Introduction

Echobox is a company based in US and went through a successful Indiegogo campaign in 2015. They started out with the Finder X1 which is an extremely durable titanium-housed earphone. It uses the German PEEK driver and there are interchangeable filters. In addition, Echobox has their own digital audio player (DAP) in the Explorer. Recently, they have released their entry level in-ear monitor as well as their flagship. They are the Traveler and the Nomad respectively. In this review, I will be reviewing the Nomad. I would like to thank Echobox for this review unit. At the moment, you can purchase the Nomad from https://echoboxaudio.com/products/the-nomad-replaceable-cable-titanium-earphone .

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Specifications

  • Housing: Titanium
  • Driver: 9.2mm PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone) Dynamic Driver
  • Frequency Range: 5Hz – 60kHz
  • Sensitivity: 96dB/Mw
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -42 +/- 3dB
  • Impedance: 22 ohms
  • THD: < 1 %

Unboxing & Accessories

The Echobox Nomad comes in a black package with the Echobox brand name printed on it. It has a greyish protective cover. On the cover front, there are an image of the iem, the model name and the brand name. At the bottom left of the cover front, there is the “Hi-Res Audio” logo. At the sides of the cover, there are description of specifications, accessories and contact information. Next, the cover back shows the background of Echobox. After opening the black package, there are the instruction manual, warranty card, snugs compatibility card and social media information card. The Nomad sits nicely on a soft foam. Below the Nomad, there is the cable. The compartment below contains the carrying case which consists of silicone tips, foam tips and the interchangeable filters. The unboxing is excellent and it has a premium feel to it.

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IEM Build & Design

The Nomad has a silver faceplate that has a striped design on it. On the middle of the faceplate, the Echobox logo and name are printed on it in black colour. There are L & R markings printed at the edge to differentiate between left and right. The material used is titanium. On the inside of each iem side, there is a soft rubbery surface with “NOMAD” printed on it. It is an excellent design as it ensures that the parts of the iem touching the skin is soft. Like the Finder, the Nomad is constructed with a solid build quality. The weight is slightly heavier than your usual iem. Despite the slightly heavier weight, the Nomad is actually very comfortable and sits in my ear comfortably. I am able to use it for a long listening session. The Nomad utilises MMCX sockets. Overall, the Nomad is built excellently and it has a great design.

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Cable Build & Design

The cable that comes with the Nomad is made of silver plated copper. It is not braided and has a 2 core design. It is supple and flexible. On each of the MMCX connectors, there is the Echobox logo on the outside while there are L & R markings on the inside to differentiate between left and right. The connectors are slightly angled. There is no memory wire section. The microphone has a silver housing with black buttons. The chin slider and the y-splitter are made of rubber. Lastly, the jack is 3.5mm gold plated with a silver housing. There is strain relief.

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Sound Analysis

Lows

The Nomad has a great sub-bass quantity and it is boosted really well. The sub-bass extends itself greatly and the rumble is quick with agility. There is a good level of cleanliness to the sub-bass and it is being presented with impact and finesse. There is a fantastic punch and the Nomad sounds authoritative and controlled. The decay is pacey and the speed it displays is great. It packs energy and details. The bass texture is quite smooth. Bass articulation is very accurate. The mid-bass has a good quantity and it displays a very tight slam which contributes to the overall dynamics. The clinical approach the Nomad operates on gives the bass presentation a superb clean feel.

Mids

The Nomad applies a transparent and clean style to its midrange. It is presented with an excellent mastery and definition. There is a fluid midrange that packs details and the execution is on point. The lower mids do not have a lot of quantity but male vocals are being expressed rather well. The body is just sufficient for it. Next, for the upper mids, it is not the type of forward approach in which the vocals are presented straight at your face but instead, it is being expressed politely yet still retains the excitement for female vocals to shine. The midrange has a great fluidity and packs details.

