The High Resolution certified HEM series set a new standard for accuracy, speed and comfort. Designed for music lovers and professionals, these innovative in-ear headphones offer budding artists, home recording musicians and DJs incredible audio reproduction. Combining the latest balanced armature driver technology with advanced crossover design, the HEM series reveal a wider frequency range for the ultimate listening experience.
The HEM series of in-ear headphones let you hear every track in exceptional clarity – for rich full-bodied sound. The combination of cutting-edge design and Hi-Res certified balanced armature driver technology results in balanced sound with crystal clear highs and explosive bass.
The HEM series incorporate a three-way phase-coherent crossover design that achieves linear phase performance. The result is a natural, three-dimensional soundstage, lightning-fast transients and crystalline transparency.
Featuring the latest generation of balanced armature drivers, the HEM series can reach frequencies as high as 40,000Hz - twice the frequency range of other balanced armature IEMs’. Each HEM model houses either four (HEM8), three (HEM6), two (HEM4) or one (HEM2) Knowles™ balanced armature drivers in each earbud – designed to produce pure, authentic sound from a compact body.
Two tangle-free cables are included so you can choose between a microphone and inline remote for convenience, and a high-end cable for the best possible performance. The high-end cable is made of OFC and silver, while the 2-pin cable connectors are a proprietary mix of silver and copper with separate ground return for each channel.
Constructed with acoustically calculated, vibration-free Lexan™ earpieces the HEM series allow for prolonged listening without fatigue at any volume level. The in-ear monitors are lightweight making them ideal for use at home, in a recording studio, on stage or on the go.
For maximum comfort and performance the HEM8 comes with two types of ear tips in a range of sizes for a snug, slip-free fit. These include Comply™ soft memory foam ear tips which shape themselves to fit perfectly in the ear canal, offering superior isolation from noise and creating incredible bass response.
The HEM range of in-ear headphones are able to reproduce musical performance in the way that a professional full range speaker does. The new range is comprised of a modular design that includes a set of drivers controlled by a patented cross over design. An exclusive NuForce designed linear phase network is able to maintain the right note, at the right time and in the correct frequency to be played at all times. This set up allocates specific frequencies to a designated driver ensuring a perfect integration of frequency and phase which result in clarity speed and details that are constant at any volume.
The HEM’s reference performance calls for the best connection and delivery from a source. A hybrid silver/copper-conductor has been tailored specifically for the HEM and is used in the additional high-end braded cable that is offered with every HEM set. In fact, almost as much care and attention has been lavished on the design of the cable as on the earphones themselves, further enhancing and tuning the tonal balance to perfection.
The latest Knowles balanced armature driver is superior to a single dynamic driver. It is able to reach frequencies of up to 40,000Hz without flex and distortion. Unlike a conventional dynamic driver, the balanced armature drivers use a magnet to move a small diaphragm, resulting in vanishingly low distortion levels. The combined ability of the drivers to deliver a greater range of frequencies, in comparison to a dynamic driver, makes them an ideal professional tool for those who record at higher than CD frequencies.
The HEM series is ready for use by those who are mastering or listening to DSD audio files. Due to the miniature size of the armature driver, a number of drivers can be combined together to create a full range sound field. The result is an astonishing life-like, accurate sound that is able to maintain clarity even at the highest volume levels and retrieve critical details at very low volume levels.
To harness the best results from the use of up to eight in-ear speakers in the HEM range, a patent pending crossover mechanism has been adopted. An innovative phase linear mechanism in the form of a first order Butterworth crossover design was chosen to distribute frequencies and maintain the sound in the correct phase at all time. Not only is this unique set-up able to accurately and perfectly assign the frequency to the appropriate driver (bass frequency to the bass driver etc.) it also ensures that the diaphragm movement of each driver is coordinated between all eight inner drivers.
Careful attention to materials and technology used in this new HEM range has resulted in the most accurate delivery of sound to the listener’s ear. The combined result creates a sound stage that is wider and deeper, eliminating the illusion of sound centred between the ears and placing the music across and even in front of the listener.
