There are so many true wireless earbuds out there it is easy for some to get lost in the shuffle. This is my first time trying a product from Nocs, a Swedish brand that doesn’t have much in terms of selection, but what I see seems promising. I’ve gotten my hands on their NS1100 true wireless model, and I’m excited to check it out.
What You Get
- NS1100 Earphones
- Charging Case
- USB type C cable
- 4 pairs of ear tips
Look and Feel
Taking a look at the earbuds and their charging case for the first time, the aesthetic presentation of the product as a whole is your standard fare. There’s nothing very special about its black ergonomic design other than being pretty sleek. They appear to be a perfect size as well, feeling natural when sitting within your concha. Its nozzle is just thick enough to both give the earphone a good amount of support without feeling cumbersome.
Design and Functionality
The NS1100 is built with a 9.2mm electrodynamic graphene driver. It’s an impressive component that is unique to this specific design, and it makes me look forward to what sounds I’m about to hear. Another special feature this set of earphones includes is seen within its companion app. This feature isn’t something I’ve seen any other set of true wireless earphones do, and I was immediately surprised by it when I opened the app. The NS1100 uses a sound personalization feature developed by Audiodo which helps calibrate the sound signature based on your hearing perception. When you open the app, you’ll be instructed to verify the tones played through the left and right channels. It’s a basic hearing test, and afterward, the app will give you a chart representing where you might have notches. This is a very neat feature, but how accurate it actually remains to be seen. Otherwise, the NC1100 contains its own noise-canceling and transparency modes which operate how you’d expect. The noise-canceling is quite good for the price and exceeds when making phone calls. Its touch interface is very responsive, activating press patterns with ease.
Bluetooth 5.0 is supported here, with Nocs boasting an AAC CODEC for experiencing hi-resolution audio.
You’ll be able to get around 9 hours of playtime out of the NS1100, and with the charging case the total battery life adds up to around 30 hours. A sufficient amount of playback time for a wireless earphone with this price tag.
While recently some true wireless earphones have impressed me with their ability to expand the musicality and spatial imaging of the sound signature, not all of them need to function that way. The NS1100 AIR provides you with a good amount of width and separation to play with the imaging in a satisfying way. Its extension isn’t too grand, but it still displays an outward headspace that’s easy to get lost in. What’s most significant in the soundstage is the size of each sound element, as their larger appearance can grip you easily with the reproduction of crunchy guitars and bass tracks. Their positioning is mainly what it comes down to because although the NS1100 showcases its layers clearly, the response is fairly linear. For the price point, this is still a fair level of spatial imaging to consider, and for these true wireless earphones, it’s mostly a success.
In a way, this is the main course of the NS1100, as its bass completes the sound signature with its deep presence. Compared to the rest of the frequency response, the lows are much more separated from the rest of the sound signature. This helps the earphones feature a stronger level of clarity than other bass-heavy models, and the NS1100 stands out more significantly among them for that reason. It also contains a ton of energy, with a sizable thump in the mid-bass, and blooming vibrations within the sub-bass. These earphones favored my punk, hardcore, and metal tracks quite nicely, adding an in-your-face punch to its tonality. I appreciate its coloration and drive just as much as its tightness and restraint.
When it comes to the midrange, there are certain areas that the NS1100 accentuates and other areas that feel recessed in comparison. Some of the fundamental and low-mids suffer from appearing a bit hollow and not very defined, but the upper-mids leading into the treble provide a bit more realism to the timbre. Female vocals in particular are highlighted, while lower registers are displayed with far less prominence. Instrumentals don’t sound as full or realistic, but still offer a good amount of gain that helps provide texture to the sound signature.
There isn’t much to analyze in the treble region, as the timbre doesn’t give you a ton of fidelity to bite on. The frequencies are rolled off considerably and don’t leave room for a significant resolution to be reproduced. Sometimes, the tone can get muddled by its messy resonance, but still presents balance to the response.
I mostly enjoyed the Nocs NS 1100 for its deep and meaty bass timbre, which provided a fun and lively sound signature that suited certain genres and proved picky with others. The sound personalization aspect is something I haven’t ever seen attempted before so I give Nocs and Audiodo a lot of credit here. Their hybrid ANC and transparency modes are also worthwhile additions to this model and succeed in their usefulness. There’s a ton of competition in the $150 price range, but if you’re looking for some punchy bass that’s also clean and deep, you might want to think about giving the NS 1100 a shot.
The Nocs NS1100 is available from their website here.