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NuForce HEM6 & HEM8 IEMs

NuForce HEM6 & HEM8 IEMs

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Product Description
Optoma NuForce’s HEM line features the latest balanced armature driver technology, custom-designed linear-phase crossovers, and the excellent sound quality we’ve come to expect from the company. The HEM6 is equipped with three Knowles drivers per side, while the HEM8 is equipped with four per side, and both can be used for professional monitoring and music on the go Read More

Customer Reviews

(41 reviews)
81% would recommend to a friend
Jan 21, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
These HEM8's are my new favorite IEMs. I've been hunting for ideal in-ears for some time. Prior to these, I would toggle between the UE 900's, Shure 535s, and the Massdrop Plus Universal's. I find the HEM8's to be very efficient and are easily powered by my Pixel 2XL with usb dongle, but get even better when I pair them up with an amp. I have aTopping DAC & Amp at my desktop, and then and Earstudio ES100 bluetooth DAC/AMP for mobile (which I also highly, highly recommend) that really make the HEM8's shine. Soundstage is broad, detail is great, and I'm not fatigued when listening to them. I listen to lots of lossless recordings of concerts, and these give me a strong feeling of "I was there" that is very difficult to reproduce in headphones... I'll buy them as gifts for my friends.
Mar 2, 2019
That's a great gift for a college kid! I love my es100 as well, but I've been using edc3's with it. How much better are the hem8's do you think?
Mar 3, 2019
UnsquishI guess what I found with both the EDC3's and the Primo8's (both of which I think are great)... I have found that 4 drivers are better than three, and the Knowles drivers int he HEM8 are really special.
Aug 3, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
Amazing sound quality for the price
First of all, I'm only a beginner audiophile, and you should take this review with a grain of salt. I got the Hem8 as impulse purchase, as they seemed like a really good purchase for the price. I recently got a DAP and wanted some new niceness to go with it. I already got Shure SE315 as my daily IEMs, and really like them. I really was not so sure would this really be a big upgrade on sound... The soundstage of Hem8 looked really promising, but do they sound good? First impressions were that it is a stylish package with a very nice set of accessories and an absolute unit of a case. The IEMs themself are a bit on the plastic side (my biggest minus on these), but the overall look and feel is nice. Then I started putting the cable on the IEMs and put some music from my DAP. Only left was working, no sound from right piece. I disconnected it, put it back on and only lows can be heard. Disconnected again, and only highs etc... Then I did some very gentle twisting on to the connector while it was connected, to be sure that the connectors touched each other. And I also changed the large Comply's and after this the IEMs just worked. It could be that the smaller earplug blocked the tube while the IEM was in my ear or something similar to this. It is hard to say which solved the problem. I admit I got a bit frustrated, but patience seems to be a virtue. It could be that the connectors just needed some "smoothing and roughing". Always try different earplugs, even if you think you found the perfect fit already. Now they work with every cable I throw at them, without any extra effort, just like I would expect them to work. The sound is a Huge improvement over Shure SE315. The sound stage is just so much wider. The sound is super detailed and clean with strong mids and crystal clear highs, and it has a nice darkish tone to it. The bass is very accurate and fast, though I would say that these are not for the people who like heavy bass on their IEMs. I've played genres from EDM to classic and so on, and I am really impressed so far. Now I just hope they'll last long. I am not planning to use them while exercising, as I've read they might not like it. I am not sure would I recommend them for $499, but for $200, they are absolutely amazing. Atleast for the sound, which is truly amazing in my opinion. As the price was not so much more than with the SE315. I quess I could say that atleast they sound like $499. I would definetly recommend these to a person who plans to use them mostly at home or other relaxed enviroment, and who would want maximum sound quality for their money. HD-6XX gave me a similar feeling of getting so much sound quality for not so big of a price. They sound really good with my Huawei Mate 10 Pro, but of course they sound better with a headphone amp + dac combo. But I guess that's a no brainer for most of you anyway. There, my first ever audiophile equipment review.
Recommends this product? Yes
Oct 4, 2018
checkVerified Buyer
HEM6 Review with Updates and Audio Reviews Channels Recommendation Linus Tech Tips has reviews of these on YouTube. I got them because of that. They are comfortable. It has 2 cables that you can swap. The nicer looking cable (chain looking one) does NOT have microphone, and the boring looking DOES. Volume is LOUD even at low setting on my laptop or phone. I was not an audiophile and had not tried many high end headphones before. So I cannot say for the sound quality. Go to see Linus' review, that is much more professional. Edit: I got into the audio and learned a lot. Now I believe NuForce HEM6 is NOT worth even $160 soundwise; I don't know the current exact price. There are many IEMs much cheaper and sound better than HEM6. They are still very comfortable, and I give them that. The Comet from campfire audio (better if worn over ear), DGVP-DM6, QDC nepture, ikko oh1, are around the same price and much better. Budget IEMs like the Tin T2 from Linsoul for $50 (even cheaper on massdrop) and some other brands are getting so good this days, and they also look ok and have decent to good build quality and have swappable cable, which HEM6 sort of does not. Their 2 pin connector on the cable side is recessed so buying other cables might not be secure enough and would be aesthetically unpleasant. Last bits of tips:
  1. change ear tips until it fit perfectly with a good seal and use ear tips from other earphone you have if necessary, the sound can change DRAMATICALLY. To learn more search difference among different types of ear tips. BUY sony tips (some are not officially sold in the US), final e series tips, spinfit tips and more if necessary. I personally recommend trying all major tips on the market.
