Dark or Light
logo
Logo

NuraTrue Pro Review: Personalized Listening

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

Nura is a company best known for delivering personalized listening experiences for every user. Last year, it launched the NuraTrue true wireless earbuds, and it’s officially back with the NuraTrue Pro. At $329, they don’t come cheap, but promise outstanding audio quality based on your unique ears, active noise cancellation, and spatial audio, and are the world’s first earbuds to feature aptX Lossless for CD quality audio. 

At their current price, they’re a tough sell if you’re on a budget, but are well worth considering if you can make your audio dollars stretch. AptX Lossless is only available on the very latest devices, so a leading feature may be locked away until your next upgrade, but the personalized audio allows these buds to sound great even on standard aptX. Add to that, effective ANC and impressive spatial audio, and you have one of the only sets of buds that’s poised to sound better over time as you upgrade your device to match. 

Specifications

  • Current Price: $329 (Nura

NuraTrue Pro - What Is It?

The NuraTrue Pro are flagship earbuds from Nura. If you’re not familiar with the company, you probably should be as their technology never fails to make waves when they announce new products. Through a proprietary process, the NuraTrue Pro analyses your inner ear and adjusts its frequency response to match. 

This process differs from others you may have tried. There is no A or B sound sample test like the SoundID tech built into the 1More Evo or listening for a tiny chirp in your ear. Instead, the buds play a series of tones, interpret the feedback from within the ear, and create a profile to match your unique anatomy. Here’s how Nura explains it:

The NuraTrue Pro uses this as a base to build from. It is literally the first thing you do (after being prompted to update) once you’re inside the app. You’re prompted to sit still in a quiet environment as a series of tones plays for about a minute. From there, it creates a profile that you can turn on or off. But believe me, once you hear it with a custom profile, going back to the stock tuning is almost impossible. I listened to a few songs before creating my profile and thought the buds sounded fine, if a bit flat. With the profile, they came absolutely came to life, and now that stock sound seems flat-out bad. It’s that big of an upgrade.

From there, other features are added, like Spatial Audio (powered by Dirac Virtuo) to enhance the width of the soundstage and add 3D positioning for music, movies, and games. Immersion Mode adds cinematic bass. ANC is on all the time (and works very well) but a very natural Social Mode is only a tap away. There’s button customization, multipoint connectivity, wear detection, quality settings, and even a high gain mode for when you want to provide more volume to quiet sources. 

The buds are feature-rich, but they also don’t skimp on the driver powering the listening experience. The buds use triple-layer titanium dynamic drivers. They’re fast and dynamic, capable of delivering tight, impactful bass with plenty of details throughout the rest of the spectrum. They’re impressively apt for a “pro” level product: the NuraTrue Pro delivers some of the best audio quality I’ve heard in a pair of true wireless earbuds. 

The buds connect using the latest Bluetooth 5.3 codec. It’s consistently stable and connects quickly and supports aptX Lossless, traditional aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs. aptX Lossless is an exciting feature indeed. It will mark the first time that true wireless earphones will be able to match the wire in audio quality. At least in theory.

I wasn’t able to test aptX Lossless for this review since only a small handful of devices currently support it. That will change over time, but for right now, you’ll need a cutting-edge phone to take advantage of it. The optimist in me says that this makes it one of the only pairs of earbuds that could potentially sound better over time as your upgrade your device. The flip side is that you’re paying for a feature that you probably can’t use yet.

Functionality is also on point. The buds have a unique circular design that’s similar to the 7Hz Timeless. It’s a unique look within the true wireless world but works well for interacting with the buds. Like most flagship earbuds these days, everything is controlled with a series of taps and holds. In this case, each earbud is able to hold up to four commands through single, double, and triple taps, as well as a double-tap and hold function. This is enough for all of your track navigation, play/pause, and volume controls, as well as controlling ANC/Social audio, spatial audio, and virtual assistant. With such a large surface area to work with, the buds worked reliably every time. 

The only thing I miss is a simple touch and hold to call up the assistant, but it’s hard to complain when many competing buds struggle to even provide track controls and volume.

The large circular shells seem strange at first, but don’t worry about fit. Behind them, they feature a very standard shape that fits within the ear well. There are multiple pairs of silicone tips, extending from large down to extra small, and even include a pair of memory foam tips to ensure you can find a great fit. There are also silicone retention wings in normal and large sizes to grip your outer ear and stay in place should you use them to work out.

Which these are safe for, by the way. With an IPX4, they’re safe for normal sweat. Just don’t go an take them in the shower. 

