I must admit, I was incredibly sceptical of Nura products when I first heard of them. A relative of mine mentioned them in passing, and I thought “personalised sound? I’ve tried so many products that have that feature, and they’ve all fallen flat”. Well, I’m eating my words now, because the Nuraloop earphones blew me away from the first second.
One of the best points to me is actually how Nura takes you through the whole setup process. The moment you put the Nuraloop on, there’s a voice guiding you on what steps are next, connecting to the mobile device via Bluetooth, installing the Nura app and more. Once you’ve got the earphones set up, every time you put them on, the voice will greet you by name and inform you how much battery is left. It’s just an excellent experience all around.
Once the initial pairing, software update and such are done, it’s time for the customisation test to create a unique profile. Short beeps are played, and you’ll have to tap on the screen when you’re able to hear the tone. It’s essentially a test to determine what the listener is able to hear, and that data is then used to tweak the earphones according to which frequencies the listener is sensitive to.
After that’s done, the app shows you a screen where you can listen to a track with the Neutral profile and the new Personalised profile. With the Personalised profile, you’ll be able to see an image that shows you which frequencies you’re more sensitive to and which frequencies you’re less sensitive to.
To understand how it’s shown, here’s a graphic from Nura themselves.
As shown from my profile above, you can see that I’m more sensitive to the low end and high end, with less sensitivity in the mids. The difference between both modes is really vast. You can use the Nuraloop in the Neutral mode, but why would you? The Personalised mode sounds excellent since it’s tailored for your ears.
But enough about that, we’ll talk about sound quality in a short while. The earphones are controlled with touch and include a very cool gesture where you swipe around the edge of the earbud like a dial to increase or decrease the volume for the right ear, and increase or decrease the level of ANC for the left ear.
Speaking of ANC, it works very well on the Nuraloop. Lower-pitched sounds are effectively cancelled, and higher-pitched sounds are dampened slightly too. I won’t say it’s on the same level as some of the best ANC headphones or earbuds out there, but it’s definitely good enough to use for commuting and the likes.
There’s in-ear detection to turn on and off the earphones, but weirdly, there’s no option to use it for playing and pausing music. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s definitely a weird choice by Nura.
Let’s get back to sound quality. As I said, I was stunned by these, but the truth is that the Nuraloop will sound different for everybody, simply because everybody hears sound differently. The Personalised mode works brilliantly for me, and music played with it activated had a really nice warmth and energy to it.
You can create up to three profiles at once, and I recommend doing at least two, although they’ll most likely look very similar. There’s an “Immersion mode” slider which bumps up the bass, and I found that leaving it at the halfway mark worked well for me. The overall sound was well balanced, with a good amount of space in the soundstage.
Simply comparing the sound between Neutral mode and Personalised mode revealed that Nura did bump up the mids for me, although I disagreed with their decision to tune down the treble since I do enjoy a bit more emphasis on the highs. It’s not their fault though, since this is a personal preference.
Moving on to battery life, Nura claims 16 hours, and it’s pretty much in line with what I experienced. One major downside of the Nuraloop though, is that it uses a proprietary charger. This means it’s an additional cable to carry around, and I would have liked to have seen a USB-C port instead.
There’s IPX3 water resistance, so you won’t have to worry about sweat or rain when wearing these. More demanding listeners will also be happy to know that there’s aptX HD support for high-res audio playback.
All in all, the Nuraloop is an engaging, dynamic sounding pair of earphones that I’m glad I had the chance to try.
More information about the Nuraloop (RRP S$298) and purchase options can be found at the Singapore distributor’s store.
Written by Cheryl Tan