Denon’s PerL Pro are just a rebrand of the excellent NuraTrue Pro – with one crucial benefit
The only thing different about these earbuds since 2023 is the logo. But, hopefully, Denon will offer better customer service than Nura was capable of.
Denon PerL Pro
⊕ Effective Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) br>
⊕ Slick design and easy-to-use gesture controls br>
⊕ Ample battery life with case br>
⊕ Adjustable settings in Denon companion app br>
⊕ Now comes with Denon’s customer service guarantee br>
⊖ More expensive than most competing buds br>
Why fix what ain’t broke, right? When Denon acquired Nura in 2023, customers shared concerns about how the merger would impact Nura’s current and future products. Denon, it turns out, isn’t yet overhauling the innovative audio devices by the now-defunct Australian brand. Instead, the hi-fi corp has started recycling previous Nura products by slapping its logo on the awesome NuraTrue Pro, and letting you have ’em pretty much as Nura intended.
Denon’s PerL Pro, an exact recreation of the NuraTrue Pro, are a pair of earbuds that you simply have to consider buying. With Nura’s trademark extraordinary sound personalisation (now called Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology), easy operation, lossless audio and an intuitive companion app, these are still some of the best earbuds out there.
Since we reviewed the NuraTrue Pro last year, you can apply everything we said about them to the PerL Pro. We’re not going to spend much time on what’s similar about them. There’s almost no difference beyond the name of the app – now called Denon Headphones — and the logo on the case and earbuds. Otherwise, they are literally identical down to the voice assistant and the reference track the app plays you when setting up your hearing profile. There is one benefit, though, which we’ll get to shortly.
Also, note that the whole point of these earbuds is the personal hearing profile. Rtings.com rated these poorly because “the default sound lacks detail”. But this is a feature, not a fault – the default sound intentionally lacks nuance because the app will apply a custom EQ to make them sound uniquely exciting to you. We’re still convinced that the neutral sound is designed to sound incredibly poor just to emphasise the sound personalisation effect, though.
Oddly, no company other than Nura (Denon) has managed to implement such technology in its headphones — sound personalisation is simply a game-changer. There’s also spatial audio capabilities, which should be expected from new major earbuds in 2024 following the spatial race among streaming services, and it works effectively in the PerL Pro.
Anyway, here are the downsides: Lossless audio is superb to have, but most wireless listening devices don’t have compatible hardware, so it’s wasted on many buyers; they’re expensive at £300 — the same price as the NuraTrue Pro — which already makes them more expensive than earbuds favoured by critics, such as the Sony WF-1000XM5; the ANC isn’t best-in-class but we still find it very effective on transport and walking around outside. Some might take issue with the aesthetics of the earbuds, but we like the design — the case is still bulkier than the likes of the AirPods Pro, but very portable nonetheless.
So not much has changed since our review last year.
But there is one crucial benefit to these having the Denon stamp over Nura: Customer service.
Nura was a small company based in Melbourne, Australia, founded by Dr. Dragan Petrovic, Dr. Luke Campbell, and Kyle Slater. The products, led by the flagship Nuraphone, were award-winning and jaw-dropping. But, by the time the NuraTrue Pro rolled around, we were hearing whispers of poor customer service and maintenance.
We received several emails from customers who highlighted the poor experience they had with the Nura team after they faced difficulties with their products. We can only assume that the operation was becoming more complex than Nura expected and could handle, resulting in long response times to customers and troubles in getting replacements sent out within a reasonable timeframe. Also, the company’s subscription service has raised a whole host of problems with people demanding returns and refunds.
Denon ain’t no ma and pa brand. The Japanese company has been around since 1947 – 1910 if you count the company before its first mergers — and holds significant weight in the consumer and DJ markets. We bet this will have a positive impact on the rebranded Nura products. Plus, Denon didn’t just buy the Nura branding, it bought a lot of the personnel and engineers from Nura, which suggests a continued high standard of audio expertise.
To clarify, most problems users faced with the NuraTrue Pro were Bluetooth connectivity and range. Although, after around eight months of use, we noticed power and charging failures with the NuraTrue Pro — weirdly, the issue resolved itself after a couple of weeks without use and they’ve been fine ever since. But we’re yet to face any connection issues with either the PerL Pro or the NuraTrue Pro, and the range is pretty reliable.
All things considered, it’s a surprise to see the PerL Pro absent in any ‘best earbuds in 2024’ guides from other publications. The price is probably the main deterrent, but we’d still recommend these to anyone who cares about sound. Multipoint connectivity is excellent, too, as are the customisation options in the app, the microphone for calls, and the battery life.
A year ago, this reviewer said the NuraTrue Pro are his favourite earbuds. With the PerL Pro, this is still true. And I even alternate between the NuraTrue Pro and PerL Pro because, frankly, I just prefer the Nura logo. It really doesn’t matter — they’re still the same excellent earbuds.
- Personalized sound via Masimo AAT
- Lossless and spatial audio
- Adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC)
- Eight hour battery, 24 with case
- aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, aptX Classic, AAC, SBC Bluetooth codecs
- Denon headphones companion app
- Multipoint connectivity
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