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Saturday
Oct132012

Nocs NS600 Crush In-Ear Headphones Review

Nocs continues to impress us with yet another new offering that is extending the Swedish line of solid in-ear headphones so called the NS600 Crush. And boy are they looking fine as fine can be. We expect no less coming from the land that gave us Spotify, Abba, IKEA, Absolut, blondacious girls and our most favorite meatballs. That about covers it I think. Aside from that, Nocs has a knack for numbering its headphones in a series of ascending numbers. The higher the number, the more premium your audio experience will get apparently.

Nocs' latest NS600 Crush carry a dual dynamic driver setup that can pump out sound said to be comparable to a set of full fledged headphones - if not better. Our full review awaits you on the other side!

Nocs goes above and beyond to insure you will always be listening to your music. And that means including extra sets each of silicone tip sleeves from small, medium and large. Apart from the shirt clip and airplane adapter, the NS600 Crush come with a svelte zippered carrying case that can also store all those extras provided.

Beautiful streamline design.

If Apple ever made a proper pair of in-ear headphones without using cheap plastic, it would have to look and feel exactly like the NS600 Crush. These would make the grade on a pedantic's list for the perfect, cleanly designed in-ears without a shadow of a doubt. The design, use of materials and execution is simply brilliant. The matte finish of the aluminum driver housings is impeccable and fits right in with the rest of the black plastic construction that sort of creates that iconic MacBook Pro-type of design tone set anyone can appreciate. The NS600 Crush boasts a sandblasted finish that's as fine as an aluminum-made Apple product. Then again, every Nocs in-ear headphones have an outstanding finished metal of some kind. Just name your price. 

The NS600 Crush are one of Nocs' two high-end in-ear headphones and they come with a price tag that's not exactly affordable nor is it overly expensive at $150. For that kind of money, you would be getting great performing gear and it is so with the NS600 Crush. 

Building in-ear headphones out of metal scores you an automatic check mark next to great build quality, but the NS600 Crush are a hybrid that combines both aluminum and plastic to form what you see in front of you. The NS600 Crush are extremely lightweight to the point where you would think they are fragile when in fact they aren't and actually carry an improved, solid build quality despite all that. The twisted Kevlar reinforced cord is thin compared to most which brings down the total weight, but also both durable and better looking than a boring black colored one. Nocs also made some improvements to the cable this time around adding a tangle-free feature that makes the cord much more pleasant to use as oppose the tangled mess of the NS400.

We really like simple things that work as intended, and Nocs' iOS compatible in-line 3-button remote and mic is your standard but favorable fully featured controller that does was it does best better than most remotes we've tested in the past. Each or the three raised buttons is distinguishably tactile and as easy to use as the Apple Remote and Mic. 

The remote and mic on the NS600 Crush work flawlessly even with Apple's latest iPhone 5 and iPods - delivering clear and audible audio pick-up when talking over the phone or using voice recordings; though without any noise-cancellation as expected. You can of course control the volume level, music playback on the built-in iPod or thru third party apps such as Spotify as you would expect. One little detail we noticed when using the mic was that it isn't as sensitive compared to the one found on Apple's EarPods headset which translates into you having to pick up your voice slightly.

It isn't even debatable, the NS600 Crush are one hell of a comfortable set of in-ear headphones. Being so weightless, they virtually fade into thin air inside your ears. If you tend to wear headphones or even in-ear headphones that are unbearable after an hour of use, the NS600 Crush will feel comfortable to wear throughout a full day without causing fatigue. Then again, Nocs' entire line is just as comfortable to wear.

The silicone tips do a very good job blocking out external noise and create a very tight seal when picking the correct sized tip out of the three sizes available. One of the biggest advantages in using such in-ear headphones is that they are the perfect choice for a portable setup more than any other portable on-ear headphones as they are great to run and exercise with while blocking out the loud music at gyms or noise public places.

Sonically, the NS600 Crush sound as good as they appear leaving nothing to be desired by whom ever wears them. Well, that's all opened for personal taste of course. But unless you don't have any specific requirements or weirdly taste in what sounds good, you'll love what the NS600 Crush fire into your ear canals. Sound signature is remarkably well balanced and you'll hear a lot of detail throughout the audio spectrum. All of this is achievable only thanks to the engine that is under the hood. Each side is home to two dynamic drivers that consist of a 5.78mm tweeter with a titanium coated diaphragm and an 8mm duo magnet woofer, both custom tuned by Nocs of course.

Turning up the volume is exactly like throwing a jug of gasoline into a pit of fire. The higher you turn them up, the more your music will come to life. The NS600 Crush explode with detail and clarity.

Normally when we see more than one driver setup, armature drivers are used instead of dynamic ones. What this means is that the dynamic driver setup inside the NS600 Crush is capable of producing an enriched warm signature with plenty of clarity, instrument separation and an airy sound. Needless to say, Nocs wasn't hyping up their description. The NS600 Crush have bright highs, detailed mids that roll forward like a shameless plug and bass that's moist with silky smooth thumping hits. The bass doesn't sound tight, but more like an oil-filled cushioned shock. Both characteristics are good but have more to do with personal preference more than anything. Nothing is overdone as the aforementioned balance the NS600 Crush exhibit, but it also doesn't mean they aren't fun to listen to music and watch movies with, because they do sound excellent.

In a side by side comparison between the NS400 we reviewed last year and the NS600 Crush, we noticed a more detailed soundstage and clarity with the NS600 Crush as expected. The inclusion of the separate tweeter really does make a difference. Not that the difference is easily distinguishable between the two, but if you directly test these two out, the NS600 Crush the NS400 respectively. Notice the longer enclosures on the NS600 Crush compared to the shorter NS400 in order to make room for two drivers. Ironically, Nocs wants you to cast away your bulky headphones in favor of the NS600 Crush, when in reality they can't compare to the depth of sound that Nocs' NS700 Phaser's 40mm drivers deliver, albeit they come very close.

The bar has been raised once again thanks to the dual dynamic drivers inside the NS600 Crush.

Saying the best things in life come at a cost is the unfortunate and bittersweet reality that applies to anything and everything. It's true that there are some exceptions that arise once in a blue moon. Sure you can do without the extra steps in perfecting audio quality, but the NS600 Crush are exactly that and for that, the audiophile in you won't regret what it hears.

Nocs' NS600 Crush fit in a class that we would categorize as advanced when it comes to pure performance in audio quality, design and functionality. If you've got the change and are looking for that next step up, these are worth purchasing. In fact, we like them so much we think they are worthy of our coveted Editors' Choice award and high recommendation. And once again, Nocs is a force to be reckoned with.

Nocs.se

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