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NiceHCK LOFTY IEM Review – Audiophile Perspective

NiceHCK, a Chinese earphone manufacturing company that has a lot of expertise in the audio industry, has already launched a lot of audio gears namely the NX7 series and the EBX21 in the earbud category. The Lofty is their new product with the highly acclaimed Beryllium Dynamic Driver. In this review let’s see whether they really deliver the output of what a real beryllium driver does.

SPECIFICATIONS:

>Impedance: 16 ohms.

>Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-26kHz.

>Sensitivity: 108dB/mW.

>Termination Plug: 3.5mm, 2.5mm, 4.4mm Optional.

>Connector: 2-Pin 0.78mm

>Large 10.1mm Dynamic Driver Unit.

>Pure Beryllium Diaphragm material.

>High-Quality 6N OCC Cable.

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Credits: HiFigo

DISCLAIMER:

I received this Lofty as a part of a review circle organised by HiFiGo and I thank them very much for providing me this opportunity to test it out. This review is completely my subjective audio review and this may differ from person to person since the audio mainly depends on the source and gear we use to test them. I have not been influenced by any person or by any means to manipulate this review.

PACKAGE AND ACCESSORIES:

I received the earpiece, cable and the case alone since this is a unit provided to me as a part of a review circle and please check the website for the full package and the accessories details.

The Case is very premium and looks fantastic. The case is made of faux leather and the finish is excellent in blue colour. The stitching is perfectly done and the lid closes magnetically. The inner portion of the case is lined with a soft touch smooth liner with an elastic sleeve in the lid for storing the ear tips or the dongles.

DESIGN AND FIT:

The design of the Lofty is done beautifully. I liked the design a lot with a nice matte texture in grey coloured and the faceplate pattern is quite nice representing some kind of water ripples. The shell is completely made out of CNC machined aluminum and the shape is custom shell shaped which gives nice ergonomics thus the fit is very comfortable. The ear fin mould is quite sharp and edgy other than that even after longer listening sessions they are very much comfortable.

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The weight is also not that heavy despite the aluminum build and it feels very lightweight on the ears. The 2 pin connectors are kept flushed within the body which is pretty nice hence they look aesthetically pleasing. The Lofty branding is done on the corner of the earpiece and looks very subtle. The pressure vents are given on the top and the inner side and the L and R markings are clearly mentioned near the 2 pin connector area. The nozzle length is however very small hence the isolation is very less and changing the eartips is one hell of a difficult job.

The cable is quite nice and it’s a usual thing frmo NiceHCK. The full sleeve of the cable is cloth braided and they are very sturdy and premium. They don’t get tangled but get twisted around frequently. The microphonics are slightly noticeable while moving around. They are not the softest cable available but the longevity of the cable is guaranteed. The termination end is metal encased and the metal splitter looks very premium too. The strain relief is provided to the termination plug. Ear Guides are present on both sides of the connector area which is quite supple.

SOUND:

The sound signature of the Lofty is a somewhat U shaped sound which I’m generally not a big fan of. The whole sound output is delivered by the single 10.1mm Beryllium coated dynamic driver and I have quite a lot of expectations but in the end this is just another mean sound to me. In this review let’s dive into each frequency and see where the Lofty went wrong.

LOW END:

The low end of the Lofty is just disappointing. It doesn’t stand to the term what a beryllium driver would do to a low end. The low end lacks the weight, quantity and the speed. The speed especially since the beryllium is very well versed in this. The Lofty has a sloppy slow bass hence the texture, resolution and the separation are not good at all

The body in the bass is completely lacking and sounds very hollow and dull. The sub bass is null or non-existent! When listening to tracks like Hans Zimmer “WHY DO WE FALL” the sub bass presence is very poor and the track itself sounded very congested. The sub bass is not pronounced at all hence it only calls upon whenever the track calls for it. 

The Mid bass is quite average where it mostly lacks the tightness hence they sound very sloppy. The ear tips provided by the NiceHCK are average of quality and when changed to the final audio eartips the bass got slightly improved in terms of slam and attack but still the speed can be improved.

Overall the bass is not good for the tech they have used namely the BERYLLIUM! The bass is just sloopy, slow and uncontrolled. The bass has good amount of quantity but they lack the definition and the tightness that the Beryllium are very famous for instead they just sound very slow and sluggish. 

