*Special thanks to nocs to sending me this unit to review.
These are the NS400 by nocs. I've never heard of them before they sent me these but they have a surprisingly mature product line. The box makes a nice first impression. Nothing mind blowing but it's relatively nicely executed.
These earphones have 8mm speakers. I'm no audiophile so I won't get into words like impedance or frequency. Nocs are a Swedish brand by the way, and are seemingly the opposite of AIAIAI; my favorite Danish headphone company. Nocs feels serious and mature while AIAIAI is playful and almost juvenile.
Nocs provides a healthy amount of tips. 2 sets of each size. I lost one at the airport but this is why there are plenty more in the box. The package doesn't include a carry case but people don't really use them anyways.
Here it is. They are quite a contrast from my AIAIAI Swirl. These are way more delicate and precious feeling. It might also be that the Swirl are abnormally chunky.
The 8mm drivers in these are apparently titanium. The shell is also made of titanium and is surprisingly well done. After being disappointed by AIAIAI's build quality, it's great to see a small company achieve great quality. The NS400 are the midrange model priced at $100. The lower end model has an aluminum body and the more expensive dual armature model is stainless steel.
The feeling I keep getting is that these are really tiny. If you have goliath hands and are a bit rough with your products, I'm not sure these are for you.
Now the most important bit. The sound. I have got to say, these sound pretty incredible. I don't have a accute enough ears to make a great review of the sound but as far as my ears can hear, these are currently the best sounding earphones I personally own. These produce extremely accurate sound with bass that is deep and smooth. If I were to make a ciritcism with my restricted ears, I would say that the sound could be slightly more clear and crisp at times during more layered music. But all in all, these are more than enough for 99% of people that would consider buying these.
The remote on the NS400 is nicely done. It's got a satisfying clicky press unlike the AIAIAI's on the right. The feel of the buttons have become increasingly important after the introduction of Siri. Siri while biking or driving is almost magical.
The NS400 are highly similar to the Apple earphones in terms of feel and design. Apple's is in the middle. I absolutely cannot take tangling cords and this is the reason why I love the AIAIAI Swirl - its cables are impossible to tangle. I don't use Apple's earphones because they tangle to easily. The NS400's cable is slightly softer than Apple's so it tangles even more. This seems like a small thing but could make it a deal breaker for me.
The good thing is that nocs includes a nice clip. Somewhat reduces cable rage.
Seems like all the issue with the NS400 are cable related. The audio jack is also not my cup of tea. Like Apple's, they have a straight plug. This is horrible when sitting down with the phone in the pocket and is always the first place to fail for me. I don't see why everyone doesn't makes a angled plug like AIAIAI.
All in all, these are fantastic. If they had beefier cables and a few design tweaks, they would be extremely great. The price of $100 seems pretty decent for the quality of sound they pump out too.