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Nocs, a fairly new Swedish company, has been quickly expanding its line of earphones, which now includes more than half a dozen models. Earlier I reviewed the
The first thing you notice about the NS600 Crushes is that they're lightweight and have a modern, understated design. Construction seems good, though the cord isn't as thick as some of the cords you see these days -- and it isn't flat, so it's a little more prone to tangling. The jacket on the cord is translucent so you can see the wire inside (maybe that's why it seems thinner). It's a cool look; I just can't tell you how well the cord will hold up over time.
The earphones come with the usual assortment of silicone eartips, but kudos to Nocs for throwing in an extra pair of each size. You also get a two-pronged adapter for airplane use, a clip for attaching the cord to your clothing, and a nice carrying case that has a microsuede finish.
The one feature bonus here is the integrated inline remote and microphone, and you'll notice that the NS600's packaging is stamped with the Made for iPhone, iPod, and iPad icons. That means the remote is designed to work with iOS devices. You can use the microphone for making calls on other phones, but the remote probably won't fully function.
Nocs is touting the dual-driver design of the earphones. The company says, "Crush's unique Dual Dynamic technology features two drivers per earphone, creating a tweeter plus woofer setup that delivers a superior full-range sound complete with impressive highs, compelling mids, and an exceptionally full and rich bass."
I liked how they sounded. They deliver a lot of bass without managing to overwhelm you with it, and they offer good detail without sounding brash. They remind a little of Velodyne's
Of course, with in-ear noise-isolating headphones like these, getting a tight seal is crucial to bass response. Walking around I was generally able to keep that tight seal, though I occasionally had to push the tips into my ear to retain a perfect fit. But as I said, I didn't have any complaints about their comfort level.
I'm fairly picky about what I use for day-to-day earphones, and I like the NS600s enough to make them part of my regular headphone rotation for my New York subway commute. While I'm not a huge fan of headphones that really push the bass (I listen to a wide range of music), it helps to have a little extra low-end when you're dealing with a lot of ambient noise like you are in the subway (low frequencies end up taking a hit). The NS600s strike the right balance and should satisfy bass lovers.
While the Noc NS600 Crush earphones aren't incredibly detailed, I found their overall sound profile very pleasant. My only gripe is that they're a little expensive at $149.99. If they'd been closer to $100, I would have awarded them 4 stars.