Nuraphone started as a Kickstarter project three years ago. Now they deliver the best sound in the class, offering active star reduction with the new G2 software update. We have had Nuraphone for testing.
There are headphones in all shapes and sizes, but the Nuraphone from Australian Nura must be said to be unique in both design and technology. The company's journey started back in 2016 and through Kickstarter had already raised $ 1.8 million, from nearly 8,000 bald backers, by the middle of the same year.
Also Read: Test: JBL Tune 120TWS – Powerful Wireless Sound
It already testified at that time that Nura was embarking on an exciting project with their Nuraphones. Today, 3 years later, Nuraphone can be purchased from a wide range of dealers, including the HiFi Club.
We have had the Nuraphone G2, where G2 exclusively indicates the new software, for testing. Here's our verdict:
- Exceptional sound
- Personalized EQ
- Solid construction
- Easy setup
- Good noise reduction
- Incredibly cumbersome fit
- Bad Bluetooth connection
- No included jackstick
- Difficult to transport
- High price
Click to open the photo gallery:
The design of the Nuraphone is very special compared to its competitors. The headphones are built in a way that provides both in-ear and over-ear sound, which many of us have been dreaming about for a while. Personally, I've always loved the clear sound most often found in a pair of good in-ear headphones. The problem has usually been that the in-ear models are missing some bottom, which is only found with over-ear headphones. Conversely, the large models can give too much bass, which distorts the sound and makes them sound muddy.
I'll be brief when I describe Nuraphone's design, but I have to give it a try. First and foremost, the car is made of a corrugated metal, coated with rubber. On the inside of the car you will find a silicone cushion that actually makes the otherwise semi-heavy headphones comfortable for the head. On the outside of the large cups, you will find a touch-sensitive button on each side. The buttons are programmable and provide up to four different key options. It's hard to describe the scraps. I just referred to them as cups, which I hold on to, in the rest of this review. The outside of the cups is made of plastic, and on the inside you find the same comfortable silicone as on the main body. The rounding on the inside is equipped with grooves to enhance the sound of the haptic bass. From here it becomes really strange. The inside of the cups also offers in-ear scraps, ie plugs that need to go into the dish. The look has several times been compared to a strange piece of sex toy, which I may be inclined to agree.
Are you confused now? – So am I. Fortunately, you can see pictures of the headphones above.
Different but easy setup
When unpacking the Nuraphone, you find, besides the headphones, a huge case that is closed by a magnet. Inside the case is another small case in which the included charger cable and interchangeable reprops are stored. A shortage of sales footage is a jack cable. If you need to connect your Nuraphones to a jack, then in the best Apple style, you have to run out and buy the cable as an optional accessory. It has to be a turnaround when you charge around DKK 3,000 for the headphones.
In the accompanying start-up guide it is well described that you just have to turn on your Nuraphone and connect via Bluetooth. The headphones turn on by themselves, and they turn off automatically when you take them off – and it actually works as intended.
My Nuraphones came with 100 percent power, so it was just getting started.
To get anything interesting out of the headphones, you need to download the Nura app on your device. Through the app, you get through a comprehensive setup process that is designed to tailor the sound to the user's reganges. The idea is that everyone has different sound and therefore needs different sound amplification. Again, this is something that works as intended. The set-up takes a few minutes, after which the sound should be perfect. All this goes on by the fact that the headphones play different tones and measure how your eardrum responds. Our eardrums vibrate when they are hit by sound blasts, those vibrations send back some blisters that we can't even hear. These are the soundscapes Nuraphone captures and personalize the sound from.
In the end, it's an automatic equalizer, but it works.
Click to open the photo gallery:
Furiously good sound
The sound of the Nuraphone is exceptional, nothing less. They themselves proclaim that they will be a Bose and Sony, which is of course something everyone wants – we will beat the best.
In my view, the best Bluetooth headphones on the market are Sony's WH-1000XM3, and Nuraphone has at least as good sound. The in-ear pieces deliver a somewhat no flawless reproduction of the music, which is only impaired by poor recordings or low-quality streaming. The level of detail is extremely high, whether I'm sitting and hearing Slipknot or Macklemore. My highlight was clearly listening to "In the air tonight" by Phil Collins. Here, the combination of in-ear and over-ear really shone through. Over the ear section, the bald haptic bass generates. It works by vibrating the cups when playing certain bass frequencies. The power of the vibrations can be controlled in the app via the bald "Immersion", so you decide for yourself how big a concussion you want.
Also read: Test: Sony WH-1000XM3 – It just doesn't exist any better
Haptic bass is something we have seen fr. Among other things, I have reviewed Skullcandy Crusher Wireless, which also delivers haptic bass. Nuraphone just makes it MUCH better. In the case of the Nuraphone, the in-ear plugs make sure the sound stays clean despite the bass. You can almost turn up your immersion and still have great sound, just with more bass. Of course, it is true that the bass is linked to the volume, so the higher the volume of the bass you can turn up the bass without it distorting.
The conclusion is without a doubt that the combination of in-ear and haptic bass in the cups gives Nuraphone a clear upper hand when it comes to sound quality.
Well done, Nura!
Too many drawbacks
Despite the sublime sound and the interesting technology behind, there are too many disadvantages of Nuraphone.
First and foremost, the Bluetooth connection is insanely poor. If I go with the headphones on my head, and the cellphone in my pocket, the connection goes off – OFTE! It's simply not good enough. Nuraphone has fantastic star reduction, but it is useless if you can not use the headphones when moving around in the big world. Having to have the phone in your hand all the time when you go for a walk is one of the biggest annoyances I've ever experienced. The connection problem is basically the same on the three phones I've used.
Next, there is the fit. Although the Nuraphone is comfortable for the head, the same does not apply to clean ones. I tested all sizes of reprops to find the right one. None of them fit in properly, so I took the size that came closest to it. Then followed some painful days when I could only wear the headphones for 10-15 minutes at a time. the ropes simply moved too much, causing little wear and tear on my pipes. It was a bit like wearing a pair of shoes. When my ears finally got used to the headphones, a new problem arose. I never seemed to be able to get the Nuraphone to sit tight. It asked that I constantly correct them to get the best sound. Again, we find that features like active star reduction don't matter if you can't use the headphones when you commute.
My last problem with Nuraphone is the price. At 2,999 kroner, the 700 kroner is above the Sony WH-100XM3, so you don't even get a jack plug. It's too bad when the connection also halts. In addition, you get far more complete experiences with either the Sony WH-1000XM3 or the Bose Quiet Comfort II, both of which can be used for hours without any nuisance, while at the same time delivering great sound.
Nuraphone does not use USB-C or micro-USB. This is the only input, so if you need to use jack plugs, you have to buy the special cable next to it.
Nuraphone G2: Conclusion
Nuraphone is a super exciting product that does many things right. The sound is the best I have ever experienced in the class, its application works to the point and dots and technology sounds far along the way flawless.
But when you encounter problems such as poor connection and lousy fit, the rest can almost be indifferent. What about a noise-canceling headset that plays like a dream if you can only use it in your armchair? – Of course, I also enjoy being able to shut the kids out and enjoy a good piece of music. I can do just that with many other headphones that in turn can also be used on the go.
In conclusion, half the product is perfect. If you can be satisfied with that half, there are no better headphones in the market than Nuraphone. But if you go for the complete experience, you have to look in the direction of Bose or Sony, unfortunately, Nuraphone is not good enough.
All in all, Nuraphone has jumped to 4 stars, thanks to its sound quality.