Fri, 06 Apr 2012 Nocs NS400 Titanium review
Stylish; well-built; decent but not outstanding audio quality
The first thing that strikes you about these earphones is the metal of the earbud, which offers a sense of quality and style absent from so many me-too earbuds; and at a price of around £69 it seems an almost extraordinary luxury. The finish is ever so slightly brushed metal, too, which makes the NS400 Titanium more stylish than shiny.
The buds are topped off with the usual rubber earpads, which in this case come in black and white editions (albeit not in the same model). We found the Nocs earphones comfortable to wear over a long period of time. That aspect of headphones is very much in the ear of the beholder, however.
A remote control and mic allow you to take calls, switch tracks and change volume. The remote is quite a stylish, three-button affair. And the mic works well when taking calls (if you don’t mind looking like you’re talking to yourself).
The cable is rubbery and thin, which made us fear for its long-term durability, but Nocs says it has been reinforced with Kevlar. Without using it long term it’s difficult to know how it would last. The jack is straight, too, making it more prone to bending. The cable is 1.2m long, which is reasonable, but you have to wear the remote dangling from your ear, which won’t suit everyone (although it may be a boon for old New Romantics).
Given the good-at-the-price build quality, we weren’t expecting a great deal in terms of audio quality. The headphones have 8mm dynamic drivers, which by the book should make for throaty bass at the expense of detailed treble. In our subjective tests, the opposite was true. High tones were reproduced in great detail and clarity, but bass was sadly lacking.
The sound as a whole is very clear, but lacking in punch. (This was particularly true when we first tested the Nocs, but we fixed it to an extent by pushing in the earpieces to an almost painful degree.) It’s not bad, by any means, and it’s certainly no worse than you’d expect at this price, but we like a bit more bass than the Nocs earphones provide.