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View Full Discussion I have absolutely no idea why this product is so underrated, online reviews compare this product with the se846 and claim that this reminds them of the se846.
Absolute stunning reviews of this iem so far, with issues being cable and paint flaking off, which nuforce is fixing. People complaining that this doesn't sound that good is due to the improper fit that they are having and once fit has been sorted out, these iems are perfect.
Although this section will be a little tougher to describe I am going to go off the basis whatever I say about these earphones holds true generally overall because your milage will vary! From recordings,
ear tips to fit the sound becomes somewhat of an enigma. Swiftly moving on let's explorer that airy, detailed sound I started to tease you with in the start.
Screw saving the best till last, let’s start with one of the best features you get from this earphone from the get go! Right, now on a poor recording or on an overly bassy track things will get masked a bit, a smear will occur detracting from some of that drool inducing timber and neutrality.
Natural and organic are just two words I want to use so much with this earphone. When listening to “Sound of your voice” one of the soundtracks from “Courageous” (The Movie), strings and instruments just come across with such a timber and sparkle it’s almost unreal. But that is a choice of word I can’t use as the guitar strings just twinkle and mesmerize you with its own reality and truth.
Air! My word talk about room to breathe if you ever needed a light spacious display you need to hear these for yourself! Honestly yes it can cause its own issues but overall the soft touch and presentation combined with the immersive soundstage just adds to the depth, sparkle and neutrality these earphones offer.
I am in love with the treble of these earphones everything is so well presented there isn’t a slight hint of grain or too much warmth, or even a tinge of metallic texture just unadulterated brilliance. Smooth incredibly detailed treble is what this earphone brings to the table with just the right amount of weight to make everything sound oh so perfect.
A few reviews have mentioned this section a lot and in all honesty I expected something so different when I heard these for myself now I will go on to describe my own experience with vocals and midrange in this section however there is a paragraph I read in another review which mirrors my own impressions so well there is almost no point in writing it myself so I am using it as a quote.
“The mid-range however seemed a bit veiled, hanging around in the back of the mix, like it was quite possibly shy and didn't want to join the party. After a few days of listening the mid-range decided to join the fray, and like a dance floor after the drop, the party erupted.” Quote from: http://www.audio360.org/iems_a0026_review_nuforce_primo_8.php
(Also please check out their review as it’s offers more detail than the review I am writing, only due to time constraints)
Now adding to this well-articulated analogy of the midrange I’d like to throw in some of my own impressions of how the midrange comes across after brain burn in and with the right track. Smooth, gorgeous, liquid and actually slightly forward. It’s almost too natural especially when listening to some acoustic recordings. What I mean by this is it’s almost like your sitting in the microphone as you hear the subtle details of the singer open their lips or strings as you breathe in this totally immersive sound. I love it, I wouldn’t say it’s been my favourite earphone for vocals but that is simply a preference thing as I prefer a more coloured syrupy type of sound. On the other hand I have discovered a whole new appreciation for vocals and the way they are reproduced which has lead me away from some of my typical conventions.
I am going to miss this earphone when it’s gone but man when I look for my next big choice of earphone the presentation of this earphone will be used a reference. I can’t get over the space and spatial cues and organic sound this earphone offers. Truly as cliché as this sounds because the term has been so excessively used I’m tentative to say it, but still tempted, this may be one of the truest and closest representations of vocal reproduction I have ever heard in an earphone.
Awkward, why? Because this area is so good and really one of the areas that stops me from making it my go to earphone and potentially settling with it for the rest of my life. The bass reproduction is accurate fast paced and actually not timid.
Mid bass is present on tracks when it’s called for and there is even a deep sub bass rumble that really adds to the overall flavour of the sound. Unfortunately, I always ask myself where the body to the sound is, it doesn’t sound hollow or empty because you know it’s there but it lacks that fullness and meaty texture you expect and get used to with so many earphones. I don’t know if it’s the bass that is causing this or just how the earphones were created to sound but this is literally one of its biggest pit falls.
The bass rarely bleeds into the midrange and remains extremely clean, clear and tactile. But there is something about the sound which reminds me of the echo heard in in a great hall. You hear and feel the bass and it’s of great quality but the soul of it fails to add to the sound like it’s missing the part of the music that makes it complete.
Sound stage and Imaging
Amazing what a new sound can do to your thinking. Absolutely love this hobby as you discover sound reproduction more and more just when you think you’ve sussed it all out. The soundstage is vast on these bad boys. If I could find an earphone that had the soundstage of these earphones added comfort more body and thicker vocals think I’d be sold for a good long while. (A cry out to anyone who has).
