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Nura Headphones Adapt to Your Eardrums

The unusual over-ear and earbud design incorporates tech for building custom sound profiles

by David Graver
on 16 May 2016

Whether or not you think about it with regularity, the fact remains that no two people hear things exactly the same way. From genetics to our unique ear canals and even the way we develop over time, sound hits our eardrums in different ways. And the new Nura headphones, on Kickstarter now, know exactly how to compensate for this. Using unique soundwave technology, the in-ear portion of the headphones reads waves emitting back from the eardrum and tests users' sound spectrum across a series of frequencies. They then build a custom sound profile to deliver music right back to you. The process takes around 30 seconds and is done once—saving your sound profile in the device. If a friend wants to use your headphones, they too can build a sound profile which will also be saved. Remarkably, when you take your headphones back, you do not need to switch profiles—they recognize different users.

There isn't another set of headphones out there that combines neuroscience, acoustics and deep hearing in this way. And when we tested the products at a recent demo we found the resulting sound to be a substantial improvement. The distinct in-ear and over-ear dual design allows for action from two different drivers. This grants superb clarity, in addition to noise cancellation. Further, no frequency elements are lost in the midst of powerful deep bass. Thus far, the Nura team has a patent at play (for the technology behind their adaption of otoacoustic emission tracking) and received funding from two accelerators; Kickstarter funds will go toward mass production.

Co-founder Luke Campbell—an MD from Melbourne, Australia, who also has a PhD in hearing sciences—explains to CH that the technology has "been known in hearing science circles for decades. This is not a new concept. It's even used in newborn hearing testing." He continues, "After we've worked out what frequencies and tones you are hearing well—all within normal hearing range—we compensate for elements in your own spectrum." This allows for maximizing a song's potential to the very ear that's receiving it. This is a very progressive idea to say the least and through-out our product test, we were pleased with the results.

Nura headphones can be reserved on Kickstarter for the early bird price of $199 (at time of publish). They are rapidly climbing toward their goal. Delivery, however, is expected next year in April 2017.

Images courtesy of Nura

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