Here we have NF Audio NM2. A 99$ iem with a plain black and light blue box. Box contents are nice with 2 sets of S-M-L drivers, manual and carrying case. Nothing fancy. This unit is provided by Keephifi and my thoughts are unaffected.
I begin with first impressions and Pros / Cons. Stage is wide & deep and low frequencies have somewhat weight. Details are high. Layering is pretty good as well as the authority on the live stage of Prague stadium at Zimmer’s Live in Prague. The instruments all have a body and due to its stage depth and layering capacity, while some instruments are playing on your right hearing field, some are on the left hearing field but stationed slightly behind. I am just like watching the live concert from the DVD. Lebo M. is walking from the left corner to the middle spot of the stage and the lady has entered the scene singing from the right corner. Guys, the word of monitor on its drivers came into under $99 life at the moment.
Awesome from top to bottom IMO. Like an Ety 2xr with a 3d printed chassis thus very comfortable
Slightly vibrating bass when the track lets
Very light and comfortable
Clarity, layering and separation are surprisingly good for a 99$ iem
On stage positioning is a great feature.
The sound is so captivating, hazardous to use outside
Thin cable and urging to replace it with an upgrade.
Ear hooks are hard to control like the ones in BL03 or any Blon.
Box and the contents, Nf Audio NM2 and the cable
A plain black box with a contrasting blue pillar. And minimal writing on the box. Nice move enabling you to focus on what’s in and the sound. Opening the box reveals a rectangle shaped richness. Manual and the carrying case and 6.3mm adapter (!) * on the left wing and drivers + eartips with different sizes and purposes on the right wing.
NM2 is looking like an ordinary transparent 3d resin printed iem. Its frequency graph is proving the looks. Sorry, In Ear Artist as the circular plate within its box says. (And it deserves but it will be covered below) Connectors are male qdc.
The cable is black and braided 5N Silver Plated OFC with combined usage of plastic and metal. The earhook looks like strengthened internally. And very easy to insert after getting used to.
*Ops. It is a sign of what’s to come
Driver: dual cavity dynamic driver
Frequency response: 10-40kHz
Maximum SPL: 125dB
Sound insulation: 25dB
Cable: 2pin 0.78mm 5N silver-plated OFC
Net weight: 300g
Timbre is neutral. Resolution is insane for $99. I can hear many details as I am listening a $200 iem. Transparency or layering is pretty good even when unamped.
is natural and neutral as a monitor should be.. The reflection of the stick hitting the drum surface is in my ears. Organic bass is only as thick as it is defined in the mix. A marvel when listening to almost perfect studio recordings (see Joe Bonamassa of Abbey Road) or masterly recorded (Hans Zimmer – Live at Prague) live performances. Getting a shaking bass performance from dubstep is probable too. But frankly, a bit more sub bass performance wouldn’t hurt.
is coherent and faithful to the record. Tonality is maybe number 1 aspect of this in ear monitor. And its displaying many things as well as the record quality and many tricks the sound engineer has pulled off. Careful, this might turn you into a record hunter 🙂 Thus my love for Arcade Fire and The Decemberists grew bigger. But these strong points are double sided. Though details are plenty, analytical nature might be tiring combined with it’s record picking capacity.
is the only weak spot imo. If it had a treble section like HZ Sound Heart Mirror, no iem below $200 could challenge it. But every beauty has a not so beautiful face. The treble is (mid treble) is somewhat powerful but it’s not enough otherwise it’d completely overwhelm the listener with details across all sound spectrum..Leaving this discussion aside, it’s treble is natural as others are but slightly shy from coming forward. But this is not preventing the funk style gospel of Ben Harper sound neutral with adequate treble. Metallic percussion and cymbals are alive. Tubular Bells of Mike Oldfield are starting with tiny metallic strikes.
I preferred using my faithful Qudelix Q5K at 60mV. The sound level is moderate to high now. Overall performance got an upgrade. I guess this is what that 6.3 to 3.5 adapter is for. The sub bass is growling beneath while little tinker bells are chiming above with another keyboard line in between at Tubular Bells. Or the whole experience turned into a musical carnival at Hans Zimmer without any distortion of low frequencies plus well separated pieces together.
Cable is 6N Pure Copper and it made what NM2 was already doing very good – perfect. Now the treble range is more clear than it was and extensions last longer. And the already pretty good overall instrument separation grew better. Singers began singing directly to you. Despite its awkward looks, NM2 is a more powerful beast now with 6N Pure Copper cable. PS: I reversed back to its original cable and the sound I loved through my review is with me! If the original cable was a poor one, I’d be living the opposite. I know so well from my cabling sections..
NF Audio NM2 Review Conclusions
I seldom feel fantastic with an iem especially at around the $99 range. First was HM and now this is from a few that blew my hat off – I enjoyed it so much. More than 300 reviews here and +200 posts in NBBA group of Facebook in the past is my “curse” and if I am feeling this after all, it means something believe me..
If you like to purchase here is the link (non affiliated) https://keephifi.com/products/nf-audio-nm2