The NuraTrue Pros are also winners in battery life. With ANC enabled, they offer up to 8 hours of listening. The case can provide three full recharges, bringing the total to 32 hours. The buds also support fast charging, so five minutes in the case restores a full hour of listening. The case can also be charged wirelessly, saving an extra wire to manage. And, a personal favorite, each bud can be used independently, so if you’re like me and keep one bud in for podcasts and audiobooks, these will allow you to swap out should you manage to run one dry.

NuraTrue Pro - Daily Use and Sound Quality

The NuraTrue Pro looks great on paper. If there’s a flagship feature you’re interested in, there’s a good chance these buds have it. Nura isn’t a new player in the industry anymore either, so its had time to refine its technology and implementation of different features. It’s fitting to expect big things, especially at such a high price. And for the most part, these buds deliver on their promises.

Starting with the personalized audio, I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure where the line between genuine tech and in-app presentation is. Is it actually scanning the ear? It must be somehow because the tuning doesn’t require anything from the user at all. It beeps and boops and the end result is way better than you started with. Or is it? After installing the app and listening to my personalized settings, the Neutral audio setting sounded much worse than what I remembered it being only moments before. Could the app be making the Neutral audio sound worse to make the personalized setting sound better? 

In the end, it doesn’t really matter, because these buds sound great. Much of the end product will depend on how you have it set up, though. After the test is done, it prompts you to try out the bass-enhancing Immersion Mode to simulate a live listening experience. It then has you tinker with Spatial Audio to hear Dirac Virtuo in action, and it’s impressive. 

Spatial Audio is a big trend in the true wireless scene right now, and it’s easy to understand why when you hear implementations like this. Turning it on instantly enhances the sense of space to what you’re listening to without also adding washes of reverb. It doesn’t change the sound of your music or game, it just broadens it. For years, true wireless buds have been known for sounding intimate and sometimes even a bit congested. In contrast, the NuraTrue Pros are wide open. 

Immersion Mode generally amounts to a bass slider. It can be set to zero for no enhancement or go +/- three in either direction. The default setting (zero) is very balanced. Bass is tight and impactful but the mids and highs come out cleanly and articulately. Turning it up to one adds some punch and extends its reach into the sub-bass. The next two notches on the slider because too much for my taste, and the bass loses some definition the higher you go, but these can absolutely become bass-cannon earbuds if you want them to be. 

With sound personalization and Spatial Audio on, and Immersion Mode ticked up to one, the buds just rock. They have punch and slam, but there’s a great sense of space. The bass loses a bit of definition with each upward tick, including to one, but it remains well-textured and tight enough even to please an audio enthusiast like me. 

This tuning makes it a good fit for casual gaming and movie watching. On its own, there’s enough Bluetooth latency where first-person shooter audio feels a touch behind what you’re seeing on screen, and it’s disorienting. Movies, on the other hand, are perfectly fine from all of the major streamers (including YouTube) as their own algorithms account for Bluetooth latency. If you do want to game with them, Nura sells a Bluetooth 5.3 transmitter for another $60 that includes a Low Latency gaming mode. 

The ANC performance on the buds is excellent. The passive isolation is already good, but enabling ANC allowed the sounds of my office to slip away. The buds do a good job of blocking out some middle and high frequency noise, too, so are a particularly good fit for this as opposed to many commuter ANC earbuds and headphones which mainly focus on low, droning sounds like engines. 

Social Mode is also very well done. Turning this on reverses the microphones so you can hear the outside world with a single tap. The sound is quite natural, if a little tinny, and is perfect for a quick chat when you don’t want to remove the buds.

Of course, nothing is perfect and the NuraTrue Pro is now exception. I would have liked to have seen a way to adjust the strength of ANC or to turn it off entirely to extend battery life. Right now, you’re only given the choice between ANC and Social Mode. The shape of the buds can also be a problem. Taking them out of the case can be difficult, even with the included slot to get a fingertip under them. They’re also big enough that people will notice when you’re wearing them. Understated these are not. 

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, the NuraTrue Pro are excellent but feel too expensive at $329. Given that most people won’t be able to take advantage of aptX Lossless, it winds up being an expensive value-add that really doesn’t provide much value at this point in time. That will, of course, change as more phones come up that support it, but for now, the pickings are slim. 

Still, this is a feature-rich, great-sounding set that offers just about everything you could ask for in a pair of flagship earbuds. If you’re in the market and either have, or don’t mind waiting for, aptX Lossless support, they’re well worth considering. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Score: /10 (anything 9 or higher gets a Gold Award)

7.5Good
Pros
  • Great sound quality
  • Spatial audio is an instant soundstage boost
  • Quality ANC
  • Plentiful, easy to use controls
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • aptX Lossless is only supported on a handful of devices
  • Unable to turn ANC off
  • Aesthetics will be hit or miss for some


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight