NAD VISO HP50 Headphones Review

Updated Apr 03, 2018 at 05:49 pm
NAD VISO HP50 Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.2
Mixed Usage
7.6
Neutral Sound
5.8
Commute/Travel
6.3
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
5.6
Wireless Gaming
7.4
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The NAD HP50 are good critical listening headphones with a unique look and a decently durable design. They have a well-balanced sound and a stable fit that's good enough for sports, but they're a bit too tight on some heads. They also do not block a lot of noise so they won't be the ideal headphones to use on loud, noisy commutes but on the upside, they do not leak much.

Our Verdict

6.2 Mixed Usage

The HP50 are average mixed usage headphones. They have a simple, wired design with a well-balanced sound that's good for critical listening. They have a unique and decently durable design, and they're fairly lightweight and stable for an over-ear. Unfortunately, their tight fit may be a bit uncomfortable for some, and they do no block a lot of noise so they won't be suitable for commuting.

7.6 Neutral Sound

Good for neutral listening. The Viso HP50 have a well-balanced sound that packs a good amount of bass without drowning the instrumentals and vocals in the mid-range. Their treble frequencies are a little recessed, and the bump in high-bass/low-mid makes their sound feel slightly muddy and boxy overall. They also have a limited soundstage due to their closed-back design, but overall they should sound good enough for most listeners even the more neutral ones. Unfortunately, their tight fit may not be comfortable for very long listening sessions.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
5.8 Commute/Travel

Below-average for commuting. They have a simple and efficient control scheme, and they're decently lightweight. Their passive noise isolation doesn't block enough noise for loud, noisy environments and they're a bit too bulky and slightly uncomfortable at times.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.3 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports. The Nad Viso HP50 have a tight, stable fit that won't easily fall off your head but they're a bit too bulky for more strenuous exercises and sports. The ear cups also trap a lot of heat which will make your ears sweat rather quickly during workouts.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.0 Office

Average for office use. They don't block that much noise which is not ideal for a busy office. However, they also don't leak much so you won't distract anyone in your vicinity if you listen to your music at louder-than-average levels.

See our Office recommendations
5.6 Wireless Gaming

Average for gaming. They have a low latency wired connection but do not have an app or wireless capabilities which are typical for gaming headsets. They also do not have the best mic for multiplayer gaming. They're also a little tight on the head which may get a bit uncomfortable during long gaming sessions.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
7.4 Wired Gaming
6.5 Phone Call
  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.6 Neutral Sound
  • 5.8 Commute/Travel
  • 6.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 5.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Call
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Easy-to-use and stable design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Tight and slightly uncomfortable fit.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The HP50 have a stylish and unique look that feels well-made. They have a thick, cylindrical headband, and flat, square-ish ear cups that make for a decently low profile fit for an over-ear. Their color scheme also stands out with a brushed aluminum finish for the headband frame and bright red plastic casings for the ear cups. Overall, they're an eye-catching headphone, but the casings of the ear cups feel a bit cheap once in your hands.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
1.4 lbs

The NAD Viso HP 50 are well-padded and decently lightweight but uncomfortably tight. They should be good enough for casual listening, and the large ear cups fit well around most ears. Unfortunately, the headband doesn't extend far enough to accommodate all head shapes and sizes, and the hinges swivel in the opposite direction of typical over-ear headphones, like the BeoPlay H6. However, unlike the H6, the swivel stops at 90 degrees with no leeway in the range of motion which contributes to the tight feel of these headphones. On the upside, the soft pads of the ear cups makes the tight fit somewhat bearable but they won't be the most comfortable headphones to wear for very long listening sessions.

7.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
iOS
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons No

The NAD Viso have a simple 3 button set-up that provides all the basic functions; Call/music, track-skipping, and volume control. They do not have any additional features, but the in-line remote buttons are responsive and deliver decent feedback.

6.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.1 C

The Nad HP50, like most closed-back over-ear headphones, will make your ears a little warm after an hour of continuous listening. It's about average for an over-ear with faux leather padding and closed-back ear cups, but this also means they won't be ideal for more strenuous activities. They will make you sweat a bit more than average.

6.2
Design
Portability
L 7.8 "
W 5 "
H 2.3 "
Volume 86 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The Nad Viso HP 50 are not the bulkiest over-ears, but they do not fold into a compact format to save space. The ear cups lay flat which could be handy in some situations but doesn't make them more portable. They're too cumbersome to casually carry around on your person unless you have a bag or backpack.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 8.1 "
W 5.3 "
H 2.5 "
Volume 107.3 Cu. Inches

These headphones come with a good hard case that will shield the headphones against impacts drops and scratches. Unfortunately, the case, like the headphones, is bulky and not very portable.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the HP50 is decent but not great. They have a sturdy and flexible headband that's reinforced with an aluminum frame which makes them decently durable. The hinges also feel sturdy and not loose like some of the other over-ear headsets we've tested. Unfortunately, the ear cups, although dense, are covered in a plastic casing that doesn't feel as durable as the rest of the design. Also, where the ear cups and the hinges meet has a limited swivel range which may cause the plastic casing to crack under moderate stress. Overall the build quality is decent but not as sturdy as the Oppo PM-3 or the Beoplay H6.

