NF Audio NA2 is an unordinary designed $99 IEM with a dual cavity dynamic driver inside.
I’m not gonna lie, that’s my first contact with NF Audio in my hands. All I knew before is the fact that they exist, and they’re making some CIEMs. This time, I received one model from the “Music” series, called NA2. Basing on their words, they’ve got much experience in making CIEMs, which helps them in making UIEMs with better ergonomics. How did this work this time? Let’s find out.
Packaging & Build quality
The box made a really great first impression in my case, but it all disappeared when I’ve tried to open it. I couldn’t slip the inner box from the external part. I tried to cut it in the back part to show you the box on the photos, but well. I ripped it hard, so no pics for you guys, sorry.
Thankfully, the inner part also looks great. It opens like the CD box, but it’s way thicker. Then the first thing you’re going to see is the IEMs and some paperwork on the right side. Below the IEMs you’ll find the cable and tips, and under the paperwork, NF Audio had hidden the round case.
Talking about the build quality and the design, well, I’m not impressed with the shells. Those are plastic cases in a color you chose (and you can choose from purple, green, and white) that are not polished, so some may think it isn’t a finished product. Besides that, the NA2 makes a great feeling in the hand, so I don’t believe it would crack without using some serious force on it.
The cable is made of 5N silver-plated copper, it’s pretty thin and gets tangled easily. Thank God, it’s really soft and comfortable, kinda reminds me of the Moondrop SSP cable, which also is very comfortable.
But, let’s talk about the IEM connectors. Those are 2pin 0,78mm, but not the standard ones. Those are QDC type connectors, so regular cables might not fit well. Remember about that if you’d like to buy an upgrade cable.
Comfort & Isolation
NF Audio NA2 sits in my ear pretty great. Thanks to lightweight construction and tight earhook, both shells are not going anywhere outside my ear without my will. Unfortunately, if something is going to be wrong with the fit, you probably won’t be able to fix its position, because the cable holds that strong. Also, you’ll have to find a sweet spot in terms of the depth of plugging the NA2, because when they’re placed too deep, the sound is drastically changing.
I kinda like the sound signature that’s implemented into NF Audio NA2, it’s a highly saturated sound with a delicate U-looking signature (on graphs, of course). They’re also really flexible, I’m enjoying everything, starting with calm jazz, through hip-hop to the metal genres. If you don’t have any external DAC, they’ll shine with built-in laptop DACs or even straight from the phone.
The bass is delicately enhanced, especially in the lowest part. Subbass isn’t just a background, but it often becomes the main theme in the music. It’s rumbling gently, with a texture that’s highly dependent on the source. For example, with EarMen Eagle, it is only delicately softened when xDuoo XD-05Plus comes with a smooth playstyle. Kickbass is mainly soft and a little fluffy maybe, it’s not the driest and fastest punch I’ve heard at this price range, but it definitely provides a lot of fun into the sound. I can’t say it’s slow, but you get the point, do you? Overall, the bass section is decent, if you like to shake your head when you’re listening to the music. I’d say that it’s the pair of IEMs that can make you forget about any worries.
The midrange is also really nice to listen to. Low, male voices like Michael Kiwanuka in “You Ain’t The Problem” are at the front, but they’re highly smoothed. Sometimes, the bass can delicately hide the vocal, but only the lowest one. And it’s, of course, nothing like an eclipse, where the whole sun disappears behind the moon, more like the single, small cloud on a clear sky. Female voices are delicately pushed back, but they hide only when the song is really poorly mixed. Whenever I listen to some high-end productions, like Dua Lipa or Billie Eilish, everything is perfect. It’s still not in the face, but they’re more important in the presentation and just more natural. “Addicted” by Jorja Smith provides an excellent balance between the mids and bass. It feels like her voice is surrounded by the bass, which makes the song even better.
The treble remains pretty unseen in the whole presentation, even when I play some really treble-focused music, the highest parts are still delicate. If you’re not a treble fan, you might really like that. With time, I start to become a fan of more shiny treble, so that’s the only part of the sound that doesn’t satisfy me at all. But when I’m looking strictly for the fun, a lot of bass with some hip-hop music, the treble does its job, which is to not lean out of its place. In terms of microdetails, the treble is worse than both bass and midrange, but if you’d like to summarize all the microdetails and compare it to different IEMs at this price range, I think the NA2 would be somewhere high on the list.
The soundstage is pretty broad and exact in that part. It’s really useful in videogames, and it’s pretty good at music, but rather calmer, with smaller squads. It can get lost with many sound sources. Holography and imaging are decent, especially with the layering which provides thick layers. Anyway, at this price range, I’m happy that there are any. You know, many earphones around $100 can only show the right and left. Sadly, one of those IEMs is Bqeyz Spring 2, but that’s the only weak point they got.
NF Audio NA2 ($99) vs. Bqeyz Spring 2 ($139)
Well, comparing those two is like trying to choose between Honda S2000 and Lexus LS series. They’re made for absolutely different things. While the NA2 is like S2000, something made for pure fun, the Spring 2 is way more technical and correct. The soundstage is bigger in NA2, but holography works pretty similarly in both pairs.
NF Audio NA2 ($99) vs. Whizzer HE-01 ($79)
Those two are pretty similar in many ways, especially the playstyle. The NF Audio product has more textured bass using the same source on both IEMs, but even calmer treble. Soundstage is delicately smaller in NA2, in every direction.
In terms of pure sound quality, the NA2 is better, with more micro details, and they’re easier to drive.
The only thing that’s really dependent on the source is the smoothness of the sound. Like I mentioned before, the xDuoo XD-05 Plus provides a sleek bass when EarMen Eagle comes with more texture in it. The midrange is less about changing itself with the fiber. That’s the place where you can do something with the timbre, but not much. I think that the best companion for NF Audio NA2 is the EarMen TR-Amp, which delicately calmed the subbass and pushed the mids to the front.
NF Audio NA2 is a strong fighter at this price range if you’re looking for a lot of fun in the sound. A lot of fun combined with a nice build quality can make this pair of IEMs you’re favorite for the city trips or days when you just need to cheer yourself up on the budget.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Campfire Audio Vega 2020, Craft Ears Four CIEM, Moondrop SSP, Shozy Form 1.1, KZ ZS6, Whizzer HE-01, Bqeyz Spring 2
- Sources– Cayin N3Pro, SMSL SU-9 + SH-9, EarMen Eagle, EarMen TR-AMP, ddHiFi TC44B, xDuoo XD-05 Plus