Feb 1, 2011 at 7:14 AM
The Hiss King
- Aug 9, 2006
- Reaction score
Original Review and pictures of NOCS NS200 is here or the portable earphone thread at /f103
First: I think this SHOULD be here in the portable source forums as it deals directly with specific models: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and even iPod shuffle and nano. I've been looking for an easy to use and good quality headset for a long time. I've used a number of them and been impressed by very few. This has GREAT headset capabilities, good sound, but is hamstrung by a weak upper cable. I hope NOCS can address that.
You know, the PFE and Maximo headsets really raised the bar after the NuForce NE7M, but neither really inherited the 49$ headset's build quality, though each surpassed it in sound quality. Nocs are more of a consumer headphone company than either Audeo or Maximo is, but the NS200 is a GREAT headset.
What strikes me most about it is that it can your head with deep, detailed bass, but it doesn't stuff up in the treble or mids. Dynamic earphones have come a looooong way. Back when the Denon C700 was tearing up these forums, I bought it and liked it, but didn't like the way bass boomed in the tiny compartment.
The Nocs NS200 is about 80$, but it sounds better than the Denon - at least when it comes to overall distortion and boomy echo, two items that I take real stand against. Overall, whilst quite heavy, the NS200 puts out natural transitions from mids to bass to treble and sounds great for lower percussion, kickdrums, and even for female vocals. Guitars are good with enough timbre to satisfy, but leave you wanting just a bit more. Sound alone, it is a bargain.
Not a word, but a concern, for sure. As long as your player/phone is reasonably well-made, it will drive this headset fine with no bass drop off or anything. Still, the number of players that in 2011 can hold a good frequency under load is still small. Overall, there is plenty of volume from the Shuffle 5G to the iPad, and with hissy sources, it can hiss, but not as bad as some similar earphones. Nice touch.
The NS200 is ported, but it blocks a lot of noise, perhaps a little less than a nicely-fit Audio Technica CK10. I've been using Comply tips with it for comfort and isolation, but the stock tips work pretty well, too. And, no matter how you like to wear the earphone: over the ear, or straight down, it works fine, even whilst in conversation.
As a headset, it has myriad functions ranging from play/pause song and call, advance/reverse song, and volume settings. It packs a lot under the bonnet and works very well. It works wonderfully on my iPod touch, iPad, shuffle 5G and I'd like to see how it works on a mate's phone, though, as Samsung and Nokia have reversed plug polarity, that may not happen.
Overall, this is a killer, but it has a problem: post y-split cable is crap. It is like the old EX51 cable, thin and full of internal slack. It is no where near the quality of the Nuforce or the PFE - no where. The bottom portion of the cable is pretty good though, with kevlar re-inforced rubber, much like the q-Jays. The plug is straight angle, but reasonably well protected. It isn't excellent, but it works.
I expected more for 80$, but the same is true for the Maximo iP-HS5. Both come at about the same MSRP and both sound great. The NS200 is an easier to use phone, but its upper cable portion is disappointing to me. Apart from that, there isn't really anything to complain about.
Original Review and pictures of NOCS NS200 is here