Optoma NuForce NE800M Superior Performance Earphones

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Product: Optoma NuForce NE800M Superior Performance Earphones
Provided By: Optoma
Price: ~$149 USD at time of publication

 

Introduction:

Today, I'm taking a look at a set of earphones from a company that I haven't heard of in years. Optoma hasn't gone anywhere, but I guess the pond that I swim in at times is a bit limited. When they contacted me and said they had a pair of earphones that they wanted me to take a look at, I immediately agreed. While I do have a thing for earphones (I've reviewed dozens over the years), what struck me about the Optoma NE800M was the construction materials. The "sound nozzle" is machined from solid brass and with the carbon fiber chassis, there is no residual vibrations except what the titanium coated driver does in order to produce sound.

While the materials sound pretty impressive, the caveat here is the price. The NE800M are listed at $149 USD street price and if you live north of the 49th, your best price is going to be right around that $180 CAD price tag. While there are certainly more expensive IEM options available, the NE800M is priced in the premium market where the competition is pretty solid and they need more than good looks and exotic materials to be a serious option in this space. Our goal today is to give you a close look at these, spell out the main features, cover some specifications and then share our subjective thoughts on these "Superior Performance" earphones. We shall see.

Box Box Open

 

Closer Look:

The Optoma NuForce NE800M come in a professional-looking box and once you open the box, your first impressions are confirmed. The overall fit and finish of the earphone units themselves are pretty fantastic. As I previously mentioned the main visible materials are brass and carbon fiber and it looks as good as it sounds. The NE800M come with three different silicon earbuds as well as two sets of Comply™ foam tips. I used the medium silicon and smaller foam tips and was very pleased with the fit and comfort of these. I did prefer the Comply™ though as they stayed in better and I forgot that I even had them jammed in my ears.

Close

 

All of  the included accessories are able to be stored in a handy zippered pouch that has an interior pocket for your different earbud tips. Perhaps one of the most unique things I noticed with these earphones is the cable. It is very thin and has a silicon sheath to it - which makes it very durable and weather resistant, but also serves to make it very difficult to untangle. If you take great care in wrapping these up and always storing them in the case, it won't be an issue, but I'm sure everyone has quickly wrapped up their earphones and stuffed them in a pocket of your jeans. This will probably result in a few minutes of untangling as the cable doesn't easily slide in order to untangle easily.

Bundle Case

 

Cable Closeup

 

It is worth mentioning that the NE800M is a full headset, with a built-in remote that will allow you to play/pause music, answer and end phone calls as well as skip forward and back on your music. All this is done on a small, in-line microphone and control that is slender and doesn't add a lot of bulk to the cable. Also located on the cable is a clip that can be used to make sure your activities don't easily pull an earphone out of your ear - breaking your Zen. Below the clip and microphone is a slider that allows you to shorten the "Y" making it tangle less on your clothes, other gadgets and generally makes it more manageable.

 

The overall look is pretty sweet and we'll find out on the next couple of pages more about the NE800M and what makes them tick, how good they are supposed to be, and finally how good they really are.


 

Features:

The following information has been pulled from Optoma's website and posted here for your convenience. If you need even more information, please be sure to check out their site for all the details, downloads and guides. The following has been posted here to make your life simpler.

Designed for people that care about sound; these earphones include a brass sound nozzle to minimize vibration and optimize the sound. Coupled with an ultra-lightweight and durable carbon fiber chassis, the NE800M’s exceptional acoustic design brings out all of the detail in your music. These earphones are a substantial upgrade from those that come with your smartphone or music player and set the standard for premium portable sound.

 

  • Superior Sound
  • Made from bass and carbon fiber for a clear, powerful sound
  • Tangle-free cable to support an active lifestyle
  • Smartphone compatible inline remote and microphone

 

Clear, Powerful Sound
With a carbon fiber shell and sound nozzle machined from solid brass, the NE800M earphones are free from micro-dynamic vibrations to give an outstanding sound quality.


Superior Sound Quality
A powerful titanium coated driver housed in a carbon fiber chassis offers exceptional sound quality with smooth, natural highs and deep powerful detailed bass.


Great on the Go
These earphones are great on the go with a long 1.3m tangle-free cord and smartphone compatible inline remote and mic that lets you pause or skip tracks and answer and end calls with one-touch ease. They also come with a carry case for added convenience.

 

All-weather listening
These earphones are designed for all-weather listening to support an active lifestyle.


Comfortable Fit
For maximum comfort, we’ve included two types of earbuds in a range of sizes so you can be assured of a snug, slip-free fit. These include Comply™ Foam premium earphone tips which shape themselves to fit perfectly in the ear canal offering superior isolation from noise and creating incredible bass response.

 

Tech Info:

With a carbon fiber shell and sound nozzle machined from solid brass, the NE800M earphones are free from micro-dynamic vibrations to give an outstanding sound quality. Exhibiting one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any known material, the inherent damping properties makes carbon fiber one of the most acoustically inert materials known to modern science - leaving you with nothing but the sound the artist intended.
 
The sound nozzle, which is used to direct sound from the transducer into the ear canal, is machined from solid brass. Used in musical instruments throughout history, brass is well known for its balanced acoustical transmission and damping properties. It is also comforting to know that due to its copper content, brass offers potent anti-microbial properties.
 
