Nura brings its killer audio technology to a pair of professional earplugs – Root Devices

A little consumer electronics categories have matured as fast as wireless headphones. From the first good implementation of the technology, we went to almost ubiquity, seemingly overnight. Suddenly a good pair is cheap and seems to be everywhere. Precisely because of this, it has become almost impossible to separate oneself from the multitude of companies operating in space.

But Nura has had a secret weapon since its early days, when its founder brought a huge prototype circuit box to Root Devices offices almost exactly six years ago this week. The company’s customizable audio profiles have remained a truly exciting feature that has managed to set the company apart from the multitude of headphone manufacturers.

Today, the Australian startup announces the upcoming release of NuraTrue Pro. The headphones, which will be available for the first time as part of the Kickstarter campaign, are being placed as a level above NuraTrue’s existing headphones. Both headphones are – for most purposes and purposes – mostly the same. Professionals effectively improve some built-in features, including the ability to play aptX Lossless audio via the new Qualcomm Bluetooth chip, as well as improved flexible noise cancellation and surround sound.

Image credit: Nura

These features have a significant premium – professionals will cost $ 329 (although you can get them for a significantly lower price by pre-ordering via Kickstarter), which is a hefty mark-up from the standard NuraTrue price of $ 199. This is due to both improved embedded hardware as well as all sorts of external supply chain problems / chip shortages / inflation that have conspired to significantly increase the cost of new consumer hardware.

I met Nura CEO Luke Campbell when he was in New York a few weeks ago, and have been using NuraTrue Pros ever since. Because of this work, I will mostly compare them to Sony’s LinkBuds S, which I reviewed in May. This is for two reasons: 1) they are my current favorite headphones and 2) they have become my daily driver.

Image credit: Nura

The buds could not be more different in size. The compact, barely design is a big part of the reason I use LinkBuds (a big change, think about it, compared to the company’s huge M4 attachments). On the other hand, NuraTrue Pros look identical to their older, cheaper brother. This includes large round shields with a double semicircular logo.

The shield design contributes significantly to the overall footprint of the headphones, but gives the touchpad a lot of real estate. The lack of a touch area is one of my major problems with LinkBuds. Larger sizes, however, mean they are less ideal for things like exercise. I was trying to run with Nura buds in my ears and would not recommend it.

One of the other design effects is that the case is also on the larger side, although it is still small enough that you can easily carry it in your pocket. The case now includes wireless charging, which LinkBuds and many other companies still lack. Like the Sony, the Pros are extremely comfortable.

They’re among the best headphones I’ve tried, even for listening to marathons. And just like their predecessors, they are almost deceptively light. Obviously, comfort is one of those objective things that varies greatly from ear to ear, but I can confidently recommend them for longer flights. The headset uses the standard Nura customization process that you get for all of the company’s headphones, except for the company’s hardware as a NuraBuds service. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, I’ve always described it as a feeling reminiscent of a hearing test in which an app inserts different frequencies into your ear to develop an image of your hearing. From there, the system adjusts its settings to your unique profile.

Image credit: Nura

The result is always impressive. The music sounds fuller, the instruments are better separated, and with lower-quality headphones you pick up things in familiar songs you’ve missed. Nura has developed something really special here, which is why I was happy to follow the company through various iterations of the hardware. Connect this to the aforementioned lossless sound (up to 96 kHz / 24 bits) on compatible streaming services (i.e. not Spotify) and you’ll get a really great listening experience.

Active noise cancellation has also been improved, now featuring a flexible algorithm that adapts to ambient sound. This is an improvement, although for my money LinkBuds conveniently beat in this area. Surround sound is also a nice addition, although its practicality is still extremely limited. At the moment, it seems more like protecting the future than anything else. The buds offer eight hours of life and a total of 32 with a considered housing, which again should get you well through most flights. Call quality is also solid, thanks to four built-in microphones and a smart bone conduction sensor.

Pre-orders start today, via Kickstarter. If you arrive early, you can get them for as little as $ 199. Otherwise, $ 329 is steep by almost all standards. Sound enhancements, noise cancellation, and additional features like wireless charging are all enjoyable, but for the vast majority of people not even close enough to justify the $ 130 bay.

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