Suitable for Mainstream Music?
Nuforce has made it clear that rather than going for hardcore audiophiles that spend thousands on their portable equipment, they’re targeting the wider market with the Primo 8. While it’s certainly the right business decision to make, but as mentioned, gobs of bass just don’t come out of this IEM — it’s most certainly going to lose out in bass response to almost any Westone earphone and the mainstream listener believes in hearing a robust bass line.
So will the Primo 8 fly off the shelves?
Well, I certainly hope so, but sadly, I have some doubts. A couple years ago, I found the TDK BA200 (review here) to be one of the best dual driver IEMs around that superseded the capabilities of many triple driver earphones. It was not only very pleasing to listen to, but also an incredible performer when measured with an artificial ear.
While it was critically acclaimed by audiophiles, something about it lacked mass appeal, however, and the BA200 never did the kind of sales numbers it hoped and was eventually thrown into bargain bin department stores like Ross and Marshalls for liquidation. While Nuforce is certainly doing a much better job in the marketing department than Imation ever fared with TDK, I fear Nuforce might find itself in a similar quandary.
Thus, it’ll really come down to how far the general consumer has come with respect to their tastes. If it remains heavy-handed, then the market will still gravitate to offerings from Westone (which has introduced increasingly bass heavy offerings of late), but with sufficient experience and education, the public will come to realize that the Primo 8, with its mild bass response and phase-flat center image, allows you to hear and appreciate more of the music more often.
Regardless of whether you’ll end up enjoying Nuforce‘s newest baby, the Californian firm should be lauded for releasing a product that’s well thought-out in execution, from technical ability to a mature-leaning sound philosophy. I can only hope that others will appreciate the Primo 8 as I did during my brief three-week loan of the product; it’s not without its flaws, but given it’s Nuforce‘s first go at this segment of premium IEMs, I’d say they’ve done a great job with the Primo 8.
For more information on the Nuforce Primo 8, please visit: http://primo8.nuforce.com/
Many thanks to Wolfgang, who was incredibly helpful and patient with me during the course of the test period. He’s since departed from Nuforce, but his dedication remains greatly appreciated and I trust the rest of the Nuforce staff takes on the same attitude.
About Mr. T
Mr. T is an in-ear fanatic by day, and writes SOAP notes by night. He pities the fool who actually has the patience to read through his stuff.
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