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NuraTrue review — the most personalizable earbuds you can buy

Nura's made its smallest personalized audio product yet, but it's just as smart as ever

NuraTrue review
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

Nura's miniaturized its personalized audio tech into its smallest, most customizable package yet, making it ideal for everyday users as well as audio fanatics. Just watch out for the controls and connection.

For

  • Lots of accessories to personalize fit
  • Tailored listening experience
  • Effective ANC

Against

  • Limited controls
  • Desync issues
NuraTrue specs

Price: $199/£199

Battery life: 6 hours (buds) 18 hours (case)

Size: Buds - 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.8 inches , Case - 2.8 x 1.1 x 1.3 inches 

Weight: Buds -  0.3 ounces , case - 1.3 ounces 

Resistance rating: IPX4

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

Chipset: Qualcomm QCC5124

Colors: Black

The NuraTrue promises to shape your music in a way that sounds uniquely good to you. And it not only does that, but also offers enough customization and powerful features that even the best wireless earbuds might get envious.

Nura's previous products, the NuraPhone and NuraLoop, laid the path that the NuraTrue now follows, but these earlier products were not quite as suited to the average buyer. With the NuraTrue, the company's signature personalized audio tech is now in a form that any user can more easily enjoy.

You should be aware that I experienced a few connection issues during my time with the NuraTrue, and I think the control scheme could be a little better. That only takes away minimally from what is otherwise a great value package that offers great audio without hard work or compromise — as our full NuraTrue review will explain.

NuraTrue review: Price and availability

Nura is selling the NuraTrue from July 27 for $199/£199, available either from the Nura website or Amazon. 

It's an interesting price point for Nura to aim for. It's between the costs of the perennially popular Apple AirPods ($159 with a wired charging case) and the AirPods Pro ($249). It's also a touch cheaper than the $230, Tom’s Guide Award-winning Jabra Elite 85t.

NuraTrue review: Design and comfort

Nura's finally nailed its industrial design with the NuraTrue. The NuraPhone and NuraLoop look OK, but had some clunky details, and were quite big and heavy compared to rivals. The NuraTrue, while still featuring large discs as control surfaces, looks just as handsome as any other earbuds on the market. 

The build quality of the buds themselves is good, although the case feels oddly light on its own. While all the materials used on the NuraTrue feel nice to the touch, with a slightly off-gloss finish, I like the more luxurious plastics used on the AirPods Pro.

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Nura have rated the NuraTrue IPX4 for water resistance, meaning they'll shrug off sweat and rain showers without a problem. That's the same rating as the AirPods Pro and Elite 85t.

I have to give credit to Nura for ditching its proprietary connector habit. Both of its previous products used unique port designs for charging and attaching headphone jack cables. Since there's no need for additional physical connectors on wireless earbuds, the NuraTrue gets a USB-C port on the back of its charging case, again bringing it up to speed with other popular earbuds. 

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The NuraTrue sit deep within your ear canal, with the wide outer portion covering a fair amount of your inner ear, helping keep noise out even without the ANC enabled. Getting the 'buds to stay in there is delightfully easy, thanks to a large amount of bundled accessories. 

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The customizable parts in the box include four sizes of silicone eartips, one set of medium-sized foam tips and a replaceable outer piece that lets you add a wingtip to the buds, making them more secure when working out. The 'buds will still fit in the case with the wings on too thanks to grooves in each charging cradle. It's far more generous than anything its rivals offer, and makes this a near-instant recommendation for users who have trouble finding earbuds that stay in their ears.

NuraTrue review: Controls

Nura's kept the controls simple on the NuraTrue: each earbud has a single tap and double-tap command, making for four different inputs which can all be bound to a separate command. The options include play/pause, answering and hanging up calls, toggling social and immersion modes, skipping tracks and activating your voice assistant. It's a shame there aren't more input options given the amount of choice you're given, such as a triple-tap or a hold input.

You can bind your controls to adjust the volume up and down, but only at the expense of losing out on a different control. I had wondered if Nura would have brought over the NuraLoop's virtual volume control dials to the NuraTrue, but these are apparently not present on purpose, due to the different form factor risking accidental touches.

If you really want to, you can unbind all the controls and just operate the NuraTrue from your device. I don't like doing this since I find it useful to have at least play/pause available, but it is another touch that shows Nura is serious about personalization.

NuraTrue review: Active noise cancellation and social mode

The NuraTrue offers noise cancellation that's up to par with rival buds from Apple and Jabra. It's almost enough to forget about the world outside, particularly if you're listening to music. Listening to Thundercat's 2020 album "It Is What It Is", with its rich bass guitar-focused mix, worked excellently, with even the finer details of subdued songs like "King Of The Hill" or "Fair Chance" still showing up while I was riding the London Underground.

