Chris Martens Reviews Nordost Headphone Cables for The Absolute Sound

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Since its release in 2014, the Heimdall Headphone Cable has made a tremendous impact on the performance level that customers are able to achieve while using their personal audio systems. As a result of its success, Nordost soon after introduced the Blue Heaven Headphone Cable. Years later, both cables are still receiving attention from reviewers and thought-leaders. This month, Chris Marten shared his impressions of these transformative aftermarket headphone cables in The Absolute Sound:

“The defining sonic characteristics of the Blue Heaven headphone cables are an open and airy-sounding midrange presentation with plenty of transient “snap” and definition coupled with detailed and extended highs.”

“Heimdall 2 [headphone] cables yielded several worthwhile sonic improvements, including more tautly defined but no less impactful bass, an across-the-board and evenly balanced increase in resolution, and a really impressive quality of top-to-bottom harmonic integrity.”

You can now see Chris’s headphone cable review on the Nordost website under reviews

Nordost Blue Heaven and Heimdall 2


Marc Rushton reviews Sort Kones for StereoNET

Review Banner- Sort Kone_blogThe best part of performing a product demonstration is the opportunity to turn a skeptic into a believer, or better yet… an evangelist! That is precisely what happened at the Sydney HiFi Show to StereoNET reviewer, Marc Rushton. Although he had his reservations, Nordost Sort Kones made a strong enough impression on Marc that he was motivated to hear them at home, in his own system. The results were clear:

“Track after track delivered more emotional renditions of familiar music, clearer harmonics in acoustic pieces, and an overall feeling of a system that had just found perfect phase. The width and depth of the soundstage had increased and the ever-telling foot-tapping had started.”

Marc’s Sort Kone review is now available to read on the Nordost website here: Sort Kones —A Sceptic’s Backflip

You can find more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page

Marc Mickelson reviews the QKORE for

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Nordost’s new QKORE products are receiving a lot of worldwide press attention. The latest review featuring these revolutionary grounding devices can be found on In his article, Marc Mickelson is very impressed with our QKORE Ground Units, and the blatant effects that they have on a sound system, remarking, “What you hear will be positive, and dead obvious, with every recording…”. While reflecting on exactly what he was hearing, he said:

“[The] purist recordings of small ensembles…made plain QKORE’s contributions, as the recording venue sounded bigger and the musicians more in-the-room present, no ‘maybe’ about it. This occurred across recordings and components, QKORE expanding musical horizons and making everything in them sound more vivid—more grounded, you could say.”

Marc’s QKORE review is now available to read on the Nordost website here:  Nordost QKORE Grounding System

You can find more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

Alan Sircom reviews the QKORE for Hi-Fi+

Review Banner-QKORE_wideLast month, Nordost debuted the newest addition to its QRT range: The QKORE Ground Unit. In anticipation of this launch, Hi-Fi+ published a brilliant review, written by Alan Sircom. In his article, Alan touts the “instant, obvious, and profound” effects that the QKORE has on a sound system:

“The main effect was in the bass, which sounded significantly tighter, deeper, and more authoritative. More significantly, QKORE was like a quick lesson in ‘time coherence’, giving any sound (even speech) a more accurate sense of rhythmic beat and metre (we often just lump this together into saying it ‘times’ well). There are other benefits, too; the almost clichéd ‘darker backgrounds’ and wider soundstage with better separation of images applied here, too. The treble seemed to integrate slightly better with the midrange and bass as well, but it’s that bass and temporal correctness that wins you over. It’s like your system no longer has to apologise for itself, even if it had little to apologise for before you QKORED it!”

Alan’s QKORE review is now available to read on the Nordost website here:  Nordost QKORE ground units

You can find more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

Marc Mickelson reviews the Valhalla 2 USB Cable for

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We are very pleased to share the latest review of our Valhalla 2 USB 2.0 Cable, recently published on In his review, The Necessary Link: Nordost’s Valhalla 2 USB Cable, Marc Mickelson describes the improvements that Nordost’s precision-built, American-made USB cable brought to the reproduction of his digital music:

“Valhalla 2 USB mirrors my reaction to hearing Nordost Odin cables—in the form of a single phono cable—for the first time: the sense that I was not just hearing more of the music—the finest details and the largest master strokes, all expertly integrated into the soundscape—but less of a fine background scrim that I only noticed it once it was gone.”

