On the Monday July 11th 2016 I bought a brand new concept headphone on Kickstarter called Nura (nuraphones).
As an audiophile and having recently finished up Headphones Canada I was still very much the headphone market and had my ears in more cans than a tin of baked beans.
They eventually shipped on Jan 12, 2018. The good news is, they did ship. For some kickstarters the backers never get to see the finished goods for even longer than we all waited.
The concept was awesome and I couldn’t wait to hear how the nuraphone headphones sounded.
At the time I already owned the Bose QC 35 as my main travel headphones and a bunch of other headphones including the Drop Fostex TH-X00 which were, and still are, my go to in the office.
The Nura headphones pre-launch videos were so compelling I needed to hear these things. Purchase made.
After owning them for a couple of months, I sold them.
This week I saw a couple of All Blacks rugby players wearing the nuraphones in to a game and was reminded that I don’t think I ever told you guys about how I found them.
Before I explain why this didn’t work me tell you what I DID really like about these headphones.
First off, The sound is great. They sound quite unique but it’s all there. A nice full sound that is completely adjustable via the app.
Second cool thing was the app and the personalised sound profile which is created by magic audio fairies that bounce around in your ear providing some sort of feedback to the app to know how to match and profile the sound to best suit you.
Does the sound profiling actually work on the nuraphones? Yes, it does. I created a profile and then gave them to my wife to listen to. I said “these sound amazing“. She said “these sound terrible“. Game on.
“OK”, I said. “You create your own custom profile and then we’ll compare both to see if they even sound different“. And you know what? They did. I listened to her sound profile and thought it sounded quite strange. My profile, to me, sounded excellent. So…the very cool app and the functions of the headphones to customise your special sound is a legit thing.
Build Quality is really good. The attention to detail in the case and the accessories shows that the nura team really put in a lot of time and effort to do things right. They didn’t take short cuts on anything which anyone who purchases their products will appreciate.
The same can be said for their new nuraloop earphones.
So, why sell them?
So, the sound was good, the app worked really well as did the noise-cancelling features. The accessories were a great quality and the value for money was excellent. So, why sell them?
The main reason was comfort.
The nuraphone have a unique internal set up where they have a headphone cup that is circumaural (over the ears) and then they also have an earbud that lines up and fits in your ears.
The combination of these feels…..odd. It doesn’t feel natural to have a loose fitting earbud and a typical headphone cup. The sound is great, but it was a little sore in my ears after longer listening sessions (1+ hours)
If found them hot, which is strange to say but they seemed to make my ears feel warm at all the contact points including ears and where the earbuds fit in.
Finally the headband felt a little tight and the nuraphones felt heavy.
So while the sound was nice, I couldn’t relax wearing them, they didn’t feel natural and so I had to let them go.
nuraphone vs bose
I’ve decided, again, to stick with my bose. The nuraphone vs bose conversation for me settled on a few main points.
Bose still have best in class noise cancelling which makes it easy to rely on.
The battery life on the Bose has never failed me.
The comfort of the nuraphone vs bose isn’t really a competition. The Bose QC 35 are light, open and keep my ears cool. Unfortunately the nuraphone could not match them for comfort.
The sound signature difference between the two really comes down to bass. The bass on the nuraphone is good, actually it’s better than the Bose but the rest of the signature doesn’t exceed it sufficiently for a change. The Bose still have an excellent long term open sound stage.
For now, my Bose are still my go to for travel and noise-cancellation. My fostex TH-X00 are still my office go to headphones and my beyerdynamic DT-1990-Pro are still as close to my end game as I have found although I generally use them for mixing and audio editing.
I have no regrets to purchasing the nuraphone and enjoyed my short time with them. I also know thousands of other happy customers are exactly that; happy.
It’s been great to see nura go from strength to strength and now with the nuraloop and the nuraphone gaming headphones they’ll continue to do really well.
The execution of the app was brilliant, the quality of the build and accessories excellent and the sound signature was enjoyable to listen to.
I haven’t said much about them but they also have a million cable options and touch controls on the headphones you can touch to action events.
Sadly, it’s really the comfort that let me down.
I think if you are not planning on extended listening sessions and want a great sound with and adjustable sound signature PLUS the benefit of noise-cancellation then the nuraphones could be a great choice for you.