This is not the most recent model, to be honest, but it is quite interesting for itself in order to make a separate review of the Nitecore HC65.

Declared characteristics

— CREE XM-L2 U2 and maximum brightness of 1000 lumens
— Additional illumination with a high color rendering index (CRI≥90) white, additional red light
— 3000 cd, max. range of the light beam up to 110 m
— 7 brightness levels and 4 special modes
— Mode memory
— Micro-USB charging
— Beam width 100°
— Thermal control
— 180° tilt adjustment
— Battery voltage indication
— Reverse polarity protection
— IPX8 waterproof (submersible up to 2 meters)
— Impact resistance up to 1.5 m

Size: 82.7mm x 33.3mm x 26.7mm
Block Diameter: 18.3mm
Weight: 62.7g

Packaging and appearance

The packaging is quite common for the entire mass of Nightcore products, the same “bumblebee” black and yellow box. Be that as it may, it is quite suitable for a gift plan.

As far as I understand, there is a configuration option with 3400 mah (indicated on the box) and with a “winter acc” for 2900. It was the last one that came to me. In order not to return to this topic, I’ll say that I had already tested this acc in a freezer in conjunction with a 1A load and it actually showed itself perfectly in low-temperature conditions (which does not negate the hellish price of this jar, even against the background of the usually high cost branded accounts).

In addition to the acc, the package includes the headband itself, a charging cable, 4 seals, a head mount, instructions and a warranty.

Quite sufficient equipment, there is nothing to add and nothing to take away.

The head mount is standard “underpants”, and in its simplest version without a gel strip inside and reflective elements outside. Not cool. Overall, the mount is like a mount, but could be better.

The classic 18650 browband is rarely distinguished by some unusual appearance. This is either L or T form factor, each of which has some minor differences. In the case of the HC65, they became an additional block of light (neutral white diffused + red). Otherwise, this is a classic-looking headband.

Nevertheless, for all its routine, this black carcass looks quite decent.
I think that such a photo will allow you to most clearly assess the size of the forehead, correlating it with the battery. As you can see, the thing is quite compact.
Unlike the previous model HC60 with its button placed on the front panel, here they went the other way — now the button is placed on its side and this seems to me a rather convenient step. Yes, maybe the location of the button on top would be even more convenient from the position of easy reachability with any hand, but since there is a button, it is quite convenient for itself.
And there is an important point here. As in a number of models (for example, in MH23), the button here is two-position, well, like a camera shutter release. And this is quite convenient, as it greatly simplifies the controls, allowing you to hang more actions on one button.
I think that it is quite clearly visible here that the part around the button is a kind of ring. It twists (easily, thanks to knurling), exposing access to the charging connector.

At first, I started scratching my turnips for the possible loss of this ring, because while charging it had to be put somewhere. And this way and that I applied it to the carcass, put it behind the elastic until the simplest solution came to my mind. Yes, damn it, you can just thread the charging cable into this ring and it will not go anywhere at all: on the one hand, the forehead, on the other, the power bank or charging unit.

The antipode of the button is the battery cover. It also rolls up easily. The threads are all over the place. The spring on the buttons is of sufficient thickness.

Of course, the angle of inclination of the forehead can be easily adjusted over a very wide range. The carcass walks quite softly in its mount, while holding the set position firmly even with the sharpest jumps. Well, there is nothing surprising here, in fairness.

There is no spring on the inside, there is a contact pad. Unfortunately, according to an unkind tradition, there is a physical limiter that does not allow the use of flat-headed acces. In principle, the current here is small, so even a cheap low-current 3400mah Litokalov bank with Ali will work.
Somewhere there is a magnet behind the contact, since the battery does not fall out, the forehead should be shaken slightly. I think that this is useful in a situation when you need to change the acc right on your head and it can pop out while you remove the battery cover somewhere.
The headband disassembles effortlessly, exposing offal that is not particularly pleasing to the eye. No, that’s how everything is neat, without snot. But only the round base under the reflector is too large and bent the edge of the additional light block board under it. On the one hand, this is bad, because this defect is not a one-time one, it is an obvious birth injury of the model, because the layout of the review sample is no different from any other.
On the other hand, the board is bent once and after that it works flawlessly, but no one bends the board back and forth. And before the release of the HC65, they probably took into account what was happening, tested it for performance. Be that as it may, a fact is a fact, and I point out about it, in other reviews this moment was somehow bypassed)
So, in fact, there is nothing more to add about the appearance. The browband looks good, sits normally on the head, there is no uncomfortable heaviness.

Pretty simple (in a good way). As I wrote above, a two-way button allows you to hang quite a lot of functions on it, without leaving a feeling of congestion and complexity. I think that in 5-7 minutes you can figure out what’s what, and get used to it in a couple of uses. I found the controls to be comfortable.

