October 7, 2020 | technology | No Comments
The company behind the $399 Nuraphone Bluetooth hearing-correcting headphones have made a new gaming microphone accessory that effectively makes the wireless headphones wired. The microphone costs $49.99 — on top of the somewhat steep cost for the Nuraphone. However, it allows the headphones to plug into anything that accepts a 3.5mm jack, so they can be used with PCs, Macs, mobile devices, the Nintendo Switch, and modern console controllers.
The microphone attachment is as simple as it sounds. The flexible boom microphone attaches to a proprietary port on the bottom of the Nuraphone’s right earcup, which means you can’t use it with any other set of headphones. Part of the way down the long cord there’s an inline remote with volume controls and a mic mute switch. Once it’s plugged in (and after you’ve updated the Nuraphone app), the Bluetooth headphones effectively become a wired gaming headset. Though that’s underselling it a bit.
For this wired mode, the Nuraphones utilize the same unique hearing profile that’s active when you’re connected to a phone via Bluetooth. With this new functionality enabled by an app update, Nura aims to make its Nuraphones a solid option for gamers. The profile should play to the strengths and compensate for any hearing weaknesses you may have, in addition to letting you chat with your friends. A bit of active noise cancellation kicks in when you plug it in, too.
After my short experience with both the Nuraphone and the microphone attachment, I think the accessory is a no-brainer purchase for anyone who has already bought the headphones. The sound performance is very punchy, yet balanced, and the microphone works exactly as I hoped it would. I haven’t spent enough time with the Nuraphone or the new accessory to fairly judge whether they make a huge difference in a variety of games, though Control’s amazing audio design rang out in full effect. It wasn’t revelatory at first blush, but I enjoyed the experience.
As for whether you should pony up $399 for the Nuraphone just to get this attachment, I’ll defer to my colleague Jake Kastrenakes’ review from 2017. Granted, the Nuraphone has gotten some extra features and enhanced performance since then, so the review might not totally reflect what it’s like to use them today. Today’s new accessory marks another instance of the team adding a welcome update for its headphones, albeit this time with a $49 price tag.
Nura isn’t the only company releasing accessories to make its headphones more appealing for gamers. Bose recently unveiled its QC 35 II gaming headset, which adds a wired microphone to its Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones for a total cost of $329.