(Last Updated On: March 5, 2020)

After collecting feedback, opinions, and criticisms from the audiophile community, NiceHCK revised the NX7 and launched a “PRO” version to fulfill your needs.

Thank you, Nappoler Hu, from HiFiGo for sending me the NX7 PRO. The products were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review and opinion. The NX7 was purchased by myself to check on the improvements made with the PRO version.

Introduction

NiceHCK NX7 and NX7 PRO
NiceHCK NX7 (M) and NX7 PRO (L and R)

NiceHCK was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 2015. With the trend of Chi-Fi getting more accessible due to the enablement of AliExpress and Amazon, NiceHCK has become well-known in the international community within only a few years. NiceHCK focuses on releasing models that are affordable to the community without professional tuning being compromised. Audiophiles can have high sonic quality without burning a hole in their wallets.

In quarter three of 2019, NiceHCK released the NX7. This created a big hoo-ha in the community because the NX7 utilized piezoelectric technology which can only be found in top-of-the-line models, such as the Noble Khan. This is a chance for entry-level audiophiles to own in-ear monitors (IEMs) with this technology. In no more than a quarter, NiceHCK released the NX7 PRO – the improved version – based on collected feedback.

What are the improvements in the revised version? Let’s check it out!

NiceHCK NX7

NX7

NiceHCK NX7

Rating: 2.5/5.0

“As mentioned earlier in this review, the NX7 possesses a more cold, dark, and analytical sound signature. This sound signature portrays its color significantly in mids. The NX7 has a rather technical and digital sounding mid – a lack of emotional touch.”

Pros:

  • »Supreme resolution
  • »Detachable cable design
  • »Competitive price
  • »Well extended highs
  • »Piezoelectric driver implementation

Cons:

  • »Power hungry as an entry-level IEMs
  • »Sub-par stock cable
  • »Analytical sound signature
  • »Cold and dark mids
  • »Carrying case looks cheap

NiceHCK NX7 Pro

NX7 Pro

NiceHCK NX7 Pro

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

“The NX7 PRO is completely different. It has better coloration in terms of overall presentation. With the silver (balanced) nozzle cap on, the overall sound signature is more musical as compared to the NX7’s analytical sound signature.”

Pros:

  • »Supreme resolution
  • »Detachable cable design
  • »Competitive price
  • »Well extended highs
  • »Piezoelectric driver implementation
  • »Impactful bass
  • »Mids with full body
  • »Excellent stock cable
  • »Changeable faceplate and nozzle cap

Cons:

  • »Power hungry as an entry-level IEMs

Unboxing

Both the NX7 and the NX7 PRO come in relatively small packaging, as compared to recently reviewed IEMs such as the DUNU DK-2001. The overall unboxing experience with the NX7 is pleasant; you can expect useful accessories such as ear tips and a soft pouch. With the PRO, there are some luxury items included, such as changeable faceplates and nozzle caps.

NX7 PRO has a relatively larger box as compared to NX7 due to the additional accessories in the box.
NX7 PRO has a relatively larger box as compared to NX7 due to the additional accessories in the box.
Specifications are listed on the back of the boxes.
Specifications are listed on the back of the boxes.

For the NX7, you can choose either green or black, and you can choose whether or not to have a microphone on your cable. This makes the NX7 more on consumer range.

Moving to the PRO, there is only one option for you to consider – the termination of its cable. You can enjoy the balanced output from your digital audio player (DAP) by choosing a 4.4mm, 3.5mm, or 2.5mm balanced terminated cable. Unlike the NX7, there is no color option for the PRO. However, the faceplate is changeable and there are a total of three colors included – silver (installed), red, and blue.

Options are listed on the side of the boxes.
Options are listed on the side of the boxes.

NX7

  • NX7 IEMs
  • Stock cable (4 twisted-wired, 3.5mm unbalanced terminated cable)
  • 6 pairs of silicone ear tips
  • Soft pouch
  • User manual
  • Velcro cable tie
NX7 has simpler accessories as compared to NX7 PRO.
NX7 has simpler accessories as compared to NX7 PRO.

NX7 PRO

  • NX7 PRO IEMs
  • Stock cable (16 cores Pure Copper twisted cable)
  • Changeable faceplate (blue and red)
  • Changeable Nozzle Cap (bass boost and treble boost)
  • Semi hard pouch
  • User manual
  • 5 pairs of silicone ear tips
  • Velcro cable tie
  • Screwdriver for removing faceplate
NX7 PRO has more luxury accessories - including changeable faceplate and nozzle.
NX7 PRO has more luxury accessories – including changeable faceplate and nozzle.

Technical Specifications

NX7

Frequency response curve of NX7
Frequency response curve of NX7

NX7 PRO

Frequency response curve of NX7 PRO - for various nozzle caps.
Frequency response curve of NX7 PRO – for various nozzle caps.