How Nitecore HC65 shines

The first photos of the review show that the Nitecore HC65 is a rare, really rare type of headband with a smooth reflector. Usually the use of a headlight involves working at some close distances, so there is either a TIR optic or a textured reflector. Smooth reflectors are rare, because in such dimensions it makes no sense to talk about range, and the comfort of working near is already less than with any of the above optics. On the other hand, there is less demand for such a headlight, but for those who are looking, there is not much to choose from. However, due to the fact that there is an additional NW light (some kind of hi-CRI is declared, I suspect it’s a Samsung, it seems that they are shoving nightcore now instead of a draw) the need for diffused light to work at a distance like «shield under the hood ‘ closes pretty well.

The good old XM-L2 is responsible for the main color here, not the coldest judging by the measurements in another review, quite tolerable 5300K. And even though the reflector in the headband is smooth, see how much light is wider than the classic S2 + with just such a textured reflector.

1000 lumens turbo is now the de facto standard, but not every headband, due to its size, is able to digest this brightness without problems. Nevertheless, the Nitecore HC65 keeps this mode quite well until the onset of thermal stabilization. When cooled, the turbo runs drastically, drastically longer, while, fortunately, the graph shows normal lines without some kind of crazy “saw”. The latter, which happens to hit extremely hard on the convenience of actually using potentially good moments, there is little joy in seeing how thermoregulation drives the brightness of your flashlight up and down right in front of your eyes.

As for the lower modes, everything is fine here too. The only thing is that I again observe a mysterious burst of brightness at the end of the graph, which I have already seen more than once in Nightcore models. I think that this is a feature of their driver. Yes, I still didn’t understand what was happening with the cut-off for battery discharge, because the brightness goes to the minimum 1 lumen, in which the headband can shine all day long even when discharged to 3v. I think that here with protection against overdischarge, all the rules, however.

Tests everywhere I did with a 3500mah Nightcore jar. Technically, the simplest lithocalopanas with ali at 3400mah should give a closely comparable result.

The range of modes is quite good, there is nothing to complain about. The only thing is that only 1 mode for additional light (both red and white) is not enough. Something like 1 lum would give a wonderful night light. Now it turns out that even red, if you turn it on right away, waking up in a tent, will be noticeably bright.

1000 lumens in such a reflector will give light, albeit not very impressive compared to conventional full-size flashlights in terms of range, but still sufficient to enlighten quite well at a distance of 50 meters for sure. What happens next depends on the conditions. One thing is open air with stray light, something radically different is something like a completely dark basement or cave.

50m distance

Additional light on the scale of the room will be sufficient to see what is where, to move around calmly. Red is really bright, even show the film. Nightcore with red light was never stingy, it was bright in all the models I met. White is quite convenient for working at arm’s length, for reading. Everything is fine here in terms of color distribution and temperature. Look here. Here I will try to somehow compare. when it comes to a longer distance, there is only high turbo, mid is of little use (although you can’t completely discount it, especially in complete darkness)

It is clear that the main light with a pronounced hot spot will not be so convenient, but at a distance of 3-5 meters this hot spot is already blurred enough to characterize it as tolerable. Well, again, additional light cannot be discounted, look at the scale of the room, it is quite wealthy, not to mention the close distance.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot my charger. Charging here is not impressive, 0.5A will actually take the whole night to fully charge the battery — 6-8 hours for sure.

In the video review, there are also examples of live work, you can also evaluate how the headband shines. See at the end.

General impressions

A forehead with a smooth reflector is a specific thing. Someone will spit out and say, “What gag does he need at all?” And someone will say “well, finally!”. I periodically cite as an example a friend who worked on a steam locomotive, drove along the South Eastern Railway with an inspection of the condition of the tracks. And just such a light was exactly what he needed, the diffused one did not suit him in any way. Having got hold of what he wanted, he thanked me more than once, in comparison with the zoom-poorness, his flashlight shone much more comfortably for the eyes.

In general, I liked the Nitecore HC65.

of the obvious cons for me, I will note

— low charging current
– mechanical protection against polarity reversal

— bent board
— it would be possible to make additional light with two levels of brightness

But there are also many advantages
+ fairly good range relative to the total mass of headbands
+ constructive (I liked it, there is a cant above, but I don’t think that this will somehow affect real use) and appearance.
+ stabilization and thermoregulation
+ selection of modes
+ unexpectedly sane price for ali.

As I wrote above, this is a specific forehead protector, due to the smooth reflector and wide popularity, because of this, it cannot be found. For the same reason, those who need a headlamp with a high beam can pay attention to the Nitecore HC65, since there is not much to choose from in this light, and here the additional light partially smoothes out the main light, which is mediocre in terms of ease of operation in the near field. Just recently they came to me for accs, they asked for a headband for fishing, so that it could shine for 50 meters. I said — there is no such thing, and it will be difficult to find. No, here he is. In a turbo, he will calmly hit this distance, the main thing is to stock up on batteries, since a cheap weak current will do here.

Where to buy and how to save

You can buy on aliexpress or banggood, depending on where it is cheaper at the moment.

You can save on purchases with coupons and promotional codes from the discount channel in telegram, see the link to it below in the block «about the author»

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