  2. Impedance is a number that tells you how difficult to drive the headphone. 32 ohms is a suitable number from smartphones and laptops. If impedance is high, max volume is going to be small on smartphones unless you use a decent bluetooth receiver (really a dac+amp) from earstudio, Fiio, ifi, portable (dac +) amplifiers like audioquest black dragonfly v1.5 or red v1.0 or nextdrive spectra dongles (like an iphone headphone jack dongle). Digital to the analog device makes the sound, and an amp amplifies it, You cannot drive a 65w light bulb fully with a 25w outlet, it will be dim. DAC are so good these days, you don't need one unless you are REALLY serious about audio, and you can see why you need an amp from the analogy I made.
  3. You buy cables for aesthetics, durability, a different length and NOT for better audio quality so don't buy expensive cables; their tuning effect on audio quality is marginal and require a HEAVY investment if you know little about it. (See the link below)
  4. If you need upgrades, get better headphones and amplifiers first. DAC is one of the last thing you need to worry.
New Update: In regards to IEM (in-ear monitor) and headphones cables' burn-in: I still sort of standby my opinion that you buy cables for aesthetics, durability, a different length. If you are new to the audio game, cables and DAC are still some of the last things to upgrade (unless the cable is uncomfortable then you can get a replacement cable under $30 USD). Amp and IEM and headphone itself are more important. There are some websites that make custom cables and searching for the cables by connector types shows many affordable results on Amazon. After reading many articles, I have not come to a conclusion to (braided specifically) audio cables can "improve" or change sound signature slightly since there is a strong aspect of psychological influences, so to some people, some good audio cables actually do something for them. Braided cables are generally more comfortable and have less microphonics. If you are interested in good looking cables to test the water, here is a Google-translated, 50k words, extremely informative cable guide on a forum that I hunted down after a year of searching: (link failed) Just paste the link yourself. This is the translate page for convenience:
ORIGINAL link in Chinese (in case the Google link fails): Its has to be the most comprehensive cables guide, even though it did not cover every brand. I have not tried them since most of the cables mentioned are expensive and even some respective audio reviewers on YouTube and forums have not tried a number of them to say for sure that they do something differently, I cannot recommend anyone to buy expensive cables without listening with them first. If you are just a bit skeptical and willing to try some cable, Plussound audio, which is mentioned in the forum above, has the exo series cable that can be considered as upgrade cables for a relatively affordable price, they are a good choice to experiment with. Choose a cable type (material) with the guide. If the cable does nothing, at least you are still getting a sturdy cable that looks very good. One thing I can say for sure, cables or adapter with extra impedance DOES change the sound and reduce small hissing and is very REAL, and frequency respond graphs generally don't show a difference with lower impedance. You will have to conduct other tests. Frequency response graphs are not sufficient in showing differences made by a cable or a burn-in process (playing pink noise at listening volume, there are also other ways), MAYBE a cumulative spectral decay graph can represent the differences better. All headphones and IEM companies do some sound checking and a few hours of burn-in before shipping them to the customers. I believe burn-in is real because I actually experienced it in a bass boosted headphone with a very stiff metal plated diaphragm, maybe diaphragm loosen up and the sound changed for the better. At least good companies tune their drivers that had been burned in, so the sound after burn-in is what the companies want you to hear. However, every other headphone I own sounds the same after burn-in. I still have not listened enough to be able to say burn-in is important. From the audio gear articles and reviews, I find people say burn-in on dynamic drivers' IEMs apparently make much bigger differences when they do than balanced armature drivers' IEM like these HEM6&8. Are burn-in and upgrade cable audiophile shenanigans? I don't know, I need to see reports done differently and scientifically by believable universities and other facilities but that is not gonna happen. Just you know, if you decide to go down that path, that mentioned guide and getting reviews from multiple specific people for consistency (so you know their preference and standards) can save you some money. YouTube channels on audio: DMS3TV, Currawong, Resolve Reviews, John Darko, Joshua Valour, metal571, z reviews, bad guy good audio reviews and more. YouTube recommendation will probably show you more channels. It is normal that you will read and see many conflicting reviews and can be both true since everyone's ear shape and hearing are different.
Apr 8, 2020
whoa. Your talent for trolling up the angriest of the angry dumdums has not diminished. bravo.
Feb 4, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
HEM8 Pro:
  • quite good bass (also look at cons)
  • nice mids
  • suprising good soundstage
  • does not fatigued you when you listen to them
  • fast response
  • good hights but not too much (as I like it)
  • could have more details in bass (just a bit )
Also rquirers clean source (easly white noise can be heard if source is bad!)
