Driver Setup: 10mm LCP Dynamic Driver
Disclaimer: The ZiiGaat Nuo was provided to us at no charge courtesy of Linsoul. However, this was done in understanding I was to give my honest thoughts and opinions of the Nuo. The ZiiGaat Nuo is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in a pair, or feel free to use your own links.
ZiiGaat seems to be a relatively new brand that has broken onto the scene. They seem to be comprised of a team who are relatively experienced in the industry, and their name is said to be “derived from our core values: Zero-in on Ideas, Innovate, Grow and Achieve All Together”. Interesting.
The Nuo is their first IEM that I have tried, and is an ultra-budget single dynamic driver earphone. his is an extremely challenging price range to break into with so many solidified options available already, from the 7HZ Zero 1 and more recently Zero:2, Moondrop’s Chu, as well as the Tangzu Wan’er among many others. Without further ado, we shall see how the ZiiGaat Nuo fares.
Just like the other ultra-budget IEMs on the market, the packaging for the Nuo is done in a similarly simple fashion. It comes with a simple black cable that is twisted. It is quite soft and pairs quite well with the IEM and its all-black aesthetic. Nothing to scream about but definitely not an issue.
Build Quality and Fit
ZiiGaat nailed the fit on the Nuo. The shape of the buds sits snugly in the ears. the profile of the shells is quite comfortable for slightly smaller ears as well. The shells are made from resin with a matte brushed metal faceplate. I like the all-black aesthetic, all done very tastefully despite being less flashy than many other designs.
The silicone tips that come with the buds are seemingly standard but they do give a comfortable and secure fit. It has a very nice gummy texture for lack of a word to describe it.
Frequency Response of the ZiiGaat Nuo
- Lotoo Paw S2
- Fiio BTR7
- SMSL M200–>Schiit Magnius
Music listened to
- Jackson Browne
- Michael Buble – To Be Loved
- Maroon 5
- Cory Asbury
- Martin Frost
- Nutcracker Suite
- The Eagles
- The Carpenters
- Ava Max
Despite being marketed as a balanced IEM, the bass is quite prominent in the tuning. It extends quite linearly into the sub-bass region as well, with a very satisfying rumble. Midbass has plenty of body and meat, and the entire bass region stands out when listening to Pop songs. It complements Orchestral tracks well too so it doesn’t sound too heavy in the mids/upper mids. While these aren’t bass-focused, bass lovers would never find the bass here anaemic. If there is anything else I would’ve preferred was for the midbass to be a little quicker and punchier as a personal preference.
The midrange tuning is quite well done here to achieve a rather natural tonality. There isn’t any weird honkiness or harshness. Despite having slightly more forward upper mids, the Nuo avoids shoutiness in both male and female vocals and hits a rather sweet spot. There is a good amount of energy and helps the vocals stand out. Instruments like saxophones, guitars, and violin melodies are especially engaging. Separation and layering way surpass expectations for a $20-$30 IEM but there are noticeable limitations to what it can achieve.
The highs are quite energetic. The extension here is quite impressive for a budget IEM. The cymbals and high hats have a very nice air and timbre to them and do sound quite life-like, though they can get a bit hot on some tracks especially if tracks in your playlists have a lot of them.
I find that these are a little fatiguing for me for longer listening sessions and slightly less comfortable for longer listening than the Zero:2. They might not be the best option for long hours of gaming.
ZiiGaat weren’t messing around. One area the Nuo impressed me was the level of technicalities it could deliver at this price point. I can safely say the Nuo comes out tops over the Zero 1 and 2 for detail retrieval. While it may not be as tonally accurate, it does come close. The Nuo also has quite a wide soundstage and good overall imaging, something that helps elevate the sound profile. It really is the gift that keeps giving. Overall, the Nuo remains a top option for a budget do-it-all IEM and is one that puts a smile on my face during my listening sessions. It’s finds like these that make this hobby so enjoyable and I am pleased to call the Nuo a real gem.
As quirky as a name, ZiiGaat is for a brand, that would be the last word used to describe these IEMs. I came into these not knowing what to expect and I was taken aback by the all-round quality served by the Nuos. From the physical construction of the IEMs to the tuning of the IEM, everything seems to be very intentional and well-executed by ZiiGaat, this is not the work of amateurs.
I have no qualms recommending the Nuo and would put it out there to compete with the 7Hz Zeros in the ultra-budget range. Which you would pick would go down to personal sonic preferences, and perhaps which genres of music you listen more to. If you like to listen to your music with a more engaging presentation with some energy and sparkle in the highs, do consider getting the Nuos.
Overall Grade: A
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