NAD Electronics’ new VISO HP70 will begin shipping in North America and worldwide starting late May and June. Initially previewed at CES, the HP70 is a wireless, full-size headphone with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Tri-Mode operation and the company’s exclusive RoomFeel technology. It is also NAD’s first wireless headphone and the company’s most advanced design to date. A much-anticipated encore to the best-selling HP50 launched in 2013, the NAD HP70 is targeted for the performance-minded music lover on-the-go with an US$399.
The NAD HP70 employs Tri-Mode operation which means the headphone can be operated in three different ways: Active with ANC, Active only, or Passive mode. In environments where noise is audible, Active with ANC is recommended while some may choose Active without ANC where ambient noise is not an issue. Passive mode is offered for those who have a dedicated amplifier or when the built-in power pack is running low. Unlike some headphones with ANC, the HP70 can be operated passively when power has been depleted.
The HP70 features RoomFeel technology. Used in all NAD headphones, RoomFeel makes music sound more natural by considering the effects of the room on music playback. Utilizing the DSP capabilities of the HP70s Bluetooth chipset, NAD engineers are now able to more precisely apply RoomFeel technology. Almost all recorded music is monitored using direct radiating loudspeakers to determine the acoustic balance for the final mix. This transfer function scientifically takes into account the "room gain" that occurs when playing direct radiator loudspeakers in a room. The result is a much richer and more natural listening experience.
The HP70 offers the freedom of wireless with the performance of a wired headphone. HP70 features aptX HD, enabling 24-bit music quality over a Bluetooth wireless connection. There are also two different wired modes of operation—3.5 mm wired connection or via USB from the computer which also recharges the batteries. For convenience, the HP70 comes supplied with a recharging cable. Enjoy the convenience of wireless operation while on the road, at the office or around the house with outstanding sound quality.
Particular attention on comfort and ergonomics has been placed in the design of the HP70 so it can be enjoyed for hours on end. The first thing one notices, at 11.3 ounces (320g), is the relative light weight for a full-size, active headphone. The unique multi-axis adjustable ear cups conform to the user’s head. The softness of the ear pads adds to sublime comfort and allows the HP70 to be enjoyed for hours on end. The expandable headband offers a wide range of adjustment for a personalized fit.
The HP70 folds flat and comes supplied with a compact case for travel or storage. Tangle-free cords are supplied for wired connection and for USB connection to a computer. The headphone also can be paired to most smartphones and used for phone conversations. A “listen through mode” allows the user to momentarily listen to the outside world as well as have the ability to answer a connected phone. Two built-in, hands-free mics provide enhanced clarity.
Like all NAD headphones, final voicing is performed by Paul Barton, founder and chief designer of sister company, PSB Speakers at Canada’s National Research Council. Barton’s research has discovered how listener preferences can be integrated into a wide range of speaker designs for many different applications, yet all featuring consistent sound quality that is natural and lifelike.
“NAD has had great success with its previous headphone introductions. The HP50 for example was proclaimed by leading reviewers around the world as best-in-class and continues to be a very popular headphone”, commented Greg Stidsen, chief technology officer for NAD. “However, as the audio market continues to go more and more portable, it was clear we needed a wireless, noise-cancelling version but not just a me-too product. The HP70 delivers remarkable sound quality, superb comfort and unique features, all at an affordable price and it is available now.”