What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 26 Jul 2012, 4:06pm

Nixon The Wire

Tested at £30

If style is your thing, go for it. If music matters, though, these are best avoided

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  • Well-designed
  • tons of different finishes
  • great detail in upper frequencies


  • Bass is almost completely absent
  • no richness or warmth
  • lacking in drama

There’s always a risk when it comes to making stylish products like these. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good they sound – people will always put the boot in and say they’re lacking substance just because time and money has been spent on the design, rather than the sound. That, sadly, is not the case here.

The Nixon Wires are all midrange and treble, with no meaningful bass to speak of. At first, we thought we hadn’t got them seated correctly in our ears, but alas, all was snug and sealed. There just isn’t any warmth to the Nixons; no richness or sense of musicality – just thin, brittle tinniness.

Nixon The Wire: Lack of bass
That said, that lack of bass does have one advantage: it’s allowed these headphones to offer a creditable amount of detail. There’s definitely a lot going on – instruments are easy to pick out in the stereo field, and individual parts can be distinguished and followed even if they’re low in the mix.

Vocals, likewise, are articulate and there’s plenty of finesse when it comes to fine inflection… but we just can’t get past that lack of punch or bass. Music needs to flow freely to be enjoyable, and The Wires make it feel as though it’s been chopped off at the neck.

Nixon The Wire: Verdict
As with the AiAiAi Pipes, it’s a real shame – a lot of thought has clearly gone into the design and build (which are both exemplary at this price). If only there was a bit more substance under all that style.

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