NuForce NE-770X Review
Thanks to Nuforce for the sample
First Impressions: Believe it or not this will actually be the first Nuforce IEM will have heard. I know the original 700 made a big fuss when it came out but since I don’t live south of Canada they were not so freely available. They did appear eventually as I’m sure these will to but as of yet I cannot find these anywhere in the UK. Ebay naturally has them but it seems this could be a, if you’re not American you will have to hunt to find them. They do look nice in their box even if it’s one of those horrid heat sealed packs you can’t open. Check that, it’s not thank god. Is it me or are these a little bit feminine looking? Picking them up you can tell these aren’t metal, my god they weigh nothing!
First listen and I’m not sure, hearty full bass there for sure. Quite a heavy sound in fact. Burn in time I think.
Source 1G iPod Shuffle with and without a 75 ohm adapter added
Lows: There is no mistaking the low end here for something light and manoeuvrable. It’s big, heavy and weighty. It’s not an unpleasant sort of bass but I do find that if you go crazy with bass heavy music my ears get tired. These babies like to shift a bit fat ton of air. It’s warm too and soft. It’s not one that’s aiming for a nimble punchy agility, it’s more akin to a big 4x4 trying to rattle round a racetrack. It will get there and you are likely to have a lot of fun doing so. If you like that sort of thing that is, this is no sleek sports car nimbly navigating the curves and corners, it’s a big old beast that hurls itself into everything and then slowly pulls itself back. Is it what I love, no not so much. But let’s face it I’m hardly Mr Average consumer when it comes to this sort of thing. I think this product has been tuned with that type of person in mind and I bet they would love it. It’s big, powerful, near gargantuan bass. Massive scale and power are clearly apparent. Sure it’s a bit soft and it’s not very quick but it’s a pretty cheap product. It’s come down to just US$35, that’s pretty damn cheap, that’s at present £22 (of course if you want it in the UK expect significant postage costs as it will have to come from the US.) That’s pushing GR99 prices. The low end here is far deeper and more significant, a far more consumer friendly sound. The depth here is really very good actually; it can reach down low if a little unevenly. Maybe it’s growing on me.
Mids: Given all that bass I’d have expected there to be some bass bleed but there really isn’t. It has somewhat of a W shaped sound and the mids stay really rather separate from that big low end and manage to be remarkably clear. Sure they are still all warm and thickish but for the money I can’t really fault it too much. It has gone for a warm and weighty sound. Given the bit of space the mids have been given they still manage to a rather nice rendition of more dry vocals. I’m trawling my brain for things of this cost that do better. Actually the Tridents for one do but there is more drama here, maybe not in the mids per say but overall. These are much more concerned with showing you a good time.
Highs: Not the most abundant ever but still with a bit of a sparkle. It all reminds me of the old traditional Sony style of sound, it was hugely popular for years and as sound signatures go it still is. Stuff of this price range never excel when it comes to treble so I think its always best to not make it the centre of attention. So here it’s a little a pushed back but with enough abundance and crispness to let you know what’s going on. In a perfect world well it probably ought to be a little more abundant but better to have a reduced quantity than to have treble in spades and have it show up deficiencies. Still it works, its competent, it’s not offensive.
Soundstage: These sound positively massive. Dynamics do soundstage well as a rule and these are excelling. Just huge scale and volume for something so cheap. Instrument separation is unusually good too. These really make an impressive quick listen.
Fit: No bother here. I did feel I had a touch of air pressure issues so I slapped Comply’s on. Its hayfever time so it’s more of a bother than it would normally be and my ears were in no mood for it. Reviewing means pulling them out every 10 min to hear something else and it gets bothersome. For normal use it would be just fine even in hayfever season.
Comfort: Very good. As I mentioned before these things weigh absolutely nothing. Super light on the ear and I’d be surprised if anyone had any bother here.
Cable: Erm its white, it’s ordinary. It’s a good sturdy cable, it is pretty light and flexible. The jack seems particularly sturdy.
Microphonics: As usual I wore these up so I got none. If you want to wear down you have a chin slider so you shouldn’t really get any.
Accessories: Well not a lot. 3 sizes of tips and a little baggy. You probably wouldn’t need any more tips than that anyway. The little baggy, which I on principle don’t like, is unusual. Every baggy I’ve ever seen has been black or dark brown but no not here, it’s white! I can’t say how long it would stay white but I must confess its very eye catching and matches the white translucent buds perfectly.
Isolation: So so, it’s a dynamic and for a dynamic it’s rather good. I’m sure it would be enough for most people in most use case scenarios. You know, on a bus, out and about stuff, in the gym maybe. It’s likely enough to make you road kill if you’re not careful too but if I was flying to New Zealand it would not be my first choice.
Value: Well if you in the US then it’s really quite fab value if you want a fun sound. That you can’t buy it anywhere else in the world without having to post it half way round means that postage cost are a significant bump. If I wanted to buy a pair of these right now, on ebay I see them for £22 but then I’d have to add £9.50 shipping which is almost a 50% bump. If I lived between Mexico and Canada, Amazon would send me a pair for US$35 and free postage. It’s quite a difference proportionally. For $35 it’s a very fun bassy sound. I’d expect these to fly off the shelves in an Apple store.
Conclusion: Do love these? No I don’t. These just have too much bass for me to really get on well with them. Its big bombastic powerful bass and I’m sure it would be loved by a great many people. It has got a ton of power behind it, shedloads of power. Its depth is impressively low. It may soften as it goes but it likes to rumble like a sub and thunder out, powerful and weighty lows. If that sounds like something that interest you then give it a bash. It’s probably exactly how I would tune something if I wanted an IEM to have a popular consumer orientated sound. This is just the sort of thing I’d expect to live in an Apple store. It looks great, its white and it waylays any complaints anyone will have about earphones not having bass.
The rest of the sound spectrum is pretty decent too. It’s nice how the mids don’t get suffocated behind that big bass, I’d have expected them to somewhat. Highs likewise come though without any trouble. Everything on it surprisingly clear, the instrument separation was really very good. It’s not exactly the most transparent IEM in the universe (nothing at this price is) so I’d have expected that as things get busy it would smear somewhat but everything stayed quite distinct. The large soundstage too makes for an impressive sound. Impressive may be in itself a good description for how these sound. Again it’s not like I have loved them but they do certain things well. Their bass is impressively powerful and deep. Their sense of scale is dramatically impressive which their instrument separation again lends itself to. The mids stay impressively clear too given the authority a bass line can command with these. Visually these are impressive too, like them or not they are very different looking and eye catching. Maybe a teeny weeny bit girly looking but given 52% of the world is girlies that’s not a problem.
Overall the NE-770X is a nice product. It’s a nicely impressive product too. Sure it is not a product for me but then it isn’t trying to be. This is aimed squarely at the general public and its sound signature and impressively dramatic sound I’m sure will appeal. The bass and its scale make a distinctly striking impression. The average teen I’m sure would adore a set of these as the compliment well the sort of stuff filling the charts. It’s just a shame you really have to be an American to be likely to find these. Yes you can get them if you look but if you don’t know they exist you can’t look for them can you? Still I don’t doubt Nuforce will shift plenty in the US.