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Nura Nuraphone Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Aug 22, 2019 at 09:59 am
Nura Nuraphone Wireless Picture
6.7
Mixed Usage
5.9
Neutral Sound
7.2
Commute/Travel
6.8
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.3
Wireless Gaming
6.5
Wired Gaming
6.3
Phone Calls
Type Hybrid
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Nura Nuraphone are unique headphones thanks to their hybrid design. The over-ear part of the headphones provides you with punchy bass, while the in-ear part is for the mid and treble ranges, which unfortunately sounds a bit sharp and piercing. They have a good app that lets you create different sound profiles based on their personalization process which scans and adjusts the sound of the headphones depending on how you hear. Unfortunately, we had issues testing these headphones and most of our sound review is based on our subjective evaluations. Our testing procedures couldn’t accurately measure the Nuraphone, and the results we got don’t seem to represent the experience of the user. You can read more about our procedures in this discussion thread.

Our Verdict

6.7 Mixed Usage

The Nuraphone are pretty decent for mixed usage. They have a unique listening experience, which can be experienced anywhere thanks to their Bluetooth design. They have an excited sound profile that will be better suited for bass-heavy genres. On the other hand, their ANC isn’t the best, but the in-ear fit mixed with the over-ears passively isolates a decent amount of ambient noise, which makes them usable in public transit or at the office. However, these shouldn’t be worn during physical activity and unless you buy their audio cable, they won’t be ideal for watching TV and for gaming due to their latency.

Pros
  • Unique listening experience thanks to the personalization feature.
  • Very well-built design.
  • Good isolation performance.
  • Amazing battery life.
Cons
  • Odd comfort feeling due to the in-ear fit inside the over-ear cups.
  • No included standard audio cable.
  • Near-useless ANC feature.
  • Limited control scheme.
5.9 Neutral Sound

Based on our subjective impressions, we feel the Nuraphone are a good option for neutral listening, although they won’t be the best option for a neutral sound. By listening to them, we think they have a hyped and excited sound, with good bass, but slightly too sharp treble especially on already bright tracks. While their hybrid design of over-ears and in-ears might feel a bit weird at first, they aren’t uncomfortable for listening sessions. Also, their app that calibrates the headphones to your hearing is a nice experience that you can’t get with any other headphones.

7.2 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. These headphones’ ANC feature isn’t the best, but the mix of the over-ear and in-ear design does a decent job at blocking out ambient noise. However, they don’t do that well against lower frequencies and won’t be ideal for public transit. On the upside, they have very long battery life and will last you for the longest rides and trips.

6.8 Sports/Fitness

Okay for sports, but shouldn’t be used for this. The Nuraphone aren’t the most stable headphones and shouldn’t be used for sports. They aren’t designed for this use as they are not portable, nor breathable.

7.0 Office

Good for the office. We think that the Nuraphone have pretty good isolation performance in the mid and treble ranges, which are responsible for blocking out work environment noises like ambient chatter and the noise of an A/C system. They are also fairly comfortable, although they might feel weird at first due to their unique design. On the upside, they have a very long battery life and will last you a couple of work days without needing to recharge them.

5.3 Wireless Gaming

Sub-par for gaming. These headphones shouldn’t be used wirelessly for gaming due to their latency issues. Also, their design might not be the most comfortable due to the in-ear fit. Their microphone performance also can’t compete against a good boom microphone from a gaming headset. On the upside, their audio quality is pretty good and if used via USB on a PC, you can eliminate the latency issues and have good audio reproduction.

