The Shine of the Orient
- Clarity, detail, nuance and separation.
- Very extensive treble.
- Brilliant profile that can become fatiguing to people sensitive to that auditory region.
- The lower area of the midrange is distant and thin.
- Not original design.
- Very basic packaging and accessories.
- The cable is not at the level of the capsules.
Link to the Store
Again, NiceHCK tries to surprise everyone, launching a new IEM model with 7 drivers. The NX7 has 4BA, a dual dynamic driver and a ceramic piezo driver. All this, of course, at a very reasonable price.
Given the amount of drivers dedicated to the high frequencies (the 4BA and the piezoelectric driver), it is clear that the tendency of this IEM, is to be brilliant. The doubt is whether its frequency response will contain peaks in the highs, like the old KZ models, or this time this band will be softened. On the other hand, both the shape and the design are reminiscent of IEMs from other brands. At first glance, it is difficult to associate the model with the brand, due to the similarity with other IEMs.
- Driver unit: 4BA+2DD(Dual Carbon Nanotube Dynamic Driver)+Piezoelectric Ceramics Driver, Hybrid 7 Units (7 driver units each side
- Impedance: 55Ω
- Earphone sensitivity: 108 dB/mW
- Frequency range: 20-25000Hz
- Plug Type: 3.5mm L Bending
- Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm
- Color: Cyan / Black
- Earphone interface: 0.78mm 2Pin connector
- Mic Option available
The NX7 comes in the typical NiceHCK box. This decorated cardboard box, has become a standard and is currently the usual packaging for all models of the brand, regardless of price. This time, its dimensions are somewhat larger: 135x92x37mm. The content follows the line: IEMS are embedded in a foam mould. Underneath it, there is a box with accessories. In place of the zippered transport box that until recently accompanied NiceHCK products, comes the transport bag. This bag should not have replaced the previous box, as it protects very little. Inside it comes the cable and tips. The cable is the classic 4-core, braided copper, with 2 pin 0.78mm connectors. It brings a velcro tape for better storage, plus a plastic protector for the plug, gold-plated, 3.5mm. Among the tips, there are two sets of 3 pairs each, sizes SxMxL. All are made of silicone. One set has an inner hole 3.8mm in diameter and the other, 4.2mm, whose inner core is red. The medium pair of tips of 3.8mm comes in the capsules.
The fact that it does not include a zippered transport box, as NiceHCK had done until now, is a negative point. The simplicity of the packaging and the null difference between different price ranges seems to indicate the low importance of this aspect in the product as a whole. I want to think that the idea of the brand is to invest more money in the product itself, than the packaging, trying to offer higher quality headphones, without losing money on superfluous things.
Construction and Design
The construction of the capsules is hybrid, has an external face made of aluminum alloy, which is assembled with the inner part of the capsule, by means of three screws. This inner part is made of transparent plastic and can be chosen in cyan or black. The nozzle is metallic, gold in colour and has a metallic grille. This nozzle has an inner ring, of smaller diameter, to ensure a perfect fit of the tips used. The larger diameter of the nozzle is 5.9mm and the inner ring measures 4.8mm. The capsules have a 2-Pin connection of 0.78mm. Inside, the NX7 houses 7 drivers, 4 of them are BA, dedicated to high frequencies. A dual dynamic driver is in charge of the low and medium frequencies. It is made of carbon nanotubes. Finally, a piezoelectric ceramic driver takes care of the very high frequencies. To complete the set, there are electronic three-way crossovers, to direct the frequencies conveniently.
The construction looks solid, despite the assembly of two different materials. There is no visible defect in the joint, not even with the nozzle. The two-pin connector seems to be well embedded, offers no play or difficulty in connecting the cable.
The cable has little history, it is the generic cable of 4 braided copper cores, which can be seen in other brands.
The design is very in line with some models of KZ, thus losing the identity of the product.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
The capsules are medium sized, a nice shape to fit in the ears. The capsule is quite flat and once fitted, little is left over. The rounded edges do not rub on the parts of the ear, so your comfort is good in this respect. The mouthpiece is thick and not very long, just 4mm; the insertion is rather superficial or medium, depending on which tips are used. I have tried tri-flange tips, but the angle with the channel is not appropriate for use, being somewhat forced its fit in my ears. With the rest of the tips, the fit has been more optimal, offering more comfort for longer.
As the weight is quite low, it hardly bothers long duration listening. With the standard cable, the position on the ear is quite adequate and the protection of the cable at that point, improves comfort.
