Nuraphone - revolutionary headphones

The groundbreaking Nuraphone headphones are tailored to your hearing and give a breathtakingly deep and different listening experience. They’re a more than worthy recipient of a CES award this year, for Best of Innovation in the headphone category, and we’re sure there will be more honours to come.

Nuraphone - pic Terry Tyldesley

Tailored sound

Having had a first tryout of the revolutionary Nura headphones in Berlin where they were part of Music Tech Fest in 2016, it’s been a tantalising wait for the Kickstarter delivery. I was startled to find the Nuraphone talked to me as soon as I put it on, without being plugged in to anything. But that’s the future!

I’d heard all about Nura, but didn’t get to try the prototype until bumping into co-founder Luke Campbell at a Berlin hotel. He gave me a personal demo and I marvelled at the difference in sound quality.

The key innovation with the Nuraphone is that it profiles your hearing, and produces sound specially tailored for your ears.

It’s nothing short of miraculous. Setting the headphones up via the Nura app gives you a switchable ‘before and after’ for easy comparison, and it takes the audio to a whole new, highly nuanced level.

Nuraphone - pic Terry Tyldesley

From prototype to luxe design

Back in 2016 the design wasn’t quite set in stone and the headphones’ key in ear element was made of foam, and an unusual concept at first. But the revolution in the sound quality was enough to convince me to put an order in.

Fast forward 18 months and my package arrived. Inside a beautiful hard-shell case was my Nuraphone, and it exceeded all my - already high - expectations.

Plaudits here for the new design and materials. The ear cups are aluminium and the pads are a super silky silicone that oozes luxe. The in ear buds have replaceable silicone tips.

The case has magnetic fastenings, and a neat compartment for the charging cable and any other cables – there’s a choice when you order. The headphones work wirelessly or wired - so I tried them using Bluetooth, and also with the analog cable I had opted for.

Nuraphone - pic Terry Tyldesley

Setting your profile

Now back to the voice that welcomes you as you put the headphones on. After I’d done my double take it was time to set up the Nuraphone. Beautifully guided by my new audio friend, it was a doddle. I wish all tech could be like this.

A swift download of the Nura app and the graphic shows you how to position the headphones for best results, and checks that you’ve done that correctly, so that you can get your ears profiled.

When you run the test, you get a pictorial representation of your hearing emerge, while the Nuraphone checks you out and creates your special personalised setting. The Nura is too polite to point out any potential hearing damage or oddities, but broadly-speaking the further out from the centre your colour radiates, the more sensitive your hearing.

Hearing profile images

Immersion mode

Once this is done you can listen to an included test track - View 2 by Sasha - in either generic or personalised mode, and toggle between them to get a sense of the difference. It was huge.

There’s also an immersion mode setting which takes you from gentle to the front row - fun to play with. This mode uses the dedicated outer-ear drivers to create the feeling of a live performance.

I tried at different levels, and found the front row was epic but not what I was after at that moment so I dialled it back a little. Nura suggest you don’t sit in the front row for too long and at high volumes.

Hearing new sounds

The track in the app wasn’t in my playlist, so it was time to search out something I knew very well. I began with a Goldfrapp tune and was astonished to hear elements of the music I’d really never encountered before.

Then I tried some music I had created and am extremely familiar with, and was blown away by the improved sound. More depth, more space, more clarity.

I also tested it out using someone else’s profile - and got a kind of swimming pool mode, it was obviously not as good as my profile and not meant for me!

There’s a question to be asked here about whether the Nuraphone could be too personalised to be helpful for mixing, or whether it brings your listening up to where it should really be. Nura say they’ve had lots of feedback from sound engineers, DJs and producers who say the Nuraphone is fantastic to mix, master and listen back to music with.

Finally, you can configure the buttons outside the phones to give you the selection options you prefer, such as immersion mode, play and pause, or include answering calls and hanging up. I loved that it’s one tap to go from generic to personal mode, and from play to pause.

Nuraphone - pic Terry Tyldesley

Dual Layer Noise Isolation

Nura also emphasise the Dual Layer Noise Isolation. The over-ear cup plays a deep bass so as not to interfere with the high tones, and the in-ear driver controls the high tones for crystal clear sound. The in-ear bud is also created from a very moldable silicone, perfect for creating a seal between your ear canal against outside noise. All this together is designed to stop both sounds both going out of the drivers and from coming in.

The Nuraphone gives you an amazing package of features that delivers an incredible listening experience. When you think of the hype and pricing of fashion-focused headphones that don’t really deliver anything particularly exciting, the Nura really stands out.