With many thanks from a new supplier to Subjective Reviews, Aoshida HiFi. Greetings to Yihua who is my contact for said company. I have a couple of things to talk to you about. The 1st is the NF Audio NA2.
This is a 1st version of an IEM I have visited before – the NM2+ so if you have a chance pop by and take a quick look at what I thought of those. The NA2 may well be the forerunner of the 2+, but, I wonder, is it the also ran?
About the NA2 and it’s makers
It goes without sayng that NF Audio are determined to be a big name in the portable audio community. After all, I have had 2 of their top IEMs in quick succession, now that’s what I call enthusiastic marketing! NF stands for near field. NF have added nice fit and nice frequency response on their brochure supplied, which I shan’t argue with. I just prefer near field. It sounds more scientific, don’t it? Ok. NF Audio has been going since 2014. They made their name behind the scenes, creating audio equipment for other manufacturers. Don’t worry, this is how many Chinese Audio companies start. It seems almost like an apprenticeship has to be served before branching out on one’s own. NF’s approach to design and packaging is a straight thumbs up from me, before we go any further.
Their philosophy is a World away from the likes of KZ and CCA, both ChiFier’s of note, and reviewed many times on here. KZ et al tend to go for a “pile it high sell it cheap” style, whereas NF want to pull you in from the unboxing experience onwards. They do that with substantial boxing, cleverly thought out dual inlays, good accessories and a manual that is, for once, more than safety instructions with a bit of warranty info.
The technical details on the NA2 we can rattle through. They are a single DD IEM. They have a low resistance , at 18 Ohms, and a high sensitivity of 108 dB. This means they’ll not need an external amplifier to get them working well. The frequency response is well below and above what myself, a mere human, can hear. It’s not low and loud enough to kill a human, so that’s a relief. Did you know that some frequencies, low and loud enough, could actually do that? Luckily , no matter how expensive our audio equipment is, it is not useful for such purposes. They have a polymer finish. They have an ergonomic fit.
By ergonomic, you could just replace that word for “good”. The magnet system is more efficient than normal. It is measured at over 1 tesla. That’s the equivalent of the Beyer Dynamic T1 full sized jobbie. If we’re intent on a Tesla, then here’s the chance to get 1 for under £100! A smattering of tips are provided, but with good explanations as to how each alters the sound. The cable is a QDC connection, a particular favourite of mine.
That also means the cable can be swapped, all you rollers out there. You can put these on a bluetooth cable or a balanced one, and I’m sure they’ll thank you for it. The cable has a chin strap to secure it to you,
and a velcro strap to secure it to itself.
The memory wire is good, better than most. You can pull the N2 into a good angle towards the ear canal. And they stay put. A decent 3.5 mm completes the proceedings, the only real nitpick thus far.
It’s not a right angled jack, something which can things from snapping off when you’re on the move.
Sound quality and v the NA2+
Let’s get down to this. Does the good start bode well for a great finish? Or is this mutton dressed as lamb? In competition with perhaps 1000s of IEMs, I can only hope to guide you 1 way or another if you are interested in these. I have to tell you, I haven’t listened to all the IEMs that are currently out there. Can you keep up? I sure can’t. I guess this is why we, the intrepid reviewers, are a valuable asset. Perhaps between us we can cover a lot of ground, and you, the consumer or hobbysist, can get a feel of what is out there; what’s hot and what’s not. However, lemme tell you this; I have been through a lot of earphones and headphones in my short time here, and my ears know what sounds good. I am prepared to give a £20 earphone a thumbs up just as much as a £20 000 headphone, it is all relative, and it is all within my remit.
The NA2 sound signature is commendable. Nothing too ostentatious is attempted. We have a straightforward, smooth delivery. Non fatiguing, reasonable bass boost but not boomy, ever so subtle rolling off of the high frequencies that you wouldn’t notice unless you were hot swapping IEMs or were a reviewer, like me.
The NA2+ has clearly been retuned from it’s older brother, to provide a more detailed and more linear(accurate) signature.
I used, among many others, the HD Tracks version of ELO’s Alone in the Universe. When I was a Boy is Track 1 and it took me back to Procul Harum, which gave me a lovely, warm feeling. The album is bang up to date, (2015) but good music sounds like we’ve always known it, doesn’t it? Both the smooth version and the detailed 1 can be relaxed to in the most indulgent of ways.
I enjoy both earphones, and ponder..why can’t life always be this easy? A straight choice between smooth or detailed, with the higher technical performance going to the model which is slightly more expensive, but not necessarily the 1 that everyone would pick. The hobbyist can be reassured; NF Audio, you like, you try, you buy. I thank you all for stopping a wee while. Come back soon, we update so often at the moment, it’s a blur.