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 누아르 (NUARL) NB20C 블루투스 이어폰 영문 리뷰
글쓴이 : 배자현     등록일 : 2018.06.10 22:31:21    조회 : 64


Nuarl NB20c: Wireless on a Budget

(This review was made possible by 셰에라자드, who set up 2-week loaner programs for people, who, like me, were interested in auditioning the product. I was free to write my honest thoughts on the product, and there was no incentive for a positive review.)


​​


Introduction:

My search for Bluetooth IEMs began a couple months ago when I was looking for one to give as a birthday present. I disliked the issue that true wireless IEMs shared in terms of their tendency to disconnect or play audio with a delay. In addition, the form factor of standard Bluetooth IEMs seemed superior for making sure they did not get lost during everyday use. At a budget of <$200, I tried two products each from Audio Technica (ATH-CKR55BT, ATH-CKR75BT), Jaybird (Freedom 2, X3), and Nuarl (NB20c, NB10R2) in store, finally deciding on the NB20c as the IEM to give as a gift. When my local headphone store announced their loaner program for these same Bluetooth IEMs, I jumped at the chance to try them out in their intended use settings, including outdoors, in public transport, and at the gym.

Equipment:

The NB20c was paired to my iPhone 6s Plus. I was able to use these for ~20 hours over the past 2 weeks.


Packaging and Accessories:

The unboxing experience was good but not exceptional. The IEMs are visible through the packaging with the medium size ear guides and eartips pre-attached. Also included are two additional sizes of eartips and guides, a USB charging cable, and a carrying pouch. For these particular IEMs, the packaging also included a 1-year Korean warranty card. Overall, the packaging was neat, and the accessories were functional, though I would personally prefer a hard case over a carrying pouch for the IEMs. (For budget IEMs, in general, carrying cases seem to be fairly hit or miss – from my experience, I have had $30 Tennmak Pros come with a very nice carrying case, $50 KZ ZS10s come without a case or a soft pouch, and know that Westone’s $100 “budget” offering, the UM1, also comes with just a carrying pouch).



Build:

At first glance, these IEMs, and most Bluetooth IEMs in general, appear pretty flimsy. The cable is not detachable, and the cable length-adjusting tool is a single piece of plastic that looks as though it could easily fall off and get lost. However, the IEM unit itself seems sturdy, and from anecdotal evidence (both my own over the past two weeks and from the person I gave a pair as a gift to, who has used them extensively over the last two months), the build quality leaves little to be desired. The IPX6 rating means that the IEM is safe from splashes and in the rain, though unlike the NB10R2, with its IPX7 rating, it cannot be immersed in water. The cable itself, is a fairly soft rubber that doesn’t bother the user when exercising or during regular use.

Comfort:

Put simply, the comfort on the Nuarl NB20c is excellent. The IEM itself is small and regularly shaped, and the accompanying ear guide and eartips provide a comfortable yet secure fit. These did not fall off or get bothersome over an hour-long run. Compared to other Bluetooth IEMs, the NB20c is also extremely light at ~12g, which is noticeable when comparing these with some of Jaybird’s offerings.

Sound:

As a whole, Nuarl’s house sound seems to be a standard Japanese tuning, with an overall brighter sound and more emphasis on female vocals. However, the NB20c differs in that it possesses a more mainstream tuning than the other IEMs in Nuarl’s product line. In other words, the bass is slightly elevated compared to the rest of the spectrum. It does not overpower the mids or the highs at all, as is the case in many budget IEMs, but there is a slight emphasis here. This tuning is, in my opinion, preferable in a gym or noisy public setting, but less so in a quieter environment. The midrange and treble are both enjoyable, without any sibilance, and the soundstage seemed average for an IEM.

For eartips, I tried the NB20c with the original silicone eartips, as well as a number of others that I personally own (Azla Sedna, Campfire Audio Marshmallow, Comply Isolation/Sport, Final E type, MandarinEs SymbioW,  Spinfit CP100, etc.). For Comply tips, T400 was appropriate given the large nozzle on the NB20c. Overall, though the basic tips were satisfactory, I found myself using the Comply Sport tips more, and the Spinfit and Azla Sedna tips were also excellent with the IEMs.


Concluding Thoughts:

At ~75000KRW (~$70), the NB20c is an excellent option for an all-rounder Bluetooth IEM. The battery life is good and comparable with other IEMs like the Sennheiser HD1 with 6 hours of calls/music on a 2-hour charge, and for those with an eye for design, the NB20c is simple and inoffensive. With 5 color options (black, gray, silver, rose gold, and champagne gold), it is easy to pick one that suits your preferences – and it matches the iPhone quite well. While I would not call its performance exceptional, though definitely not worse than budget offerings like the Tennmak Pro or the KZ ZS10, the NB20c effortlessly fills a niche for all-purpose Bluetooth IEMs on a budget, and I will look to purchase one for myself in the future.





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