Design

Both the NX7 and the PRO have similar physical appearances. The only item that can differentiate the two models is the removable nozzle cap on the NX7 PRO. The faceplate is made by computer numerical control (CNC) machined aluminium alloy. With the screwdriver provided in the PRO’s packaging, the faceplates of both models can be removed and changed easily.

Both NX7 and NX7 PRO's faceplate can be removed with the provided screwdriver in NX7 PRO's packaging
Both NX7 and NX7 PRO’s faceplate can be removed with the provided screwdriver in NX7 PRO’s packaging
A sneak peak in the drivers - both of them looks the same!
A sneak peak in the drivers – both of them looks the same!

On top of the shell, the 0.78mm 2 pin connector is protected by a thin layer of plastic. This reduces the chances of breaking the cable pin while installing and removing.

NX7 and NX7 PRO utilizes same type of connector - 0.78mm 2 pin connector with a layer of protection plastic.
NX7 and NX7 PRO utilizes same type of connector – 0.78mm 2 pin connector with a layer of protection plastic.

Moving to the nozzle, both models have similar nozzles except, as mentioned, the NX7 PRO has a removable nozzle cap.

Despite the difference, this does not cause any fitting or diameter difference.
Changeable Nozzle Cap
Changeable Nozzle Cap

There is a lip on the nozzle to hold the ear tips, preventing the ear tips from slipping or dropping out from the nozzle. As mentioned, the NX7 PRO comes with three changeable nozzle caps – silver (pre-installed), blue, and red. According to NiceHCK, the silver nozzle cap is tuned to be balanced in terms of sound signature, while blue and red are tuned to be bass and treble emphasized respectively.

Nozzles for both models are almost the same, despite NX7 PRO has a changeable nozzle cap.
Nozzles for both models are almost the same, despite NX7 PRO has a changeable nozzle cap.

One major improvement of the NX7 PRO from the NX7 is the stock cable. I would call the NX7 stock cable sub-par. It looks like a typical stock cable of other Chi-Fi models, such as Knowledge Zenith (KZ). I believe NiceHCK heard similar comments from fans so a new stock cable is assigned to the NX7 PRO. A 16 core pure copper twisted cable is used as the new stock cable.

Cable for NX7 PRO (Left) and NX7 (Right)
Cable for NX7 PRO (Left) and NX7 (Right)
16 cores pure copper braided cable is used as NX7 PRO stock cable. This is a huge step up from NX7.
16 cores pure copper braided cable is used as NX7 PRO stock cable. This is a huge step up from NX7.
NX7's stock cable looks similar to other entry level Chi-Fi's stock cables.
NX7’s stock cable looks similar to other entry-level Chi-Fi’s stock cables.

Fit and Isolation

Both the NX7 and the NX7 Pro have the same average-sized shell which could potentially offer decent isolation with the enhanced fit. I have no problem with the fit and isolation as I have relatively large ears. I used both models on my daily commute and the isolation allows me to immerse myself in the music. Those audiophiles with small ears might find the shell to be slightly larger to fit their ears decently.

There is a small vent at the inner side of the shell of both versions to mitigate driver flex. NiceHCK is considerate in designing the vent; it was a good choice to implement the vent on the inner side because this minimizes external noise and distractions.

The term ‘driver flex’ is used to describe when the driver bends under the pressure of air against it. This usually occurs when inserting an IEM into your ear. The air in the shell creates pressure, which bends the driver.
There is a vent in the internal side of the shell to mitigate driver flex.
There is a vent in the internal side of the shell to mitigate driver flex.

Pairing

Rated at 55-58 ohms for impedance and 105-108 dB at 1 kHz for sensitivity, the NX7, and the NX7 PRO can be considered hard to drive. I did several pairings during my review period and I would advise users to power it with a dedicated amplifier or a powerful digital audio player (DAP). I noticed that the dynamic drivers in the IEMs perform better when more power is available.

For this review, I paired the NX7 and the PRO with the iBasso DX220 (and the Amp I MKII) which has been loaned to me from Zeppelin and Co. This powerful DAP unlocked the full potential of both IEMs.

Paired NX7 and NX7 PRO to iBasso DX220
Paired NX7 and NX7 PRO to iBasso DX220

Sound Analysis

Sound Signature

Let’s start with the NX7. The NX7 is a rather cold, dry, and analytical sounding IEM. It has the ability to offer you tons of details and resolutions. However, it could be too technical for casual listening. It might be more suitable for monitoring because no note will be left behind during its presentation.

The NX7 PRO is completely different. It has better coloration in terms of overall presentation. With the silver (balanced) nozzle cap on, the overall sound signature is more musical as compared to the NX7’s analytical sound signature.

Changing the nozzle cap to blue (bass boosted), the overall presentation is more fun; you might catch yourself automatically taping your foot with the beat. With the red (treble boosted) nozzle cap on, the sound signature is closer to NX7’s, but still with more quantity in terms of coloration, emotion, and joy.

