These brainy cans will test your hearing
US$399 / nuraphone.com
Putting fantastically expensive headphones onto knackered ears is like feeding Waitrose profiteroles to a baboon – why pay for those silky high frequencies if you can’t even hear them? The Nuraphone solution: headphones that actually test your hearing and tailor their sound accordingly.
The unboxing of our review unit was greeted by an office-wide chorus of “Eeurrrgh!” For some reason, over-ears with in-ear bits look all sinister and intrusive. But you do get used to them.
The setup procedure involves sitting still for a calm moment while Kraftwerk-style bleepy noises are fired at your eardrums. At the end you’ll have your profile, complete with blobby graphic, and you’re now free to go back to actual Kraftwerk.
Sound quality is excellent, with thumping bass, sweetly spacious mids, and no harshness in the top end. It’s just a pity there’s no way to adjust the treble content… short of going back to the non-personalised ‘generic’ sound, which is so crude we suspect it’s been tuned that way just to emphasise the difference. There’s no noise-cancelling either, but buds and closed cups make an effective combo for isolation.
Bluetooth performance is solid, and jack, USB and Lightning cables are also included. Crucially, profiles live in the headphones, not the app, so once you’re set up you can connect them to anything and still feel the benefit. Grandad’s bluegrass tapes never sounded so bangin’.