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NS Audio – Natural Sound Earbuds [English]


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Natural Sound Earbuds.

 

tony-article--pic-2019

by Tony Pothitos

I was at the show in Shanghai I believe and stumbled upon a table with some beautiful earbuds when I was taking out my models to show the best of show, looks wise at least, and found the owner and his English-speaking friends about the company. I was taken by its amazing lightweight construction, and its uncanny ability to disappear within my ear, making it impossible to know if I was wearing it or not. I then went to the other models and found myself engaged even further. I asked for demos immediately, not only for the photography session but for the sound at home, it took them months to send the samples because they were making new models and their sales were obviously up so I decided to wait and see what would happen.I came back from the Singapore Canjam and did not have them sent yet, so after the Munich show, I finally had.I was again impressed by the boxing, very well made, higher than average box which is always a plus. The down is it costs money and I rather have it on the earbud than the box which I only use once or twice. In this case, I feel no compromises were done at all.

The model which is the one I first started with was the NS2 PRO. Very white and shiny in colour but again, once it is in the ear canal it is immediately part of your head, as if it belongs. I loved this sensation.The finish was very well done and the cable seemed to be very well made and coloured appropriately. I loved it.Sound wise it is completely non obtrusive and very easy going. I will get into details immediately describing song by song how it was. The first title I always test with is with natural rainfall. It is important to me as I love nature and the sounds which nature comes with. I guess the natural sound product line would have to be pretty much competent with that, otherwise why call themselves as such, and they were. They were not as deep and filling as very expensive KNOBLE earbuds, but then again the price is on a much much lower level. So when price is concerned concerning natural rain and nature, this is pretty much a great model to live with.

Title by title now:

To be honest, I do not want to leave the specific video and sound which I am listening to and would love to spend a bit more time listening to the rain. Find it below on you tube below.

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I had to stop the rain, mostly because I had to move and thus stop the listening from natures force, if you get what I mean, I almost took the pc with me as again, the earbuds are so light and comfortable right out of the box it is extremely easy to forget you are connected to anything.

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Sandi Thom is a favourite to test my earbuds on, and I am always delighted to hear the music she produces. My coffee next to me, despite the time being 1 am, is only because I am jet lagged and feel that it is too early to go to bed, but to be honest, this is so much fun that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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The voice is light, again very subtle, never aggressive, without painfully hitting my head at loud volumes. I am using the computers output directly with this recording before going to another headphone amp to see how far the earbuds do go, but I am sure, as I have heard this many times before that the buds are doing well for people who are not into bash banging head music, but who want a pleasurable experience.

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Live a Figline Valdarno nella tenuta Di Sting “Il Palagio” in Toscana Agosto 2018.

Otherwise known as Every step you take by Sting, live on stage. The specific recording is not the usual one with vocals coming from everywhere or a background sound, but his own voice along with the crowd. You only hear the background singers as they naturally sing. This was evident in the NS2 PRO reproduction and could be heard all the way to the end with total satisfaction. I could not stop listening to the song, over and over again, where it revealed details very much hidden with other buds. I can’t wait to hear the other two models I have to compare! I almost want to do it now, but will refrain to.

 

Well, with over 20 million views, this is a live title which is again very hard to difficult to hear as you can with earbuds.

Many people think that earbuds lose sound, but in reality as in this case, we do not lose, but gain attention and detail which he have not most likely heard while listening to stereos. This by itself is a good sign for the earbud trend. On this specific track, the recording sounds weak and thin. I wonder why?

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…was next. Why Mozart you may ask, well mostly because it is something that a lot of Asians do listen to, but to be honest, so do I. I use the Mozart effect professionally and find it to be revealing and extremely difficult to work with if the speakers or earphones, earbuds are not on par with the ability to follow quickly and to extreme highs.

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The ‘Composer’ model from NS Audio.

Song

Requiem, KV 626 – Lacrimosa Dies Illa

Artist

Orquesta Del Festival Mozart & Franz Frankel

The opening was a touch light, but comfortable, and I am getting the sense that these earbuds are the most comfortable the company makes! I hard to believe something else could be as easygoing and composed as this NS2 Pro is. The harsh voices, are higher in pitch but do not bring high pcm nauseating feelings to me.

Next was Song

Requiem, KV 626 – Lacrimosa Dies Illa

Artist

Orquesta Del Festival Mozart & Franz Frankel

Song Requiem, KV 626 – Lacrimosa Dies Illa Artist Orquesta Del Festival Mozart & Franz Frankel.

