‘RoomFeel’ technology — that’s the talking point with the VISO HP20 headphones by NAD.
Introduced as the only in-ear options in the VISO range of audio products, the £129.99 HP20s are also the first in-ear headphones to feature RoomFeel technology, which according to NAD expands the soundstage and gives users a greater sense of space & depth. In short, it’s intended to make you feel like you’re listening to a live performance and replicate that life-like experience.
As far as first impressions go, and particularly since it’s my first time with a NAD product, I was impressed with the overall build quality and sound of the headphones.
Design & Build Quality
When it comes to build quality NAD hasn’t held back, using aircraft-grade aluminium to house the 8mm drivers inside. The result is an extremely tough & durable pair of earbuds that are still very light.
I like that they’re unobtrusive thanks to their weight, but because of their lengthier & slightly angled bullet design the HP20s stick out of the ear quite a bit, making it easy to knock them out of place.
Features & Accessories
As you’d expect with a set of high end headphones, NAD includes a bunch of additional accessories like a small neoprene pouch, clothing clip, airline adaptor, 6.35mm aux connector and a selection of five gel tips of varied sizes to choose from.
I’m a big fan of the carrying pouch — not only does it feel really nice but NAD also went to the extent of placing elastic straps on the inside to make it easier to carry the additional accessories.
HP20’s carrying pouch, with a few useful accessories.
The HP20’s audio cable is made out of Oxygen Free Copper and is tangle-free; a very useful feature considering how often I bundle up my headphones and throw them in to a pocket or carrying pouch when I’m in a rush.
Conveniently, the audio cable is fitted with inline controls and nice, firm buttons that are compatible with Apple devices. That means that unlike the simple volume and play/pause buttons you find on most inline controls, the middle button on the HP20 headphones allow you to restart (2 clicks) or skip a track (3 clicks), too.
Inline microphone allows you to adjust volume and pause/play tracks.
Wanting to see what this RoomFeel technology was all about, I kicked off my testing with the live version of For Whom The Bell Tolls from Metallica’s Through The Never live album.
Immediately I was able to notice the distinct sound separation between the guitar solo, drums and the roaring crowd in the background. Going from Apple’s entry level earbuds that sounded flat and muffled, it was easy to appreciate the incredible clarity, definition and depth of sound coming from the HP20’s RoomFeel technology.
Of course, the live performance I was listening to complemented the RoomFeel technology, so I tried out some Hip Hop too. Even with this genre, the combination of punchy bass with clear & natural vocals was impressive, especially with tunes that were a little more bass-heavy like So Ambitious by Jay-Z & Pharrell.
If I had to point out one niggle with the performance of the VISO HP20 headphones, it would be the harsher trebles when I played songs at higher volumes. That said, when I listened to music within the ‘safer volumes’ the sound was impeccable and I actually struggled to fault it.
All in all, the HP20 headphones performed really well across all genres I listened to, and the strong points are definitely in the bass response and vocal clarity.
Aside from the actual audio performance, even the noise isolation was impressive; once the HP20s were firmly inserted in my ears I actually struggled to hear the background noise in a busy rush hour train.
The HP20’s bullet shape gives the earbuds a tight fit in the ear, but surprisingly I found them comfortable, even after prolonged periods of time.
Having a selection of five different gel tips to choose from helps, since you can pick and choose a pair that best suits your ear size, but as with any pair of in-ear headphones it can be a struggle to find that perfect fit.
From the build quality of the headphones & accessories to the RoomFeel technology, I was very impressed with the NAD VISO HP20 headphones and these are a pair of in-ears that I can definitely recommend to anyone who’s serious about good sound.