7.5
Design
Stability

These headphones have a tight fit on the head which doesn't move around much once you have them on. They're stable enough for jogging and come with a detachable audio cable that will disconnect if it gets hooked on something. However, since they're still fairly bulky over-ears, they will not be the most suitable headphones for intense exercises and workout routines. For example, lying down for a bench press or leaning at an angle will sometimes make the headband shift, which may need readjusting, but compared to other over-ears they should be stable enough for running.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Nad Viso HP50 Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Cable pouch
  • Audio cable (x2)
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Airline Adapter
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.81 db
Treble Amount
-3.69 db
5.7
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.09 dB

The frequency response consistency is sub-par. In the bass range, the maximum amount of deviation on our five human subjects at 20Hz is more than 12dB, which is quite noticeable. The drop in bass was especially pronounced on the subject who wears glasses. So if you have long hair or wear glasses that could break the air-tight seal between the headphones and your ears, you could experience a decrease in bass delivery. However, they are decently consistent in their treble delivery across multiple re-seat, with the maximum deviation of about 3dB below 10KHz.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.08 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
-0.81 dB
Mid-Bass
0.26 dB
High-Bass
3.56 dB

The Nad Viso HP50 have a great bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Accordingly, sub-bass is within 0.8dB of our neutral target, indicating a deep bass with just the right amount of thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres like Dubstep, Hip-hop, and film scores. Mid-bass is also flat and well-balanced, which is important for producing the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums. However, high-bass, is overemphasized by about 4dB, adding a bit of clutter and boominess to the mix. Also, their bass delivery varies significantly across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

8.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.36 dB
Low-Mid
3.1 dB
Mid-Mid
1.73 dB
High-Mid
1.23 dB

The mid-range is very good. The 3dB bump in low-mid is actually the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis, which thickens vocals a bit and adds some muddiness to the mix. Mid-mid and high-mid are relatively flat, but over our neutral target by about 1.5dB, making the overall sound a tad mid-rangy.

8.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.65 dB
Low-Treble
-1.24 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.19 dB
High-Treble
-5.9 dB

The treble of the Viso HP50 is great. The response is quite flat, but slightly uneven throughout the range. Low-treble and mid-treble are underemphasized by 1.2dB, placing the level of detail, brightness, and presence of vocals, lead instruments, and cymbals just south of neutral.

8.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.08 db
Dips
0.84 db
8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.19
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.57
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.27
Weighted Phase Mismatch
6.0

The imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is at 0.19 which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase responses, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, and video game effects), in the stereo image.

6.1
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
4.06 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.89 dB
PRTF Distance
14.67 dB
Openness
5.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.8

The soundstage is mediocre. The PRTF graph shows a average amount of pinna interaction, and there is even a good amount of depth to the 10KHz notch. However, the accuracy of the activation is not good. This results in a soundstage that may be perceived as small, but not located entirely in the head. Additionally, due to their closed-back design, their soundstage won't feel as open and spacious as that of an open-back headphone.

7.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.301
WHD @ 100
0.093
Isolation
4.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.96 dB
Bass
0.93 dB
Mid
-5.47 dB
Treble
-31.66 dB

The isolation performance is sub-par. The Nad Viso HP50 don't have ANC (active noise cancellation) and isolate passively using only their ear cups. Therefore, they don't isolate in the bass range and will let in all the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, where most of the speech sits, they achieved about 5dB of isolation, which is inadequate. In the treble range however, which is occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they achieved about 32dB of isolation, which is good.

7.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
34.95 dB

The leakage performance is very good. The significant portion of their leakage is between 400Hz and 3KHz, which is a relatively broad range and covers portions of both the mid and treble ranges. However, the overall level of leakage is very low. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage will peak at around 45dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is below the noise floor of most offices.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A

The NAD Viso HP50 has an average microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound noticeably thin, but quite detailed and easily understandable. In noisy environments, however, they will struggle to separate speech from background noise in loud places like a subway station. But they will perform well in quiet and moderately loud situations.

7.4
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
507.97 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.79 dB
HFE
16491.42 Hz
Weighted THD
0.582
Gain
21.22 dB

The Viso HP50's mic has a decent recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 508Hz suggests that speech recorded or transmitted with this microphone will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 16KHz is excellent and along with the mostly flat response means that speech will have the right amount of detail and brightness. The dip around 10KHz negatively affects the presence of sibilances (S and Ts), but it won't affect the intelligibility of speech.

6.4
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
16.34 dB

The in-line microphone of the Viso HP50 is below-average at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 16dB. This means they perform best in quiet and moderately loud environments, but they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in very loud places.

Active Features
N/A
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A

The HP50 does not require a battery.

N/A
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

These headphones do not have a compatible app or software. If you want a wired headphone with app support, try the Logitech G430.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

The Nad Viso HP50 do not have any Bluetooth capabilities. If you want Bluetooth compatible headphones, check out our best recommendations here.

These headphones have a wired connection with negligible latency.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 3.5 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

These headphones have a 1/8TRRS iOS audio cable that does not have microphone compatibility with consoles. If you have a headphone/microphone port on your laptop or tablet then you will have microphone access but for desktops, you may need an adapter.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

The Nad Viso HP50 do not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Nad HP50 have a simple, wired design that's easy-to-use and decent for most use cases. They have a good, well-balanced sound for critical listening and a unique look that stands out and feels sufficiently well-made. Unfortunately, they're a bit too tight on the head for some listeners, and their build quality doesn't feel as durable as some of the other closed-back critical listening headphones that we've tested. They also struggle a bit in loud environments so they won't be the best headphones for noisy commutes. See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best wired headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.

NAD VISO HP50 Price

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