The NuForce HEM range has been able to meet the exact standards which are awarded to a very select group of models. The Hi-Res certification program is a recent effort that combines both the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® and the Japan Audio Society (JAS). The partnership was established in 2014 to help promote and support the marketplace growth of High-Resolution Audio (Hi-Res Audio or HRA) devices and content. With the growth in popularity of high resolution audio, the NuForce range is able to meet and exceed the very demanding technical factors that are involved in the replay of DSD content. Combined with the Hi-Res certified uDAC5 the HEM series of in-ear headphones offer a complete high resolution audio solution for audio enthusiasts, budding home musicians, DJs and gamers.
With an impedance of 32 ohms, the HEM8 worked well well with my smartphone. The “functional test” with my Sony Xperia with changing genres and different quality of my content shows its ability to present a very good sound.
“With its meticulous, sophisticated yet relaxed sound, the HEM8 is ideal for professional usage in the music studio (for editing, mixing, mastering) and for live monitoring as well as for the musical enjoyment. Thanks to its very fine resolution, it also plays Hi-Res and DSD files easily.”
“The NuForce HEM8 tickles out less bass-loaded content, an outstanding warm while at the same time the best detailed quality. The HEM8 is particularly suitable for classic and jazz music, but also for club sounds with massive bass, it proves its ability".
They did feel extremely light and for many this will be a very positive benefit, as wont strain the ears and can be used onstage even for the most energetic musicians.
It doesn’t mask or distort like other earphones I have tried that seem to vibrate and resonate. Texturing is slightly thick but not heavily coloured.
I am pleased to say that the treble has no observable harshness or sibilance and as a result the HEM8 can be used for longer listening sessions as these do not result in fatiguing or soreness.
The Optoma NuForce HEM8 should be very agreeable to many audio fans out. Build is decent and isolation is easy to achieve. Overall signature is relaxed with strong bass presence, excellent imaging and nice musicality.
"I will not apologize for falling head-over-heals for the HEM series. In its own way, each is breathtaking."
"I mean, just look (again) at the water-tight box it comes in...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."
Overall: Top class - very good
"Optoma NuForce delivers a complete package, with its new flagship HEM8. Packaging, fit and accessories are the same as the rest of the HEM series and therefore also at a high level. For sound reproduction, Optoma opted for a warm and relaxed sound with full, but not exaggerated bass."
“The NuForce HEM8 are a distinctive proposition, technically complex in-ears, which maintains honesty and the highest neutrality of sound reproduction.”
“The HEM8 avoids “show off” performance, it empathises clarity and details. It is the right choice for serious music lovers.”
“The design, combined with the generous selection of eartips, practically ensures a good fit. I found that with the larger of the two sets of Comply foam tips installed, my ears didn’t mind the presence of the HEM8s one bit, and I enjoyed excellent isolation from outside sounds.”
“If you’re looking for high-end earphones that don’t exaggerate anything, never “bite” your ears with harsh treble, and provide full yet precise bass reproduction, the NuForce HEM8s are a great choice.”
"Part of me would like to report that there’s absolutely no reason to pay that much for in-ear monitors, but the HEM8 headphones make a strong case that you really do get a lot more for your money if you’ve got that much to spend. They sound incredible."
“The important thing to know is that each earpiece has four individual drivers. 4+4 drivers = HEM8. The detail is spectacular and the bass is strong without turning the rest of the frequencies to mud like most bass-boosted headphones.”
“They’re for serious listening. If you spend more than a couple of hours a day playing music through headphones, the fact that they don’t cause ear fatigue could make them worth the investment.”
“NuForce has done a great job with their new HEM line-up. The lightweight, ergonomic shells ensure comfortable listening sessions. The accessories package with two cables, two cases, and three kinds of tips is generous”
“HEM8 are easily my favourite IEM in the lineup. HEM8 is the clear winner as the most balanced, musical IEM of the bunch.”