Highs

The treble is extended excellently without sounding too shouty. There is a good body to it. There is no sibilance and harshness in the treble and I personally do not find it fatiguing to listen to. The presentation is clean and detailed. There is a very nice crisp and high standard of definition. The treble articulation is clear-cut without sounding aggressive. With a good amount of air rendered, there is good space at the top end and this will lighten the presentation so it will not be very dense sounding.

Soundstage

The Nomad tackles both aspects of the soundstage clinically. The expansion of width is clean and there is a good magnitude in it. The depth is not very close in and there is a good amount of space rendered. Vocals and instruments positioning is very accurate. Separation is at a top standard.

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Comparisons

Echobox Nomad vs Beyerdynamic Xelento

The Nomad has slightly more sub-bass quantity than the Xelento. Xelento is able to extend its sub-bass with more depth and there is more precision. The sub-bass articulation on both are great but Xelento has an edge in a more visceral impact. Bass texture on the Nomad is smoother and the bass decay on the Xelento is being presented with more speed. There is more pace and this extra agility helps to improve the overall dynamics. The mid-bass on the Xelento has slightly more body and slower in its presentation. The slam is greater to an extent. Next, for the lower mids, there is slightly more body in the Nomad and this extra quantity helps the Nomad to portray male vocals in a slightly thicker and lusher manner. Moving on to the upper mids, the Xelento presents it in a warm and smooth manner. For the Nomad, there is more crisp and definition. The organic feeling is better conveyed on the Xelento. Next, in the treble aspect, there is no sibilance and harshness on both and there is a great amount of air rendered at the top end. Lastly, for the soundstage, Xelento has a more natural expansion in its width and it has more depth. Due to the smooth nature of Xelento, the Nomad has an edge due to its transparency. Vocals and instruments positioning is accurate on both but the separation is slightly better on the Nomad. Resolution on the Xelento is better.

Echobox Nomad vs Echobox Finder

The Nomad has more sub-bass quantity than the Finder significantly and it has a far greater extension. There is more depth on the Nomad than the Finder. Furthermore, the bass presentation on the Nomad has more authority and the articulation is more accurate. There is just more punch on the Nomad resulting in a stronger dynamics.         Bass texture on the Nomad is rendered more smoothly. Decay on the Nomad is more agile and there is a more engaging rumble. The midrange on the Nomad is more fluid than the Finder. The lower mids is presented with more finesse on the Nomad and there is more body to it which will help to express male vocals better. The upper mids on the Nomad is tight and controlled. It is not shouty at all. The Finder has less mastery and it is shown when comparing with the Nomad. Next, for the treble section, Nomad has better details accuracy and the treble extends with more confidence. There is more air rendered on the Nomad. Nomad is a matured version of the Finder and it delivers with a close control. Next, for the soundstage, the Nomad is able to excel in both width and depth. Resolution on the Nomad is better.

Echobox Nomad vs HiFiMAN RE800

The Nomad has more sub-bass quantity than RE800 and it is being presented with similar extension. Nomad has the speed in this department and the agility is demonstrated here. Decay is quicker on the Nomad. The bass texture on the RE800 is smoother. There is a quicker rumble on the RE800 but more authority is being expressed on the Nomad. The lower mids on the RE800 has more body and this translates to a more emotional presentation of male vocals. The upper mids on the Nomad is less forward than RE800 but the polite approach is soothing to listen to. There is more crisp and definition on the RE800. Both are tight and controlled in their expression, Next, in terms of treble, there is more slightly more extension on the RE800 but the crisp on the Nomad is better. There is more air rendered on the RE800. Lastly, for the soundstage, the RE800 has a more natural expansion in its stage width while the Nomad operates in a clean and clinical approach. The depth is pretty similar. Resolution is approximately the same.

Conclusion

The Echobox Nomad is an excellent iem that provides a matured and transparent presentation with a combination of visceral sub-bass, clean midrange and controlled treble. In addition, the housing is made of titanium and it is constructed well. With a pleasant sound signature and sturdy build, the Nomad marks Echobox’s flagship iem.

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