The Playback editors have come to respect the designs we’ve reviewed from NuForce. Their amps and D/A converters consistently offer good value. Not only that, NuForce seems to have a guiding vision that, in a short phrase, might be captured as “sonic clarity top to bottom”.
Recently, NuForce sent us their UF-30 headphones. In keeping with the NuForce value orientation, these retail for $59. They are lightweight, on-ear headphones designed for mobility, since they fold up and store neatly in a small oval case that actually offers some protection from the bump and grind of city life. The UF-30’s claim to fame is the use of driver technology licensed from Ultrasone.
Ultrasone is a somewhat below-the-radar German headphone company, whose costly but exquisite Edition 8 model left a serious positive impression on us. The UF-30s, like the Edition 8s, use a patented Ultrasone technology called S-Logic. While it sounds like something digital, S-Logic in fact involves the acoustics of using an offset driver to make the headphones sound more spacious and less “in your skull.” Ultrasone’s Edition 8 retails for around $1500, though, so having similar technology in a $59 headphone is interesting to say the least.