Polk Nue Voe in-ear headphones
Polk's stylish and light Nue Voe earbuds do an excellent job of reproducing high- and low-frequency sounds
- Excellent overall sound
- Fit snuggly without being uncomfortable
- Thin cords
- Remote only works with iOS devices
Polk's Nue Vow are a breed of in-ear headphones that will suit most types of music. We found their sound to be clear, accurate, and powerful. They also look good and fit securely. We just wish their cable was a little thicker and that the inline remote wasn't restricted to iOS.
Price$ 279.00 (AUD)
Polk recently released a couple of new in-ear-style headphones that should be appealing to the mobile crowd. Its Nue Voe headphones are the ones we're looking at here, and they have been designed in a way that makes them look more interesting than most of the other earbuds on the Australian market. Importantly, they also produce excellent sound.
The Nue Voe earbuds are supplied with differently sized tips so that they will fit most ears, and once you insert the earbuds in your ears, you need to twist them downwards a little so that they lock in place. They have little 'wings' on them that feature a pattern that’s reminiscent of a wood grain pattern from afar, though they are a see-through plastic (polymer resin). These wings sit just inside the ear and ensure that the earbuds won't come loose. As far as earbud designs go, this is among our favourites, simply because it means the earphones won't drop out of your ears each time you make a sudden movement. It also makes the seal between the earbud and the ear canal a little more secure.
As for comfort, we used the smallest tips for our ears, and didn't find them to be too annoying. They sat tightly in our ears, which meant that we did experience a little soreness after a few hours of listening, but it was nothing that couldn't be fixed with a slight re-adjustment of the earbuds, just to give our ears a little break from the pressure. In an interesting design choice by Polk, the wing part of the earbuds has a hole in it so that your ears can still get a little bit of air, and we think this plays a role in the overall comfort of these earbuds. It also makes them feel very light.
In comparison, Polk has also released a more affordable set of earbuds called Nue Era. These are solid, rather than having a hole in them, and they feel very heavy and bulky in the ears. In fact, we couldn't get the Nue Era earbuds to sit comfortably in our ears at all, even when we used the smallest tip. They were just too tight and produced noticeable soreness. We prefer the Nue Voe all the way.
The cord that comes with the New Voe earbuds is about 130cm long, and it has a four-pole, right-angled plug, which, in conjunction with the built-in inline remote on the right earbud, can be used to control an i-device (it also has a built-in microphone). You can still use these earbuds on an Android device (as we did for our testing), but it means that you won't reap the benefits of their full functionality. Only the play/pause button will work on an Android smartphone; the volume buttons won't do anything.
We found the overall sound quality of the Nue Voe to be excellent. In our tests, they produced a natural sounding output that wasn't overly biased to any particular frequency. At the same time, they still provided the necessary punch that some music required. For example, when we played Sietta's bass-heavy track 'What am i supposed to do', it sounded crisp, loud, and its heavy hits were reproduced in a heavy manner without being embellished. The Chemical Brothers' 'Under the Influence', with its long, drooping bass line that usually demolishes lesser quality speakers, was handled with relative ease, and the whole song played back as wildly as we expected.
Apart from electronica, other musical styles were reproduced equally well. Songs like Soundgarden's 'Loud love' sounded as clear as ever, with guitar riffs, growling vocals and drum hits all distinguishable, even at the loudest volume setting. All of the rock music that we played was reproduced with a good enough amount of oomph to sound pleasing to our ears. We never felt the need to play with equaliser settings except on some older material, but then again, we do that with other earbuds on those songs, too.
Basically, we think the sound of these earbuds is neutral enough to benefit all types of music. We tested primarily with a volume level of 75 per cent. That said, for older tunes, such as Gina Ravine's 'Love is a fire', we had to turn up the volume all the way in order for the wide range of frequencies in this track to be enjoyable. In the same vein, some of you might find that a lot of R&B tunes require a little more volume than other types of music, especially if they are tunes that are produced with a tilt towards low frequencies (such as some of Alicia Keys' early work, for example).
You have to remember to turn the volume down if you have a louder song in your playlist, because these headphones can really pump at high volume. The neat thing is that if you do turn up the volume, the headphones won't leak sound too far from the source. This makes them a good choice for office use when you want to block out the sound around you and just listen to a musical piece that will help you concentrate. People will only hear sounds coming from them if they are sitting uncomfortably close to you.
On the opposite end, the sound isolation on these headphones is also good — you can't really hear what's going on around you from about 75 per cent volume — though they don't totally eradicate external sound. Music with lots of lulls in it can end up exposing you to noise from your surroundings, such as people talking, or fingers hitting a keyboard in an office.
The one disappointing aspect of these headphones is the very light cord. If you are listening at a low volume and the cord accidentally hits your collar, for example, you'll be able to hear that noise clearly over the music. We would have preferred slightly thicker cord, and perhaps a little more length so that the cord could be routed over the top of your ears to stop the vibration from accidental hits being heard over the music.
These earbuds have a retail price of $279, but if you’re after a pair that’s stylish, that can sit snugly in your ear, and that can produce excellent sound, then we think they’re worth it. They work on Android as well as iOS, but their remote control will only work properly with iOS devices, so we’ll also say that you should consider these earbuds especially if you have an iPhone. They come with a soft pouch for transportation, and seven sets of silicone ear tips, including two that are flanges, and two that are memory foam.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTAgile Scrum Master/TrainerNSW
- FTHTML DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTDigital ProducerNSW
- CCSenior Full-Stack Developer (Digital Transformation Project)QLD
- CC1st / 2nd Level Help Desk SupportNSW
- CCEngineer/Developer - Comptel - TelcoVIC
- FTSenior Data Warehouse ConsultantNSW
- CCIntegration ArchitectACT
- FTProject Manager - InfrastructureVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- FTFull Stack Developer - Symfony 2QLD
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTSystem AnalystsACT
- FTOffice Administrator.VIC
- CCPMO AnalystVIC
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- TPBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- CCVirtualisation / Infrastructure ArchitectACT
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- CCNetwork Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCAutomation DeveloperNSW