Read Marc’s review in its entirety here.

(Many more great Nordost reviews can be found on the Reviews Page of our website)

Jacob Heilbrunn Reviews Odin 2 for The Absolute Sound

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We are very excited to share a remarkable review of our flagship product, Odin 2, published in The Absolute Sound. In his article, Jacob Heilbrunn was unmistakably wowed by the improvements our Supreme Reference cables brought to his system, including a lower noise floor, “startling amounts of inner detail and nuance”, and the ability to take “transient speed to a new level”. In fact, Jacob couldn’t help but complement Nordost on its job designing and manufacturing Odin 2 cables:

“Nordost deserves the highest possible commendation for building on its previous efforts to produce a statement product that is remarkable for its purity and resolution, transparency and clarity.”

You can now read Jacob’s Odin 2 review here:  Nordost Odin 2 Interconnect and Speaker Cable Supreme Reference Range — Mighty!

(Many more great Nordost reviews can be found on the Reviews Page of our website)

NOVO’s Phil Gold Reviews Valhalla 2

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It is always great to start the year with an outstanding product review, and that is exactly what we are doing! Philip Gold of NOVO (previously Canada Hifi) had nothing but good things to say about our Reference range of cables in his review “Nordost Valhalla 2 Cables Reivew- Their Place in our Hobby”

“These cables bring out the music more than any others in my experience. They do this by offering the flattest and most extended frequency response, the highest level of detail, the greatest accuracy of the instrumental and vocal tone and full responsiveness to transients and sustained harmonics.”

To read the rest of this article on Valhalla 2 Cables, head to the review section on the Nordost website or just CLICK HERE!

Magazine Son & Image’s Jean-François Lapointe Reviews the Blue Heaven Headphone Cable

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We are pleased to share a great review that was published in the most recent issue of Magazine Son & Image.  Jean-François Lapointe’s review shows the positive results that he achieved when using our Blue Heaven Headphone Cable with the Sony MDR-Z7 headphones. Once again, our Leif family does not disappoint.

“…cables really can make a difference to a system’s performance, but in the case of the Blue Heaven Cable, the difference was truly spectacular”

You can now see Lapointe’s Blue Heaven Headphone Cable review on the Nordost website under reviews – or by clicking the link below.

Nordost—Blue Heaven Headphone Cable

Nelson Brill Reviews the effects of the Blue Heaven HDMI Cable

Real music lovers can find the melody in everything. From the park to the concert hall, our friend Nelson Brill is always on the hunt for great sound.

In this blog, Brill takes a look at the Nordost Blue Heaven HDMI Cable to see how it affects the audio/video experience he can achieve in his home.  



AUGUST 14, 2016

Multi-Channel surround sound is great fun: turn down the lights, put on a favorite Blu-ray disc and fully inhabit the visual world of a movie director’s vision. Or listen to a multi-channel 5.1 or 7.1 audio track and get fully immersed in the music, surrounded by musicians playing all around you. A surround sound setup (properly calibrated and set-up) should include center, front and rear loudspeakers (ideally of one brand and design- here, I have 6 matching pairs of Talon Audio Khite monitor loudspeakers); a matching subwoofer for low bass thrills and ambient cues; a surround sound processor that can decode all of the latest audio modes from Blu-ray discs, (including DTS and HD Master Audio); an amplifier of good dynamic power and finally, a superior Blu-ray player that can play not only Blu-ray discs but streaming media from the likes of Netflix.

For optimal performance, I would recommend Blu-ray players from Oppo Digital ( particularly their BDP-103D Blu-ray player with optional “Darbee Technology” ($499 regular edition; $599 Darbee edition). Darbee Technology is a software breakthrough that allows the viewer to dial-in (via the BDP-103D remote) enhanced depth and realism to any DVD or Blu-ray disc. This video enhancement is quite phenomenal (if your TV or monitor delivers great black levels and detail) because it works beautifully to enhance even the smallest tactile details of a film and thus gets the most out of Blu-ray technology that is so superior (to streaming or other mediums) in obtaining a crisp and fully immersive visual experience.

