NF Audio (Ning Fan) is a young Chinese CIEM manufacturer, with great aspirations for the global market. In fact, they provide some amazing features which make them compete with the best brands in the global scene.
I have to specify, these NF6i aren’t actually easy to buy internationally, you still have to import them in the most countries, and I have to say that’s difficult to understand for western people how to move and how to buy on that site. But it may be worth for someone, because they are great in many ways. Being custom monitors adds a little more hitch, because of all the info you have to send, but it may not be a big deal for you. It would be fantastic to find an international version, even a universal fit, because there’s so much convincing stuff in them.
This sample was provided by NF Audio in exchange for an honest review, we are not affiliated, and I’ll try to be as objective as possible.
Official site: http://www.nfaudio.cn
The NF6i are a 6 balanced armature Custom In-Ear Monitor with a stunning frequency response of 8-30 kHz. The impedance is pretty low (18 Ohm), which is great to assure enough simplicity of driving. Other quick specifications:
- Sensitivity of 106dB @ 1kHz
- Distortion below 0.5%
- Isolation: 26 dB
The classy black box which carries the CIEMs themselves is pretty cured for this kind of product (it reminds me the one used by Unique Melody): inside it, you can find a hard case, a cleaning tool, a warranty card and the buds with the cable already attached. It’s a 2-pin one, actually pretty good, even though I didn’t like very much the silicon/rubber right after the pins. A standard unboxing experience, but surely pleasant. You can already feel the cure provided in the overall experience with these earphones.
It’s not difficult to recognize that we’re listening to a reference Monitor: bass isn’t emphasized even though the sub-bass is well covered, it goes enough deep and shows good speed. Usually, for balanced armature iems, the mid-bass is always the key point where most of the companies try to work, to give a more natural and rich performance, trying to avoid most of the common issues of this technology. This is not the case here, the nf6i doesn’t try to give a full-bodied and rich experience, on the other side try to focus on the refined sub-bass experience. The overall sound signature is flat and balanced, and you can easily drive them with DAPs, given the low impedance. Well, “easily” speaking in a compatibility way, because they need a good synergy to please you in a musical way – which however I did find, but I’ll tell later. I found these CIEMs to be tight and airy, very clear on the higher side.
Vocals are quite good( but if not paired with the right player, can sound a bit dry). Female ones are well portrayed, one of the strong point for this iem. Male vocals have enough body to be enough pleasent.
Now, the treble, where this iem really shine. Maybe one of the best treble i have ever heard with Stereopravda sb7. It is very linear and extendend, not that is emphasized in quantity, but just feels natural, refined, never resulting harsh or fatiguing. I am just testing vision ears ve8, another great example of treble execution, but these two products have totally different approach: ve8 tries to create a certain balance with the overall analog sound signature, avoiding too much details on the upper treble, where the nf6i really shine, providing more sparkles and airy sound, but always avoiding any type of harshness( this is not not a common thing and not easy to reach).
Soundstage is quite good for a 6ba iem, showing good depth and width. You may like a V/W-shaped sound, then these aren’t made for you. These are flat, balanced, reference sounding IEMs, but enough pleasent to satisfy audiophile needs too.
The nf6i is quite easy to drive, but here, more than current, this iem needs a good sinergy with the player. For example, with Opus 2 i found the sound too much reference-type showing dry vocals.
Better sinergy with ak se100 and opus 1s. With ak se100 vocals feels more liquid and less dry, with quite good bass impact. With Opus 1s vocals are more rich and organic, gaining a bit of more mid-bass presence too.
NF6i vs INEARZ EUPHORIA(6ba): euphoria has more mid-bass presence and is a more all-rounder iem, working good with all the types of players, even with my iphone too, but lacks the treble extension and details of the nf6i. Soundstage is quite similar, maybe Euphoria a touch wider., but nf6i shows a more airy sound.
NF6i vs Ambient Acoustics AM6: both shares a reference sound, but nf6i is better in almost every aspect: more refined sound, with better clarity and details on upper treble, bass is faster and more refined. NF6i shows better female vocals. AM6 has wider soundstage.