Headphone Review: Nocs NS800

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Nocs | In-Ear Monitors | $ 199.95

Nocs is a Swedish-based company that has recently emerged focusing on audio products. Their first line of products consisted of IEMs, but they have recently gone out to the headphone world eventually stretching out to produce speakers as well with the release of a pair of AirPlay speakers. The NS800 model represents the Nocs’ flagship product consisting of a single balanced armature housed inside beautiful stainless steel. 

Specifications

  • Driver: Balanced Armature
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 25 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 106.5 dB

In the Box

  • Nocs NS800 IEMs
  • Carrying Case
  • Silicone Tips (Single Flange: 2S/2M/2L)
  • Cable Clip
  • Airplane adapter
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The included accessories are enough to get you started.

Design

A touch of luxury, a touch of design, a touch of beauty. Those are the three aspects of this IEM design that runs through Nocs’ entire lineup. They are shiny, simple, but have a subtle brushed texture. On either side of the housing, the Nocs name can be seen slipscreened onto it in a gorgeous fashion while the metallic aesthetics comes into focus. The bottoms are stamped the same way for the right-left markers.

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The designers of the NS800 kept the theme simple with stainless steel.

Design: ★★★★★

Audio

The NS800s are a midrange-driven IEM creating a sweeter sound with a hinting lushness associated with them. Bass digs deep in a delicate fashion. Treble is non-fatiguing with good splash.

Bass

The bass is probably one of my favorite presentations out there. It’s fast and quick has a good bit of accuracy to it. A good impact is present that adds a little oomph to the punch it surrounds. The bass is punchy with great balanced to the lower areas. Texturing digs deep into the sub-bass. The fatal flaw is that the sub-bass may not be pronounced enough at all times.

Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

The midrange represents a very sweet sound overall. With that, we’ll start with the vocals. As stated, they have a bit of sweetness to them with a nice hint of lushness. This combination creates a good, overall vocal dynamic. The higher-mids show good clarity overall as the details ring out beautifully. The lower-mids, however, can use a little work as some details don’t come across as clear as they need to be.

Mids: ★★★★½

Highs

The highs roll down a bit off of the mids. They do have a good extension and splash to them to give some energy, nothing that matches the midrange though. They are light and non-fatiguing though. Clarity and separation are well thought through as smearing is just about non-existent. The detailing is ample at best and could use some improvements. Ditto goes for the presence as the highs seem lost at times.

Highs: ★★★★

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The build quality on the NS800s is actually one of the better ones I’ve seen. Included with the headphones is a beautifully crafted case that compliments the design well with a felt-like texture. It’s not a softcase, but also not a hardcase; instead, it lies somewhere in between.

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A case is included with the NS800 for safe storage and traveling.

Enclosing the dual-drivers is a steel housing that isn’t just something pretty to look at, it’s also very strong. With that said, the housings are tough due to a nice thick layer of metal that protects them. Coming out of this enclosing is a strain relief that is smaller in size.

At first sight, the cable does look a bit thin from the Y-split up. From the Y-split down, it’s the thinnest I’d expect a good cable to be. However, the fact that they are Kevlar reinforced does make a difference here. At the end of the day, the cable is durable and does have a bit of toughness to them; contrary to what you’d think from just looking at them.

The headphone jack terminates the cable. The jack is enclosed in rubber that is both strong and flexible. An ample-sized strain relief comes out of it to protect the cable. Gold plating fights against corrosion. The jack is straight though; an angled jack is well preferred over a straight durability-wise.

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The headphone jack on these is almost perfect.

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

The pictures shown up until now have made the NS800s seem very big when in fact the headphones are puny in size. This allows one of the most comfortable listening sessions that can be created. Three sizes of silicone tips are included for a good fit. Nocs gives users 2 pairs of each size for the people who tend to lose them (and who doesn’t?).

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The NS800 have 3 sizes of tips; users are generously given 2 of each size.

The housing is straight and symmetrical so it can easily be worn up or down depending upon preference. Microphonics can be a slight problem when wearing down, but that is easily remedied by the cable clip. Bone conduction on the other hand is still slightly there, but manageable.

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The included cable clip will help fight microphonics. Wearing them over the ear will too.

Comfort: ★★★★★

Value

The NS800s cost 200 dollars, which makes them priced competitively. It has a great design and good overall comfort. The build quality is up there as well, but better can be found for the same price. The audio quality is worth the price, but like the build, better can be found for less. A remote and mic can also sway iDevice users towards them as well. The package as a whole is worth the 200 dollars, but not much more.

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The remote and mic is a matted, three-button one.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

The NS800s prove to not just be a beautiful thing to look at. It proves that it’s more than just eye-candy. In a way, it’s also ear-candy for its comfort. However, its sonic abilities are what set it up as being true ear-candy with a sweeter sound to them. Regardless, the Nocs NS800 is a worthy flagship model built with gorgeous stainless steel.

I’d like to thank John for the product sample.

Overall Score

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Nocs NS800

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks John for the product sample.
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