The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show has taken over Las Vegas and everyone who is anyone to do with electronics has had something to announce and show off. Not everyone is announcing some sort of massive new piece of mobile technology or, in LG's case a premium twin-washer washing machine. Instead, some more understated products will be coming out throughout the week and nothing quite says consumer electronic like a pair of earphones. Optoma NuForce is a brand that many will recognize with headphone amplifiers, DACs (digital-to-analogue converters) and their own line of earphones. The company is using CES 2016 as a launchpad for their new pair of in-ear monitors, ranging from $199 to $499 in price.
In-ear monitors have steadily become more of a consumer product over the past decade or so as people look to get more and more accurate sound reproduction while on the move. The new NuForce HEM8, HEM6, HEM4 and HEM2 models will all feature balanced armature designs as well as a proprietary cable design and rugged construction. Starting with the cable, Optoma NuForce have put together a cable – which will be hand-made – that is "20% silver-plated OFC copper conductors arranged in an asymmetrical signal and ground configuration, with the ground path conductors being 20% larger in diameter than those of the signal path". For a lot of people, this might not mean anything, but to cut a long story short the higher-quality a cable the less prone to interference it is or crosstalk, which causes crossover betweens signals. Optoma NuForce is known for their good sound quality, but by using Lexan material, they wanted to ensure the HEM line will be both resilient as well as designed for precise audio.
The different models will feature a different amount of drivers, starting with the HEM2 which features one driver, each subsequent model features two, three or four balanced armature drivers. Each of which features something Optoma NuForce is calling "Advanced Tweeter Drivers" which they claim can climb up to 40 kHz in their frequency response. The whole range will be available from February this year and come with two carrying cases one of which will be airtight as well as waterproof, and a range of silicon and Comply eartips for comfort.