The title's publisher, IPC Media, confirmed that a redesign could coincide with NME's 50th anniversary next February.
One of the options being mooted is a new design along the lines of US music magazine Rolling Stone.
NME's circulation has declined by 8% to 70,003, according to the most recent ABC figures. Its dwindling sales come amid a general decline in the music press, which has already seen the demise of IPC's Melody Maker and Emap's Select.
NME was launched in 1952 and published the first ever pop charts. In the Sixties, its circulation hit 300,000 and, in the Nineties, it was one of the first magazines to promote bands such as Suede, Blur and Oasis.