The first earbuds with lossless Bluetooth

NuraTrue Pro are the first wireless earbuds with aptX Lossless.

written by / 2022-07-19 - 4:23 pm
The first earbuds with lossless Bluetooth

NuraTrue Pro is the name of the brand new hearing plugs from Nura, launched through the crowdfunding channel Kickstarter.

NuraPhone gave us the first headphones that adapt to the user’s hearing. Special headphones in the form of a pair of earcups with built-in earbuds. The music comes from the buds, while the bass is transmitted through the skull via the earcups. Just too much for many, the NuraLoop almost wireless earplugs came along as an alternative – but at the wrong time, as the market was rapidly moving towards completely wireless earbuds.

Fortunately, Nura followed the trend and gave us NuraTrue, much to the reviewer’s delight. The sound after correction was simply excellent, considering the Bluetooth connection.

Bluetooth is compressed

But Bluetooth is and will remain Bluetooth, where sound is compressed into a shadow of itself. That is, until now. For now, the Pro edition is finally here, and the biggest news about the NuraTrue Pro is that it’s the market’s first earbud with the aptX Lossless codec from Qualcomm.

aptX Lossless comes to our rescue

aptX Lossless has actually been around for almost ten years. But it wasn’t intended for Bluetooth, but for Wi-Fi use, including internally by digital media. This is because it required a higher bandwidth than the 352 kb/s that the Bluetooth protocol has allocated for audio. Uncompressed “CD quality” actually requires four times that bandwidth, but aptX Lossless wraps it up with lossless compression.

In recent years, the Bluetooth protocol has been manipulated to increase the bandwidth for audio – for example, Sony’s LDAC codec can send over 900 kb/s over multiple data streams simultaneously. With aptX Lossless, Qualcomm is doing something similar. It has managed to increase Bluetooth bandwidth to approximately 1 Mbps, allowing it to send music at lossless CD quality (16 bit / 44.1 kHz) wirelessly over Bluetooth.

Where Sony’s LDAC isn’t completely lossless, but the closest we’ve come so far, Qualcomm claims true lossless quality with its codec. Note that this is not the same as high-resolution, as this means higher than CD quality, and this is not what Qualcomm say.

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NuraTrue Pro. Photo: Nura

NuraTrue Pro – with personalised sound

Like the first NuraTrue release and all other Nura headphone models, NuraTrue Pro can automatically adapt the sound to the user’s ears. It does this by sending test signals into the ear and measuring the reflected sound. The idea is that all users should finally hear the same sound.

Active noise cancellation is also in place, and Nura has also added 3D sound with Dirac Virtuo. It is claimed to provide accurate placement of instruments in a three-dimensional soundscape.

Unlike the original NuraTrue, the Pro edition can be charged wirelessly with Qi chargers, and the Nura app finally has an equalizer!

There are four microphones for noise reduction and conversation in each earplug, including a bone-conducting mic that picks up the bass from your voice without including low-frequency noise from the environment. Neat!

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Photo: Nura

NuraTrue Pro – price and availability

Nura has once again chosen Kickstarter as the launch platform for NuraTrue Pro. The goal was USD 20,000, but with over USD 1.7 million, they are already well funded. The list price is set at $329, which is about $2400 before Danish taxes. But it is still possible to order them for $219.

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