The NT6-pro was the original ‘king of clarity’. While it’s already a couple of years old, it proves that new isn’t necessarily better; the NT6-pro still rivals the best, combining an exciting sound with an excellent technical performance.
-Drivers: 6 BA drivers
-Design: 5-way crossover, 3 sound bores
-Impedance: 45 Ohm
-Sensitivity: 107 dB
The industry standard Plastics One 3-wire OFC cable has a warm tonality, which primarily results from its rolled off upper treble, and lightly enhanced upper-bass. The midrange is linear, resulting in an overall neutral note size. While the mid-bass is warm and natural in tone, it’s not particularly controlled. Accordingly, the loose bass results in a warmer stage structure. This affects the airiness of the stage as well as its transparency; especially since its top end does not extend very far. However, while the cable doesn’t perform very well when it comes to resolution and transparency, its warmer tone results in a fairly smooth and natural signature.
Quite frankly, I much like this pairing. Despite a reasonable arsenal of cables, I nearly always hook up the NT6-pro to its stock cable. Its warmer touch and smooth tone provides the yin to the brighter NT6-pro’s yang. Sure, a higher quality cable will have an even cleaner and possibly larger stage, but the NT6-pro’s stage has more than sufficient air as well as sparkle due to its lifted treble. The Plastics One however maintains the warmer touch in its midrange, essential for its unique signature.
The NT6-pro is a remnant of one of the first generations of flagship iems, from back in a time when there were only a handful to choose from. The original NT6 had earned its niche position as ‘the king of clarity’; a linearly tuned reference monitor that stood out for its technical performance. The NT6-pro was a variation on a similar theme, but deviated with a modest boost in its bass, as well as a lift in its treble. But unfortunately, neither of the iems really got the traction they deserved; at least in the Western audiophile community. The NT6-pro became more or less known as just a bright iem, a treble-heavy iem with a focus on clarity; more of an ‘analytical’ tuning perhaps. But I’m here to say this really isn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, the NT6-pro provides analytical precision when it comes to resolution, transparency, and imaging. But it’s so much more – the NT6-pro has a soul.
There are dominant elements throughout the NT6-pro’s signature that might warrant the classification of a ‘technical iem’. I’ve mentioned its performance. And then there’s its modestly boosted bass, which focus remains on the technical side of things – speed and precision. But emphasising ‘technical’ isn’t nearly doing this iem justice. For starters, the NT6-pro sparkles like a Christmas tree. But it’s an isolated touch of brightness in its treble notes; it doesn’t sound bright across the board. The key of the NT6-pro’s tuning lies in its midrange. Its treble might be on the brighter side, but its vocal presentation is pleasingly warm and impressively balanced – this is a midrange highly capable of conveying emotion.
The NT6-pro’s stage is the near definition of a ‘classic stage’; a good deal wider than deep and tall, in decent porportions. It’s roughly average in its overall dimensions, but it’s a high quality stage. The NT6-pro isn’t only highly resolved, it’s also very clear as a result of its lifted treble. Adding that touch of clarity increases the articulation of the notes, while adding an abundance of air to the stage – its stage is very clean. Similar to the S-EM9, its instrument size is slightly leaner, which again, benefits its separation. Add pinpoint precise imaging and excellent layering, and the result is an exceptionally well-defined image. Crystal clear, and holographic due its precision.