I’ve been a little unfair to NuForce regarding their NE-700M Headset earphones. You see, I received them last spring, and I haven’t done a review until now. One of the reasons is that other headphone and earphone companies have been releasing whiz-bang models almost weekly, and NuForce just kinda got pushed aside. Released a few months ago, the NE-700M may not wow us as the latest flavor of the month, but that’s what makes it special.
The NuForce NE-700M earphones are an improvement on the very popular NE-700M earphones. I know that’s redundant, but when NuForce improved them, they decided not to change the name. Except for some subtle visual clues, it’s hard to tell them apart. The older NE-700M’s aluminum shell was shiny aluminum while the new one has a dull, brushed appearance. The colors are the same: copper for the model with mic and silver for the sans-mic NE-700X. Other than the mic and color, the 700M and 700X are identical. Also, there is a bit more cable strain relief, an improved 90-degree plug, and a better mic.
I still had issues with the eartips. None of the NuForce tips allowed me to hear all the bass. As I’ve said before: Bad fit equals no bass. As with the earlier 700M earphones, I had to retrieve some tips from another brand that fit me perfectly. I admit that my ears may be unusual. Most people will not have this issue.
This isn’t going to be a long review, because that was done here. Back then, I stated, “The NuForce 700M earphones come surprisingly close in sound to earphones costing a lot more. Not only is the build quality close to the more expensive earphone choices, in many ways, it is as good. If you are on a budget – and who isn’t today – then you don’t have to compromise much to get decent audio at a more than decent price. The 700-Ms are a true bargain.” All of that is still true, and then some.
Regarding how they sound, it’s going to be hard to differentiate the NE-700M earphones from the older model. Even with some upgraded components, they sound remarkably similar. If there is any audible improvement, I can’t hear it except for a slightly improved – meaning less – high-end harshness at louder volume; something your ears will thank you for now and make you regret later in life.
The warm bass is still there. The soundstage is still wide. The build quality is still first-rate. But unfortunately, the microphonics are still there (oh well, you can’t have everything). Microphonics is the noise you hear when the cords are brushed up against. While I’ve grown accustomed to this, it can drive some to distraction, especially people new to earphones. To eliminate microphonics, NuForce suggests looping the cable around the ear (from front to back). This actually works extremely well with almost any earphone.
I had forgotten how much fun the 700M earphones can be. I could listen to the dynamic speaker design all day with no discomfort. Dynamic speakers are very good at masking the deficiencies of low resolution MP3 files, which is something the more expensive – but also more accurate – armature design speakers cannot do. If your music consists of many 128kbps or iTunes files, these are for you. If you have a lot of higher resolution Apple lossless or FLAC music files, you would be better served with earphones that can extract all the musical data that these files would contain.
If you have the older 700M and they are still in good shape, there’s no need to rush out and replace them. But if you’re new to NuForce or you’ve worn out the original model, you won’t regret upgrading to these.