Tracks Used:

  1. Shed My Skin – Within Temptation
  2. Why Do We Fall – Hans Zimmer
  3. Animal – The Siege
  4. Even Heaven – Aimer

MIDRANGE:

The midrange is nice and forward. The vocals sound nice but sometimes they might sound very peaky especially the female vocals. The fullness in the vocals is nice due to that mid bass presence and even made the stage deeper due to that mid bass presence in the midrange.

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The aftermarket tips tamed the bass a bit and also made the vocals forwardly placed which of course made the stage less deeper. The upper mid range is quite nice and smooth and never faced any fatigue in my listening sessions. The midrange is overall very smoother and forward.

The airiness and the separation are really very nice here and have no timbre issues since this doesn’t have any BA to replicate any timbre issues. The tonality appears brighter to me and the timbre is quite natural. The tonality is slightly coloured with some brightness which appears evidently. Occasionally the midrange instruments may sound thin and they are very genre specific and happens if you use any aftermarket eartips.

The piano notes and the guitar strings appear slightly brighter whereas the drums sound overall natural with precise hits. 

Tracks Used:

  1. Cannonball – Damien Rice
  2. Blessed – FKJ
  3. Santeria – Sublime
  4. Black Space – Taylor Swift

TREBLE:

The treble is very shy in the Lofty. The roll off is very evidently noticed and thus the extension is pretty average. The upper treble end is just absent where the shimmer or the splashiness is completely absent. The sparkle in the top end is just lacking.

The lower treble is just very shy to bring out the details in the track. The engaging or the aggressive factor is not present in the lower treble end. They sound very smooth and just dull without any bite or attack. They are too polite to listen hence treble lovers this is definitely not for you.

The cymbal crashes are very hard to listen to since the lower treble and the upper end are too polite to hear hence you need to increase the volume to listen to them. Even though they sound very natural they sound too polite and silent in the track.

Tracks Used:

  1. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
  2. Graffiti – CHVRCHES
  3. Move Your Body – Sia

TECHNICALITIES:

The technicalities in the Lofty are surprisingly well done after the underwhelming sound. The soundstage especially is very nice and wide with good enough depth. The layering is done exceptionally well and it’s one of the best aspects of the Beryllium.

The imaging is very nice too with good transitions across the channels. The precise placement of the instruments made the imaging very well and even in busier tracks they can be pinpointed. Since the bass is very light the imaging isn’t hazy or congested and hence the instrument has a nice sense of air thus providing good imaging capability.

The airiness is very good and the midrange is very much airier. The vocals sound very spacious and never feel congested. The separation is average and especially in the busy tracks the instruments gets congested and feels very intimate.The detail retrieval is average and does good in simple tracks but when the track becomes busy or complex this just fails again.

Overall the technicalities are satisfactory in the Lofty hence its not very bad or not very good instead it just does fine.

VERDICT:

Lofty, the latest offering from the NiceHCK is a U shaped In ear monitor with average bass which is quite interesting since it uses the Beryllium driver! The midrange is nice and forward with a lot of airiness and nice layering. The treble is too shy to reveal outside hence they sound very smoother and soft instead of engaging and energetic The overall sound signature is very different when viewed from the perspective of what a beryllium driver will do.

The Lofty has great potential but it cant able to reveal it. The driver that they have used in then doesn’t justify at all! They just sound like polar opposite to what a beryllium driver sounds, especially in the low end where in the Lofty they just sound very sloppy, slow and loose, thus completely lacking the tightness and the control which the beryllium is mainly known for. The technicalities are nicely done though since the beryllium does the work. The airiness and the soundstage are one of the main aspects of this Lofty. 

So overall would i recommend this pair? Well it depends. Personally it doesn’t fit my taste but if you like a nice midrange with a lot of airiness, good enough soundstage and layering then this can be in your sidelist. As per my taste and listening I just consider this Lofty as just another mean sounding earphone.

PROS AND CONS:

Pros:

  1. Airy and forward Midrange
  2. Soundstage
  3. Layering
  4. Build 

Cons:

  1. Poor Low End
  2. Rolled Off Treble
  3. Price

This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C

KATHIRAVAN

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I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.

Shubham

Shubham Garg (Editor Shubz.in) is an engineer with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering from AKTU, Uttar Pradesh. Being a mechanical engineer he has always loved to learn the inner working of various machines and consumer electronics. He regularly tests various audio, home appliances, and daily use products, to provide the best advice to readers. He is a wizard that can make your shopping easy, saving you time and stress of figuring out what to buy.

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