The piano was not deep and rich as a headphone or the ultimate 5500 euro earbud but it was so delightful that I forgot about this immediately and sunk into the moment as I relaxed and sipped on my latte.

I did start to hear notes very similar sound wise, with other works from Mozart, and this was a positive effect as it seems it does keep playing well hours after being worn. Again, I must mention that the comfort level on these are exceptional.

The next song, by Prince, If I Was Your Girlfriend, would be a killer for this.

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Prince….

The song intro was so detailed it opened my eyes wide open. Loved the sensation of being there, without the thick high end sound others might want to hear from a big set of head phones. I found it enlightening and again, VERY FUN! I can’t believe how many things I could find to say which are not correct sound wise, perfection wise, but the earbud has an overall stance which is superb, forgetting everything which a geek in music as myself would otherwise criticize.

Let’s turn up the volume!

WOW, never expected this. I was at 37% volume and when I took it to the 75% level, the entire stage blew up in depth and soundstage! That was hilarious. Loved the effect of how sweet it was when in low volume and how it can rock when it is pushed. Now time to get to play it on the HUGO 2 and see how it plays there. Again, shockingly well. I would not believe the guitar could be so precise and set compared to the rest of the instruments. Cream, again by prince was surprisingly live and alive. I was having a great time here tonight!

I think I will go on with the HUGO 2. Then back to the PC for videos to show exactly what I was listening to.

Then going wild with nothing that I had heard before, I played

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Cannot really describe what it is but it was a lot of detail to take in and to smile with. Overall, very content to hear new music which was much better recorded than the prince by the way and was so much more deep than other recordings. I did not have this on the HUG0 2, but it was great on the PC as well.

Overall conclusion.

Love the lightweight construction and the ability to wear earbuds without any discomfort AT ALL. The most comfortable and easy going earbuds I have worn to date. They do not outperform the best, but they are so forgiving that you can not take them off. Literally, going to bed with them!

I guess that makes them a shortlist item for me!

tony-ns5

NS5 model from NS Audio

NS5 Natural Sound, Dream Bridge.

Now with a name like that, you figure it must be the best of all, and indeed it is so well made, it feels like a million bucks. It is coherence and lifelike imaging, hard bass, just the way it should be and vocals which will blow anyone away. The metal and finish on it are perfect and the cable is also a wonderful thing to use and view. The difference between the previous NS2 pro and this are outrageous. I lost the easy fitting, most comfortable earbud, and went to one that took two seconds more to wear and get into the right position but this set, simply blows minds!

I want to start with Sting, with Every breath I take, because I wanted to see the natural sound of the live performance, as I do know the recording very well and enjoy it every time I hear it. This time around the NS5 blew the socks off the recording in such a positive way that I had to stop listening to start writing. Now that’s when you know this is serious! The attack on the drums, the fingers on the guitar and the vocals were far superior to many at this price range. The piano which is normally further back was up there, and the microphoning of the real recording was evident as if I was listening to a high end headphone. That’s surprising indeed!

These NS5 Natural Sound earbuds, are seriously a DREAM! They rock! I am even getting the depth of the audience and the distance of voices. The people talking seem so natural that it is making me smile like a child. I cannot say this enough, but the sticks being hit by the drummer were so natural that it was mind blowing at this price range. The only criticism I would have to add is the bass which would not be enough for the BASS HEADS, who are used to listening to bass that rattles their ears. Otherwise, no brainer! This time around, the rhythm was clearly much quicker and much more fun, despite the loud volume and probably tiring factor which would have come if I had played them even louder.

Time to go to the Hugo 2, which was again a very large jump in quality, but in appreciation as well. I love its size and its easiness of use.

Prince with Cream was so live, that it caught me by surprise, it was a bit harsh at some points for my ears, but then again I cannot take extreme loud volumes at my age. I could hear the people between the notes much more clearer and was much more enveloped in the music than before. The express train on the horns, were loud and clear, and very realistic indeed. The trains brakes, were also realistic. The only drawback was when the title started it was a bit tinny. I am sure this was due to the recording because I tested it on the HUGO 2 and it was not the case. The YouTube video simply is not the best recording of it.

Enjoying the highs and midlevel reproduction was surely a much more pleasant effect. I heard depth and width, proper notes, as with the NS2 Pro, but even further wooden touches which made an evidently much more appreciative listening session. The highs again were more pitched, but at the volume levels set to your ears, that disappears instantly.

Next was the first Mozart which more symphonic than the NS2. They were much deeper and more sensational. Much more involving. I did hear the horn a bit less clear though and then had to go to the HUGO 2 to find out again if it was the recording, and it was not. The lighter more sensitive NS2 pro picked up the horn lighter but more seductive than the NS5 Dream Bridge.I am going to the rain track now for the ultimate test..knowing fully that these are substantially better!

