NF Audio NM2 IEM Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

NF Audio NM2 IEM Review  

 

Introduction:

NF Audio is a Chinese earphone brand of Shenzhen Ningfan Acoustics that was founded in 2014. NF Audio is producing CIEM’s and Universal IEM’s with Dynamic Driver, BA Driver or Hybrid Driver configuration like BA + ETS (electrostatic driver).

The NM2 that I will now review for you is an IEM that features single Dynamic Driver with a MC2L-10 unit that uses a dual magnetic circuit design. The NM2 comes also with a detachable cable that has 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connectors.

 

 

Disclaimer: 

I would like to thank NF Audio for providing me NM2 sample via Aoshida HiFi for review purposes. I am not affiliated with NF Audio or Aoshida HiFi beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.

 

 

Price & Availability:

The MSRP price for the NF Audio NM2 is about 99,00 USD. More information’s can be found under the link below;

 

 

  

Package and Accessories:

The NF Audio NM2 came in a black box with the NF Audio brand logo on the top, which was wrapped with a cardboard sleeve that features the product illustration and some details about the NM2.

 

Inside the Box are the following contents; 

  • 1 pair x NF Audio NM2 In-Ear Monitor
  • 1 piece x Detachable Cable with 0.78mm 2-Pin Connector
  • 3 pairs x Silicone Bass Ear Tips
  • 3 pairs x Silicone Balanced Ear Tips
  • 1 piece x Cleaning Tool
  • 1 piece x Zipper Case
  • 1 piece x 3.5mm to 6.3mm Headphone Adaptor
  • 1 piece x User Manual

 

 

Design, Build Quality and Fit:

The NF Audio NM2 features a monitor shell that is made of high-strength polycarbonate material, which is quite lightweight. The NM2 comes with a Single Dynamic Driver with a 5μ Polymer Composite Diaphragm, which has a dual magnetic circuit design. Traditional Dynamic Diver units do have only one back cavity, while the additional back cavity that has been added to the MC2L-10 controls the air pressure more precisely, which makes the diaphragm movement smoother and help to enhance the sound field.

The NM2 is available in 3 different color options that are Blue, Pink and Grey same like my review unit.

On the top of the monitor that we call “faceplate” is the NF Audio brand logo which is printed to the outer surface.

The rear part features the sound nozzle and a small vent on the top of the Dynamic Driver.

The sound nozzle slightly angled and has a filter made of metal on the top that prevents the insertion of strange particles like dust, ear wax, etc.

On the top of the rear part is the 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin female connector which has a small elevation.

At the backside of the monitor is the NM2 branding and the Left & Right markings.

The detachable cable that came with the NF Audio NM2 has a nice looking twisted profile and is made of a 4 Core Silver Plated Oxygen Free Cooper (OFC) wire material with N5 purity. The cable wire material fairly soft TPU coating in black color which shows a pretty low amount of microphonic effect.

The 2-pin male connectors have transparent plastic housing, where you can find the left and right markings. My only complain about the cable are this markings which are not very visible.

This cable has a metal chin slider in silver color and a Y splitter which is made of a soft black plastic material that sports the NF Audio brand logo.

The gold plated 3.5mm unbalanced (3 pole) headphone plug has a straight profiled housing that looks very robust thanks to the metal material and plastic strain relief. This headphone housing sports the description NF Audio.

The overall appearance of the cable is very good and gives you a solid feel.

 

 

 

Fit & Isolation:

The monitor shape of the NF Audio NM2 is pretty comfortable and didn’t hurt my average sized ear concha even after longer listening (2-3 hours) periods. The isolation on the other hand is on an average level which is sufficient for moderate noisy environments like the bus, metro or train.

 

 

Paring & Drivability:

NF Audio NM2 is a source friendly IEM thanks to its pretty low impedance of 18Ω and sensitivity around 110dB, which makes it very compatible with relative weak sources like a Smartphone or Tablet. The NM2 pairs pretty well with almost any source I have test with it.

