Every now and then a new contender makes their mark in the fight for headphone supremacy. This battle is usually fought in the DJ realm, where the weak are usually quickly separated from the strong and those that remain do so for a reason and not because they bear the name of some rap star or come in a range of fancy colours. So, I am always willing to entertain the idea of a new contender in this battle, introducing NOCS with their NS900 headphones.
When all is said and done, headphones are really about sound. Form and function are also important factors to be considered, but ultimately sound should always be the deciding factor. So, I immediately went to my personal selection of tracks that separates the strong form the weak when it comes to testing a set of headphones. Pleasantly, I got what I was hoping for with the NS900s. As a set of DJ headphones, I wasn’t looking for a perfectly flat frequency response, but rather one that allowed me to hear the essential elements in the track and to be able to do so with plenty of headroom too. Don’t misinterpret what I am saying here though. These are not in any way lacking due to their frequency response, they are simply not designed for critical studio listening. In a loud DJ booth when you need to hear your cue tracks, these headphones will perform very well, reminding me of certain German models that have been popular the world over.
THE LOOK AND FEEL OF IT ALL
Well, let’s try and forget the looks. Yes, they are sleek and stylish, but that is about as far as it should go. These are a tool, so functionality should trump aesthetics here, and though they look good, it shouldn’t be the drawcard of the product. They are built really well, and that is important. The headband takes a lot of stress and will easily take any punishment you throw at it. The compact ear pads don’t pinch the ears or allow them to heat up with extended use either. They are easily adjustable for length, but sadly don’t allow the user to invert them for single ear monitoring. That said, they can be remounted to the frame to offer this monitoring method, but it require disassembly and cannot be done on the fly.
Bundled with a carry bag and a range of cables, the NS900 will not only work for you in a DJ booth, but they can connect to your iPhone or iPad as well with a comms connecter, allowing a built-in microphone in the specific cable to work with your phone. Of course, as they are Swedish designed, form and function is appealing with these headphones, but at the end of the day, the sound will prevail.
Hits and Misses
Crisp transient response at low and high volumes
Lightweight, comfortable design
Works with DJ consoles, iPhones and iPads
Built ready for DJ booth abuse
Limited flexibility in ear pad placement