Review: Nuforce HEM8 – All Worlds

Disclaimer: Nuforce supplied a box of Nuforce HEM earphones for me to review for Headfonia. I paid nothing for any of them. The HEM8 is a quadruple armature earphone that goes for about 499$ USD. You can find all about it here: HEM8 High resolution in ear headphones.

The easiest review to write is one you’ve already written. I would love to plagiarise myself, copy/paste the intros to any of the following reviews: HEM2, HEM4, and HEM6, but I can’t. Lieven said it’s bad for Google rankings. Sometimes, I wish Google would just curl into a ball and toss itself from a high bridge. Nuforce HEMs are so like one another, so monolithic, as to invite a good copy/paste job.

But the above, and the below are unique, totally new sentence blocks, bordered punctuation, and content. Google’s gonna love this review.

I will not apologize for falling head-over-heals for the HEM series. In its own way, each is breathtaking. The HEM2 is the most rewarding earphone I’ve used in its price bracket for years. And, like every HEM earphone, it comes with a crappy twisted cable and a decent mic’d cable. I’m not particularly attracted to any HEM earphone. Each looks, and feels, more plastic than it should. And, the cable bit that attaches to the earphone is a bitch to put on and pull off again. To be honest, I’d rather it be stuck to the earphone than be such a haptic bugger.

Here’s what I said of it in my HEM4 review:

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.

And that is and has been it for my criticism of the series. Otherwise, HEM is god-like.

I mean, just look (again) at the water-tight box it comes in. You could kill a Russian with it. You could throw it through the troop transport lorry from Raiders of the Lost Ark. And gosh, that is a serious accessory package. I can’t communicate how much I love its velcro cable retainer, or HEM’s general tidy design.

By the way, the HEM8 that Nuforce shipped me, that showed up on my doorstep, carried by a mild-mannered drunk, is black. The HEM6 is black. The HEM2 is orange. The HEM4 is blue. The blue one is the brightest sounding earphone of the bunch. That bunch doesn’t quite comprise a rainbow, but it’s a good looking bunch nonetheless. By the way, the black earphones and the orange earphone share the most in common, and in their way, the $$$ black earphone (HEM8) and the blue earphone (HEM4) share a bit on common.

Sound and more after the jump:

3.9/5 - (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.


  • Reply March 16, 2017


    Thanks for these great HEM reviews, Nathan.
    How ddoes the Primo stack up against the four? Looks like none of them is very similar to it?

  • Reply September 7, 2017


    Thanks for the write up, it becomes Quite an entertaining read indeed, now I wonder whether you’ve tried their new entry lvl, HEM1? Is it just a HEM2 with new looks, single braided cable with no pelican style case?

  • Reply March 18, 2018

    Maxim Au

    Hello, I wonder if you can compare it to prime8? Really interested in how much Nuforce has come in these years.

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