The final essential piece to a surround system is the quality of the cabling connecting all loudspeakers and components. The use of HDMI cables is the best way to connect your surround system components to your TV or monitor because these cables carry both audio and video signals (thus replacing the need for multiple cables).


I was reminded of the critical nature of quality cabling to optimal performance in a home theater system when I recently made the simple and affordable upgrade in my HDMI cables from standard models (i.e. included by Oppo in their shipping of their Blu-ray players) to the new edition of “Blue Heaven” HDMI cables from Nordost ( Nordost is a company well known to audiophiles worldwide as a leading high end audio and video cable company that takes pride in designing, manufacturing and hand-terminating all of their cable products here in Massachusetts. I utilize Nordost audio cables, power products and resonance control products through-out my two-channel audio systems (and will have more to report on these Nordost audio cables in their latest versions in upcoming reports).

I obtained a one-meter ($349) and a two-meter length ($449) of Nordost’s Blue Heaven HDMI cables and placed one cable to connect my Oppo BDP-103D Blu-ray player to my surround sound AV controller (Integra model DHC-9.9) and the second Blue Heaven HDMI cable between the Integra to my Pioneer Kuro model PDP-5010 plasma TV (a model that is, unfortunately, no longer available from Pioneer, who departed the  TV manufacturing business years ago but not before making some of the best monitors on the planet).

The upgrade to Nordost Blue Heaven HDMI cables in my home theater system brought immediate visual improvements. The Pioneer Kuro models are renown for their excellent black levels and their crisp color contrasts (essential to image realism) and with the Blue Heaven HDMI now in place, there was a pronounced improvement to both the already superb depth of black color saturation produced by the Kuro. Watching the Olympic Games from Rio in HDTV, (with darkened arenas filled with thousands of spectators), was a real treat because now, with the Blue Heaven HDMI’s,  the visual depth of field and the feeling of spaciousness and huge volumes of air in these huge stadiums was magnified, as was the precision and saturation of colors from every source: individual spectator clothing to the unfurling of banners around the buildings. Even the capture of the (slow-motion) fall of droplets of water surging around swimmer Michael Phelps was now much more individually captured: bright white foam contrasted sharper against neon blue pool water (as Phelps surged forth in  glory through his lane).


The Nordost Blue Heaven HDMI cabling also made a significant difference in enjoying Blu-ray movies played on the superb Oppo BDP-103D – even at the breakneck frame speeds of the good action movies. Take, for instance, the test of James Cameron’s Avatar in its dazzling Blu-ray Collector’s Edition release.


In the chapter “First Sortie,” the addition of the Blue Heaven HDMI cables brought out the bioluminescence of the forest creatures; the plants dripping with globs of water; the wild dogs with their luminescent green eyes and the eyes of the “Na-Vi” people glowing with yellow pupils (with striations of inner veins contrasted with their deep blue bodies).

In the intense flying scenes of “Banshee Rookery,” all the visible action was delivered with stunning clarity: the colors and textures of the Banshee’s blue eggs; the texture of wet feet on rocky ledges (slick with water) and the individual colors of the waterfalls and rainbows viewed from soaring on the speckled wings of the “Mountain Banshees” were precisely defined and saturated with color like I had not seen before – getting the most from the Darbee Technology employed by the stellar Oppo BDP-103 player.

These same qualities of greater black levels, color saturation and precision (in frame speed, texture and visual details) with the Blue Heaven HDMI cables in place was also evident in watching the first scene in the latest James Bond movie, Spector, where the producers recreated an astounding staging of the  “Day of the Dead” celebration in the streets of Mexico City.

With the Blue Heaven HDMI cables, everything from the swirl of giant puppet heads dancing on parading bodies (now without any blurring of focus) to the individual cast of hundreds in the parade scenes (with colorful costumes, instruments and floats) was a mesmerizing spectacle – precise in definition, saturated with color and visually immersive to the max.

