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Denon snaps up Nura, says new personalized-sound earbuds arriving this year

In something of a surprise move, Denon — a brand best known for its AV receivers — has acquired Nura, the Australian maker of headphones and earbuds that tune themselves to a wearer’s personal hearing capabilities. Denon intends to incorporate Nura’s technology into its next set of wireless earbuds, which it says will be available in mid-2023. The news comes less than a year after the equally surprising news that Denon’s owner, Sound United, had been acquired by Masimo, a global medical technology company. The terms of the Nura acquisition were not released.

NuraTrue Pro earbuds seen next to NuraTrue earbuds.
NuraTrue Pro earbuds (left) seen next to NuraTrue earbuds. Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

In a press release, Denon said that adding Nura’s otoacoustic emission measuring technology to its portfolio will let consumers enjoy their favorite music as if they are there in the front row thanks to custom sound implementation.

“Nura’s technology is a perfect complement to Denon’s mission to expand human experiences through acoustic innovation,” said Trip Randall, Denon brand president. “We’ve been committed to sound engineering for 113 years and counting, and we know that personalized audio is the future. This evolution with Nura is a natural fit, as we continue to innovate for the most discerning of audio consumers and push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Nura made headlines in 2022 by being the first company to develop a set of wireless earbuds that are compatible with Qualcomm’s aptX Lossless Bluetooth codec — the NuraTrue Pro. However, Denon appears far more interested in Nura’s sound personalization technology, which will form the basis of a new personalized audio system known as Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology (AAT).

According to Denon, “Masimo AAT works by creating personalized listening profiles for each user based on the individual’s unique hearing. By measuring the user’s hearing sensitivity and tailoring sound accordingly, Masimo AAT ensures that no instrumental detail or sound subtlety is left unheard.”

Denon says we can expect to see its first earbuds with Masimo AAT later in 2023, but hasn’t revealed any other details. Denon’s first (and most recent) wireless earbuds are the noise-canceling AH-C830NCW and AH-C630W.

The acquisition likely means that Nura’s existing portfolio of products will be discontinued, but curiously, neither Denon nor Nura say this explicitly. Instead, in announcing the acquisition to its customers, Nura simply indicates that all of its products will continue to be supported throughout their warranty periods and that the Nura app — along with any personalized Nura hearing profiles — will continue to work.

In addition to selling its lineup of wireless headphones and earbuds directly to buyers, Nura has a subscription service called NuraNow, which lets folks effectively rent these devices instead. Nura says that not only will NuraNow subscriptions continue, but it also plans to add new products to the offering in the future, which suggests that the soon-to-be-released Denon/Nura earbuds will be among the available options.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
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