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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google marries AI, hardware and software with Made By Google
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
- Bose Upgrade Q35 for Google Assistant
- Jabra Evolve 75e brings earbud design, Active NC and ‘busylight’ to the workplace
- Jaybird go true wireless with new RUN earbuds
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- iPhone 8
- Canon 6D MK II: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic’s EX600U UHD HDR TV + HTB688 soundbar:
- 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
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCPenetration Test AnalystACT
- CCProcess Specialist-Lean Six SigmaNSW
- CCAgile Business Analyst - BrisbaneVIC
- FTSolutions Architect - Higher EducationOther
- FTProject Manager unique start up opportunity.NSW
- CCBusiness Analyst / DesignerNSW
- FTIteration Manager / Scrum Master - DigitalOther
- FTApplication Migration EngineerOther
- CCIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTPre Sales Architect - Cyber SecurityACT
- CCUX Developer / DesignerQLD
- FTLead Business AnalystNSW
- FTAccount ManagerACT
- FTSystems AnalystsOther
- CCInfrastructure Architect - TelcoVIC
- FTSenior Wintel Engineer, VMware, SCCMOther
- FTProgram ManagerSA
- CCSenior PMO ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Business Case - Risk & Compliance - ContractNSW
- FTNon - functional Test LeadVIC
- CCLinux AdministratorNSW
- FTPEGA ArchitectOther
- FTSolution ArchitectWA