NAD Viso HP50 review: Accurate, detailed sound makes this headphone an audiophile favorite

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The Good The NAD Viso HP50 offers impressively accurate, clean sound and is well designed and comfortable to wear. It folds flat for storage in a nice carrying case (which is included) and comes with both a straight cable and one that integrates an Apple friendly remote/microphone.

The Bad Somewhat expensive; some remote features may not work with Android devices.

The Bottom Line The NAD isn't head and shoulders above the competition in its price class, but it does sound really good and should be given careful consideration if you're looking for an audiophile-grade headphone that won't break the bank.

8.2 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 8

NAD's Viso HP50 over-ear headphone was introduced in 2013 and has since become an audiophile favorite because it produces very accurate sound, is nicely designed, and won't bankrupt you at $300 (£229, AU$350).

The headphone comes in three colors -- black, red and the white you see here. It's well constructed yet fairly lightweight for a full-size headphone, weighing it at 8.0 ounces or 226 grams. As far as extras go, it comes with two 4.2-foot (1.3m) detachable cables, one of which has an integrated Apple-friendly three-button remote and microphone (what that means is not all the remote's features will necessarily work with Android and Windows phones but the microphone will).

The NAD Viso HP50 comes in black, red and the white you see here. Sarah Tew/CNET

This is one of those headphones that can be used at home or on the go, and while it isn't compact, it does fold flat and comes with a nice carrying case, plus a separate little accessories bucket case that holds the cables and airplane adapter. That accessories case stows inside the carrying case.

As we said, the headphone is attractively designed, but how much you like its looks is a matter of taste, of course, and not everybody is going to like the squarish shape of its earcups.

It is a comfortable headphone. The earcups are plushly padded with memory foam and they do a good job sealing out ambient noise (to be clear, this headphone doesn't offer active noise cancellation like the Bose QuietComfort 25 does).

What you get in the box. Sarah Tew/CNET


The Viso HP50, which sports 40mm drivers, plays it straight down the middle -- it's not bright or bassy -- and it should appeal to audiophiles seeking an accurate sound balance.

Electronica master Aphex Twin's "Syro" album is loaded with extremely deep beats and crafty synth textures, and the Viso HP50 didn't gloss over any of the details. We were also impressed that it sounds as airy and spacious as it does for an closed-back headphone.

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