This article was first published at thebit.nz
REVIEW: Let me start this review by making a bold statement: The NuraTrue earbuds are the best sounding earbuds I've ever used.
These are earbuds that have all the features you would want – they're sweat-resistant and well designed for exercising, they have powerful ANC capabilities, the touch controls are incredibly responsive and customisable and best of all, they sound amazing.
No, seriously, you'll be blown away by the sound they produce. And all of this for only $300.
What makes the NuraTrue earbuds different is that they measure the way you hear your music, and sonically shape it, so you hear it at its best quality and clarity (more in this below). The results are impressive.
Yes, they look a bit odd and aren't as subtle as other earbuds on the market, but once you listen to them, you aren't going to care one bit. These are some of the best earbuds you can get, and they're worth every cent.
- Brilliant sound
- Immersion mode
- Responsive Touch controls
- Good ANC
- Can be put in the case incorrectly
The NuraTrue earbuds cost $299.
The NuraTrue earbuds have a nice simplistic design. The matte black frame and reflective Nura logo on each housing looks good. The one feature that makes the NuraTrue earbuds stand out is their shape and size. They look a bit odd compared to other more subtle earbuds; however, Nura's decision to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality is a decision I quickly appreciated.
At first glance, I was sure these earbuds were going to be too big for my ears. They have a disc-shaped housing that's much bigger than other earbuds in the market. However, they were very comfortable. The size meant I could easily use the touch controls without issue, and I could readjust the earbuds on the run without accidentally pressing the touch controls.
I didn't have the same appreciation for the case. Functionally it works fine. It has four LEDs on the front, indicating its charge level; however its design was frustrating in that it was far too easy to insert the earbuds incorrectly. When this happened, the buds wouldn't charge and on a few occasions, I would be ready to use my NuraTrue's to be caught short on battery life.
The earbuds come with four different sized silicone tips and one foam tip. Finding a comfortable fit was easy. They also came with two wing attachments so that I could better secure the fit in my ear. These were especially useful for exercising . When setting up the NuraTrue earbuds, the Nura app conducts a fit test, which I found was effective and helpful for determining what combination of tips and wings best suited my ears.
The NuraTrues also have an IPX4 resistance rating, meaning they're sweat-resistant and can handle light splashes of water. You can wear them while jogging in the rain without having to worry about them.
The feature that sets the NuraTrue earbuds apart from other top-of-the-range earbuds is the Personalised Sound feature.
When you first set up the NuraTrue earbuds, you'll go through a short one-minute process that "measures" your hearing. The earbuds will play tones into your ear and measure faint sounds called otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) that your ears generate in response.
These OAEs vibrate the eardrum, kind of like a speaker that plays sound back through your ears. These responding sounds contain information that determines how well you heard the sound that went in. Microphones then detect these, and NuraTrue's in-built self-learning engine will create a hearing profile specific to how you heard the sounds.
From here, the earbuds will sonically shape the music you play, so it matches your hearing profile, and this will enable you to hear all the details of your music.
At first, I was sceptical about this feature. However, the results were amazing.
Nura has also included what they call Immersion Mode. This is a slider primarily used to turn the bass up or down. It works well. It gives depth to the music that makes it feel more like a live performance. As you raise the immersion levels, it sounds more like you're creating a more expansive soundstage rather than simply making the bass louder. It's impressive.
The earbuds also contain all the other features you'd expect from high-end earbuds.
The touch controls are easily customisable inside the Nura app. You can customise what a single tap and a double-tap on each earbud controls. The options include playing and pausing music, skipping tracks, raising the volume up and down, answering calls and a few others. I found the touch controls easy to use, and they were more responsive than other earbuds due to the large housing.
They also have very good noise-cancellation capabilities. I like to test the ANC of earbuds by using them while playing the drums, and the NuraTrue earbuds performed well, cancelling out almost everything except the hi-hats.
They also have an ambient sound mode called Social Mode which reduces the volume coming through the earbuds and boosts outside noise via the microphones. It works well and can be turned on and off with touch controls.
The sound that the NuraTrue earbuds produce is incredible. The quality and clarity of the sounds are at a level I haven't heard in other earbuds. The Personalised Sound feature works well, and I found myself hearing small details in my music that I had never heard before.
Listening to We Go On Walks by Petey, I was able to hear every element of the mix. Some of these elements I hadn't noticed before. The faint echo of the singer's voice at the beginning of the track, the reverb on the piano bouncing from my left earbud to my right earbud, and the clicks of a guitar that I never knew were there were now present. Songs sound a lot wider and more detailed.
In the Nura app, you can switch between the Personalised Sound profile you create, and a neutral sound mode that doesn't have any adjustments and the differences are massive. So massive that at first, I thought the neutral sound was intentionally made to sound worse, but I compared the NuraTrue earbuds with my Sony WF-1000XM4's, and there was no comparison. The NuraTrue's produced a significantly better sound.
They work well with any genre of music. Bass-heavy hip hop tracks like Smokin & Drinkin by Danny Brown sound clean and precise. The immersion mode slider that controls bass levels adds depth to the track. It's more than a bass boost that makes the lower frequencies louder. It adds more balance, immersion and detail by widening the soundstage. It works so well that I had it at 100 per cent for all my music.
With these earbuds, every element of the mix gets the same treatment. The higher frequencies of hi-hats and sharp snares are just as easy to hear as middle to low frequency sounds like vocals, synths and subs. Sounds come at you from every angle because the soundstage is huge. Even intentionally less-clean songs like I'm Scum by Idles sounds excellent. The constant thumping of the toms is heart-pounding and powerful in the right ear, with the crashing cymbals just as resonant in the left. It's brilliant.
And as a disclaimer, I was listening to my music through Spotify at standard quality. This wasn't high fidelity music I was listening to. It was standard, and it sounded incredible.
Battery & Connectivity
The NuraTrue earbuds have a six-hour battery life. It's not class-leading, but it's a good amount. The case holds an extra 18 hours of charge, again not the best on the market, but it's around the average.
Unfortunately, the earbuds have a two-hour charge time which is long. The case will also take 2.5 hours to top up via its USB-C charging port, which also feels like a long time.
The NuraTrue earbuds are compatible with aptX, SBC and AAC codecs so you can stream hi-res audio with them. And they're Bluetooth earbuds that use Bluetooth 5, which isn't the latest version; however, I never had any issues with connectivity. They quickly connected to my phone, and they provided a stable connection to my smartwatch when I was running as well. No issues here.
At first, I was sceptical about Nura's claims that the NuraTrue earbuds could "measure" a users hearing and adapt audio to suit. However, as soon as I created my personalised profile on the Nura app, all my scepticism was instantly erased.
The NuraTrue earbuds are some of the best earbuds on the market, and they're incredibly affordable at $300.
The NuraTrue earbuds are worth purchasing for the sound they produce alone. It's the best audio quality I've ever heard in earbuds, and I imagine we'll start seeing Personalised Sound features more prominently in the market because the results are fantastic. Combine that with the impressive Immersion Mode slider, and you'll hear new details in your music that you've never heard before. Simply put you're going to be wowed by these earbuds.
Add to this the ability to use the NuraTrue earbuds while exercising, effective ANC capabilities and responsive touch controls, all for only $300, and these are easily some of the best earbuds you can get. You're going to love them.
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NuraTrue review: Earbuds that “shape” music for your ears and sound better than Apple, Bose and Sony have 1809 words, post on www.stuff.co.nz at September 12, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.