Note: This review is part of a roundup of 11 canalbud headsets. Visit the roundup page for more information and comparative buying advice.
NuForce is a high-end audio company that has recently expanded into affordably priced gear, including the $49 NuForce NE-7M, which just so happens to be the least-expensive—by $1—headset I tested. The box includes a faux-leather carrying pouch, a clip for securing the cable to your shirt, three pairs (small, medium, and large) of rubber eartips, and one pair of foam eartips.
The headphones themselves have a plain-but-clean design, with a 90-degree (angled) headphone plug, stiff-plastic cables, a medium-sized remote/microphone module, and copper-colored cylindrical earpieces. The foam eartips were too small for my ears, and the rubber eartips were a bit finicky, but a pair of my trusty aftermarket Comply Tips fixed the fit issues. With the Comply Tips or properly seated stock silicone tips, isolation is moderate and comfort acceptable.
With that proper fit, I found the sound of the NE-7M to be impressive. Bass response is abundant but not excessive, and bass is nicely balanced with the midrange and high frequencies. Treble detail is on par with some of the more-expensive models here, such as the Klipsch Image S4i, but falls short of the best of the lot.
The NE-7M’s inline remote is on the left half of the split cable and is easy to access for taking calls. The microphone, on the other hand, is of average quality, producing slightly muffled sound compared to the mic of Apple’s stock earbuds. I also occasionally experienced an issue where even though the headphones were plugged in and producing sound, the remote-control button didn’t seem to work until I jostled the headphone plug. However, I could not reproduce this issue consistently.
Overall, I quite liked the NE-7M. The ergonomics and sound quality have some room for improvement, but it’s still a bargain.