Recently I took a look at The NA2 IEMs from NF Audio. It was the first time I’ve ever heard anything from this manufacturer, so I was excited to see what I was getting into without any preconceived notions about the brand. The sound signature was above average for the price range, and it overall left a good impression on me. Now I’m looking forward to checking out their next earphone, the NM2+, a $169 IEM with much of the same structure and design philosophy. Let’s see what enhancements NF Audio makes for a slightly increased price.
What You Get
- One pair of NF Audio NM2+ monitoring IEMs.
- One high-quality 0.78mm 2-pin cable with 3.5mm termination plug.
- One Storage box.
- One user guide.
- Three pairs of balanced silicone ear tips(S, M, L).
- Three pairs of bass silicone ear tips(S, M, L).
- One 6.35mm-3.5mm adapter.
Look and Feel
The NM2+ takes on the same shape and size as the NA2, but the material used for the outer shell receives a big upgrade. The first thing you’ll immediately notice is the high-grade aeronautical aluminum that makes up the majority of the earphone’s body. This material is taken from aerospace and aviation and other high-precision industries and uses the latest 5-axis CNC technology. The whole piece feels durable and of a higher quality than the price would infer. The fit is just as comfortable and invisible as the NA2, and still features the same amount of lightness even with the aluminum material.
When I reviewed the NA2, I was surprised by how much design was going on inside the housing, and how many special components the driver system had. The NM2+ brings a similar level of complexity to its system. The driver is said to use an upgraded arrangement of dual magnetic circuitry with the same dual cavity design of the NA2. The focus with these NF Audio IEMs is on air pressure, where the NM2+ delivers a much smoother signal flow through the diaphragm for superior clarity.
Like the NA2, the NM2+ is daily easy to drive through a variety of devices. The combination of the low 18 Ohm impedance and the 108dB/mW sensitivity makes this IEM a lot more of an accessible item, featuring an ample amount of volume. It leaves just enough room to make subtle adjustments in gain while sitting at a comfortable, nominal level. I personally used the ALO Pilot DAC/Amp, which gave me a ton of room for gain, always leaving a solid loudness level for me.
I was happy with what I experienced on the NA2 in terms of width and imaging, so I expected a slight upgrade here. Although the enhancements are very subtle, they still exist in some form. These just noticeable differences are much better discerned when listening through a separate device, but when plugging straight into a standard 3.5mm headphone jack to a laptop or smartphone, these details might take more time to notice. Overall the width stretches a bit further than the NA2 in some tracks, noticeably more so in classical and instrumental heavy music. The wrap-around is also a bit clearer as well, creating the outward headspace that I prefer. The most substantial difference here is the height, which I previously criticized the NA2 for not featuring a lot of. The NM2+ adds some nice depth here, with a lot more air in space and separation.
One of the more surprising aspects of the NA2 was its quite adequate sub-bass, which is thoroughly represented here as well. The bass dives deep without showing any signs of bloat, reproducing smooth textures, and dynamic impact. It’s a better all-around low end than the NA2, and it features the most natural timbre while exhibiting instances of color for a more pleasurable listen.
While the lower mids don’t receive any noticeable textural quality, the upper mids showcase some much-needed levity. Here features the most clarity, and even some crisp resonance, taking full advantage of the added height. Otherwise, the midrange really doesn’t have the largest body. The resolution is still clear, but the timbre can come off as a bit dry.
The treble here is definitely a lot more well-controlled than on the NA2. You still get the same amount of resonance, but a lot less peaky and will have a lot more generous air. Certain albums like “Illusion of Time” by Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini have a much richer presence, with a lot smoother textural detail. The highs reproduce details much more organically and will be easier to consume for most listeners.
When I first listened to the NM2+, I wanted it to be a considerable upgrade from the NA2, and that is exactly what I got. Not only was the build upgraded, but the sound signature as well, exhibiting superior high-end balance and clarity. Some of the details might be only just noticeable, but I found the NM2+ to be more than worth the increase in price. NF Audio has created a great foundation for affordable IEMs, and I will be eagerly waiting for their next release.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Build quality, Sub-bass, Imaging, High-end detail
Cons: Dry mids
The NF Audio NM2+ is available from Aoshida Audio.
Discuss the NF Audio NM2+ on our forums here.
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