Nura Operations Nuraphones Review

A pair of extraordinary headphones that feature good sound, but not so much on comfort.

Price £349
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Nuraphones key features:

  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Personalised to your hearing
  • On-ear and in-ear design
  • Active noise canceling
  • All set up and controlled by a free iOS/Android Nura app
  • Music-activated Tesla venting system claims to keep your ears cool

Nuraphones are desperate to get your attention. First, there are the claims; that they can tailor their sound to every wearer – that they can cut and boost frequencies that you are not getting enough of (or too much of). Then there’s the design – they are both on-ear and in-ear! Then there’s even the ruddy packaging. The outer shell is Earth-friendly and recyclable while the inner case opens like an alien egg that looks non-Earth-friendly! Even the introductory video is in-your-face and abrasive, like you REALLY have to take notice of these headphones.

It’s a set of claims that we wouldn’t usually take too seriously, but it is an intriguing design. We should get one thing out of the way, though: anything that adapts itself to your hearing is probably not going to deliver a mix that is going to be to everyone else’s tastes, so we’d suggest from the off that these are going to be more for pleasure listening than mixing and mastering your productions. So are they any good for that?

First up, that in- and on-ear thing is kind of comfortable and does work, although the in-ear rubber things continue the alien thing; they are like some kind of off-world sex probes. Then, as if you weren’t terrified enough, the damn things start talking to you when you put them on (they even ’know’ when you put them on!). It’s not a short process but you end up starting the hearing test which then confirms that you have them on properly. Then it checks your ears and learns how you hear music. It sounds a bit like an old Star Trek computer while it does this and it’s not quite clear what it’s doing, but it only takes a minute. It then plays a Sasha song in Neutral Mode and you switch to Personal Mode to hear the difference.

So what do we think overall? Well the ’test’ wasn’t getting any feedback from us so we’re not sure what alien tech it was using to scan us, what all the blather does do is take away from the fact that the phones actually sound pretty good – if a little over-warm – and the noise cancelling is excellent, so great for travel listening. The only problems are that they do get uncomfortable and they do cost, but that price is almost (but not quite) worth that bizarre setup experience.