The biggest limitation with Bluetooth is not the range. It’s the sound quality. Even with aptX HD, you get nothing but compressed audio files over Bluetooth, and even the most lavish audio technology in the headphones can’ t help.
The alternative to Bluetooth is of course Wi-Fi, which doesn’t have the same bandwidth limitations, but when was the last time you saw Wi-Fi wireless headphones?
Nura believes they’ve found the solution to the problem of Bluetooth and its limitations in sound quality, and they’ve created the NuraTrue Pro to prove it.
NuraTrue ProThey To the nake eye, they look like most earbuds do. But they’re the first in the world with Qualcomm aptX Lossless, which in short means you can stream music in so-called CD quality. That’s 16-bit and 44.1 kHz sampling, lossless and wireless.
Normally you can get between 256 and 320 kbps wirelessly over Bluetooth if you stream from Tidal or Spotify, but here you can stream 1411 kbps CD quality from Tidal Hi-Fi over Bluetooth.
However, this requires that you have a mobile with a Qualcomm chip that supports aptX Lossless. Which, for example, none of the iPhone models have, so you need an Android phone for aptX Lossless to work.
The small earbuds have a new 10 mm device placed right at the outer edge of the tube onto which the silicone plugs are inserted. This gives a much better frequency response and a wider frequency range, especially in the treble, says Dr Luke Campbell, one of the founders and CEO of the company.
Of course, they have active noise cancellation, in this case of the adaptive type, which in practice means that the microphones picking up the noise are sensitive over a wide frequency range and the processor adjusts the noise cancellation according to frequency and strength.
The earplugs also feature Spatial Audio, developed by Dirac, which, while reducing sound quality somewhat, gives the listener a kind of enveloping 3D sound that can be very effective, at least for movies.
Calibrates the sound to your ear
Of course, an app is included that lets you use Nura ProEQ to adjust the balance of the sound to your liking, but before you get that far, you have to go through Nura’s calibration process. In a nutshell, it works by putting the earbuds in your ears and starting the calibration process in the app. Then a noise signal with tones is sent into the ears, and the app detects the acoustics in the ear canals and adjusts the EQ accordingly.
It works. We had Luke Campbell demonstrate the calibration for us, and after about a minute we were ready to play music. And let’s face it: after listening to music lossless with wireless earbuds, it’s hard to go back to regular Bluetooth earbuds.
The sound has a ton of detail you lose with regular aptX Bluetooth, and the bass is tighter, more dynamic and much better defined than from, say, the Sony WF-1000M4.
But we’ll tell you much more about that when we get them properly tested.
Nura claims a battery life of eight hours for the earbuds plus 24 hours from the case, which charges with a USB-C cable.
Pro hearing plugs available to order on Kickstarter, the price is 359 Euro.