Nuraphone with Gaming Mic | Amber Technology | RRP Starting $549
Your gaming experience is augmented by being able to communicate with your friends and teammates. Not all communication is equal though, and brands like Nura have been making waves in the industry with their intelligent Nuraphone headphones that offer a personalised listening experience, unique to the user. Pushing the envelope further, the Nuraphones are also available with an optional gaming mic that connects to an existing pair of Nuraphones.
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Nura have the technology to create user profiles based on your hearing and the sciences behind the detail you may be missing, or alternatively, if you’re particularly sensitive to a certain region. The profiles are made to balance out the sound that’s played through your choice of Nura products, from the NuraTrue and NuraLoop earbuds to the Nuraphone headphones reviewed here. For gaming, this creates an otherwise impossibly realistic experience, allowing you to hear the sound design in a game how it was intended to be heard, as well as offering clear audio when communicating with your team, listening for danger in-game or even enjoying loading screen music.
Before we dive into how good the Nuraphones are — how do they work? Well to start, human ears hear sounds universally at different volumes, i.e. different frequencies can be more or less present depending on how loud they are. While this might sound obvious, what this means is that at different volumes, music and sound can be perceived wildly differently as the frequencies become more or less exaggerated to our ears. This is seen in the Fletcher Munson curves, diagrams that show how different areas of the audio spectrum become more or less obvious depending on volume. To take this a step further, we all also have different shaped ear canals that affect how soundwaves bounce around before reaching our eardrum and passing on to our brains. Nura take all of this information and use it to create customised listening profiles for a more balanced listening experience, allowing the headphones to add processing that balances out the audio we’re hearing. In gaming, this means that all the little sound effects relating to enemies approaching, different tasks and communication from other players are more audible than ever.
The Nuraphones themselves are an over-ear style design with earbud shaped inserts for playback. They’re active noise cancelling with a dedicated bass driver, sharing the entire load of the frequency spectrum across different drivers. They can be used either wired or wirelessly, with 20+ hours battery life for the wireless aficionados amongst us. The Nuraphones reproduce everything from 20Hz to 20kHz, so your dog may find them lacking but you won’t, and they offer up to 118dB of sound — which is plenty! They have a customisable fit with three (small, medium and large) silicone ear tips included, and weigh just 329g. The Nuraphones have a soft headband that provides comfort for extended periods, and the Nura technology itself means there’s no harshness blaring at sensitive parts of your hearing as the sound has all been balanced out.
The gaming mic is what pushes the Nuraphones into an upper echelon for gaming. While listening to gameplay is one thing, reacting and communicating to move forward as a team is another, and a bad quality mic can hinder more than no mic at all. Luckily for us, Nura do nothing but high quality, and their gaming mic is no exception. Connected via a unique little connecter to one of your Nuraphone earbuds, the Nura Gaming Mic is a microphone with a volume slider and mute toggle, connected via a 2-metre analogue cable and secure attachment hook to make sure it won’t be pulled out during a game. The microphone itself has a flexible but sturdy arm to ensure it can be positioned correctly for anyone, and the sound of the mic itself is crystal clear.
The Nura Gaming Microphone connects to your Xbox, PC/Mac, Playstation, Switch, mobile or other mic source via a 3.5mm audio jack, a standard headphone size plug for those playing at home (pardon the pun). The cable is 2m long, and the mic on its boom-style arm can be toggled on and off with the Mute switch, or volume can be adjusted easily with the Volume Toggle. The mic has unidirectional sensitivity so it moves with you, and the Mute allows for stealth when needed. What makes the Nura Gaming Mic so unique is its ability to bring games to life in conjunction with the Nuraphones, allowing you to hear and respond to your teammates, game and environment in a whole new way.
Nuraphones themselves bring a new listening experience into the hands of their users, maybe none more so than gamers. Listening to music is one thing, but responding to an evolving environment, enemies and friends within the gaming world makes for a more immersive experience, no matter the genre of game. The Nura Gaming Microphone elevates this further, allowing us to respond to the world around us, or conversely, mute ourselves for silent sneak attacks easily. The Gaming Microphone gives you the control you need within arm’s reach, as well as offering superior comfort with the boom arm placing the mic in an optimal position for crystal clear audio.