6.5 Wired Gaming
6.3 Phone Calls
  • 6.7 Mixed Usage
  • 5.9 Neutral Sound
  • 7.2 Commute/Travel
  • 6.8 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.5 Wired Gaming
  • 6.3 Phone Calls
  1. Update 7/8/2020: We've updated the Test Settings and fixed a few mistakes in the review. No major score changes.
  2. Update 3/27/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  4. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Nuraphone are stylish headphones once on your head. They look like premium headphones with a metal finish and a sleek overall design. However, you do have visible wires coming out of the cups. Some people may also find their design a bit unconventional when they are not on your ears, since they have the protruding in-ear tips inside the cups. They only come in an all-black color scheme.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.74 lbs
Clamping Force
1.2 lbs

The Nuraphone are fairly comfortable headphones, but their fit feels a bit odd if you’re not used to it. The cups and headband are well-padded and comfortable, but some may feel that the in-ear fit mixed with the over-ear cups is weird. On the upside, the tips don’t enter too deep inside your ear canal. These headphones usually come with 3 additional tip sizes. However our unit didn't come with them, so we had to contact Nura Customer Support to get them. There are also a lot of online reports of customers having to do the same as they seem to be often out of stock. The headphones come with the biggest tip size.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The Nura headphones have two touch-sensitive surfaces where the logos are on the cups. Each logo can be touched to activate different controls which you need to set in the app. When connecting the headphones to the app, it doesn’t have any commands set up at first. You have many options, such as play/pause music and answer/hang up calls, enable/disable immersion, enable/disable social mode, track skipping and volume controls. You have single-tap and double-tap commands on each ear cup, making for a total of four different possible actions. Unfortunately, this means you can’t use all these options at the same time and you’ll have to choose which ones are the most useful for you. We scored these headphones with what we would use as mappable controls which are: call/music control, volume up, volume down, and forward track skipping.

6.9
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.4 C

Due to their over-ear design, the Nura headphones trap a decent amount of heat inside their ear cups. This makes a noticeable difference in temperature that you could notice, especially if you want to use them for sports. You are more than likely going to sweat more if you workout with them. However, note that our breathability rig may not completely represent how hot these headphones get due to their hybrid over/in-ear design.

5.4
Design
Portability
L 8.0 "
W 6.5 "
H 4.0 "
Volume 208 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The Nura headphones aren’t very portable. Their over-ear design is bulky and they also can’t be folded into a more compact format. The cups don’t swivel to lay flat. They might be a bit hard to put inside your bag, but on the upside, they do come with a case. If you want something much more portable, check out the Nura NuraLoop Wireless, wireless in-ears that still feature Nura's personalized custom EQ.

8.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 10.0 "
W 9.0 "
H 4.5 "
Volume 405 Cu. Inches

The Nuraphone case is great. It is sturdy and protects the headphones well against fall damage, scratches, and light water exposure. The case’s lid is shut by a magnetic strap that doesn’t open easily, which is nice. However, the size of the case is pretty big and takes noticeably more space than the Nuraphone by themselves.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Nuraphone are very well-built headphones. Their headband is made from a full metal frame, which is flexible and sturdy. The cups and headband paddings are made from silicone. The cups feel dense enough to survive a few falls too. On the other hand, part of the cables linking the cups is apparent and could be the weak link of the build. Additionally, the cups don’t have a good range of motion, meaning that a lot of physical stress on the headphones could break them.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Nura headphones are stable enough for casual listening sessions but might not be the best option for sports activities. They are decently tight on the head, but their overall fit is loose enough that head movement will make the headphones fall from your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Nuraphone headphones
  • USB charging cable
  • Cable case
  • Traveling case

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.08 db
Treble Amount
1.49 db
7.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.47 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Nuraphone is quite good thanks to their in-ear tips. On the other hand, there’s a bit of variation in the bass range since these frequencies are reproduced by the over-ear part of the headphones. Some people in the office found them to be bass-heavy while others disagreed. We couldn’t measure this accurately as we couldn't use human measurements for the bass range due to the in-ear tips. Overall, you shouldn’t have a problem with getting consistent audio reproduction with the Nuraphone for your personal use but might experience a different sound than others.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
5.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.65 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
4.03 dB
Mid-Bass
10.09 dB
High-Bass
4.39 dB

We feel that the bass performance of the Nuraphone is very good. The bass is being produced by the over-ear part of the headphones and adds a good amount of thump and rumble to the sound. They feel a bit more bass-heavy than what the graph shows, especially in low-bass. You can also adjust the “immersion mode” to mimic being closer to stage speakers, which results in more vibration in the bass. Also, note that the mismatch shown in the graph isn’t audible and is more than likely a flaw in our testing.

