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Nuraphone Headphones Subscription $18pm or $10pm + $130 Deposit

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Interesting offer for those keen to try Nuraphones but unwilling to shell out the cash up front. $18pm with no deposit, or the $10 plan works out to be $370 over 24 months, after which they'll send you a new pair of headphones and you can keep the old ones provided your membership is active. Free to cancel anytime. And one instance of accidental damage or loss in 24 months is covered by replacement warranty. $15pm also available.

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Referee gets 20% off first purchase. Referrer gets one free Nuraphone after 6 referees purchase a Nuraphone and keep it for 30+ days.

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  •  

    Doesn’t say you get ownership of the old pair.

    •  

      It's a tad grey. You keep the old "decomissioned" pair when they send the new ones, and only the new ones are covered by warranty. Presumably that means you keep the old and they don't want them back if you cancel. Worth clarifying.

      •  

        Says explicitly "Get a new Nura device every 24 months.1 The best part? You get to keep using every device you’ve received from NuraNow for as long as your membership stays active." (Not sure whether they'd chase you for the old ones if you do cancel, but…)

      • +3 votes

        Disagree:

        If you cancel your membership, you are required to mail any devices obtained under NuraNow back to us within 30 days.

        T&C:

        5.2: Customer must return all Nura Licensed Hardware and Decommissioned Hardware received during the Term… Customer is entitled to keep any Accessories associated with the terminated NuraNow Subscription as described in the applicable Order.

        5.1: After the expiration of the Initial Term, the Agreement will automatically renew for ongoing one-month periods (collectively with the Initial Term, the “Term”).

    •  

      yeah i just confirmed with live chat that. if you cancel even after the 24 months, all devices need to be returned

    •  

      Right, you never own the devices at any time. The moment you cancel your membership you must return all hardware within 30 days.

  • +2 votes

    Sounds good.

  • +1 vote

    Headphone rental - that's a first.

    They should just have pop up stores or something to let people try them. If they're that good, they'll sell themselves.

    • +4 votes

      They do.

      •  

        Yep, they were at the Broadway Shopping Centre last week. I really wanted to try them but my stupid phone no longer has a headphone jack and I didn't have the converter with me.

        • +2 votes

          but you connect via bt and the app. no need for any wires

        •  

          I tried them out and they're 1000% better than Bose QC35 II. Man the bass is not just a hearing experience, it's a physical experience. Thumping bass you can feel in and around your ear. Wish I bought during Kickstarter! Like being at front row live concert.

          I also love in social mode you can hear everything around you but you can still hear the person talking in front of you super clear like he has a mic wireless picked up by the headphones.

          Definitely buying instead of the new Bose 700.

    •  

      Heaps and heaps of pop up stores at the major shopping centres in Victoria. Currently at Chadstone, previously at Doncaster

  •  

    from T&Cs:

    Any Nura devices obtained under NuraNow will remain active for the duration of the plan-holder's membership.

    so if you cancel after 2 years, you have 2 paperweights?

    like op said, might only be good to test the cans on the $18 plan and cancel after a few months.

    • +1 vote

      White text on grey background.
      They don't want you reading those T&C do they

    •  

      Nah after the 2 years if you cancel they will demand you send back the 2 pairs

      5.2: Customer must return all Nura Licensed Hardware and Decommissioned Hardware received during the Term

      You could just claim they broke so you threw them out I guess since there's no warranty on the decommissioned ones

      •  

        pretty sure they can disable them via software. but i guess as long as you dont connect them to the internet at all after you 'lose' them, they cant disable them?

  •  

    Well that's different.
    When will we see a toothbrush equivalent

  • +1 vote

    To be clear: These headphones are hardware plus a service. If you stop paying the monthly fee (even after 2 years) the service is cancelled and the hardware becomes useless and must be sent back to Nuraphone. It's not like you get 2 sets of $500 headphones for $370.

    •  

      the service is cancelled and the hardware becomes useless

      Do you mean the hardware can be locked remotely? If yes, do the headphones need to connect to wifi or something?

      • +1 vote

        I'm not sure how the back to base monitoring works, but yes they can be locked remotely. My guess is that you have to connect it to a computer every month, and if you don't it will stop working until it's plugged in and gets the licence renewed for another month.

  •  

    be a real shame if you lost them

    •  

      Whoever 'found' them wouldn't be able to use them because they rely on the vendor to keep them turned on. You will be sent a new pair for free.

    •  

      "Accidental damage or loss cover is valid only for the most recently delivered Nura device obtained under the member’s current NuraNow membership, and only while the membership remains active. Members are entitled to one repair or replacement in cases of accidental loss, damage, or theft per two years of membership. For any additional accidentally damaged or lost devices, the member is eligible to purchase a replacement device at half the retail price. Accidental damage or loss replacement units may be refurbished units. Accidental damage or loss replacement units are shipped at cost to the member. Any Nura device reported damaged, lost or stolen will be remotely deactivated."

      Summary you get one replacement for accidental loss, damage, or theft every 24 months

      •  

        they rely on the vendor to keep going? wtf kind of headphones are these? so you cant use them anywhere outside of being able to report to big brother that you would like to please use your headphones? planes etc?

  •  

    in what situations would the $18 subscription be cost effective rather than buying the headphones outright, then selling them in 2 years?

    • +1 vote

      let's say that if you're a casual traveller, get one on the $18 plan, fly, return it (pay for postage).

      Instead of paying $300+ on XM3, Qc35ii or nuraphones

      • +1 vote

        That's my situation. I use headphones for 3 months a year when I do seasonal travel for work. They sit in the cupboard the rest of the time. This is perfect.

      •  

        That is an awesome use case! I think I'll make an effort to try them out when I see them in a shopping centre next.

  • +1 vote

    I haven't tried them but all their marketing so far has been paid youtube reviewers like that unboxit twit who feigns excitement over even the most dullest products. Also all their marketing seems to be aimed at the sort of consumer who buys beats rather than the audiophile community. Seems a whole lot like a bunch of marketing spin to me.

    •  

      I haven't tried them either, but I know a few friends who have. One bought a pair, and the other wants to buy a pair.

    • +7 votes

      They're not bad. I got them in the initial kickstarter for $250 or so, and they perform well enough against the XM3, sennheiser HD600, beyer DT880 and the Fidelio X2s I have.

      Value wise, IDK. They are amazing. Are they worth $240 a year or $500 ? Kinda. They're not pretty. They work, stand out, and do the job of being great headphones.

      At the price value, there's no contest. You won't get "close" to the experience. Seriously, the snake oil and magic is real, but you get used to it after hours of listening.

      Their use case is for travelling to work, podcasts, listening to TV or music at night, especially. Or showing off to audiophiles to drive them insane, or impressing family members, etc.

      Or flying/train trips. You can mow the lawn with them. IDK. For games, you can get a reliable experience, etc.

      everything just works.

      If you have any hearing difficulties, it will change your mind instantly.

      But, it's uncomfortable. You can't slip it off and on, and you can become afraid of the experience. You're invested in music once they're attached, and you'll stay attached…

      No other headphones guilt you into listening to things. It's not casual at all.

      You also don't get extra tech, gesture control, distractions, adjustable or updated ANC, codecs, or recognised brand attention. If you want something more than just audio quality, you don't get that.

      If you want more, they don't have more.

      If you want to share them, ehhh.
      You can. But, you are playing with fire if your friend/partner/uncle/sister likes them more. Which is where the XM3 is going to be a better buy.

      The inserts are moderately uncomfortable at first, but you can get larger or smaller sizes and the silicone softens after 30-50 hours of use. After a year, I can wear them for 5-6 hours and fall asleep with them, but if I had to replace them, oh boy it's not a fun wear-in experience.

      If you use a new headset, it will be uncomfortable, stiff, but springy/flexible. The silicone is good.

      The experience is customised, so you get the best appreciation of the technology by switching user profiles, each headset can store 3 profiles.

      You can't really figure out how much of an impact it has, until you try someone else's hearing profile. Neutral is not enough to make any sense of the natural quality of the headphones, because it is intrinsically tied to the DSP profile.

      The "spin" is that they use otoaccoustic measurements of your inner ear, as it absorbs & reflects certain frequency ranges, the same way that infants hearing is tested or if you get your hearing tested.

      Without a profile, they sound like beats or Bose headphones, or something you'd get for $4.

      With any custom profile, which takes about 2-3 minutes of listening to an odd trilling polyphonic loop, you get a pink/blue Rorschach like "blob" image which indicates your hearing sensitivity for left and right, but also frequency bands. Check the #nuraphone hash tag on twitter and you'll see about 50+ variations.

      Once you put them on, it takes about 6 seconds to wake, say welcome back NAME, and tell your the battery percentage left. Take the right ear off, and it goes back to sleep. Buttons are located on the side, you just tap or double tap the left/right side.

      Actual sound quality is imperceptibly "good" with a narrow, but deep/separate sound stage, you will be hard pressed to gauge the deficiency without hearing a comparison or extensive experience with audio. The high end is tame, and the low end is tangible, but it's also clearly unusual, because the banding is quite different from a classic EQ adjustment or DSP to "enhance" sound.

      If you need a good judge of audio, Zeos on youtube is infamous, under Z Reviews or Zeos Pantera, and gives them a tentative good rating the start of the future of headphones, which I agree with.

      I assume the unbox twit is unbox therapy, and yeah, sort of.

      Until other companies try to sell custom audio profiles (creative labs has the SXFI air headphones, or photo-analysis SXFI amp) with the same, or better tech, it remains an Apple to oranges comparison.

      Downsides are, they're AptX-HD, so you need a bluetooth phone or device with AptX-HD too.
      they do have AptX and AAC support for iPhone, not the high-bandwidth Sony LDAC, or Bluetooth 5.0 standards used in wireless earbuds, sic. Higher quality

      Direct cabling works too, which supports lightning, USB-C, USB-A, Micro USB, and Analogue, but only USB-A works for charging.

      As they don't EQ or add HRTF, it's something that is always being applied, so adding an amp won't do anything to improve quality beyond the DAC distortion being applied.

      Would they be worth $300-$500, compared to the Sony XM3 or Bose quietcomfort QC35 series?

      Sort of.

      If you travel, the nuraphone noise cancellation is more passive, so it blocks a good 30dB, where the Active NC can cancel 20-40db in a different way. The nuraphone while playing audio or TV will block or obscure announcements on train and plane, but it's just audible while idle.

      Tapping the left button on the nuraphone opens up the mono microphone which allows for street noise to come through, but it's an afterthought quality mic in comparison to the XM3 which also applies ANC to the microphone input during a phone call.

      •  

        Damn. Thanks for the detailed review. Good to hear from someone who obviously has a bit of experience. I’ll have to give them a try but I rarely have my headphones on for longer than half hour because I get up and move around too much, so probably wont be a buy for me. Interested to see where the tech ends up in 5 years.

  • +1 vote

    They sound good IF you can be bothered spending 10mins each time trying to get them to stay properly. Then you have to stay extremely still. Too much hassle.

  • +1 vote

    It’s obviously hard to tell who is legit and not for reviews but wired out up a detailed piece on these and they praised several aspects including the sound test and the results in terms of sound quality but criticising the heavy build, lack of comfort around neck and so on.

    It sounds like the design is not for everyone eg the buds inside cans.

    I don’t know - I’m tempted but the reality is I use iem for commuting, specific exercise ones for gym and I have some decent can and noise cancelling options for home and I don’t see it fitting any of the individual situations any better than what I have already.

    Subscription is an interesting idea but hire purchase would be better for the customer I feel.

  •  

    The problem is I already have Sony 1000xm3 what does this give me that the Sony doesn't?

  •  

    "Penetrations" lol

  •  

    Signed up yesterday. Got shipped from Hong Kong today. Hopefully I don't have to ship them back to Hong Kong when I'm finished with them in two months.

    •  

      If you find the answer, let me know please?

      • +1 vote

        Received today - so 4 days from shipping to delivery. Return address if I end the subscription is a PO Box in Melbourne.

        Some VERY early thoughts:

        Setup is easy

        They fit quite comfortably immediately. I have no perception of the earbud in my right ear. I have a very slight perception of the left earbud. I'll try different size earbuds to see if that improves it. Given the mixed reports regarding fit I guess it just comes down to personalisation and how well it fits out of the box for different people.

        ANC is effective. The "social mode" (mono mic to hear your surroundings detailed by Toliman) is useful, however one downside is that it can't be engaged/disengaged unless you're connected via bluetooth. If you connect via cable it just remembers the last setting. Disconnect the cable and the headphones immediately reconnect via bluetooth.

        Sound quality is good coming from QC25s (which I lost). I have a pair of Sennhesier HD 280 Pro that I can do a direct comparison with and the Nuraphones eat them for lunch, as I would have expected given the price gap.

        The carry case is very large.

        • +2 votes

          To a degree they're Bluetooth headphones first, and nearly everything stops once you plug them in.

          The comfort factor is a concern for some, because the app makes a big deal about getting a good isolation seal, for each ear to set properly. First time, It took me like 20 minutes to figure out what the app wanted to do, because it would go grey then black, then grey during the isolation guide prior to the profile setup. Also the app crashed, so that was fun.

          Rebooting the phone, everything worked in 4 mins, with no odd behaviours. The initial setup was very poor, they've since released videos and improved on the software and initial setup, iirc. And the G2 update has made them faster to sync, imo.

          Turns out, you put them on, then tighten the band, pushing the cups up as much as possible on the band, then just push from below your earlobe, towards your nose/eyebrow/forehead to align the inner IEMs properly while they're inserted.

          It becomes instinctive after the guide gives you the black area/'thumbs up', because you can hear the difference once music is actually playing.

          The angle is a bit odd, and a good silicone seal is not super important after the profile, but it is necessary for the profile to be accurate or useful.

          I made 3 profiles to see if there was any big difference, and yes. If you don't get a good seal, vocal range is slightly "hollow" and the blob looks/feels different, and useless. I do remember being called "welcome back test 2" for a few days, sic.

          The USB DAC mode when you plug a cable in, doesn't have a lot of options, and you lose access to the battery and stats from the app. And also the microphone. So no headset mode.

          From memory, its 16-bit 48khz, no higher quality settings like 24-bit 192khz. I didn't really try the analog 3.5mm, because I mostly used this with Plex and Spotify, and podcasts.

          You can install HeSuVi on PC's, which gives you HRTF for headphones, a virtual 7.1 channel soundstage for games. It works really well, but if you swap from Bluetooth to USB, it can also be fiddly to reset HeSuVi from the GUI, if you remove and add the headphones again, you have to change the default audio output anyway.

          Not a huge deal, but it's tricksy.

          Most reviews have little to say about the nuraphone audio because it's so foreign to regular headphones. Normally you can compare with vocals or bass, or how wide the stereo separation is. Or you look at frequency response curves, and play through a range of genres to find the sweet spot it's tuned for, or you have an innate experience to recognise the mid and low response for music you've heard from other sources.

          The nuraphone profiles change the entire baseline though. The custom profile essentially bypass the hardware's limitations, and you can't easily extract the profile and put it on another headphone, or take the profile from a hearing test result and recreate the same thing.

          It also recreates the music in a very different way to the regular EQ frequency bands, so you'll have a different perspective on a familiar song.

          it's an apple to oranges comparison, because the software is enormously better than the hardware, but it's also a first gen technology, and it has room to improve with dual or triple drivers (which also doubles the price, sic.)

          There are the nuraloops coming soon, which will be very expensive earbuds ;)

          but there's no news, reviews, pricing or estimated release date, it was teased in January to have a May/June release, but it's unknown.

          The nuraloops are basically earbuds on a loop, similar to regular Bluetooth exercise buds. They will probably share audio profiles and/or need entirely different profiles…

          And/Or it's going to be expensive because it is going to need the same accoustic profiling microphone & hardware…

          Fun

  •  

    Is it a bargain if its normal price?

    •  

      Normal Price is something like $499, you should be able to buy them from nuraphone.com, Amazon and a few retail outlets.

      There are often Black Friday or May sales on the nuraphones too, especially on the US site, https://camelcamelcamel.com/nuraphone-Bluetooth-Headphones-P... and also amazon.com.au https://www.amazon.com.au/nuraphone-Bluetooth-Headphones-Per...

      There's also eBay/Headphone forums, prices range from $300 to $800, depending on shipping.

      There used to be a referral program to save 20%, $400, but it changed to 10% this year.

      The quality is there, but it's not the best product either. It's not the best or cheapest, and while it's stunning, it's not quite as portable or convenient.

      The idea of leasing headphones is a bit weird to me, and I have around 6-7 pairs of $100-$699 headphones around me at the moment, so it's amusing. Value doesn't often mean anything to audiophiles, because there's price brackets and functional brackets, i.e. portable, comfortable, unamped, warm, bass-heavy, gaming, mixed-genre, isolating, travelling, studio neutral, etc.

      It means a lot to consumers, because it's not an experience, it's an accessory or fashionable item more often than it's a desirable utility. So, shifting value to a "rental" for a product that has a monthly "attachment" or anxiety, it has to be competitive to Spotify's $15 or Netflix's $15, etc.

      If you need good headphones, it's a no brainer, since you can send them back after a few months.

      But few people need headphones. And at $200/year, it's a niche product that won't get the Beats/Airpod crowd.

      The closest parallel, Bose QC35II's and the Sony XM3's are … different in quality and scale. In terms of headphones, the starting point of $200 to $800 is "ok" for audiophiles, so $499 isn't out of scale. But for consumer level gear, it's extreme. They don't need $4900 Amps or specially made cables and cords, so there's a whole industry of people disappointed already.

      I have the XM3's and tried the QC35's (not the upgrades) a while ago, and while the Soft NC is good, the Nuraphones are vastly different enough to be "worth" a listen, perhaps not a purchase. Find a "SoundStudio" i.e. a retail demo location for a demo on the nuraphones.com website.

      Or wait a while for the NuraLoop's, which will be cheaper and more portable.

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