The profile of the NX7 is brilliant and analytical. Although the tendency of the product could be to create a balanced product, the quantity of drivers dedicated to the high zone and the low incidence of the dynamic drivers in the low part, causes that its profile is oriented towards the trebles.
The lower zone is quite linear, up to 100Hz. From there, its gain is lightened smoothly. Its incidence on the rest of the sound is quite balanced. There is no predominance of this zone in the general profile. The preception of bass is behind the high zone and its energy level is medium-low. The texture is adequate and the timbre is realistic. But the impact is low, compared to the energy of the highs. The speed and recovery is very in line with that audiophile grade that seems to seek the mark with these IEMs. But totally insufficient for one who seeks forcefulness in the bass section.
The midrange also appears behind the treble. The lower part of the mids has little gain and feels far away. The drums and bass lines sound cold and narrow, limited in their extension to the low end. Therefore, their recreation is unfinished, incomplete and lacking in global naturalness.
The almost null warmth of the profile, draws fine and sharp voices, with a thin body and a sensation of greater separation from the rest of the sound. The male voices, in spite of their clear brilliant orientation, have greater control and are kept at bay, within a clearly sharp forced sonority. However, female voices are quite penetrating and sharp. The same happens with all the instrumentation from the middle on: its emphasis is great and its execution is pointed. Each tone, due to its extreme thinness, sounds almost autonomous, very precise, analytical, but too sharp, to the point of losing the harmonious musicality that allows prolonged listening.
The presence and extent of the trebles is high. The character of the NX7 has been oriented to shine in this area, never better said. There are high peaks around 7kHz and above 10kHz. The combination of so many drivers dedicated to this zone, causes a high energy concentrated in this range. This particularity offers advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the sound is very detailed, analytical, full of nuances, clarity and separation. But on the other hand, when there are songs with predominance in this area, the excess of brightness can become an unpleasant and fatiguing sensation, as well as unreal. This is something that has already happened with other brands. The fact of concentrating so much energy in the high zone, causes an almost erroneous sensation of fidelity, which in the end brings negative consequences. The most complicated thing is that it is not easy to mitigate the highs without negatively affecting the rest of the sound.
The separation is pretty good. Never better said, the sound is crystal clear, precise and technically detailed. So much edge generates a lot of air between notes, expanding the separation. Little to object to in detail and nuance, as both are remarkable. Now, the scene is moderately wide, but the recreation is not purely three-dimensional. There is a lack of depth and height. The stage is frontal and the details do not surround the head.
NiceHCK NX7 with tips Ostry OS100 (blue filter), OS200 (red filter) and OS300 (black filter)
With the intention of adapting the sound of the NX7 to my preferences, I have decided to use some tips that alter the frequency response, especially from 1kHz onwards. These are the Ostry OS100/OS200/OS300. The OS100 alters the curve a little and its biggest incidence is in the peak around 13kHz. Its impact on the sound is not very significant. But with the OS200, the change is already clearly perceptible and it is really possible to mitigate both the high mids and the highs. Thus, the NX7 become a more common profile, but still have good analytical capacity and brightness, which make them much more balanced. With these red filters, the low zone is at a level close to the high mids and the highs are sifted, but they still have enough energy for the female voices to extend upwards.
Finally, the OS300 tips have hardly any visible differences in the graphics compared to the OS200, but the hearing differences are especially noticeable in the voices. Every trace of edge is filed off with these black filters. They even darken the sound more than the count, losing detail and liveliness. Really, the highs are under control, something that seemed complicated, but they become something much more common than desirable. Leaving the filter black is completely renouncing the NX7.
NiceHCK has decided to release a brilliant warp, as happened with old models of other brands. Those had their strong impact and this one is on its way to the same point. The NX7 are already generating sheets and comment sheets in the forums, with followers and detractors, but also with many ideas to improve what does not just like. And that shouldn’t be the norm. It is one thing to improve and another to correct. But of course, this all comes under the realm of personal tastes. And, personally, the brilliant profile is the one I like the least, because it is also difficult for me. This is something that must be clear to understand my personal assessment of these IEMs. But it is also true that lately, many IEMs were almost calcating their frequency responses, without leaving a comfortable and accepted area. At this point, the NX7 have revisited (or copied) a different profile, at a very appropriate price. And that is already a great merit, because all profiles must be represented in the market. All you have to do is inform, read and choose the one that best suits your particular needs and tastes.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- Burson Audio Playmate
- Zishan Z3