The single driver features a large 8.6mm Titanium-coated diaphragm, a powerful N45 Neodymium magnet and an innovative lightweight copper-clad aluminium voice coil. The driver features combined with the acoustic enclosure design yields an earphone with exceptional power, frequency range and transient response resulting in remarkably clear distortion-free holographic imaging with powerful extended bass.

 

Specifications:

Specs

 

On the next page, we'll take a listen to these plugged into several different audio sources to see how they perform under Android, Apple, Windows and Chrome.


Testing:

I need to give you full disclosure here, I'm not an audiophile. While I do love good audio and have a pretty good ear for music, I'm not a full-on audiophile. With all that being said, I don't believe that there are a lot of objective ways to test headphones. The experience is very personal, often quite unique to an individual and everyone has a different idea of what sounds "good". I've listened to a lot of different earphones and headphones in the past and I would always rather listen to accurate audio, rather than something that has crazy bass levels or is tuned to one particular genre of music. I listen to a wide variety of music and want something "flat" that works with everything - as it is intended.

As these are designed to be used on the go, I did the bulk of my listening through my Nexus 6. These sounded great on any device that I plugged them in to, including an HTC One M8, iPod Classic, ASUS Xonar U3, Soundblaster X-Fi Platinum and more. I even plugged these into a Roku 3 that is also on my test bench and watched a couple of movies with these in my ears. 

The sound is clear, clean and a bit "warmer" than some other eaphones I've used and was very rich with all the devices. When I initially plugged the NE800M into my Nexus 6, I had to go to my audio player settings and take off the EQ so the sound was perfectly natural. My everyday earbuds are currently some units by Razer and they need a little help to make them sound good. The NE800M doesn't need any help. They sound great on their own.

Optoma NE800M

 

In terms of music specifics, I did listen many different music genres as I'm not really strapped to one type of music. I listened to everything from 90's alternative, modern pop, country, rock, some speed metal (my least favorite), some old-school Creedence Clearwater Revival and everything in between. I have a few lossless FLAC albums that I purchased that really showcase stereo headphones and I made sure to spend some time listening to these as well.

These earphones provide a very good balanced music experience no matter what type of music you listen to. The bass is full and powerful enough to really be appreciated and on songs with a lot of deep electronic bass, they perform very well. The bass tracks in Fall Out Boy's "Immortal" is just right as is the overall sound and feel of Thousand Foot Krutch's "I See Red". The lows are very clean - without a lot of distortion and the volume levels at low frequencies also stays easily audible. While many other companies brag about low frequency response, it is soft enough that you can't really hear it. Not so with the Optomo NE200M.

The high-hat is very clear and crisp without being harsh, vocals are strong and clean with the kick drum and bass guitar providing a great fill to complete the feeling. I noticed in a couple of songs that the highs were sharp, but I couldn't find other songs that offered the same results. Overall, it is a very pleasant and balanced upper-range.

In terms of pop music, if you've been brainwashed into "Beats" audio, these will perform on-par with any "pop-optimized" earphones and headphones I've used. I've listened to Beats, Sony, Bose, Sennheiser and others and in terms of quality earphones, these offer a fantastic package.

In terms of comfort, the silicon tips are pretty much standard, but the Comply™ tips make them stand out in comfort and are wonderful. I've worn these for about half a day - and almost completed an audio-book start to finish while wearing them with no discomfort at all. After using these for well over 6 hours straight, I can assure you that they are ridiculously comfortable. I've worn other headphones that made you glad you watched a 90 minute movie instead of the 3 hour extended cut.

 

Conclusion:

I really didn't know what to expect when I said yes to review the Optoma NuForce NE800M earphones. I had no idea what Optoma was up to these days, nor did I know how much these earphones cost. I like earphones. I said I'd review them. It was really that simple. I've looked at a lot of Sennheiser products in the past few years and I do have a soft spot in my heart for their products as I've yet to find one that I didn't want to keep and use as an everyday product. Then along comes Optoma. At the end of the day, I was very happy with these earphones and was pleasantly surprised at the quality - aesthetics, build and audio.

The machined brass nozzles combined with the carbon fiber shell makes these very inert and by all appearances, they didn't introduce any external vibrations into the sound. With silicon ear tips, they block out a lot of external sound at the expense of a bit of comfort, but once you put on the Comply™ tips, you are in a place of comfort and peace.

In terms of audio quality, which is probably what brought you to this review, these perform much better than I expected. I didn't expect a lot as companies often substitute looks for quality, but the Optoma NuForce NE800M manage to squeeze pretty much everything into this package. They look great and sound even better. If you want a quality set of earphones, these should really be a serious choice. The combine the best of pretty much everything into a package that won't let you down.

 

Pros:

  • Excellent construction
  • Well balanced audio
  • Elegant look and finish
  • Super comfortable
  • Works well with Android devices
  • Carrying case for all your goodies

 

Cons:

 

  • Cable is not as "tangle-free" as they claim
  • A bit expensive

 


 

I'd like to thank Optoma for sending over the NE800M for us to review. If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please leave it here in the forum.