NAD Electronics today introduced a pair of high-resolution headphones: the VISO HP50 full-size, over-the-ear headphone as well as the VISO HP20 in-ear model. With sumptuous ear pads for comfort and isolation, the HP50 is a full-size, over-the-ear design, featuring RoomFeel technology for deep bass and a lifelike sonic experience. The NAD VISO HP20 is an in-ear, noise-isolating headphone of all alloy construction that also features RoomFeel technology for a richer, more natural experience. Both include an Apple three button remote with microphone for convenient hands-free operation.
At the heart of the HP50 is a pair of ultra-low mass, high excursion 40mm drivers set in optimized acoustic chambers for tight, articulate bass and natural sound. Internal wiring is OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) for maximum signal transfer and minimal loss.
Voiced for a flat response, the HP50 and HP20 headphones were developed by Paul Barton noted speaker designer from sister company PSB. Working at NRC (The National Research Council of Canada) and using the KEMAR dummy head testing system, Barton discovered the addition of low frequency room gain that one would expect to hear with normal loudspeakers in a room. This is the same room gain compensation transfer function (+3 dB/octave boost from 200Hz down to 50Hz) that was developed in the Athena Project at NRC.
These findings have led PSB to a unique feature the company calls Room Feel. Room Feel makes music sound more natural by taking into account the effects of the room on music playback. Almost all recorded music is monitored using direct radiating loudspeakers to determine the acoustic balance for the final mix. The transfer function NAD developed for their HP50 headphone takes into account the “room gain” that occurs when playing direct radiator loudspeakers in a room. The result is a much richer and more natural listening experience.
NAD VISO HP20
Comfort and Ergonomics
The HP50 and HP20 were ergonomically designed to be comfortable even when worn for long periods of time. The ESO ear pads on HP50 are oval to better fit around the ear for comfort as well as provide a good acoustic seal for sound isolation. An Ergo hinge design allows the ear pads to freely rotate to further facilitate an optimal fit.
For additional comfort and convenience, there are two 1/8 inch input connectors (one on each ear cup) making it easier to connect the cord near the source amplifier. Doing so, helps eliminate having the cord cross in front of the listener.
For HP20, five different size, soft Silicone Ear Tips are supplied to provide a good fit and comfort for virtually any ear.
Convenience and Ease of Use
The HP50 and HP20 are designed for easy storage and transport. HP50 is supplied with a leatherette travel case with a handy accessory organizer where HP20 has a neoprene travel case with a mini-storage pouch for easy access. For both models, two detachable, tangle-free cords are supplied: a regular stereo headphone cable as well as an Apple-approved 3-button multi-click remote with microphone for full control of all Apple music and call functionality right at the fingertips. Also supplied are a 1/4 inch adapter and a dual 1/8 inch airplane adapter for use with a variety of sources. Premium materials built into the HP50 and HP20 to provide durability and carefree good looks.
“NAD has given a great deal of thought to what our headphones will bring to the table. Combining our audio know-how with the tremendous design expertise of Paul Barton and his decades of experience at the NRC, we have produced both full-size and in-ear headphones with remarkable sound, comfort and convenience.” commented Greg Stidsen, Director of Technology and Product Planning for NAD. “I know that headphone enthusiasts will readily see and hear the HP50 and HP20 as products worthy of serious consideration and ones that proudly bear the NAD name.”
As with most NAD and PSB products, industrial design was handled by noted designer David Farrage of DF-ID.
Key Features of NAD VISO HP50 and HP20:
- RoomFeel provides a scientifically researched transfer function that translates the open sound of the live performance to the private world of headphone listening
- Ultra-low mass, high excursion 40mm drivers deliver shimmering highs and extended bass response
- Internal OFC wiring is utilized for maximum signal transfer, minimal loss
- Apple 3-button multi-click remote with microphone for convenience
- HP50 – ESO foam ear pads provide unparalleled comfort for hours of listening pleasure
- HP50 – Ergo hinge design ensures optimal fit with the added benefit of excellent noise isolation
- HP50 Leatherette travel case with convenient accessory organizer
- HP20 is supplied with travel case and accessory pouch along with five different size Silicone ear tips to ensure a good fit and comfort
Price and Availability
- NAD VISO HP20 (in-ear) headphones → $169 (available now in Black or Silver)
- NAD VISO HP50 (over-ear) headphones → $299 (available now in Black, White or Red gloss)