So with the Primo 8’s soundstage you get a hall like sound, spacious breathy, wide and fairly deep. Listening to well mastered tracks in DSD quality just add a whole new lease of life to the music. These earphones make the top 5 list of most competent earphones I’ve heard for soundstage perhaps not imaging but I’ll get to that.
I hope you’ve managed to get how spacious these things sound, with this also comes the spatial cues it throws out. Instruments decide to be played from wherever there positioned although I find sometimes because of its try hard attitude placement is slightly alluded. Most of the time everything is accurate but sometimes because these offer so much detail you end up feeling like too much is happening all, at once."
"Primo 8’s got mids out the wazoo. But they’re anything but whack. They’re anything but schmaltzy. Primo 8’s mids anything are spacious, clear, forward, lovely. Wait, let me back up a bit- mids are so perfectly clear and spacious that, while defining the earphone’s sound, they basically disappear. So often, mid-forward earphones come away sounding hot, bothered, bloomy, blurred, thick, or strident.
Primo just melts in front of the music."
"Essentially, mids melt into all the right crannies and nooks. Their meltyness extends high, and wide, and relatively low. They never, ever, bump against bass, and they jive perfectly with highs. Vocal regions are the furthest forward, followed by percussion. It’s a lounge-style live sound, but you’re rocking out in the sweet spot, and the venue is set for three-hundred people."
"Speaking of, guitars are clean, open, smooth, balanced, and so on. They are neither what I would call meaty, nor are they aggressive, they are sweet, limber, and graceful. They do not grate. If you are a fan of folk, blue grass, Swedish fiddle music, say hello to Primo 8.
It’s not just guitars; everything in the midrange expands laterally, with a somewhat fat blip around vocals. Mean, fast bass buttresses it all up.
And again, Primo puts you in the centre, and wraps you in your favorite music in a way that is quite unique among universal earphones. The veil, my friends, has been torn."
"Getting into Primo 8 takes a little longer than getting into some other earphones. But the getting into is, in the longer run, more worth it. And while it may bear a passing resemblance to my favorite Shure SE846, its super-duper wide, airy midrange isn’t Shure’s forte. Outside of Primo 8, it may be no one’s thing."
Thanks for the very detailed review! Much appreciated!
I still can't decide if I want these Primo 8's or the HEM 2/4?
I like the connectors that are on my Nuforce EDC IEM's with the 2-pin cable (that doesn't loose connection like the MMCX connector's do), so I'd ideally like to stick with the HEM Series in that regard! But it's hard to judge the Primo 8's and HEM Series, because most of the reviews state that they're absolutely amazing, while the rest say that they're junk. Which should I believe? I LOVE my EDC IEM's, so I'd like to stick with Nuforce for my first pair of BA Drivers, since I've been so impresssed with the EDC IEM's so far FWIW!
I mean a Nuforce product with quad BA Drivers in each IEM for $150 seems like a steal to me, but I'm nervous about the flakiness of the MMCX connector's! The HEM Series are more expensive, but have the 2-pin connector's that I already love!
So which would you buy on a budget? Primo 8's, or the HEM 2 or 4? Or should I keep saving for some Westone UM Pro 20's?
Oh and I rarely listen to regular music and bit depth quality of normal CDs, where the sound is so loud and compressed that it loses any dynamic range IMO. I listen to my HQ 24bit/96kHz FLACs show/concert recordings done with VERY HQ Recording gear (Schoeps mics and Cables and preamps, as well as high-end interconnects, and a brand new Sound Devices Mixpre6 recorder), so I want something that is well balanced throughout the entire spectrum (lows>mids>highs), and has a nice low-end Extension that is punchy and decays quickly! And silky smooth high-end with ZERO sibilance if possible!
Thanks in advance for ANY help that yinz can give me, so that I can finally decide which Nuforce BA Drivers I want to get soon!
BTW, my on the go playback system is as follows:
Sony Walkman NW-A35>Darktrain Custom Right Angle 1/8" cable>FiiO E11K HP Amp>Nuforce EDC IEM's/Monster iSport Victory earbuds>Comply Isolation+ AND Comfort+ tips for both pairs of IEM's!
I will ALWAYS be using the Sony Walkman NW-A35>FiiO E11K since my recordings actually have dynamic range, but aren't anywhere near as loud and aren't compressed to all hell like the regular music everyone else buys, so I ALWAYS need the HP Amp to get the extra power and volume out of the Sony and into my IEM's/earbuds!