Nov 15, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
Great (While They Lasted)
I've used these daily for about two months now and have overall loved them. Unfortunately, this morning, the right earbud decided to stop emitting most sounds that went to it. New cables don't change the sound at all, so I'm assuming one (or more) of the armatures in the earbud died. I really did like these, but for 2 months of life, I wouldn't pay $20, let alone $200.
Recommends this product? No
Jul 14, 2018
checkVerified Buyer
My initial review: "I rate 2 stars for HEM8. Very disappointed and I would rather buy HEM6. The bass is dirty and in chaos. I need to change EQ to reduce bass so that the sound is acceptable. No wonder a 4-driver IEM could be this cheap. My 2 stars are for the perfect and comfortable fit in my ears.
I heard good things about HEM4 and HEM6, so I didn't bother to check any HEM8 review out there. Clearly I was wrong. Trying to find a way to get rid of these. Really hope I can return them."
My new rating for HEM8 is 4 stars. I just got topping nx4 dac/amp, which saved these IEMs. My initial experience with these were with Pioneer XPA-700 and Fiio E12a. Both of them mess up the bass and hurt mids. Topping nx4 finally reveals HEM8's potentials. NuForce refers HEM8 as "Professional monitoring tool with the most accurate bass". Now it makes sense to me. I'm not sure why nx4 gives much better sound for these. My guess is the super low output impedance. Although HEM8 sounds great now, I won't give 5 stars. It's pretty demanding to drive them correctly.
Nov 12, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
I love these headphones. I wear (wore) them daily working in a fabrication plant (think loud industrial park, but not quite as bad). They sealed out sound very well and sounded incredible! 10/10 on this. TLDR: I love these headphones, but wouldn't recommend them to literally anyone because they have issues. However.... There are some pretty obvious issues with these headphones. For reference, I bought these on August 17, 2018 and received them September 5, so I have a little over a year of experience with them.
  1. I want to start out by saying that the sound quality is top tier. I absolutely love how great these headphones sound. I would absolutely put these way above anything Bose, Beats, or any other mainstream audio brand aside from Sennheiser and maybe AKG. Aside from my HD 6XX, these are the best sounding headphones I've ever experienced.
  2. While the build quality of the IEMs themselves feel really good, there are some design choices that don't make sense, like the ear tip posts just being straight plastic with no notches for the ear tips to hold on to. I found that I was constantly pulling the ear tips out of my ears because they didn't come out with the headphones and have subsequently lost all of the ones that fit in my ears, so I am unable to use them.
  3. The cables are ABYSMAL. The headphones come with two cables: One braided, basic cable and one straight cable with a built in mic. The mic'd cable lasted all of two weeks before it started to short out. The other cable still *works*, although I can't use the headphone's at the moment.
  4. It's IMPOSSIBLE to find replacement headphone cables. They use a proprietary connection, so even if you could find the right fit, you may not get power to all of the drivers. But best of luck finding cables that will fit, because I've been looking for 6 months as of the time of posting and gave up.
  5. I've read stories across the web about mixed QC issues. It seems like I happened to get a really good pair of headphones, but most of the stories I read are of people buying the HEM6/HEM8 headphones and drivers going out within a month or two. That's simply unacceptable for the price premium that's paid.
  6. Customer support is... not great. I tried emailing twice and got a response the second time. After getting their response and emailing back (May/June) I have yet to hear back (mid November). I just called their support line today as well. They would much rather you leave a message and remind you of that every 30ish seconds of the call. The rep that I spoke to stated he would look for cables and such and give me a call back. I haven't received a call, but will edit if I get one back.
Overall... I'm going to have to give the entire experience a 3. I would love to buy these again, but the design flaws are bad enough that I probably wouldn't. I would rather spend a little more for headphones that don't have the glaring issues these do, or spend a little less for the same thing with a less impressive sound stage. I can't say that I would ever recommend these headphones for the same reason.
Oct 23, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
Really liked the sound but they failed.
Failed drivers after the 30 day return left me with expensive ear plugs. Take a gamble if you like.
Recommends this product? No
Sep 23, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
You can often read about the missing QC of Nuforce... Received my HEM8 friday. Listened two (or maybe three, but it was not even one track) and than the sound makes a strange change... looks like some drivers died... what the hell?? how could happen this on a product with a retail price about 600€?!? what a shame! I'm really pissed off..
Aug 21, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
I have spent a lot of money trying to find a good backup for my Rosie earbuds. Each time was a disappointment. I don't have golden ears but tests show I have better than the average 69 year old hearing. Ok , that is not saying much. Nevertheless I know that most earbuds under 500 cannot compete with the Rosie. That is until now. The Hem8 is a great backup for my Rose. They are cheap enough that I'm not afraid to take them out of the house. The sound is close enough to the Rosie as not to matter. I admit it was only tested with a few songs but that is normally enough to have me rejecting the low quality ones, even ones that had great reviews. I took off one star because it lacks a 2.5mm cable and being a short two pin connection, I have no cables to to fix it. I'll likely match it with my xDSD or dragonfly cobalt in that both are 3,5mm. Overall it is well worth the money and far better than all sub 300 dollar earbuds I have tried.
Recommends this product? Yes
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