January 17, 2021

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NF Audio NM2 Experience: Higher Price with Better Quality

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Earlier this year, NF Audio launched two twin products: NA2 for the mainstream market and NM2 for targeted listening purposes. However, the subsequent market reaction didn’t seem to follow NF Audio’s script completely. Many players, including me, actually preferred NM2 to NA2, which had a rich, rather “consumer” sound. At the end of NA2’s review, I half-jokingly suggested that I wanted to get another NM2 for free with another friend.

In the end, NM2 failed to come to us, but we waited for this upgraded NM2+.

What is “+” in NM2+ can be said to be very clear: the original transparent resin shell has been replaced with an all-aluminum shell. The texture of the shell can be said to be the most unsatisfactory thing about NM2. The same resin material but the matted NA2 obviously has a more restrained and non-greasy look and the color is easier to maintain, while NM2+ chooses the CNC processed aluminum shell to completely solve this problem. Although the shape is still the family design of NF Audio, the texture of aluminum alloy blasting and the “little blue dot” logo, the finishing detail, create a visual effect that, in my opinion, is better than all previous products of NF Audio. And even with the all-metal chamber, the NM2+ weighs 0.01lbs on one side and doesn’t interfere with comfort — except that it can be a bit chilly in the winter.

In order to match the shiny silver metal shell, NM2+ ‘s original 5N anodized copper silver wire is also replaced with transparent wire skin to reveal the silvery white luster of the wire core. If you need more discreet visual effects and better sound quality, officials also have a 5N single-crystal copper upgrade line with the same Litz structure available.

Tell from look and class feeling, NM2+ is really “+” very big range goes up, but the price also from 89 dollars to up to 159 dollars at the same time. As to whether it can match the price increase, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, as the sound quality performance is also as significantly improved as the appearance.

In the previous NA2 evaluation, I made it clear that “NM2 targeted for professional use is more pleasing to my heart in terms of tone”. Therefore, I recommended NM2 instead of NA2 in the new product inventory at the beginning of this year. Therefore, I have high expectations for the upgraded NM2+. The timbre appearance of NM2+ is basically the same as that of NM2, both of which are transparent, bright and have a clear sense of lines, while non-NA2’s “consumption level” with more low frequency and full overall timbre.

Not only do I personally appreciate more transparent and bright headphones, but the “politically correct” tuning of the current mainstream market is also in this style. It’s not that a product with a thick tone or a lot of bass is necessarily wrong, but the current state of the HiFi market means that the risk of making a product with a thick tone is obviously higher. Therefore, both aesthetically and commercially, the timbre style of NM2/NM2+ is more distinct than NA2.

So NM2+ is NM2’s wire and shell version?

After all, I don’t think their moving-coil units will be very different (the NM2 moving-coil unit model is Mc2l-10, and NM2+ is Mc2l-10ii), but the difference between them is quite obvious when it comes to sound. First of all, the NM2+ of CNC aluminum casing has lost the “plastic sense” of NM2 — to be clear, the density of NM2+ has been significantly improved, and the tone has become much more solid and fresh. Although the style hasn’t changed much, the better density performance makes the NM2+ show significantly better full-band texture than the NM2. Better low frequency depth and elasticity, more delicate human voice, clearer and cleaner high frequency line, the full frequency band upgrade makes NM2+ form an obvious cross-gear advantage over NM2 in terms of hard quality.

Another significant improvement of NM2+ over NM2 is better separation performance. It is not only a partial slants thin line feels strong tone gives NM2 + strong sense of “separation”, in fact it’s separating degree price also is in one hundred dollars more revealing (even though it’s just a moving coil units), which makes NM2 + face the most competing goods have more clear administrative levels, and full of stereo feeling of the sound field is quite rare qualities in the introductory price earplugs – not to mention NM2 + width of sound field on the corresponding price level is good.

This kind of “high sense of analysis” tones with really high quality, it is easy for people to feel the momentum of “super flat seconds” from NM2+ — although it is not really super flat seconds after careful consideration, but there is no doubt that NM2+ has a hundred dollars price earplugs excellent cost performance.

If you don’t mind adding another 20 more dollars to the budget, the NM2+ quality of the official single crystal copper upgrade line will be even more outstanding. It should be noted that just because the upgraded wire is made of single crystal copper, it should not be supposed that its timbre is thicker than that of the original wire coated with silver without oxygen. In fact, on the contrary, the timbre of this pure copper wire is thinner, brighter and more prominent, which will pay a certain price of listening resistance and the human voice will be farther than that of the original wire. If the original NM2+ is fast enough for you, or if you listen to more pop music, you can save 20 bucks.

As for the music type suitable for NM2+, in fact, the official has made it quite clear that this is a pair of headphones for stage monitoring. Many models of NF Audio are musicians’ products. Instrumental solos, such as guitars, are naturally NM2+ ‘s specialty. The compact and neat style and good dynamic coordination make NF Audio more relevant to rock and roll metal music. I wouldn’t normally ask for a good symphony for that price, but the NM2+ makes sense to make do with.

What is less appropriate, of course, is music that emphasizes a fluffy, warm texture, such as the cello and bass instruments and the male voice. Changing the original low-frequency earplug or memory sponge earplug can increase the thickness and relaxation of NM2+ timbre to a certain extent, but it is not enough to fundamentally change its timbre characteristics. If NM2+ is too “nervous” for you, HANA, KXXS and other products with similar prices and slightly looser tone are better for you.

As for the driveability, NM2+ is not difficult to drive the earplugs, no matter the sensitivity & impedance parameters on paper or the actual experience. With a similarly priced small tail like the LeTo PAW S1, it can be powered to a more complete state, and even a more advanced small tail or portable player like the Wireblue Dragonfly can offer some potential — especially if your phone has a 0.14inch headphone jack.

In terms of comprehensive evaluation of NM2+, as an upgrade of NM2, each upgrade is just right: continue the clear and transparent style of NM2, strengthen its quality in all dimensions to make it have better performance in various types of music, and improve the quality of the product to the level of outstanding in the same price. As a thousand-dollar earplug, the NM2+ has impeccable appearance, workmanship and cost performance. The only thing that can be faulted is that it is not suitable for consumers who like warm, thick and loose tone.

So, this “+” effect of NM2+ is pretty good, compared to a little blue label that also likes a plus. We’re also looking forward to more such bona fide upgrades from NF Audio – we’re also looking forward to the next NF Audio with the “+” suffix, to be exact, and it won’t be long.

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