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Nuraphone review: Noise-cancelling headphones with a personal touch

Nuraphone review: Noise-cancelling headphones with a personal touch Nuraphone is the name of over-ear headphones which have curious inner ea...

Nuraphone review: Noise-cancelling headphones with a personal touch

Nuraphone is the name of over-ear headphones which have curious inner earpieces designed to improve the audio you hear. It's like over-ear headphones and in-ear buds combined.

At first, they feel noticeably different from other headphones but quickly become comfortable and familiar. The headband is wide and has a soft, rubbery panel which rests on your head and the ear cups have a similar silicone finish which is also snug. Build quality is strong across the whole headphones.

There's considerable extra tec hnology in these cans. For a start, there's the real standout feature: sound customisation.

The science behind it is that when our eardrums hear a sound, they make a faint sound in reply. Inside the Nuraphone earpiece is a microphone which measures the reply sound in order to work out a personalised audio profile. This is done using the Nura smartphone app: a series of test tones a minute or two long which result in a graphical illustration of your personal hearing capabilities. No two profiles are quite the same.

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You can turn your profile on and off as you wish. Off doesn't sound great.

But listening with your profile activated sounds tremendous.

There's more refinement available, called an immersion effect which cleverly puts high and mid tones through the earpiece that's inserted into your ears while bass is pumped though the ear cups, so the bass hits your skin rather than as a barrage on your eardrums.

The headphones don't have any noise-cancelling feature, where the jet engines on an aeroplane, for instance, are quelled electronically.

Well, actually, they didn't have noise-cancelling until a new software update that's just arrived. The update, downloaded via the iPhone or Android phone app, now delivers this feature, made possible by the particular chips and microphones already on board the headphones. Originally, that hardware was there to deliver the hearing testing capabilities but new software has added noise-cancelling.

With all these features, you may imagine there are lots of buttons and lights on the headphones.

In fact, there are none, at least not visible. There's no power button: when you put the headphones on they wake up automatically, and a voice, slightly spookily, says "Welcome back" in your ears. It also tells you how much time is left on the battery before you'll need to recharge (it's up to 20 hours between charges).

The audio here is brilliant: loud without losing detail, bassy without being oppressive and pleasingly rich across the spectrum (Nuraphone)

Then, on each earpiece there's a button with a capacitive surface, like a touchscreen, which responds to a single- or double-press. It makes for a neater, cleaner design.

The downside is that to make any adjustments you need to have the headphones on your ears and the app open. There's also n o option to turn noise-cancelling on or off with a tap or two - which you might need if you're being asked to choose between chicken and beef. That's because Nura recommend leaving noise-cancelling on all the time.

But it does have an override, called social mode, also part of the new update. An icon of headphones in a dotted circle sits on the smartphone app. Touch this and the four external microphones let the outside world noise in so you can safely opt for your meal of choice. Please remember, though, when you answer, if you're still listening to music, you will probably be shouting your reply. You can also configure one of the capacitive buttons to turn social mode on and off.

With headphones like this, which are not cheap, the most important feature is the sound quality. And the audio here is brilliant: loud without losing detail, bassy without being oppressive and pleasingly rich across the spectrum. The inner earpieces make the sound feel more present than on most headphones and very immersive.

The addition of noise-cancelling is a real bonus and it times in with a price cut, today on Amazon Prime Day. Normally £349, the price on Amazon right now is £261.75, until the end of Amazon Prime Day on 17 July.

Source: Google News US Technology | Netizen 24 United States

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