Review: Nuforce HEM4 – my favourite HEM

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: Nuforce supplied a box of Nuforce HEM earphones for me to review for Headfonia. I paid nothing for them. HEM4 is a dual armature earphone that goes for about 299$ USD. You can find all about it here: HEM4 High resolution in ear headphones.

Each HEM series earphone is such a blast, such a brilliant take on an under-represented audio niche that I’m having a bugger of a time finding much about which to whinge and quibble. Of course, if the HEM2 is your earphone of choice, then the HEM4 won’t do you. It’s got a bit of ER4 in it, just none of its bad parts. It’s a bit like the CK10, but with smoother highs. And it’s way comfier in the ear than both.

Nuforce HEM4-1

Not sound

Like the nuforce HEM2 and nuforce HEM6, a large portion of the HEM4’s 299 bones are dedicated to its amazing accessory set. Fourteen ear pieces. A tough, water resistant and floating storage box. Two cables. And the earphones come in a nice metallic-looking bit of plastic euphamised under brilliant marketing-speak as Lexan®.

Speaking of branding, the HEM series is rock ‘em, sock ‘em spot on. If you’re a long-time reader of this website, and of my reviews, you know that every HEM earphone comes with the same accessory package. With few exceptions, it sports the same accessory set. Understated, unified, and tasteful, it puts to shame much of the consumer space defined at competing prices.

Nuforce HEM4-4

But then there’s the HEM’s twisted cable. It looks the part, but it sucks. Its low-profile stress reliefs make it a brilliant match for glasses wearers, for deep, crowded trouser pockets, for under-the-shirt wear. It emits very little touch noise. Great. But, as I demonstrated in previous HEM reviews, it rips to pieces in short order and with little encouragement.

The other one, with a mic and play/pause toggle, emits some touch noise. It is stiffer, a little more complicated for pocket use, and more energetic. It won’t dislodge from your face any but the most delicate glasses. Finally, it wont’t disintegrate under an onslaught of excessive face oil and sweat. It is ready for the long haul. I love it.

Nuforce HEM4-3

What I dislike about it are the metal turtlenecks guarding its recessed two-pin connectors. Unless your name is Sandy, and you’re mum and dad are pygmies, or you’re a really small teenager with robotic fingers, you’ll have a devil of a time pulling them from your earphones. I say this as a slender-fingered man whose mum is shorter than his own wife, whose own mum is practically a pygmy. The turtlenecks are too damn small, too damn narrow, too damn like doll’s toys for me to bother removing more than once. The good news is that the mic’d cable is god-awesome. With it set, I’m happy.

Sound and more after the jump below or the click here:

3.7/5 - (12 votes)

Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

1 Comment

  • Reply March 19, 2017


    Great review and very interesting that you compare it with the ER4 and CK10.

    Does anyone know how the HEM4 compare to the ATH-M70X and the ATH-IM02?


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