I met for the first time Swedish company Nocs Design about 10 years ago, when it released a series of beautiful headphones. I tested the titanium NS400 and the bass-forward NS600 – and found both to be very good, clear, crisp and clear in-ears. Nocs went on to make great DJ headphones and computer speakers, but then the brand disappeared.
That’s right, it changed. The founder and chief designer, Daniel Alm, switched to creating luxury watches sold under the Nocs Atelier name. After several years on the road, Alm and his team are returning to audio. Nocs’ first audio product in years is a pair of wireless headphones called the NS1100 Air.
A lot has changed in the time Nocs has been in the audio market. The wireless revolution has improved everything. Now we have AirPods and Pixel Buds and Beats and Galaxy Buds. We’ve got high-quality blades to match Jaguar paint, and cheap enough junk to fill Hudson Bay. These Nocs were fun. Well, they do. The headphones are comfortable to wear, easy to maintain, and sound great. They also have a great design, look great, and perhaps best of all – cost less than $130.
The Nocs NS1100 Air is a wireless, dual-blade model that sits in a charging case that fits in the palm of your hand. Inside each bud is a 9.2-mm driver, a microphone for calls and feeding an all-noise canceling system (ANC) that blocks out external sounds and a transparent structure that lets outside noise into your ears. They use Bluetooth 5.0, so their signal quality and stability are exemplary. I never experienced a dropped connection in my months of testing them, even with my laptop in the other room or my phone buried in my bag.
When you first open the box, you’ll find six different head sizes. This is three more than most companies offer; therefore, it is easy to find a tip that provides a good fit and a good seal inside your ear canal. A tip on these tips: Your ear canals can vary in size. Mine is, and I tend to forget about it until I try on a pair of headphones with eartips that fit perfectly.
The blades are usually plastic (only available in matte black) and although this makes them feel light, it gives them a lightness that makes them comfortable to wear. With the right ear, the lightweight and flexible design allows the earbuds to float in your ears. It makes them less tired to wear for a long time.
They are controlled by touch panels on each ear. Click the right earbud to play and pause the song, or skip to the next tip. Press the left earpiece to switch between three modes: ANC mode, visual mode, or individual sound and turn off both modes.
There is no audio signal to let you know your status, just to announce that you have changed colors. If you want to know which version you have, you can download the Nocs app, where the controls are listed. In fact, I recommend downloading the app to complete it try it way to customize the headphones. This is a feature of Nocs Design developed with the help of our technical partner Audiodo. Start the calibration mode and you will hear several tones in the headphones. Whenever you hear a tone, tell the app that you can hear it; This works like a hearing test that you can take at an audiologist’s office. After a few minutes of playing hide and seek, the app creates a Personal Sound profile. You can turn it on or off in the app whenever you want. (This program can save many records at the same time.)