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Model              : NM2
  • Driver              : MCL2-10 Double Cavity Dynamic Driver
  • Impedance      : 18Ω
  • Freq. range     : 9 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Sensitivity       : 110dB/mW
  • Distortion        : <%1
  • Max. SPL        : 125dB
  • Isolation          : 25dB
  • Connector       : 0.78mm 2-Pin
  • Cable Specs   : N5 Purity Silver Plated Copper Wire (OFC)
  • Cable length   : 1.2m

 

 

 

Equipment’s used for this review: 
  • IEM’s              : NF Audio NM2, FiiO FD1, TFZ King II
  • DAP/DAC       : FiiO M11 Pro, Hidizs AP80 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9+, iPad Air2

   

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Deezer HiFi)
  • Joe Blankenburg – The Magellan Matrix (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man (Deezer HiFi)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • No Doubt – Hella Gut (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)

 

 

 

  

The Sound:

The NF Audio NM2 is an In-Ear Monitor with a nicely tuned W shaped sound signature that offers a high fun factor. The tonality is slightly warmer than neutral, while the bass is strong and deep with focal point in the subbass region, the midrange is pretty upfront/intimate and detailed, while the treble range sounds smooth yet controlled.

Please not that this sound analysis is written after a burn-in process of approx. 50 hours. The NM2 was paired with the FiiO M11 Pro and do offer a good synergy.

 

Bass:

The NF Audio NM2 offers a very entreating bass response with focal point in the subbass region. The subbass area shows a great sense of depth and intensity that sounds also quite control when I do listen to some of my new favorite track like Really Slow Motion’s “Deadwood” and Joe Brandenburg’s “The Magellan Matrix”.

The midbass region of the NM2 is slightly less pronounced but shows also a good level of impact and extension while listen to a wide variety of genres. The midbbass reproduction of the MCL2-10 Double Cavity Dynamic Driver is impressive in terms of speed and decay and shows also a good sense of clarity and resolution for a product below the 200 – 250 USD price range.

Percussion instruments like cross drums do sound rich and accentuated, while snare drums are bassy and pretty fast. String instruments like acoustic guitar or violas on the other hand do sound mildly warmish, rich and emotional.

The lower frequency region of the NF Audio NM2 sounds in general rich, dynamic and pretty controlled without to show negative situations like muddiness or mixings.

 

Midrange:

The NF Audio NM2 has a highly musical, slightly warmish and clean midrange presentation, which shows also an above average clarity and airiness. The midrange of the NM2 is highlighted and shows a pretty intimate vocal presentation while listen to both male and female voices thanks to its W shaped sound signature.

 

Vocals & Instruments:

The lower midrange of the NF Audio NM2 has a good sense of depth and intensity, which makes male vocals pretty realistic and musical. The voice reproduction of male vocals has good depth and fullness, while the resolution and clarity are on a good level.

The upper midrange of the NF Audio NM2 is highlighted and offers a great sense of clarity and resolution for a product with a single dynamic driver at this price range that shows again that the sound engineers of NF Audio did a great job. Female do sound emotional, transparent and pretty detailed without to show any remarkable sibilance or unnaturalness.

Female vocals do sound in general slightly more detailed than male vocals due to the stronger upper midrange emphasis and extension.

When it comes to the instrument presentation of the NM2 I can say that they do have a pretty natural and musical timbre with a hint of warmness that is not overdone. Everything from guitars to the violins, form the pianos to the side flutes do sound pretty natural and clear.

Guitars are a bit warmish, bassy and very clean in its presentation, while violins play in a slightly bright and warmish tonality, without to be harsh or sibilant. Other instruments such as the violas are reproduced in a fairly emotional way. The good sense of air and transparency makes the NF Audio NM2 also pretty successful in terms of separation and placement of instrument and the vocals.

 

Treble:

The NF Audio NM2 shows smooth and pretty forgiving treble presentation, which sounds not as dominant and highlighted after the upper midrange region. The treble extension, emphasis and detail decrease from the lower treble region (presence) towards the upper treble area (brilliance).

The overall clarity, definition and extension of instruments such as hi-hats and crash cymbals in genres like jazz and metal music is pretty good without to have remarkable issues except the lack of extensions while listening to crash cymbals in metal music. Instruments such as flutes, piano or violin do sound quite lively and clear.

The upper treble region of the NM2 shows a remarkable roll-off that has a mildly peak around 9 – 10 kHz region in the some graphics that explains the sufficient amount of airiness and sparkle that is produced in this region, while listen to strings and percussion instruments or tenor voices.

