Headphones and Earphones

NAD HP20 In-Ear Headphones (Earbuds)


Introduction to the NAD HP20 In-Ear Headphones

The HP20 is a welcome addition to the in-ear (earbud) headphone family from none other than NAD. These little guys pack a lot of punch into a small package and at $169 they cost almost half as much as the $299 NAD HP50 headphones. Like the HP50, the HP20 also takes advantage of the years of research spent at the acoustic labs of Canada's National Research Council. This research is what Paul Barton utilized to create RoomFeel, the concept of making a headphone sound more like listening to a pair of speakers in a room.

While I would love to compare the HP50 to the HP20, there is too much of a difference between the design of a headphone and that of an in-ear. In an over-the-ear headphone, the driver rests a small distance away from the ear while an in-ear speaker sits inside the ear canal. This causes much of the tiny speaker's performance to depend on the position and seal inside the canal.

An earbud (in-ear headphone) resting on the outside, hanging on for dear life, will lose much of the low frequency response, creating a harsh and unpleasant sound. Stuffed too far in with no air flow and the sound pressure can become uncomfortable. For these reasons, I prefer to judge each in-ear on their own merits, as opposed to comparing one in-ear to another headphone such as the HP50. In this particular case, the NAD HP20 performed well, with a warm and full tonal balance and solid build quality. Go to Page 2: Design


  • Design: In-Ear Headphones (Earbuds)
  • MSRP: $169 USD
  • NAD
  • SECRETS Tags: NAD, In-Ear Headphones, Audio, Earbuds