Tech

Nocs NS1100 Air review: Great wireless sound, crisp design


the first time i encountered Swedish audio company Nocs Design about 10 years ago, when they released a couple of stylish in-ear headphones. I checked those things – titanium body NS400 and bass transitions NS600—and found both to be quite excellent, with excellent sound, crisp aesthetics, and a snug fit in the ear. Nocs continues to do some nice dj headphones and a set desktop speakersthen the brand disappeared.

More precisely, it mutated. Founder and lead designer, Daniel Alm, has moved on to design a number of fancy watches sold under the name Nocs Atelier. After several years of drifting, Alm and his team are paying attention back to the sound. Nocs’ first audio product in years was a pair of wireless headphones called NS1100 Air.

A lot has changed during Nocs’ absence portable audio market. The wireless revolution turned everything upside down. Now we have AirPods and pixel buds and Beat and galaxy bud. We have luxurious buds to match your Jaguar paint job, and enough cheap scum to fill Hudson Bay. The Nocs made a better impression. Yes, they do. The earbuds are comfortable to wear, easy to manage, and sound great. They also have an eye-catching, elegant design and—perhaps best of all—under $130.

Supply air

The Nocs NS1100 Air has a wireless design, with a pair of headphones that fit in a charging case that fits in the palm of your hand. Inside each bud is a 9.2 mm driver, a pair of microphones for taking calls, and providing for both an active noise cancellation (ANC) system that blocks outside sound, and a transparent mode that transmits a bit of sound. external stick into your ear. They use Bluetooth 5.0, so their signal range and stability are both exemplary. I never experienced a disconnection in my many months of testing them, even when my laptop was in the next room or my phone was buried in my backpack.

When you first open the box, you’ll find six sizes of earplugs. This is more than three times what most companies offer; so it’s easy to find a tip that fits and seals the inside of your ear canal. A tip on tips: Your ear canals may be of different sizes. That’s mine, and I tend to forget this until I get to check out earbuds that actually fit properly.

Photo: Nocs . Design

The buds are mostly plastic (they only come in matte black) and while that makes them feel flimsy, it does offer a lightweight feel that makes them more comfortable to wear. With properly sized earcups, the lightweight and well-balanced design allows the earbuds to float in your ears. It makes them less tired when wearing for long time.

They are controlled by the touch panel on each headset. Tap the right ear to play and pause music or skip to the next track. Tap the left ear to toggle between three states: ANC mode, transparent mode, or naturally isolated sound with both of them turned off.

There’s no sound indicator to tell you which mode you’re in, just a chime to notify you that you’ve switched modes. If you want to know what mode you’re in, you can download the Nocs app, where the controls are labeled. In fact, I recommend downloading the app so you can to try on option to personalize the sound of the headset. This is a feature that Nocs Design developed with the help of a technology partner sound. Launch calibration and you’ll hear a series of tones in the headphones. Whenever you hear a tone, let the app know that you can hear it; this works like a hearing test that you take at the audiologist’s office. After a few minutes of playing hide and seek with the sound, the app will create a Personal Sound profile. You can then activate or deactivate it in the app any time you want. (The application can store multiple records at the same time.)

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