NF Audio NA3 Essentials is a brand new Music series single dynamic driver IEM that features a unique Pixel Monster design on the face covers. Available in three color options, the NA3 Essentials features solid polycarbonate material shells. The pair uses a dual-cavity dynamic driver.
NF Audio has designed the latest NA3 Essentials on a unique Pixel Monster theme. The pair has got a pixelated monster design on the face covers of the ear shells. According to the brand, “Pixel Monster” represents the infinite possibilities of the spiritual world where music is the basic element of building the world.
NA3 Essentials come equipped with a specially optimized dual-cavity ESC dynamic driver per side. It uses a high-quality 5u polymer composite diaphragm that produces a warm and smooth sound presentation. For the record, the output has a wide frequency response range, it delivers an immersive 3D soundstage with crisp clarity and resolution.
NF Audio has designed the ear shells for NA3 Essentials using high-strength polycarbonate material. The shells are lightweight, skin-friendly, and have a comfortable ergonomic shape. The pair provides an extremely comfortable listening experience for the users with good isolation.
NF Audio NA3 Essentials comes packed with a 5N oxygen-free copper silver-plated cable that has no microphonic issues. It’s on the stiff side though. I liked the metal design of the 3.5mm connector.
The latest NA3 has nice packaging with an audio CD design on the front. The package includes a storage bag and multiple pairs of high-quality silicone ear tips in different sizes.
What’s in the box
Dual Cavity ESC dynamic driver unit with a high-polymer composite diaphragm.
Overall bass quantity on the NA3 is about right, slightly elevated, but still presented well. In terms of quality, the bass on the NA3 is articulate and controlled. The bass is presented with authority at a decent amount but never comes across as muddy or boomy. Playing tracks with impactful drum passages on the NA3, it’s apparent that the quantity of the bass on the NA3 is ample, however, the decay of each drum hit drags along a little too long. While drum hits are apparent and present, the impact of each hit is not as distinct as I would have wanted it to be.
The song Wicked Game by Chris Isaac features his deep vocals, but it remains clear. On the right headphone, it has this slightly ethereal quality that sometimes gives me goosebumps. Although the vocals on the NM2+ are generally clear, it couldn’t quite present that ethereal quality in my opinion. Female vocals on the other hand sound slightly less emphasized than male vocals, but it retains that accurate presentation. Playing notes on the guitar’s upper registers, each note remains detailed and each pluck of the guitar string remains vivid. Listening to Sungha Jung’s version of River Flows in you, each note sounded separated quite well but timbre accuracy could be better. Instrumental tracks on the piano also sounded similarly natural. However, the distinct timbre of each instrument would sometimes get lost in the background when the song gets busier.
When using the balanced tips, the most noticeable part of the frequency spectrum is the treble. Although it tends to be a bit bright, treble never ends up piercing. With the use of the bass eat tips, the treble is significantly tamed down, however, it remains very articulate. Cymbal hits don’t draw as much attention with the bass ear tips, but they remain controlled. Each cymbal hit is rendered well and separated from the previous hit. I believe the controlled and unobtrusive nature of the treble on the NA3 allows the rest of the frequency response to having a natural timbral quality to them. All things considered, the NA3 with the atmosphere tips has a well-balanced and coherent tonality to it. Giving each frequency range a chance to shine, and sound natural depending on what your source material would intend.
The soundstage on the NA3 is pretty good, where the sides extend quite a bit beyond my head, while the center image is placed slightly in front of my head and has a tangible quality to it. The overall shape of the soundstage is oblong, which is how it should naturally be. Imaging is also accurate in terms of directionality. There is a general sense of where each sound element is coming from in the sound field. While the general direction of each sound element is rendered well, it does lack some depth and layering information. The size of the image that is created is also quite small, making each sound feel like it emanates from a point source instead of a wall of sound.
NF Audio NA3 has a relaxed slightly V-shaped sound signature. Both the sound signature and the sweet design of the NA3 make it very attractive in my opinion. The NA3 has a warm, smooth, lively sound with a spacious presentation. The pair complements different genres of music well and delivers a good performance with excellent resolution and clarity for its price.