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Nocs NS600 Crush review: Lightweight design, rich sound

While they're a little pricey at $149.99, the Nocs NS600 Crush are comfortably lightweight earbuds that sound very good and offer strong bass performance.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.

Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
3 min read

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 NS400, a midrange model that retails for around $79.99 online. I liked that model and the newer -- and more expensive -- NS600 Crush earphones reviewed here.

Nocs_NS600_Crush_earphones_35558227_02.jpg
7.5

Nocs NS600 Crush

The Good

The <b>Nocs NS600 Crush</b> earbuds are lightweight and comfortable, and offer very good sound with strong bass. They also have an Apple-friendly inline remote/microphone and ship with a nice carrying case.

The Bad

These headphones are somewhat expensive; the thin cord is prone to tangling (compared with headphones with a flat-cord design).

The Bottom Line

While they're a little pricey, the Nocs NS600 Crush are comfortably lightweight earbuds that sound very good and offer strong bass performance.

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 Nocs NS600 Crush earphones close up. Sarah Tew/CNET

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."

The earphones ship with a nice case. Sarah Tew/CNET

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 vPulse earphones, which cost less ($99.99), but aren't as comfortable as these Nocs.

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.

The NS600s' dual-driver design. Nocs

Conclusion
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.

Nocs_NS600_Crush_earphones_35558227_02.jpg
7.5

Nocs NS600 Crush

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8
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