REVIEW: nuraphone headphone + best alternatives


I recently checked out the Nura nuraphone headphone, which is the first in the world to adapt to an individual’s hearing. My conclusion: do NOT buy nuraphone. It’s HYPE. It’s not worth it. In this blog post I will tell you my disappointing experience with nuraphone and list the best noise-cancelling wireless headphone alternatives in the same price range.

Buy Nura nuraphone €399 EUR

Buy Bowers & Wilkins PX Space Grey €399 EUR

Bowers & Wilkins PX Soft Gold €399 EUR

Buy Sony WH-1000XM3 Black €369 EUR

I first discovered The Nura nuraphone from an Instagram sponsored ad. I was curious so I went to their website. By chance, I saw a friend’s Instagram photo and a positive review, so I messaged that friend about her experience. She said she’d discovered them and backed the fellow Melburnians on Kickstarter. She said she was really happy with the headphones and both her and her husband had a pair, each with their own profile. She tried his profile, but liked hers better. 

Fast forward a few months later, and I was in Melbourne. I saw some outdoor advertising and one day, I bumped into the Nura pop-up store in a shopping mall. Very curious, I went to see if the nuraphone was really revolutionary. 


Design: First impressions of the design were good. It had a sleek minimal black design which doesn’t really stand out, but headphones don’t need to, so it’s a personal taste. I liked the idea of the ear buds with additional ear cups. This is something I haven’t seen before and they are really comfortable.

Build: The build is quite ok. It’s not flimsy cheap plastic and has a good weight to them. 

Sound Profile: Then I was asked to make my profile with the app on a phone. I put the headphones on and the calibration began. Noises from all frequencies bounced around my ears and it took a while for it to finish. Then, voila! There was my profile. Represented in beautiful colours. 

Then I was asked to listen to the reference song without my profile, and then with. This is where my biggest concern is. The reference without the profile was suspiciously very bad, in many ways. And then, comparing to when your profile is on, is of course a huge difference, and has the “wow effect”, but I think the non-calibrated setting should be already a fantastic listening experience and the profile tweaks to perfection. This way, you know they’ve done it on purpose for the untrained ear to be impressed by their profiling. My profile had a lot of excitement. A very boosted high end which I didn’t like (very sharp/brittle), clear mids and pumpy bass. It’s obvious that the sound is supposed to excite, but for me I prefer something more honest or pure, otherwise my ears get tired pretty quickly). And honest doesn’t mean dull. One thing I started thinking about: since they can manipulate my profile, why can’t I? And if I can, what’s the point of the revolutionary ear adaptation?

I recently bought the Sonarworks Reference 4 which let’s you listen to tracks without colouration through picking your headphones from the list and the plugin neutralises the boosts and troughs. Once I used it on my Beyerdynamic DT 990 Edition headphones I was so happy with the result. A good quality headphone without colouration gives such an amazing listening experience. Call me a boring music producer who has to listen to everything “as is”, but this is how it should be. As honest and clear as possible. There’s no room for listening fatigue then. (Does this mean I am an audiophile?")

Summary: I believe the nuraphone headphones have some really great features, such as design and the noise cancelling is really good, but for audiophiles (or noobs who need advice) wanting the highest quality listening experience for that price, you can better buy headphones from another brand.

Alternatives of noise-cancelling wireless headphones in the same price bracket (€350 - €400):

  1. Bowers & Wilkins PX is my best recommendation for high detailed quality, awesome stereo and spacial depth for the same price as the nuraphone. Comes in Space Grey or Soft Gold. NOTE: however, the ear cups feel a bit funny because of their shape, so it’s definitely not for everyone.

  2. Sony WH-1000XM3 is my second tip in case you don’t like the B&W. It seems to be very popular choice.

  3. Bose QuietComfort 35II is a third option, however I didn’t really like it. It has a boosted bass and I just didn’t like the sound.

Buy Nura nuraphone €399 EUR

Buy Bowers & Wilkins PX Space Grey €399 EUR

Bowers & Wilkins PX Soft Gold €399 EUR

Buy Sony WH-1000XM3 Black €369 EUR

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