Of course Thom and November Rain was so overwhelming alive that I sincerely did not want to take off the earbuds and go to the third model to test it. The rain track as again tested with the NS2 Pro was superior, yet the comfort level of the NS2 is existential it seems. I cannot believe how well that felt in my brain! Well done! Now the time comes for the last of the models I have to test from Natural Sound and this world exclusive. The NS3 wooden earbud, seemed to naturally close the series, from porcelain like, to metal and then to wood. I can’t wait to hear how the wood affects the drivers.So here we go.

tony-chin-2019

NS Audio’s model ‘3’ with the wooden shell !

Thom was musical and so much more deep that it sounded an octave different. I could literally hear vocal differences in her voice. The intricacies were absolutely and completely different than the other models made of different materials. The guitar a bit harsher, but still more than easy on the ear, and while this was heavier than the porcelain, it was lighter than the metal NS5 mentioned above. I don’t know what to say, lets here it on the HUGO 2 and find out more. Now lets change track.

Oh the wooden NS3 were sweet indeed with the wooden casing. The guitars were spot on, and the digital background was smoother. The voices were smoother and less powerful though. I personally enjoyed this effect though. The wood has a much more natural feel and a wonderful look to it as well. This might be the perfect between the two other casings after all. Lets see when we get to live and to rock and Mozart though. Let’s move on.

With Sting, the volume was the first thing that changed, I could take it much higher levels, but the details of the metal casing were gone, but the smooth wooden feeling was there and it was very comfortable indeed. I am sure that most people will enjoy the comfy sound which these offer and the looks that are simply divine. These, as the NS5 are more earbud accessories, than just music. These can be worn with any outfit to compliment the look. Seriously! I have never said that other than one pair which cost over 6000 euro which I will get into with another review, but until then, these two earbuds are sincerely so beautiful it is hard to stop looking at them.

I feel that pictures sincerely do not do it justice.

With Prince was very clear, uncanny clear, in ways that I did not expect the wooden body to have. It was very punchy and quick despite the material which would suggest it is not made for it.

The music starts well with no thinning out or PCM pain in the upper range and the horns for the trains are far from harsh, as they were compared to the NS5. Then again, the entire depth and range of the NS5, are existentially much further down the line than the wooden sibling. The drums were again, fun, as all the range is, with no exception.

I have tried many, and when I say many headphones (over 60+), earbuds (40+), and many portable solutions lately, and this company seems to offer much more than what I had thought of at start. Cream from Prince was less, yet more corresponding with what I would expect from a wooden enclosure. I could fall in love with this on a beach any day!

Next up, lets get to Mozart and the HUGO 2.

For those on YouTube.

This was warmer and more romantic than the metal and porcelain models. It was also quieter, which I am not sure why and how, but I did test it a few times and noticed it every time, so it was not a one off thing.

I preferred the NS5 to the warmer sounding NS3 by far on classical, while on guitar and bass, the NS3 for louder volumes. This could be due to my age which means I do not like to hear any screeching whatsoever. I guess when you are 19 you don’t care. Later on you sincerely do! The wooden encasing made sure that this was the case. The proper thing to buy at my age and listening pleasure us the NS3, the wood is a perfect match for non-piercing listening sessions, and is lighter than the NS5.

I love the piano as well on the NS3, while I did enjoy the NS5 depth and realism which took things to another level completely.

So to close up with a summary of this world exclusive lets get things clear.

The most comfy and easy to fit earbud by far is the NS2 PRO. It is easy to live with and to love, and you can go to sleep with it! It is that good!

The NS3 is a wooden enclosure which will make most people happy by far. While the NS5 will blow your mind off, especially if you have a good headphone amp, or a simple one even. To be honest, even on a simple computer the difference is so grand that it is hard to say no to.

Which would I buy? The white pearl color amazing fitting NS2 PRO. I loved its everyday use and its ability to be there without being there. It suffered from not having the depth and staging, it did not have the bass, but it had a cohesion which would make sense as an everyday thousands of hours of use earbud. It was not the best, but simply the best for my everyday use. Which happens to be a lot.

I could easily have the NS5 dreams, but it would be harder to live with while driving a motorcycle and it might affect my image, simply by it being shiny gold color!!

The last part was a joke, but seriously, some people will consider it jewelry! It’s that good looking!

So that’s it. The world exclusive and the Asians intro to the amazing market of earbuds.

 

 


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