Aussie headphones deliver personalised sound
AN AUSSIE start-up has created a pair of award-winning headphones that will make every other product seem bland and outdated in comparison.
The $500 Nuraphones are a hybrid of headphones and earphones that use a self-learning engine to automatically tune the product to your unique hearing profile in just 60 seconds.
To achieve this, Nura use an adaptation of a common hearing test that measures what's called otoacoustic emissions.
"The Nuraphone plays a range of tones into the ear, and then measures a very faint sound that your ear generates in response to these tones called the Otoacoustic Emission (OAE)," Nura explained.
"This tiny signal originates in the cochlea and vibrates the ear drum, turning it into a speaker and playing sound back out of your ear."
Next the sound wave returns to the headphones encoded with information about how well you heard the range of tones.
"The Nuraphone uses an extremely sensitive microphone to detect this returning sound wave, and a self learning engine built into the Nuraphone to create your profile," it explained.
Once your hearing test is complete, you have the choice to listen to the generic setting or your personalised profile - obviously if you're paying $500 for these headphones you're going to want to use the personalised option.
When I first used the product after tuning I was blown away by the difference in sound quality, although I was dubious whether it was actually a unique profile or a gimmick that just presented music slightly louder with more bass.
So I got my girlfriend to also add her profile - you can add multiple users on the Nura app - and found out while her profile also sounded very good, it did not offer the some clarity and punch as my own.
THE REAL HERO OF THE PRODUCT
I am someone who loves bass and ramps it probably higher than I should when using my soundbar at home. It's also something I wish headphones offered more.
Wish is something I have to no longer do, with the Nuraphone earcups physically vibrating when you play music at higher volumes, allowing you to actually feel the bass.
"It works by splitting the melodic sounds to an in-ear speaker, and the bass sounds to an over-ear tactile driver that delivers the sound through your skin," Nura explained.
Think of it like having a tiny subwoofer in each ear cup that delivers bass you can feel, without losing the crystal clear detail of the other frequencies.
You can adjust the of level of deep bass with the "Immersion Mode" setting in the Nura app, with the haptic-sense technology able to be turned off or cranked to simulate being front row at a gig.
While the heavy bass might not be for everyone, as someone who loves listening to hip hop and watching senseless action movies, I found it be pretty bloody impressive.
The outer headphone and inner earbud combination also make for excellent passive noise cancellation, which only increases the quality of sound you are hearing.
It's not just the sound of the product that's amazing, it also has a premium and sexy design.
At first the combination of headphones and earphones look and feel slightly strange, but that's only because it's a different sensation to what you are used to and once you hear the product, any problems with this aspect of the design quickly fades away.
There is a durable metal body and flexible band with soft padding for comfort and fit.
Underneath the left earcup you will find the Nura connector needed to charge the headphones or to connect an adaptor so it can be wired to your favourite device.
The Nuraphones don't have any buttons on the product, instead opting for programmable touch control.
My only grievances is the connector is specific to Nura, meaning if you lose it you are going to have to purchase a new one from the company, and I would have maybe liked to have seen faux leather used on the earcups given the premium price tag.
I will keep this one short and sweet. These products are unlike anything I have ever used before and put my regular headphones to shame.
While I could still be tempted to opt for Bose's QC35 II or Sony's WH-1000XM2 active noise cancelling headphones if I was going to be spending $500, the Nuraphones are definitely worth your consideration.
They look sharp, feel comfortable tune music specifically to how you hear and offer rumbling bass. What more do you want?