Disclaimer: LEAR provided this a sample, free of charge, for the purposes of this review. The Lear NS-U1 NatroSound sports two dynamic drivers and goes for about 200$ USD (1688$ HKD). You can find out all about it here: LEAR NatroSound™ NS-U1.
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LEAR NS-U1 NatroSound is wild. Each earphone is the size of a small strawberry, and fits about as well in the ear. But at roughly 200$ USD (1.688$ HKD), it’s a lot of earphone for not that much money.
It comes with two cables, one dual-wheeler with analogue controls for M. Bass (Mega Bass?) and NatroSound, and one with mic and a play/pause remote. Inside each earphone are two drivers per channel – and whatever stuff it took to get the NatroSound circuit to work. The NS-U1 is a big earphone. So is its unwieldy carrying case, which closes via a sturdy bayonet-mount. It comes with five pair of ear tips, three silicon and two foam. The box is similar to but larger than the one that came with Lear’s incredible BD4.2
I have a few problems with the dual-wheeler cable:
1- it bends too easily when adjusting the control mounted on the fascia
2- the N.S. attenuator on my unit isn’t well calibrated, so when engaged, one channel is louder than the other
3- in order to engage the N.S. switch you have to use a finger nail; the case is flimsy enough that a simple rubbing motion sinks the face in and your thumb may just ride right over the entire thing.
Both units use the same quad-prong cable, which isn’t compatible with anything I know of. If you break your cable, that’s it. You also lose the ability to engage the NS-U1’s biggest selling point: passive cross-feed with any source. Luckily, the cable is pretty sturdy, if a bit uncomfortable for glasses wearers. The four-pin connector juts out a bit too much from the ear before bending backward. If you have small ears, it will stick way out. Its pins are tough. The rubber sleeve has that new q-Jays thing going on, which means that it should last. And the plug is L-shaped, though almost reedy thin. The body isn’t as solid as it should be. Its plates shift a bit when you put a lot of pressure on them. And there the gaps between plates vary in width from earphone to earphone. (Lear noted this on their website.)
The NS-U1 is the biggest-fitting universal-only earphone have used. Ever. It’s round, so it won’t poke anything, but it really, really fills out the ear. Personally, I get blisters when using it. My ears take Campfire Audio’s Andromeda with no problem. They take the ToGo!334 easily. The universal version of Jerry Harvy’s Roxanne.
was another thing, but then again it shoehorned a custom earphone into universal form.
Sound and more after the jump: