Okay, I’m curious about these new headphones

I’m always looking at headphones, chasing the hope that I’ll find a set that sounds better than anything I’ve ever heard. The house is littered with cans from Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, PSB, and a bunch of boutique manufacturers. They all sound pretty good, but what if there was something even better?

Now I’m curious about Nura, headphones that tune themselves for your individual hearing profile. They will reproduce sound tailored exactly for your ears and your ears alone.

You start by downloading the Nura app to your smart phone. Connect the headphones and they learn your hearing abilities in 60 seconds, creating a unique hearing profile. From then on, sound will be matched to your ears. From their website:

The nuraphone plays a range of tones into the ear, and then measures a very faint sound that your ear generates in response to these tones called the Otoacoustic Emission (OAE). This tiny signal originates in the cochlea and vibrates the ear drum, turning it into a speaker and playing sound back out of your ear. Yes our ears make sound! This sound is about 10,000 times smaller than the sound that went in.

Encoded in the returning sound wave is information about how well you heard the sound that went in. The nuraphone uses an extremely sensitive microphone to detect this returning sound wave, and a self learning engine built into the nuraphone to create your profile. No buttons or knobs. It all happens automatically and in about 60 seconds. It is a little bit magic.

Once the nuraphone has created your hearing profile it sonically moulds your music so that it matches your hearing system and delivers all the detail of the music you love. Once personalised you can listen to your favorite music in stunning detail from your favorite player.

Here’s a video that shows how it works.

You’ll end up with something that looks like this, which is a colour-coded representation of your hearing abilities. I would imagine, too, that as your hearing changes as you get older, you’ll be able to create new profiles whenever required.

People really seem to like them, too.

As you might guess, they’re not cheap and I have no idea what the build quality is like. Still, I’m so curious…

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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