Being the gagdet gastronomes of particular taste, and high expectations that we are, when it comes to audio fidelity we settle for little else but the finest. We took a long hard look at the Mixr DJ level headies from Beats by Dre. Despite the severe ear-pinch, the stylish headphones from Dre proved worthy of his “doctorate” level hype and legendary DJ status.
Today we get to dabble in a new sector of audio professionals. Enter NuForce and their HP-800 Headphones. This is a Studio Monitor-class set of cans. With these babies the line quickly becomes blurred between work and pleasure as we live out our pro producer fantasies from Prince, to Premiere to P-Diddy.
Off the bat, the HP-800 headphones are not incredibly striking. They package bundle includes the main headphones, carrying pouch, 1.2 meter 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable and a tangle-free studio-quality 2-meter 3.5mm-to-3mm cable with a 6.3mm adapter. Although NuForce skimpped on the main 1.2 meter cable–it’s un-braided and a bit short for “Monitor-class”–there’s really not much else one would need in a monitor-class headphone package.
The NuForce HP-800 are of the over-ear variety. The’re covered, almost entirely in an unexciting smoke black. What does stand out is the handsome gold metal logo emblazoned on the left and right ear cups. Against the all-black backdrop, the logo is modest and unassuming. But the rest of the humble styling–from the earpieces to the headband–lack good looks and do little to grab one’s waning attention. That’s ok. “Kill em with kindness. ” my Auntie use to say.
You can’t get much kinder to your ears than the NuForce HP-800 headphones. The performance competes on an equal playing field with the Mixr DJ headphones by Dre and for a more attractive price point. These headphones do for virtually all music tested, what the California Heaphones do for stringed percussions and acoustic sounds primarily. There is a clarity and richness in the sound that I don’t often hear in other similarly priced solutions. There is nothing hallow, thin or tinny about the audio playback. Distortion is low-to-nonexistent and overall tuning is quite impressive. This is true for Rock, Soca, Rhythm n’ Blues, Jazz, Regge, Soul and more. Conversely, all music played was brought to life richer and with more audible complexity in the instrumentation. The lows were handled a bit cleaner on the Mixr set. Yet all other ranges proved flawless with rich fidelity.
For pros who need to know, the specs are as follows. The NuForce makes use of massive 400mm drivers, impedance is 32 +/- 15% Ohm, 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency, with a 91 +/- 4 dB sensitivity. The housing is aluminum diecast with a concave body design. The marketing-speaks purports this will create a more “lifelike soundstaging”. Uhhh…ok! If that’s what’s behind the stellar audio reproduction, then call me “the converted.”
The HP-800 will stand the test of long jam sessions with breathable skin leather and memory foam inserts to hug your ears while you bang your head. The headband’s inner cushion expands to meet the desired head size. The entire unit is very lightweight and comfortable.
This is a superior product to be sure. This is not necessarily the ideal set of cans for mobile listening. They’re fine for that too. But this is an outstanding set of studio monitor-class headphones. The less ambient noise you have around the better the performance. With that said, Professionals to enthusiasts alike, can’t go wrong with this outstanding performer.
NuForce HP-800 Accurate Monitor-Class Headphones
- Amazing audio clarity and richness of sound
- Unbeatable price
- Lasting comfort
- Two different removable cables
- Unfortunate looking
The NuForce HP-800 Accurate Monitor-Class Headphones are available at the Amazon for $149.00.