    1. MynnyD
      Thanks for the review!
       
      I can confirm that they needed burn in. In first few hours, they sounded much like what I remember from 15$ Creative EP-630. After burning in, I am perfectly happy with their "cozy" sound (switching from analytical Hifiman RE-400).
      MynnyD, Oct 6, 2015
    2. Dsnuts
      Ya it was a shocker when I first heard them out of the box.
      Dsnuts, Oct 6, 2015

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