Oh boy! Our good friends over at NuForce are at it again with a fresh new line of in-ear headphones just in time for the warmer days ahead. It seems NuForce blesses us all with superior products this time a year and it usually brings a smile to our faces. I was fortunate enough to have Nuforce send me out a pair of their latest noise-isolating NE-700M in-ear headphones. Not to be confused with the NE-7M in-ears, but if the 700m are equivalent to the older versions, we are in for a very nice treat. Big sound in a small package is what I am expecting from the 2013 version sent my way for review. What’s fabulous about Nuforce is their price point for these types of in-ear headphones. Coming in at under $80 sounds like a great value to me, so lets get right into this review!
For those who aren’t too familiar NuForce products, these guys produce some high quality products such as amps, pre-amps, and speakers, just to name a few. In stunning classic designs, their audio equipment is made for any type of consumer, audiophile, or sound pro. I was highly anticipating some top notch audio goodness from NuForce this time around. The older NE-7M in-ears that I've used in the past performed outstanding for just about 3 years. In fact I’d probably still be rocking them hard if the wire was still in tact. This review is going to be based on everyday usage, voice calls, and daily gym workouts
I was so fired up to rip open the packaging that I also forgot to photograph the packaging for you guys and gals. Not much comes with the NE-700M besides your basic pouch, two sets of S,M,& L silicone ear tips, and the “nobody reads” warranty/user guide. I was a little disappointed in just getting a boring pouch when NuForce in the past has bundled their in-ear headphones with some solid traveling cases. Oh well, I guess it’s a great way to cut some cost.
NuForce has always done a decent job when it comes to build quality with their sound equipment. The aforementioned NE-7M which I’ve used previously did fail twice in the few years of using them. On both occasions the right channel blew out dead, but replaced without any questions from their customer service department.
The new NE-700M have a more durable feeling to them than the older version, including also the widely popular Klipsch Image S4i in-ear headphones. The cord is slightly thicker than the previously mentioned in-ears but never did tangle during my daily gym workouts which was a relief. Most earphones I’ve used in the past were always built with a bunch of plastic but not these bad boys. These smokey bronze little buds come in a machined aluminum body. Don’t worry, they don’t have some crazy heavy aluminum feeling. Super lightweight and should minimize vibration while usage. In terms of build quality it is also worth mentioning the 3.5mm plug. They have a superior feeling to them and proportioned to keep a slim profile with the directional angle plug. Thumbs up for that NuForce.
Most earphones I’ve used in the past, including the S4i, were either utterly unbearable to wear or had superb comfort for many continuous hours. Not sure if the aluminum chassis makes the difference but these little guys are a joy to use. Lightweight and didn’t bother my ear canals much. I’ve been using these daily for the past weeks in a sweaty gym environment. Six out of seven days a week I’m in the gym and I have not experienced any discomfort wearing the NE-700M. The cord is 4 1/2 feet long and believe the length of the cord keeps the wire from tangling up. Just the right size in my opinion. Very satisfied with the comfort of these in-ears for the time I reviewed and still use. Thanks NuForce.
With any product, the features are the lifeline to any consumer purchase. Most in-ear or over-the-ear headphones come pretty standard when it comes down to features. Nothing to revolutionary with the NE-700M in-ears. You will find the control button on the left earbud and was I quite disappointed with the main feature. They don’t come with dedicated volume buttons such as the pictured S4i in-ears and I had a terrible experience with the tactile feedback of the button. It took multiple tries to get my music to skip with a double press, pause tracks with one press, and could never get tracks to restart with a triple press (possibly not even a feature).
The NE-700M made my ears smile right from the first time I plugged them in. I was anticipating a superior sound quality since the older versions sounded outstanding as well. The older NE-7M in-ears sounded so good I didn’t hear much on the subways in Manhattan when I traveled daily into the city a few years back. The titanium coated 8mm drivers in the current version delivered crystal clear sound from multiple genres I tested without even touching the built in EQ on the iPhone.
Even with the default ear tips, I was able to hear many ranges of notes from low to high with even tons of stacked vocals coming out of these little drivers. I quite shocked to hear the default NuForce tips delivered a quality sealed sound. The bass sounded very clean, never felt overpowering, and was balanced superbly to the vocals. Instruments that are meant to be heard in the background of tracks were also picked up pretty well in my ears.
You want even better isolated sound? Do yourself a big favor and get a pair of Comply T-200 foam tips. Just wow! I had people in the gym tapping my shoulder because I couldn't hear them talking. Now that can be either a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll let you decide that one. We love using these foam tips when ever possible, and even reviewed a few sets a while back.
The audio sound quality was simply amazing for a pair of in-ear headphones under $100, but was really interested the voice call quality. The button was already troublesome to press so I was hoping accepting calls with a click wouldn't be a problem. To my surprise, using the button for calls was effortless and a feature I enjoyed daily. The voice calls sounded terrific, never muddy, and was a blessing to have during my workouts. Siri performed so-so with the long button press but that could just be a Siri issue. You're still frustrating Siri.
If you have gotten this far with the review, you know that these are definitely recommended to anyone, and I mean anyone, on the hunt for a decent pair of in-ear headphones. For under $100, we challenge anyone to find a better set of in-ear headphones with a microphone. a-Jay Four by JAYS? Umm, not really but there's definitely room to argue about that. S4i by Klipsch? Nay. The build quality compliments the sound quality, they're very comfortable in the ears even under strenuous activities, and I believe that all of these great features trump my personal cons in general about using in-ear headphones. The NE-700M are simply a great value for a great price. Warranty is for one year and have had nothing but superb customer service from NuForce in the past. You also have the option of buying the NE-700X in-ear headphones without the mic if you're looking to shave off the cost without compromising on good sound quality. Check out the NuForce website for more geeky spec info such as impedance and microphone sensitivity.