Some people in the office felt that they weren't as bass-heavy as others, which resulted in them finding the overall sound of the Nuraphone to be on the brighter side.

7.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.0 dB
Low-Mid
1.04 dB
Mid-Mid
0.51 dB
High-Mid
6.35 dB

We feel the Nuraphone’s mid-range is also pretty good. Vocals and lead instruments feel accurately reproduced. However, due to the slightly overemphasized bass, they might feel a bit cluttered, especially if you boost up the immersion mode.

5.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.62 dB
Low-Treble
7.52 dB
Mid-Treble
5.47 dB
High-Treble
2.31 dB

The graph of the treble range looks pretty accurate to what we heard. Vocals and instruments have a lot of detail and brightness and the higher frequencies like sibilants (S and T sounds) are very sharp and piercing. People in the office who didn’t hear as much bass found them to be on the bright side, while people who did get bass felt that their overall sound profile was hyped, without being too piercing.

6.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.26 db
Dips
1.69 db
5.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.89
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.99
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.78
Weighted Phase Mismatch
48.38

The stereo imaging of the Nuraphone is good and we don’t trust the numbers we got in this test. We think they might be due to how we tested the Nuraphone or because the personalization algorithm doesn’t work well with dummy heads. Regardless, after subjective listening, we think they produce tight bass and a transparent treble. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit seemed well-matched in amplitude and frequency. This ensures an accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, footsteps) in the stereo image.

3.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.73 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.05 dB
PRTF Distance
26.03 dB
Openness
2.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.6

We found the soundstage of the Nuraphone to be quite decent. As the graph shows, there’s a decent amount of activation due to their unique design and the notch around the 10kHz creates a natural and fairly open-soundstage. However, their closed-back design doesn’t make them as open-sounding as critical listening open-backs.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
7.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.228
WHD @ 100
0.193
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
Maximum
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated
Isolation
7.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-26.03 dB
Bass
-5.46 dB
Mid
-25.34 dB
Treble
-49.19 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Nuraphone is decent thanks to their design. While their ANC feature, which was added in a software update, doesn’t seem to be doing much, they passively isolate well against ambient noise since you have a mix of over-ears with an earbud tip. Even with their ANC on, they don’t do much against the low-end frequencies such as the deep rumble of a bus engine, which means they won’t be great for commuting. On the other hand, they do very well against work environment noise such as ambient chatter and an AC system.

9.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
24.35 dB

Since the mid and treble ranges are coming out of the earbud tips, these headphones practically don’t leak. You can listen to them at high volumes without disturbing people surrounding you, even in fairly quiet environments.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
5.8
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
250.34 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.28 dB
HFE
7240.77 Hz
Weighted THD
834.504
Gain
-3.15 dB

The Nuraphone’s integrated microphone has passable recording quality. Speech recorded and transmitted with this mic will sound fairly full-bodied and clear, but might sound a bit muffled and lacking in detail a bit.

7.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
20.79 dB

The microphone of the Nuraphone is decent at noise handling. It will be able to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud situations like a busy street but won’t do as well in louder environments such as a subway station.

Active Features
8.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
35.3 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
35.3 hrs
Charge Time
2.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port Proprietary

Update 07/08/2020: We've updated the Power-Saving Feature to 'Standby mode' as they automatically go into a deep sleep mode after one minute of being off your head. However, they don't go into standby mode if you keep them on and stop playing music.

The Nura headphones have an excellent battery life with about 35 hours of continuous playback, with their ANC and personalization features enabled. This is quite surprising as Nura advertises them to have about 20 hours of battery life. This will last you a few work days without a problem and won’t need daily charging, which is great. They also only take about two hours and a half to fully charge, which isn’t too long considering the long battery life. They can also be used when charging via their USB cable.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Nura App
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
Adjustable
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

Update 07/08/2020: We've updated the ANC Control to 'Adjustable'. The score for the app didn't change.

The Nura App is practically a necessity when using the Nuraphone. This app is what you’ll use to personalize your profile. The app goes through a series of tests to try and figure out how your ears hear. It will then personalize your sound profile to match the targeted audio reproduction. You can have up to 3 different profiles. The “immersion mode” is for how much bass you want to have in the over-ear section of the headphones. You can also enable their ANC or talk-through mode and map their control scheme for each cup. While there are no room effects, playback control, or an actual EQ, the app is still a great tool that personalizes your experience with the Nuraphone.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
161 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
193 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
182 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
211 ms
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
270 ms
Android Latency
101 ms

Update 07/08/2020: We've added the PC Latency (aptX HD) data.

The Nura headphones are Bluetooth-compatible. Unfortunately, they can’t be used with multiple devices simultaneously, which was expected due to their personalization features, and also can’t connect via NFC. On the upside, their pairing procedure is very easy. The Nuraphone have about average latency for Bluetooth headphones, meaning that they might not be ideal for watching video content. However, you might not notice the delay since some devices and apps offer some sort of compensation. On the upside, they support the aptX and aptX HD codecs.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
7.9
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
Proprietary
Detachable Yes
Length 4.2 ft
Connection USB
Analog/USB Audio Latency
59 ms

The Nura headphones can also be used wired via their USB charging cable. Via USB, they aren’t compatible on gaming consoles, but on the upside, you can purchase a proprietary analog audio cable from Nura, which will provide audio only, but is sold separately.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don’t have a dock.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Nura Nuraphones are unique headphones thanks to their hybrid design of over-ears and in-ears. There are no other headphones that provide this design with an app that calibrates the headphones to your hearing, which is a great and unique experience. However, when it comes to active noise cancelling, which was rolled out in a software update, the Nuraphone don’t compete well against high-end models in the same price range. See our suggestions for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best critical listening headphones, and the best Bluetooth headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are a better choice for everyday use than the Nura Nuraphone. Their ANC feature is one of the best we’ve tested so far and they are noticeably more comfortable too. You get access to more control commands thanks to their touch-sensitive surfaces, although they don’t respond well in freezing weather. You can also EQ them to your liking inside their app, but it won’t offer a personalization feature like the Nura’s app does. If you’re looking for headphones that are great overall and will be used during your commute, go for the XM3s. If you want a unique listening experience, go for the Nuraphone.

Nura NuraLoop Wireless
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Nura NuraLoop Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Nura Nuraphone Wireless. The NuraLoop are much more portable thanks to their in-ear design, feel a lot more stable in the ear, and have a better-balanced default sound profile. They also come with an analog audio cable that connects to their proprietary charging port, so you can use them wired, and they have a significantly better ANC feature. On the other hand, the Nuraphone have a much better battery life and are more comfortable.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Studio 3 Wireless will be a better-mixed usage pair of headphones than the Nura Nuraphone Wireless. The Beats are more comfortable and have better bass noise isolation, which is better suited for public transit. They also come with an audio cable and an in-line microphone, which the Nura is lacking inside the box. On the other hand, the personalization feature of the Nura is a unique experience that you can’t get on the Beats headphones. The Nura also offer more battery life than the Beats.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are better-mixed usage headphones than the Nura Nuraphone Wireless thanks to their great ANC feature. The Bose are also one of the most comfortable headphones we’ve reviewed so far and have a much more neutral sound profile. On the other hand, the Nura last a lot longer off a single charge, and their personalization feature and hybrid design offer a unique listening experience.

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless and the Nura Nuraphone are two good headphones but in very different ways. The PXC 550 will sound more neutral than the exciting-sounding Nuraphone. The PXC have a more traditional over-ear fit and are a bit more comfortable. On the other hand, their ANC feature isn’t great, and the passive isolation of the Nuraphone is better at blocking out noise, although their ANC is also pretty lackluster. However, the Nuraphone have a very unique app that lets you personalize the sound profile of the headphones to suit how you hear.

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Nura Nuraphone Wireless Price

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