NF AUDIO NM2+ REVIEW: Thumpy Vocal-licious ”monitor”

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THE GOOD:
Balanced lively tonality, sumptuously forwarded vocal rich in texture-details, energic slam, wide soundstage, great for acoustic music especially piano and guitar, bright without being sibilant or harsh, exemplary construction and design, nice cable

THE BAD: Average technicalities like lack of attack snap, closed up imaging, undeep soundstage, rolled off sub-bass that lead to muddy sub-kick separation, sometime vocal take all the place sometime it get crumble under pile of instrument (very strange driver behavior), instrument like violin or cello sound artificial, cymbals get splashy easily, sound layers get messy with busy track, attack lead is not edgy enough, male vocal arent very bodied

THE UGLY: Not a Monitor unless your acoustic or female solo singer, slow transient response that can’t deal with busy track, colored treble that lack air, poor sound value

TONALITY: 8/10
TECHNICALITIES:7/10
CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN: 9.5/10
VALUE: 7/10


Firstly, the NM2+ is stated as Monitor IEM but isn’t competent enough in terms of technicalities to be useful for this purpose unless your music production is very minimal in instrumentation and slow in attack. I think this is thought for vocalist, but you will be hard-pressed to clearly enjoy your vocal if its surrounded by a lot of instrument because imaging is very bad and timbre lack transparency (even if stated the opposite in product description). STILL, I do enjoy the tonality of this IEM because of one simple reason: I’m a sucker for Female vocal and if the NM2+ do something great its delivering rich forwards female vocal with very inviting presence. Its all about this in fact, not other mids instrument apart Piano and acoustic guitar to some extend.

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What impresses me the most is all about construction, design and whole packaging. Yes, this only can justify the 170$ price tag to some extend. Housing feel invincible, hard to scratch and is the perfect mix of beauty and practicality.

”The NF Audio NM2+ earpieces are made with ultimate precision using the latest 5-axis CNC technology. The 5-axis CNC technology is much advanced than the traditional die-cast holding method and provides a rich texture and quality to the product. They are made up of high-quality aeronautical grade aluminium material which is usually used in aerospace, aviation, and other high precision industries.”

Yep, this part of the product description (unlike the sound) isn’t gimmick. CNC tech is sincerely mind blowing! I love the numerous engraving on housing too. Fit is good, isolation too. As well, we got for once a very good quality cable that suffers from a too-thigh earhook i have to get rid off. But who give a single F about construction if sound is bad? Well, the sound isn’t bad, just average.

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This time we got a real balanced W shape sound, slightly bright with emphasis on mid-bass, energetically forwarded mids, and vivid but not very extended treble. Sound signature remind me of Grado SR60 with rounder bass.

BASS is thick, saturated with (grainy) texture, boosted in mid bass for extra slam. Extension isn’t natural and sub-bass is rolled off. Don’t try to monitor bass line with these cause layering is very poor. Definition and articulation isn’t good neither, so we can say its a bit muddy. Sub is far away in the back and kick is juiced up and warm in definition.

MIDS are surely the best part or at least the center of the show. It jump at you eager to seduce you with boosted presence that strangely avoid upper mids sibilance. Imaging and separation is poor apart to extract vocal. I would say they are gently bright and just a hint shouty. The issue begin when you have busy music, I was enjoying Susanna Wallumrod voice and piano playing until drummer come in and suddenly make vocal very distant and drowned in sound layers, when crash cymbals begin everything go out of control making it unlistenable.

TREBLE, like BASS, is a mixed bag showing limit of driver transient response, it boost the presence of some texture and make instrument like violin sound off, dry and thin, lacking both attack edge and snap. Extension isn’t natural in decay which stop fast, stoling precious sparkles and air. Still, its well balanced enough with rest of tonality but only offer false dirty clarity lacking clean silence. Snare and most percussions sound realist and full but this is far from being a refined treble response and can easily get hot and fussy when challenged.

COMPARISONS:

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VS HZsound MIrror (50$):
HZ have notably better technicalities, attack is faster-snappier, imaging cleaner more precise, better transparency, tighter cleaner lighter more extended bass, more realist sparkly airy treble, more details, thinner vocal, it can easily deal with busy tracks. Soundstage is less wide but deeper. HZ is more neutral too.

VS Vsonic VS7 (140$): Soundstage is wider, taller deeper. Vocal are dryier more recessed-thin. Bass is flatter dryier less chunky. Layering is more transparent. VS7 is colder less lush in musicality.


CONCLUSION:

The NFaudio NM2+ is a well balanced gently bright IEM that will please female singer lover but have sub-par technicalities for its price range. Not recommended for budget-minded audiophiles. Not a great all rounder.

PS: Thanks to Shenzhenaudio for the discounted review sample. As always I hold on my No gimmick unbiased independent subjectivity.

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