Finally, testing the Blue Heaven HDMI cable upgrade with a more intimate, (visually ravishing) movie, such as the rainy scenes with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the movie Carol, the addition of the Blue Heaven HDMI cables brought crisp new detail to everything on the movie set: from the raindrops falling on all of the shiny vintage model cars to the visual details of each of the actress’s period clothing that were matched beautifully with the colors of their surroundings.


the film


In addition to these cinematic glories, I also explored the addition of the Nordost Blue Heaven HDMI cables in the context of  multi-channel surround sound – a joyous adventure all its own. With a player capable of playing multi-channel discs (like the Oppo BD103 or its big brother, the BD105 with more discrete components for even better SACD audio playback), settle in with Harry Pearson’s hand-picked highlights for multi-channel sound from his 2006 Absolute Sound SACD sampler [Telarc;] and surround yourself with the glory of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on Vaughan Williams’ Finale from A Sea Symphony with all of the huge drum rolls like thunder and the vocals lush and immersive.


With surround sound done right, the soundstage is spread out all around the listener: singers off on each corner of the stage and the orchestra laid out below in a layered and deep soundstage. Take a listen to the rich catalogues of multi-channel surround recordings from the likes of eminent audiophile labels such as: Chesky, ( (favorites include Clark Terry’s Portraits [Chesky SACD 267- check out his classic “mumbles” on the amazing “Jive At Five”]; Sara K.’s Play On Words [SACD 278] (with a great duet on her “History Repeats Itself” with the late, great trumpeter Lou Soloff way back in the surround sound stage); Babatunde Olatunji Circle of Drums [SACD295] or David Chesky’s own Area 51 [Chesky SACD 288]- his Concerto For Violin and Orchestra particularly rich in its surround sound capturing of its winsome beauty in every crisp hand clap and violin swirl); Channel Classics ( (the sound of Jorgen van Rijen’s Baroque trombone nestled in the Consort Amsterdam on their recording Sackbutt a must) or the wondrous label 2L from Norway ( that produces Blu-ray discs and SACD’s of splendid variety and surround sound fireworks.




Another favorite multi-channel recording of mine is Chick Corea’s Rendezvous In New York[Stretch Records SACD].


This two-disc wonder is filled with tactile, glittering live performances of Corea playing in wide-ranging partnership with members of his “Akoustic Band” and in duets with such charismatic greats as singer Bobby McFerrin, vibraphonist Gary Burton and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. The recording is stellar: the multi-channel sound places you right in the best seat in New York’s Blue Note Club and the illusion of being in the near presence of the players and the surrounding crowd is uncanny. With the Blue Heaven HDMI cables in place the surrounding air and spaciousness of the recording increased greatly; Corea’s piano was denser in tone color and crisper in outline and all those rambunctious vocal inventions that McFerrin spontaneously combusts in this live session were much more present and alive- crackling with comedy, energy and dynamic sparkle, (without any slurring or slowing down of his rapid-fired vocal creativity).

An upgrade to Nordost’s Blue Heaven HDMI cables is highly recommended for anyone looking to obtain the best performance in their multi-channel home theater setups. I find that these cables get me closer to the visual and musical action in my favorite movies and multi-channel recordings. Sit down to a few sessions of Netflix’s dynamite series Peaky Blinders with these Nordost cables in the mix of your home theater and don’t jump too high when those sticks of dynamite, train explosions and the scorching, sultry soundtrack takes off from deep silence. Peaky Blinders is great theater and made even better with the Nordost Blue Heaven HDMI cables routing every one of Thomas Shelby’s telescoped glares or pronouncements of his next plan of action. The fun continues…


If you would like to read more reviews like this one, visit Nelson’s blog at

The Absolute Sound’s Neil Gader Reviews Frey 2


Nordost’s Frey 2 cable range is receiving some much deserved attention in the September issue of The Absolute Sound. Reviewer Neil Gader talked about the Frey 2 line after becoming acquainted with our Purple Flare range of cables last year.

“Frey 2… has rebalanced the scales, taking the transient and micro-dynamic elements of the past and integrating them with richer mids and a brawnier, meatier bottom end that gives orchestral music more discernible, atmosphere and weight. In a word, there’s more fidelity to the live event.” – Neil Gader

You can now read Neil’s article, Nordost Frey 2 Speaker Cable and Interconnects—Evolving and Improving, on the review section of the Nordost website.

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