Masimo Snags Nura For Ear Measurement Tech In Future Denon Earbuds
Masimo’s Denon brand announced Thursday that it is bringing Nura’s otoacoustic emission measuring technology for self-learning headphones into “the Denon product pipeline” as Nura joins the “Masimo family.”
Nura is a privately held Australia-based consumer electronics company that designs and manufactures headphones based on its personalized sound technology.
Similar in purpose but not function to Sony’s 360Reality Audio technology, Nura’s proprietary technology automatically measures the user’s hearing sensitivities to different frequencies by monitoring sounds generated from the inner ear.
According to the latest announcement from Denon, the arrangement with Nura is to produce “Denon earbuds with Nura technology” through the jointly developed Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology (AAT) platform.
An announcement on the Nura website that is oddly post dated “7/4/2023,” says, “As two sound innovators join forces, this moment promises to be a game-changer for personalized audio with users being able to experience the pinnacle of personalized listening… Existing Nura customers can feel confident that their Nura device will be supported through this transition, including customer support and warranty support. The Nura app will continue to function as it does today, so you will still be able to create personalized hearing profiles and use all app functions.”
Further down, the Nura annoucement states: “NuraNow subscriptions will continue to be supported. At this time there will be no major changes to the subscription program, and all Perks associated with the program (including a new device every 24 months) will continue. There are some exciting additional options in the works. More information about new products on the NuraNow subscription will be available mid-2023.”
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HD Guru asked a Denon spokesperson for further clarification on the business arrangements and was told: “Nura is a technology and engineering talent acquisition to establish the Masimo AAT platform. The technology will be used in Denon’s upcoming earbuds.”
The Denon statement said Nura’s measurement technology will be brought into the Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology (AAT) platform to integrate with Masimo’s signal processing engineering technology for consumer audio. Nura’s contribution is seen as bringing the ability “to address unique hearing complexities that vary from person to person.”
According to the statement, Masimo AAT works by creating personalized listening profiles for each user based on the individual’s unique hearing. The technology leverages the measurement of the listener’s hearing sensitivity to tailor sound delivery with full instrumental detail and subtlety. The benefit is expected to deliver more individualized and precise personalized listening experiences.
Further details on the terms of the arrangement between Masimo and Nura were not available.
Nura was started in 2015 by Dr. Luke Campbell, Dr. Dragan Petrović, and Kyle Slater, using a combination of funding from the Melbourne Accelerator Program, various venture capital sources and a very successful Kickstarter crowd funding effort, among other sources. It currently markets a family of Nura branded headphones and earbuds linked through a Nura app, and offers a NuraNow subscription-based service on product refreshes and other “perks.”
Denon’s announcement Thursday referenced earbuds specifically, apparently as the first application for the Masimo AAT to be formally announced mid-year.
Prior to acquiring Sound United’s stable of home audio brands last year, Masimo was heavily invested in medical technology companies that develop and manufacture noninvasive patient monitoring technologies. The latest deal with Nura would seem on the surface to be one of the closest links between the two halves of the firm’s investment interests to date.
“Consumers will be able to enjoy their favorite music as if they are there in the front row thanks to custom sound implementation,” the announcement said. “The combination of Denon’s leadership in sound engineering with Nura’s revolutionary personalized listening technology will offer extraordinary audio detail and set a new standard in personal listening to enjoy audio at unprecedented levels.”
“Nura’s technology is a perfect complement to Denon’s mission to expand human experiences through acoustic innovation,” stated 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.”
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By Greg Tarr
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