Review: Optoma NuForce HEM8 – A Juggernaut among High-Resolution In-Ear Reference Monitors

Review: Optoma NuForce HEM8 – A Juggernaut among High-Resolution In-Ear Reference Monitors

Optoma NuForce HEM8

With the acquisition of the audio manufacturer NuForce in 2014, the manufacturer, formerly known mainly for its projectors Optoma dared the step into the audio sector. The new in-ear flagship is the 4-way headphone HEM8 (RRP: 599 Euro), which sets new standards in terms of precision, impulse speed, and comfort. The company intentionally targets with this model both the professional and the audiophile listener.

The IEMs in possession of a total of 8 balanced armature drivers in both earpieces obviously have a considerable statement in the audio engineering realm. Furthermore, they can seamlessly provide with Hi-Res audio capability and excellent ballance.

Ultimately, I envision the NuForce HEM8 to be highly favored only by the few selective people with a particular preference and a prepared budget that aim to develop their career further and commit to a superior level.

Overview

The Optoma NuForce HEM8 is the new in-ear flagship along with NuForce Primo8 which has eight balanced drivers and an ultra-wide audio spectrum for best referencing (, and are essentially among the best top-end in-ear monitors.

Key Features

  • Good and in my opinion very neutral sound
  • Large frequency spectrum range
  • Valuable processing
  • Very good price / performance ratio

Optoma NuForce HEM8 Review

The notable high-ranked manufacturer Optoma which now masters in both audio and projection equipment, has recently forayed into the pro-audio industry of referencing headphones with their newest, cutting-edge in-ear monitors part of the HEM family, called NuForce HEM8. It’s currently the last piece in the collection; therefore, we do expect the Optoma NuForce HEM8 to be the best representative.

The NuForce HEM8s in-ears are a powerful force to be recognized with inside the audio industry that can help and improve a professional drummer, guitarist, or music writer’s career through its highly qualified monitoring capability. The excellent sound processing and neat sound response, expansive soundstage, high attention to details within the entire spectrum make these In-ear monitors worthy of being one of the best in-ear monitors for professionals. They seem to promise a lot, and they certainly don’t disappoint.

The over-ear earphones NuForce HEM8 comes in a premium-looking package along with an impressive bundle of accessories and tools; colored in exquisite black, they all conceive a strikingly noble, yet exclusivist character. Optoma includes two types of detachable cables that connect via 2-pin connector (one for everyday use which has a remote control to change the volume, playback control, accept calls or deconnect, and the other is a braided cable less susceptible to noise), a 6.3mm gold-plated adapter, six sets of silicone ear tips of different sizes, two pairs Comply™ memory foam ear tips (beneficial for better sound isolation), a cleaning tool, a lapel clip, waterproof display case, and lastly a sturdy carrying case.

Details

Brand
Optoma

Model
NuForce HEM8

Specialization
Referencing, Audiophile listeners

Package

2x 1.38m detachable cables,
6.3mm gold-plated adapter,
6x pairs soft silicone ear tips (S/M/L)
2x pairs Comply™ memory foam ear tips (M/L)
Brush / cleaning tool
Lapel clip, Waterproof display case, Carrying case

The sober attire of the exalted Optoma NuForce HEM8 suits perfectly the theme of its sound response. With a dark sound signature, they are noticeably more bass-centered with a tight sound response touching very deep levels into the sub-bass territory. The lows have enough presence and expansion, rendering a mass of details coming from two drivers that sit together one over the other, content deemed as exceptionally rich and insightful in the entirety of the lower frequencies that probably wouldn’t have been achieved otherwise. But as the quad BA IEMs have two separate drivers specifically for bass, it’s clear how attentive the company has become on the low side of the spectrum as opposed to the development of NuForce HEM6 IEMs. The HEM6 does have a more rounded and slightly less emphasized bass, owning a triple BA drivers configuration, one individual driver for each segment of the sonic spectrum (bass, mids and treble).

The vocals regarded as deep appear voluminous and complete. Past the 1 kHz, the entire upper midrange plays a bit behind, whereas the lighter voices become subtle, yet indirect. In response, the defused brisk s-sounds benefits the sensitive ears.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Optoma NuForce HEM8

The ergonomics of these earphones are well thought-out. With modern-looking firm shells made of a black polycarbonate named Lexan, and the Hi-Res cord made of oxygen-free copper and silver has the NuForce HEM8 entirely under control with better sound insulation and forgoing any transmission of structure-borne noise, protecting you from annoyances when working on your music or playing instruments.

In particular, the sound of Optoma NuForce HEM8 is somehow less neutral than its predecessor NuForce HEM4 which has a perfectly flat and dull bass that retains its neutrality till the 1 kHz in the mid-range. With HEM8, this part of the sonic spectrum isn’t alike; the elevated bass also maintains an exemplary balance and neutrality but 4-5 dB above the sound source. A clear difference between the two is how well extended the HEM8 is in comparison with HEM4, as the sound response goes as deep as possible and way higher into the brilliance. The HEM8 are capable of playing deep-toned bass when it sits close into the ear canal. When worn correctly, it develops the essential foundation wherein the tonally neutral and well-balanced sound image unfolds. Everything is thoroughly defined, and the sound response does not deviate more than 5 dB from its sound source across the entire spectrum.

In the end, the sound is darker; therefore, it was expected to feel a meager prominence in the lower range which fades into the mid-range, that eventually ends with a moderate portion of treble contributing to a sweeping articulation, moreover high-frequency details that are fully displayed.

  • Sturdy and lightweight
  • Effective entry-level gear for monitoring
  • The bass feels slightly recessed

Conclusion

The Optoma NuForce HEM8 monitoring earphones aren’t as hardly attainable as the other professional over-ear in-ears monitors: InEar StageDiver SD-5, Westone UM Pro 50, or Beyerdynamic Xelento Wireless which can go as far as $1500, yet they are as professional as the contenders as mentioned earlier. And having a high-end product as NuForce HEM8 which will stay deeply ingrained into people’s minds as one of the best top-end IEMs when no other product brims with so much effectiveness at a modest price, represents a new evolutionary phase, and probably an understatement likewise.

Audiophile or professional user, the NuForce HEM8 shouldn’t be missing from your collection.

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