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Podcasts, which have to rely only on their presenters' voices alone, don't carry quite so well. Sure, the voices of the eponymous hosts of Kermode & Mayo's Film Review inhabit their own little bubble in your ear, but with the rest of the audio silent, it's easier to get distracted by the outside world.

Listen-through mode, or Social Mode as Nura calls it, is a bit fuzzier than AirPods Pro's Transparency mode. However I appreciated how the audio gets a little quieter along with the microphones turning on, which makes it easier to hear beyond your 'buds. It's handy for when you go out running on a busy street, as you can be confident you'll hear traffic when you need to cross over.

NuraTrue review: Audio quality

It's hard to assess the audio quality of the NuraTrue since, as the marketing material says, it'll sound different to everyone who sets up a profile. I didn't have anybody else's profile to try out the 'buds with, but swapping between the "neutral" profile and my own, the personalization seemed to have done the trick. On the Guilty Gear Strive OST, it bought forward the low-frequency bass notes and high-frequency percussion to be just as prominent as the vocals and guitars. In fact the NuraTrue sounds more neutral than the already very neutral AirPods Pro, which should mean they'll cope well with any kind of music you want to play through them.

I did, however, experience desync and stuttering quite a few times. Initially it was just when putting them on, when I assume the earbuds thought I was wearing just one of them and played the connected chime two separate times. However I then found that using them in crowded areas or near automatic doors and security gates caused the connection to become unstable until I moved away. This still happened after the most recent firmware update, which went live less than a week before launch day.

It's a great shame since I have no other criticism of the NuraTrue's sound. Hopefully this flaw will get fixed with future updates, or when Nura adds NuraTrue support to the live version of its app, rather than the beta version I was using. It's something to keep in mind if you're thinking of buying a pair on launch day though.

NuraTrue review: App features

Nura's app hasn't changed with the introduction of the NuraTrue, aside from adding the earbuds to its slideshow of images when nothing's connected. It's from this app that you undergo the personalization process after connecting the 'buds via Bluetooth. It takes a couple of minutes of being blasted with noises for it to decide what sounds best for you. 

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

After you've set the NuraTrue up, you then get a handful of practical options. You can adjust whether you're listening to your personalized mode or the neutral profile, turn ANC and social mode on and off, and adjust the "immersion" of your sound, which is essentially a slider that lets you control how powerful the bass is.

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Other than that immersion slider, there's no EQ on offer, because in theory you don't need to adjust what's already a well-tailored experience. I can imagine some audiophiles would get annoyed that they couldn't make changes themselves, though I didn't mind, and I don't think the average earbuds user will either.

NuraTrue review: Battery and charging

Nura claims that you get 6 hours of playback from the NuraTrue earbuds, with a total of 24 hours when you factor in the charging case. I can vouch for this, having managed to get a week's worth of regular use out of the buds without ever having to break out the charging cable.

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With charging coming via USB-C instead of a unique connector, you can power up the case pretty much whenever you need to, even if you don't carry a cable around with you. It takes two hours for the earbuds to recharge fully, and two and a half for the case, which is an acceptably fast refuelling rate even if you only get a few minutes to charge them.

Unlike the AirPods Pro or Jabra Elite 85t, there's no wireless charging option. The lack of this feature doesn't ruin the NuraTrue, but I have had occasions where being able to charge my earbuds through a nearby charging pad or off the back of a reverse wireless charging-ready phone has been useful.

NuraTrue review: Verdict

I can't figure out if NuraTrue is really a pair of wireless earbuds for audio fanatics, but at the very least it should stay your hand from clicking “Buy” on a pair of AirPods Pro or Elite 85t.

NuraTrue review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The NuraTrue offers a lot of audio performance in return for very little effort on your part. You don't need to adjust the EQ to your preferred settings, you just let the app do the work. Aside from the initial pairing process, they're just as easy to set up as AirPods on an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Buds on a Samsung phone. Combined with a smart look, capable ANC and a box full of optional accessories, there's little 

The disconnection issue is the only rough edge on the whole product, although I feel the limited on-board controls may frustrate some too. Hopefully future firmware and app updates will be able to fix these, though.

If you're excited by the Nura-unique features, but would prefer it in a different form, the NuraLoop may suit you better. You get a larger overall product, and one that can only be charged with a proprietary connector, but the extra controls and option for 3.5mm audio make it my favorite of Nura's lineup. Pick the NuraTrue if you want to balance the compact size of true wireless earbuds with all the goodies offered by Nura's software and hardware.

Richard Priday

Richard is a TG staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He wrote for Wired UK and The Register after graduating, but before landing at TG. He's also a specialty coffee enthusiast.