NuForce HP-800 headphone


Let us start saying few words on the look of the NuForce HP-800, first experience in the over-ear headphones for the young and dynamic American brand, mostly known for its appreciated and multi-awarded realisations of powerful class-D amplifications. The headphone is elegant, well done and well refined. It features a round aluminium die-cast frame with large skin-like ear cushions and memory-foam inserts. Inside the earshells is a catchy red protective grid, while outside is a gold small square whit the "nu" branding, another distinctive aesthetic element. Since the ensemble is symmetric, it is not so immediate to see the right and left sides. Anyway, you can find them under the headband. This last one is self-adjustable, extendable with auto-return earshells and a quite strong spring. The plug cable is inserted into the left cup with a standard stereo mini plug connector. There's also a 2,5 m cable with mini plug ending and a 6,3 mm screw adapter. Besides there is a 1,5 m cable for portable use without any decay in the sound performances. All the endings are golden.


Ergonomic considerations: personally, I prefer headphones with oval-shaped earshells, since my auricles are not very small. Unavoidably, the round earshell entraps a part of my ear and, even with the memory foam, after a while, I feel a sense of constriction accentuated by the skin-like material that is not so ideal for transpiration. The headband with auto-return earshells has the advantage of not requiring any adjustment and it is quite comfortable with the head in vertical position. On the contrary, with the head backwards, maybe lying down, the headphone tends unfortunately to slip.

Besides, being a close headphone does not help in terms of warmth, since it accumulates itself during prolonged listening sessions.

A positive remark goes to the cable, with its user-friendly mono solution and, mostly, with its standard connection, which makes very easy any switch.


Listening impressions: this is a headphone suitable to be noticed under the aesthetic and sound point of view. The insulation from the external noises is rather good. The tonal configuration is peculiar and attracts the attention. It gratifies the listeners even though it is not the more linear headphone available on the market.


Actually, you have to go easy on the definition of “studio monitor” headphone made by the manufacturer. Such assessment can be made only if you make some comparisons. I have my Sennheiser HD600 and a Beyerdinamic DT880: two more expensive headphones than the NuForce HP-800, about one hundred euro, although two best buy in their price range. The comparison make recognise a tonal balance that prefers the brightness, with very detailed, extended and agreeable high range, together with well intelligible and quite deep bass. The mids show a slight tarnish in the low part of this sector of the spectrum. Admirable is the spatiality, with a great sense of air among the instruments and among the sound levels, a thing not so common in the closed-back headphones. The other headphones are a bit better in linearity and tonal precision, and also in comfort, thanks to the velvet cushions and the open configuration of both of them.


Optimal is the sensitiveness, since it makes easy the driving also directly from battery players for streaming music and for itinerant listening sessions. The overall outcome is a very pleasant and impact listening, with an exciting and involving sound. The dip in the mid bass makes the tone colour peculiar if you are used to listen to more linear models. Anyway, the quality/price ratio is very interesting. With only 149.00 euro, the HP-800 headphones are a real deal in consideration of their overall sound quality and the aesthetic-implemented impact, with just one remark for the long listening session, not quite impeccable.



Selection of listened music

Pops Caviar, Russian Orchestral Fireworks, director Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops, CD Living Stereo

Mina, I successi di Mina, CD Peer Music

Danilo Rea, Live 2009, CD Repubblica-L'Espresso


Official technical specifications:

Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz

Sensitivity: 91+/- 4dB

Impedance: 32+/-15%Ohm

Rated Power: 20mW

Max. Input Power: 30mW

Driver Size: 40mm

Included Accessories: One carrying bag, one 3.5mm plug cable, one 6.3mm plug cable

Official Italian dealer: to Nuforce Audio Graffity website

Official current price in Italy: 149.00 EUR

Associated equipment: to Fabio "Puzzled" Barbato's system


by Fabio
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