NiceHCK NX7 PRO
NiceHCK NX7 PRO

Soundstage

The NX7 has a two-dimensional soundstage. After long auditioning, I found that the musical notes from instruments and vocals are delivered on a flat surface – without depth and height. The soundstage is wide but I would appreciate it if it could extend a little deeper or higher – creating a three-dimensional headroom.

I believe NiceHCK heard this comment from other audiophiles, too, and the NX7 PRO has a more three-dimensional soundstage. It extends well in terms of depth. It extends more horizontally than it does vertically – forming a horizontal oval-shaped headroom. Nevertheless, there was still improvement.

NiceHCK NX7 and NX7 PRO
NiceHCK NX7 and NX7 PRO

Lows

With a feather-like touch on your eardrums that disappears almost immediately, the bass of the NX7 can only be described as light and fast.

The lows of the NX7 are speedy – this contributes to an overall precise and accurate sound signature. There is no bleeding of lows towards the mids – preventing a muddy presentation. With the lean body in its presentation, this decreases the presence of the lows. The spotlight is snatched by the slightly emphasized treble. This is one of the factors making the soundstage two-dimensional – there are no deep extending lows despite having two dynamic drivers.

Reading through forums such as Head-Fi, there are some audiophiles who suggest that changing the stock cable to a higher-end copper cable, such as the Effect Audio Maestro, can help to improve the lows. Personally, I would like to try a cable at a similar or lower price than this IEM’s to make the overall pairing more “wallet-friendly”.

I tried pairing the NX7 to my OEAudio 2Dual OFC. Indeed, a pure copper cable has the ability to reveal the real potential of its dynamic drivers.
Tested pure oxygen-free copper (OFC) cable with NX7.
Tested pure oxygen-free copper (OFC) cable with NX7.

Moving to the PRO, NiceHCK worked extensively in tuning the lows – making it more efficient. The punch from the lows is more significant as compared to its predecessor. This creates a more dynamic and fun sound signature that will catch your attention.

The deeper punching lows is one of the reasons why the soundstage for the NX7 PRO is more three-dimensional. The performance from the lows create a good depth in the headroom, and more layering can be delivered.

Comparison between NX7 and NX7 PRO
Comparison between NX7 and NX7 PRO

Mids

These two brothers have different characteristics – the elder is dark and cold, while the younger has more emotion and color.

As mentioned earlier in this review, the NX7 possesses a more cold, dark, and analytical sound signature. This sound signature portrays its color significantly in mids. The NX7 has a rather technical and digital sounding mid – a lack of emotional touch.

However, due to this profile, it’s definitely suitable for those audiophiles who are looking for a monitoring grade for serious listening – there is a minimum amount of coloration and you will get whatever is decoded from your source, without any alterations.

Personally, I would appreciate more in an IEM – one which has some warmth in the mids that can bring out emotions and sufficient amounts of coloration. This is why I prefer the NX7 PRO over the NX7 in terms of mids.

The NX7 PRO has warmer lows and this profile is carried forward to the mids. Its mids have a fuller body – bringing a bigger impact and presence to the overall presentation. I like how the warmth is injected to the mids, making the track more lively.

I can feel the emotions in the vocalists when listening to pop songs, making me addicted to listening. This is another huge step up from the NX7.

A summary of comparison in mids
A summary of comparison in mids

Highs

Both brothers are similar here with their level of elegance. The well extended and controlled treble makes them different from other Chi-Fi in the price range of USD$100.

Both the NX7 and the PRO have well extended and well-controlled highs, as mentioned in the blockquote above. With the utilization of piezoelectric drivers, it breaks through the limitations of conventional balanced armature drivers; you won’t need multiple drivers to achieve a well extended high. Besides this breakthrough, this utilization actually decreases the power needed as compared to electrostatic drivers which are found in other IEMs, such as the Jomo Audio Trinity.

The highs are airy for both of the models – creating a large headroom for details to be delivered without any congestion. The NX7’s brighter sound signature reveals some “grain” in the highs and there are a few slight distortions on certain tracks.

The warmer NX7 PRO seems to be free from this issue; the warmth from the lows seems to balance the grainy highs, making it less significant. I have consistent experience with highs no matter which nozzle cap is installed.

It is a close comparison between NX7 and NX7 PRO in terms of highs
It is a close comparison between NX7 and NX7 PRO in terms of highs

Verdict

The NiceHCK NX7 and the NX7 PRO are great choices for audiophiles who are looking for entry-level IEMs with cutting edge technologies like the piezoelectric driver implementation. The price is relatively competitive as compared to other Chi-Fi brands in the market such as Tin HiFi and Knowledge-Zenith (KZ), but with better technology implementation and sonic tuning. It’s definitely worth the investment for a great performance from the NX7 PRO.

I would highly recommend you to go for the improvised version. You are going to be treating yourself to an amazing sonic experience with an eye-catching physical appearance that’s provided by the NX7 PRO!

The NX7 retails for USD$76 and the PRO retails for USD$99. They can be purchased on HiFiGo.