X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

NuForce NE770X review: NuForce NE770X

The impressive sounding Nuforce NE-770 earphones offer a comfortable fit and rich sound for an affordable price.

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, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read

Nuforce makes a variety of audio products, including a few different earphones that offer very good sound at affordable prices.

7.8

NuForce NE770X

The Good

The affordable <b>Nuforce NE-770X's</b> lightweight design and comfortable fit lend a rich sound to these earphones.

The Bad

There's no integrated microphone for making cell phone calls, and the polycarbonate housing makes the earphones look cheap.

The Bottom Line

The impressive-sounding Nuforce NE-770 earphones are a very solid value at $49.

The company says the NE-770X, which comes in three different colors, features wide-range, non-metallic drivers that have been configured to produce a "natural, supremely musical sonic signature without sacrificing dynamic punch, soundstage dimension, holographic imaging, or wide-band frequency response."

That's the stuff you can't see, the stuff on the inside. The outside -- the shell, so to speak -- is what you'll react to first, and it may not be good. Here's why: the earphones' housing is made out of polycarbonate plastic, which makes them very lightweight (Nuforce describes the material as acoustically inert), but it also makes them look a little cheap.

 
The NE-770X comes in three colors. Nuforce

Compare this with something like the $79.99 Nocs NS400 with its sleek titanium body, and you can't help but think the Nuforce NE-770X isn't in the same league. In terms of sonic performance, however, the two models feature similarly well-balanced, "natural" sound that exhibits good detail and bass without accentuating either too much. Also, the Nuforce earphones are arguably more comfortable to wear than the Nocs.

The earphones come with the usual three sizes of silicon eartips (small, medium, and large) as well as an inexpensive soft cloth pouch, which I appreciated. I also like how the right bud has a little red ring around the cord for quick reference, since it's very hard to distinguish the "L" and "R" markings.

 
Our model tries on the Sky color. Sarah Tew/CNET

I can't vouch for how well these will hold up over time, but it's worth noting that the cords are thin, so I wouldn't count on these withstanding too many tugs -- still, I haven't had any problems in the two weeks I've used them. It's also worth mentioning that the 770X has a straight plug, not an L-shaped plug that many people considerable more durable.

The other small strike against this model is that it doesn't have an integrated microphone and remote for making cell phone calls, and there's no step-up version of the same earphone that offers this feature (the $65 NE-700M, an earlier model, has the microphone).

Conclusion

Missing microphone aside, these are a very solid value at $49. I tested them with a variety of music including The National, Usher, Foo Fighters, and Elvis Costello, as well as our CNET headphone test (an ensemble of lossless tracks put together by CNET contributor Steve Guttenberg). You're not going to get the incredible detail that you get from much more expensive earphones and headphones, but overall the NE-770X is pleasant and punchy, and the sound doesn't feel stuck inside your head (it sounds fairly open).

Bottom line: It's hard to expect too much more for $49. Recommended.

 
The earphones come with a simple protective carrying pouch. Sarah Tew/CNET

7.8

NuForce NE770X

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8Value 8