These stylish new wireless earbuds offer hybrid noise canceling and come from Nocs, a boutique Swedish audio brand that’s been working with Audiodo AB, a Malmö-based company that tunes audio devices to create superb sound quality. The result is the NS1100 AIR, a pair of true wireless earbuds that offer a bespoke sound for fussy listeners.
The team at Nocs is headed by the company’s founder, Daniel Alm. He has been working with Audiodo to create these wireless earbuds to please even the most discerning of music lovers. Work started on the design at the end of 2019 and a year and, although it’s taken a while, Nocs has released its new true wireless babies and they sound rather good.
“We spent countless hours on tuning and engineering the sound to be something extraordinary, says Daniel Alm. “I’ve been in the industry since 2009 and this is the best we have done so far. Finally, we are at a place where we can go fully wireless in a compact format; delivering top-performing sound and performance across the board.”
To provide his customers with a truly personal sound experience, Alm turned to Audiodo Personal Sound to tune the earbuds. To get the best from the NS1100 AIR, you need to download the Nocs app and take a hearing test to tailor the earbuds to your unique hearing with a bespoke sound profile.
I took the test and it simply involved pressing a button on my smartphone whenever I could hear a tone as well as when I couldn’t. The frequencies of the tones are spread apart and designed to see ascertain how high a frequency you can hear and at what volume. The left and right ears are tested separately so the earbuds are customized for each ear.
The Audiodo hearing calibration test is a cutting-edge piece of audiometry and has been carefully designed to produce an incredibly precise and thorough model of a user’s sense of hearing in a brief amount of time. Each ear is assessed separately with the entire calibration taking less than three minutes.
With the information collected from the hearing calibration test, the Nocs app instantly computes exactly what changes need to be made to optimize sound quality to best suit the user. No generic compensations are applied. Each user gets a unique customized profile calculated specifically for their hearing.
To my ears, the difference between my pre-test sound and the post-test sound was subtle but a noticeable improvement. I was very happy with the result of my test and it’s good that you can redo the test any time you like.
The NS1100 AIR earbuds come with a selection of silicone ear tips in a range of sizes so you get to create the optimal fit. It’s essential to select the right size for your ears before taking the hearing test. The build quality of the earbuds and the storage case is impressive, but I was surprised to see that they can’t be charged wirelessly. There’s a USB-C port for charging and the earbuds can play for up to nine hours on a single charge. A further 21 hours of backup power is held in the charging case which gives a total of 30 hours before a full recharge is required.
Once up and running I was very impressed with both the volume and the tone of the earbuds thanks to the 9.2mm Graphene-coated dynamic drivers. There’s a satisfying bass that isn’t too enthusiastic and doesn’t swamp the other frequencies. The midrange is perfectly pitched, while the treble is sweet with plenty of detail but no harshness. No matter what genre of music I chose, the NS1100 AIR earbuds took everything in their stride. These earbuds are as good for the spoken word as they are for music. The Audiodo certainly works its magic and isn’t a gimmick.
The hybrid active noise canceling built into the NS1100 AIR uses an inner and an outer MEMs microphone to sample external sound that the Airoha chipset that subtracts from the audio stream to cut out continuous low frequency sound like road noise and aircraft engines. As noise-canceling goes, these earbuds work well. They’re not quite up to headphone effectiveness but they certainly do a good job and I think the ANC gives the music a bit more energy. There’s also a Transparency Mode available so that the user can hear hazards like traffic and useful things like travel announcements.
Like most true wireless earbuds, the NS1100 AIR can be used for making phone calls or giving orders to voice assistants like Apple’s Siri. The MEMs microphones pick up sound well and the Airoha chip does a good job of canceling background noises, making phone calls clearer even in quite windy conditions.
Each earbud features touch controls for doing basic operations like pausing the music, taking and rejecting phone calls, plus turning on the ANC function to cut out unwanted sounds. There’s no touch control for setting volume levels so if that’s a deal-breaker, bear it in mind. Finally, these earbuds have a special nano-coating that shrugs off water, sweat and dust. They aren’t truly waterproof, but the IPX4 waterproof rating is more than effective for a workout at the gym or a jog in the rain
Verdict: These effective earbuds from Sweden offer good value for money. The bespoke personal sound profile adds a lot of value to the Nocs NS1100 AIR and I would recommend spending three minutes taking the test because it’s worth it. I’ve tried these hearing tests before and have often been disappointed, but Nocs has got it right thanks to Audiodo. The battery life is excellent, as are the comfort levels are great. I love the sound of these earbuds and have no hesitancy in recommending them. If I have any criticisms, it would be the lack of wireless charging and touch volume controls. Those two minor gripes aside, these are excellent true wireless earbuds with effective noise cancelation.
Pricing & Availability: The NS1100 AIR earbuds are available worldwide and cost $125 / £104 / €125.
More info: www.nocsdesign.com
- Drivers: 9.2mm electrodynamic Graphene.
- Driver sensitivity: 102 ±3dB.
- ANC: Hybrid active noise cancellation.
- Chipset: Airoha Bluetooth plus DSP.
- Bluetooth version: 5.2.
- Audio codecs: SBC, AAC.
- Microphones: 2x MEMs in each earpiece.
- Impedance: 16 Ohm.
- Frequency Range. 20 – 20,000 Hz.
- Battery; Lithium-Ion 50mAh.
- Earbud battery life: Up to 9 hours.
- Battery life with case: Up to 30 hours.
- Charging port: USB-C.
- Waterproofing: IPX4 (nano-coating for dust and splash/sweat resistance).
- Dimensions: 1.75 x 3 inches.