Review: NAD VISO HP50

NAD | Over-Ear Headphones | $ 299.00

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It’s not everyday that you get to put on a pair of headphones that fits snug and comfortably while sounding stupendous.  NAD’s VISO HP50, designed by Paul Barton, the mastermind behind the PSB M4U series headphones, offers a bunch of perks with it both sonically and non-sonically.  The design is truly unique and looks gorgeous while the 3D soundstage and layering created by the drivers, NAD calls this RoomFeel, adds nice depth to an otherwise closed headphone.  

Specifications

Driver: 40mm Dynamic
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: N/A

In the Box

NAD VISO HP50
3.5 mm to 3.5mm Cables (With Remote/Mic, Audio Only)
Carrying Case
¼” Adapter
Airplane Adapter

InTheBox

Design

Glossy and classy would be two ways to describe the design of the NAD VISO HP50.  The curved glossy external surface gives a beautiful reflective surface that looks absolutely beautiful, but can be a fingerprint magnet unfortunately.  Beautiful sand-blasted aluminum accents lend nice contrast to the black color.  The square head-band completes the design of the HP50.  From the glossy, square, and curved housings to the square headband, the look and feel of the NAD VISO HP50 is truly unique.

Design

Design: ★★★★

Audio

Unique looks allow the VISO to stand out when they’re off your head while stellar sound allows the HP50 to stand out when you have them on your head.  NAD uses a nice musical sound signature with these that have the slightest of warm tilts to them.  Bass extends nicely, but is controlled; at times a bit much.  The midrange offers warmth and lushness while the highs remain detailed, but never shrill.  The NAD VISO HP50 proves to be one of the most musical headphones I’ve had the honor of listening to.

The bass of the VISO HP50 is on the more relaxed side of things.  There is a very nice solidness to it that gives it a bit of warmth.  The bass impact is sufficiently strong for the most part.  The bass texturing down in the sub-bass offers a solid sub-bass with a hint of fluidity to it.  The two properties above allow the mid-bass to have ample tightness with a speed that is neither fast nor slow.

Continuing on with the warmth the bass offers, the midrange offers an inviting, emotive warmth to it that is also lush.  However, the first thing that really hit me was what NAD calls RoomFeel.  This creates a sound stage that is large, yet very natural.  Despite this, the detailing in the lower midrange is strong without every becoming aggressive.  The upper midrange clarity isn’t the strongest, but definitely more than enough.  Vocals offer beautiful low-octave vocals that are lush while the upper vocals do offer some power, but could have a little more energy.

Going up top, the highs remain well-detailed throughout the entire treble ranges.  The lower treble offers a decent snap to it, but decays a little faster than I’d like.  Clarity in this region, as well as the upper treble, is very well presented though.  The upper treble, like the lower midrange, offers strong detailing, but does it in a way that’s not aggressive at all.  Separation is a strong suite and the treble almost never gets sibilant or harsh.

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The materials and craftsmanship of the VISO HP50 are among the most exquisite I’ve had to deal with.  A softcase is included to store the NAD headphones while they aren’t on your head, and they will certainly do their job protecting the headphones.  Although, a harder case would be preferred.  A nice little accessory pouch also is included and fits snug inside the larger case itself.

Case

The housings on the VISO are constructed out of plastic.  Glossy exterior faces are combined with a matted plastic on the side.  The plastic definitely doesn’t feel cheap and pretty durable overall.  Metal hinges connect the arms to the housings which also have a nice, spring-loaded twisting mechanism.  Despite the use of plastic, the housings actually are still well built.

Housing

Each of the arms connect the housings to the plush, leather headband.  The headband is filled with soft, supple foam with a metal bar running through the center.  That said, the simple, rectangular headband is very well crafted and screams luxury.

Headband

Included with the HP50 are two almost identical cables, one with a mic and one without.  The cable is flat and thus won’t tangle easily, if at all.  It has a nice thickness to it that feels firm enough, but also very flexible and usable on the go.  I do feel the cable itself is a good cable.

Cable

The headphone jack on the NAD sits at a right angle that will help remove stress off the strain relief.  The strain relief is a little stiffer than I’d like it and doesn’t really offer that sort of mobility it should; it can only bend up and down, no side to side.  The entire headphone jack is rubber and feels sturdy and solid.  The jack isn’t gold-plated unfortunately.

HeadphoneJack

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

You’d think that the square-ish headband that looks odd would be uncomfortable, but it’s actually the contrary.  The headband is padded generously and soft to the touch.  Additionally, the pads themselves are soft as well and help loads when it comes to comfort.  I can easily get a few hours with these on without any discomfort at all.

Pads

Comfort: ★★★★

Value

The NAD VISO HP50 come priced at around 300 dollars, which is actually cheaper than much of the competition its up against.  It offers a visually appealing design that is unique along with great build and excellent comfort.  The audio quality is comparable to that of the M-100 and MS500 Bridge.  A remote and mic is included for smartphones and if you need an audio-only cable, you have that option as well.  I feel that the HP50 is overall a great value.

RemoteMic

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

The VISO HP50 are the first headphones under the NAD name.  The headphones have definitely become one of my favorites and is able to stand up against the competition it has in this price range.  If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that offers a great balance between musical and accurate, you really don’t need to look further than the NAD VISO HP50.

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

Overall Score

★★★★

NAD VISO HP50

† 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 Peter for the product sample.

 

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