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Sony WF-1000XM4 vs NuraTrue: which noise-cancelling wireless earbuds should you buy?

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The Sony WF1000XM4 is a great choice if you are looking for wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation that will sound great and fit well.

These are our top picks for the best wireless headphones. They haven’t been beat since their launch in 2021. Their rich and powerful sound, strong noise cancellation and outstanding call quality make them our choice.

Nura is one of the brands that has come close to Sony’s title as the world’s best earbuds maker.

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Nura’s NuraTrue earbuds are the first true wireless earbuds from Australia. They’re also among the most customizable in ear headphones that we’ve tested. They are also great in design and offer excellent audio performance.

It’s nice to have two options, but it doesn’t make it any easier to pick a pair. We have tested both the Sony WF1000XM4 as well as the NuraTrue extensively so that we can provide a detailed comparison and help you to decide what you want from your new earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM4 and NuraTrue: Price and availability

The Sony WF1000XM4 as well as the NuraTrue were launched in 2021 and are still available for purchase today.

Sony earbuds cost $279.99/PS250/AU$449.95. Discounts are possible, but it’s more common to find great deals on the Sony WF1000XM3.

The NuraTrue is the more affordable model, at $199/PS199/AU$299; this makes them the best choice for those on a tight budget. You can find cheaper wireless earbuds; the Cambridge Audio Melomania1 Plus or the Lypertek PurePlay Z32.0 both offer great audio performance for under $100/PS100. These budget wireless headphones won’t provide the same level or extra features as the Sony or NuraTrue buds.

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Sony WF-1000XM4 vs NuraTrue: design

Both the NuraTrue and the Sony WF-1000XM4 are true wireless in-ear headphones. They feature silicone eartips, which create a barrier between your ear canals and the outside world. The protruding stems of the Apple AirPods are not found in either model.

Sony’s earbuds are available in silver and black, and feature round housings with copper accents. They also come with a slim, lightweight charging case that is 40% smaller than their predecessors, WF-1000XM3.

Although the NuraTrue has round housings as well, they are much wider and flatter than the Sony WF1000XM4 but feel just as secure in your ears. NuraTrue is only available in black.

Both earbuds have touch controls that allow you to adjust the volume, change the noise cancellation, and answer calls. These controls can also be set up in the respective apps of the earbuds.

The Sony WF1000XM4 controls work perfectly. The NuraTrue controls work flawlessly. However, there was a slight delay between the tap and the action.

The NuraTrue wireless headphones. (Image credit: Nura)

Sony WF-1000XM4 and NuraTrue: Features and Setup

The excellent specs and features of the Sony WF1000XM4 are one reason we chose them as the best wireless headphones available today. These buds offer a lot of value for money, and the Sony Headphones app allows you to easily customize the WF1000XM4.

These earbuds have active noise cancellation which can adjust to your environment. We found them to be as effective as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds .

Speak-to-Chat is also supported. This pauses the music when your earbuds detect you speaking. DSEE upscaling can bring low-quality streams closer to high-resolution quality. DSEE is not perfect, but it gives you a bit more detail on low-quality tracks.

The Headphones Connect app can enable Sony’s 360 Reality Audio technology. To do this, you will need to take a picture of each ear. For the app to create an immersive sound, it will analyze your ears. However, you will need to use a compatible streaming platform to make this happen.

Active noise cancellation is also available with the NuraTrue earbuds. While it does not automatically adjust the volume based on your environment, we found it to be quite effective. You can also choose to use the Social mode which will feed in the sounds of your surroundings and turn your music down. This mode can be assigned to one of the touch controls, if you wish to quickly chat with someone without having to remove your earbuds.

The NuraTrue app is the best part of using the earbuds. Nura stands out from the rest by providing a personalized listening experience.

The app first runs a fit test to make sure you are wearing the correct-sized eartips. Next, you will be subject to hearing tests. During these tests you will hear many different beeps and boops across the frequency range. This allows the buds to tune to your ears, unlike the Sony earbuds. It can also be used with any music, not just spatial audio tracks.

Nura’s app allows you to hear music with no personalized sound profile applied. It also lets you toggle between Neutral or Personalized settings using an in-app switch. The Personalized setting was more dynamic and immersive than the Neutral, so it is definitely worth trying.

You can also turn on Immersion mode in the app, which Nura claims simulates live music. You can adjust the intensity of Immersion mode by using a slider. It does make a difference. We were skeptical but it makes a significant difference. The Immersion mode creates a larger soundstage and thunderous bass. However, it is not a replacement for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio feature which gives you the feeling that sound is coming from all angles.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs NuraTrue: audio performance

These wireless earbuds offer exceptional audio performance and can be used for any occasion.

The Sony WF1000XM4 delivers a dynamic, balanced, and convincing sound. These buds will deliver a lot of detail to your music, thanks to Sony’s LDAC Codec. However, you will need to use a compatible source in order to benefit from this codec.

The audio quality of the NuraTrue wireless headphones is excellent.

We prefer the NuraTrue to sound more natural, especially when using the Immersion mode. However, the Sony buds are better in terms of rhythmic accuracy and detail.

The NuraTrue, like the Sony WF1000XM4, can handle high-resolution audio streams through aptX Adaptive support.

Sony WF-1000XM4 and NuraTrue: Battery life

The battery life of the Sony WF1000XM4 or the NuraTrue is the same, but the charge is distributed differently between the earbuds.

Sony earbuds provide 24 hours total playback, with 8-12 hours provided by the earbuds. You can expect a shorter battery lifespan if active noise cancellation is enabled.

The NuraTrue offers 6 hours of use from the buds, and an additional 18 hours by charging the case.

Although neither of these models have the best battery life, such as the 45-hour Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus’s, they will still get you through a week of commutes. The Sony WF-1000XM4 has wireless charging. This means that you can just place them on a charging mat to charge them. NuraTrue cannot be charged using a USB-C cable that is included with the box.

Takeaway

You can be certain that you are getting the best wireless headphones available, whether you choose the Sony WF1000XM4 or NuraTrue. Both models sound great, are comfortable to wear, offer high-quality audio and noise cancellation, as well as easy-to use touch controls.

The NuraTrue earbuds are the best option if money is an issue. They cost $80/PS50/AU$150 less that the Sony earbuds. The Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds are best if you’re looking for virtual surround sound. They support 360 Reality Audio. Sony’s buds are a bit more discrete, which is why they’re great if you don’t like the NuraTrue’s wide housings.

NuraTrue is the best choice if you are looking for a pair that you can personalize. The accompanying app walks you through the process of ensuring that your ears get the best sound. It’s fun to see the difference between a customized sound and a generic one.

You might find that one or more of these earbuds is not right for you. For a more extensive selection of in-ear headphones, we recommend our guide to the best true wired earbuds. We’ve chosen the best for sound quality, price, and specifications. If you don’t want to give up the cable, check out our guide to the best in-ear headphones to find a wide range of neckbuds as well as wired in-ear headphones for a range price points.

 

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