The upper treble tuning of the NM2 make it to a relaxed, smooth and forgiving In-Ear Monitor that is ideal for longer listening periods.

 

Soundstage & Imaging:

The NF Audio NM2 has a suitable soundstage for a precise placement of instruments and vocals. The soundstage is pretty airy and spacious and the depth shows a parallel performance to the quite expansive wideness. Moreover, the NM2 was able to archive a black background and good separation by arranging the instruments in a vertically way side by side.

 

 

Some Comparisons:

 

NF Audio NM2 versus FiiO FD1:

The FiiO FD1 shows a closer to V shaped sound signature compared to the NF Audio NM2, which has a W shaped character.

The subbass region of the NF Audio NM2 is slightly more pronounced than those of the FiiO FD1 and offers a better sense of depth and rumble in this area. Both IEM’s are quite successful in terms of control, while the NM2 has the slightly edge when it comes to the decay.

The midbass region of the FiiO FD1 shows more quantity, body and impact compared to the NF Audio NM2 which has a more linear response in this area. The NM2 has the slightly edge when it comes to the speed, tightness and control, especially while listen to complex passages.

The midrange of the FiO FD1 sounds a bit more laid back compared to the more upfront midrange tuning of the NF Audio NM2. Both the FD1 and the NM2 are successful IEM’s in terms of midrange clarity and airiness. The FD1 has an slightly advantage when it comes to the lower midrange depth and male vocals, while the NM2 sounds slightly more pronounced in the upper midrange region. Female vocals do sound more intimate and detailed with the NF Audio NM2.

The treble range of the FiiO FD1 sounds more pronounced, especially in the upper treble register, when compared to the NF Audio NM2. The treble range of the NM2 is slightly more controlled and shows a smoother and fuller character, while the extension is a bit short in direct comparison to the FD1.

The soundstage of the NF Audio NM2 is a tad wider and airy, while the FiiO FD1 has the slightly edge in terms soundstage depth.

 

 

NF Audio NM2 versus TFZ King II:

The TFZ King II is an in-ear monitor with a fun, V-shaped sound signature that features sweet / lush midrange, a fairly deep and fast bass, and a fairly controlled treble presentation.

The NF Audio NM2 has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth and quantity and for the general control in this area. The midbass region of the King II is a tad more pronounced, full bodied and impactful, but the NM2 is superior in terms of speed and tightness in this area.

The midrange of the TFZ King II sounds a bit more recessed compared to the NF Audio NM2 that offers a more intimate character. The NM2 has the upper hand in terms of overall clarity, airiness and detail retrieval in this area. Male vocals do have slightly more depth and body when I listen to the TFZ King II, while the NF Audio NM2 is superiors in terms of female vocal performance.

The upper midrange of the NM2 is slightly more highlighted and detailed while both IEM’s are pretty equal in terms of control. The lower treble region of the NM2 shows a better sense of clarity and definition, while the TFZ King II has an slightly advantage in the upper treble register.

The NF Audio NM2 is more successful in terms of soundstage wideness, while the TFZ King II offers a slightly better sense of depth.

 

 

Conclusion:

The NF Audio NM2 is a very well tuned In-Ear Monitor that offers a great sense of technicality, musicality and detail retrieval for a product in this price category. Moreover, it comes with a nice Silver Plated Copper cable and has a comfortable & lightweight monitor housing that is more robust than it looks like.

 

 

 

Pros & Cons: 
  • + Very Well Tuned W Shaped Sound Signature
  • + Highly Entertaining Presentation
  • + Intimate vocal Presentation
  • + Great Bass Response
  • + Good Silver Plated Copper Cable
  • + Value for your Money
  • – Upper treble Roll-Off
  • – Not the Most Stylish IEM on the Market
  • – Plastic Housing

 

 Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “NF Audio NM2 IEM Review”

    1. The NM2 is a very capable IEM for it’s price and yes if a plastic housing is not a deal-breaker for you, I can recommend it as budget-fi. Cheers!

    1. Hi, the NM2 is a pretty smooth sounding IEM, however I am not sure if I can recommend it to people that do have a very sensitive tinnitus ears 🙂 Cheers!

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