Who said the audiophile experience had to cost over a thousand dollars to truly experience. The IEM game has seen the release of an abundance of affordable audiophile earphones from manufacturers such as Kinera, IBasso, and Queen of Audio. NF Audio looks to join them. You may not have heard of NF Audio, but they are a brand that has made a name for themselves in the realm of custom IEMs. They’ve brought their expertise to a universal design, aimed for an ergonomic and comfortable fitting earphone that doesn’t miss out on fidelity. This IEM won’t bleed your wallet dry either, as the NA2 will only run you $99. Let’s see what they can bring to the table.
What You Get
- NF Audio NA2 Earphones
- 0.78 2pin 5N Cable
- User Guide
- Storage Box
- 3x Balanced Ear Tips
- 3x Bass Ear Tips
- Quarter-Inch Adapter
Look and Feel
As I previously stated, NF Audio is known for their custom molds, and that’s what the appearance of the NA2 is most reminiscent of. The shell is completely clear, revealing all of the earphone’s interior components. The shape and size of the housing makes the body very friendly to the ear, resting in your concha with lightness and security. Overall, it’s a very simple design, but one that works, as I feel I can sink into these IEMs properly without experiencing any substantial fatigue.
For a $99 earphone, there is a lot going on underneath the hood. NF Audio has designed the NA2 with a considerable amount of intricacies in order to develop a desirable output quality. It utilizes a variety of interior architectures, such as a double cavity dynamic driver, which balances each range of frequency and pushes them sufficiently to any portable device. The internal acoustic structure is made up of four air pressure controls that dampen the driver and adjusts air pressure. Speaking of the driver, the diaphragm is coated in a polymer composite that aims to deliver low-noise and more texture to the sound signature. Then there’s all the circuitry. The coil is operated by a Tesla-class magnetic force that aims for accuracy above all else.
Part of the intricate design of the NA2 is how it has dedicated cavities for producing the necessary signal flow to supply most laptops and smartphones sufficiently. The NA2 features an impedance of 18 Ohms, which is standard for accessibility. Using the NA2 with my iPhone, I was able to listen to my tracks with an ample amount of volume respectable to any genre. The signal never seemed too weak or too powerful for my device to handle. The gain sat comfortably in a middle position with plenty of room for adjustment.
A running theme here on MajorHiFi is me being surprised with how good a soundstage is on an affordable IEM. The NA2 shared that theme to an extent. While the width of the image features some nice extension, it doesn’t show much in the way of height. This doesn’t drop the quality of the stage a whole lot, but it leaves the image sounding not quite as full. However, on the positive side, the NA2 reaches a lot of depth, making for a greater sense of space and separation. Each sound element in my tracks felt like they were given the proper positioning and brought out the stage to a more outward headspace.
It took a little while for me to notice, but there is definitely a sub-bass presence here. For the most part you’ll get a clean response that isolates itself properly from the rest of the response, but it in no way takes center stage. I’d argue that it leans more on accuracy, but that sub-bass can really creep up on you. It was actually quite exciting, listening to a standard bass track and all of a sudden your bones start to shake. All from a $99 dollar IEM too.
The midrange also receives the same amount of clarity as the bass, even in the fundamental frequencies, leaving very few notches. While the low-mids don’t feature much in the way of colorization, the upper-mids have some interesting extension. It creates an engaging dichotomy in some tracks, with it’s amusing sense of tonal balance. Electric guitars take on a much scratchier texture, adding to the brightness of tracks like “Johnny on The Spot” by Texas is the Reason.
As inferred by the mid-highs, the treble is unapologetically bright and even a bit peaky. However, you can’t argue that the highs aren’t energetic. They show some unique characteristics like some light air and naturality. It’s not going to be for everyone, but treble-heads will find plenty to like.
For the price you get a bit of everything you like out of the NA2. It shows itself as a completely competent and admirable effort from NF Audio, featuring an expert level of craftsmanship and an uncomplicated comfort quality. The NA2 is worth the price and I’m interested to see what they do in the future.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Comfort, Complex design, Sub-bass, Clean sound signature
Cons Lacking height, Some peaky treble
The NF Audio NA2 is available from Aoshida Audio.
Discuss the NF Audio NA2 on our forums here.
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