The new Bluetooth streaming codec that promises to stream CD-quality audio with no loss of audio detail, aptX Lossless, is coming to its first pair of earbuds. The NuraTrue Pro true wireless earbuds are the work of Australian audio company Nura and are currently funded on Kickstarter with early bird prices starting at $199 and a regular retail price of $329.
“These are the first earbuds to be announced with Snapdragon Sound and aptX Lossless. We’re excited to say that there will be many more Snapdragon Sound devices with aptX Lossless support coming soon,” Qualcomm spokesperson Lauren Miller said in a statement. Snapdragon Sound is the name of Qualcomm’s overall audio platform, of which aptX Lossless is a feature (although crucially, not all Snapdragon Sound devices support aptX Lossless).
The problem is, you won’t find any source devices that support the new audio codec at this point, as “no devices with this feature are currently shipped,” said Qualcomm spokesperson Sarah McMurray. In addition to a device that supports aptX Lossless, your music must also be CD quality or higher to get the greatest benefit – great for Apple Music subscribers, less so for Spotify users waiting for HiFi.
Qualcomm announced aptX Lossless last year, promising it will be able to stream CD-quality 16-bit / 44.1 kHz audio over Bluetooth. That’s not to say no compression is applied at all, but Qualcomm advertises that this compression is lossless, so the audio your headphones receive must be “mathematically exact, bit-by-bit, with no loss of the audio file,” according to Qualcomm’s James. chapman. aptX Lossless can reach a bit rate of 1 Mbps, compared to 990 kbps for its closest competitor, LDAC.
In addition to supporting aptX Lossless, the NuraTrue Pro supports active noise cancellation, spatial audio, multipoint connectivity so they can be connected to multiple source devices simultaneously, and the ability to use both earbuds separately. They can be charged wirelessly and offer up to eight hours of playback from the earbuds themselves or up to 32 hours when used with the charging case. Nura’s sound personalization feature, which debuted on its original over-ear headphones, returns for the NuraTrue Pro.
Nura expects the NuraTrue Pro to go into mass production in August and ship to backers in “early Q4 2022”.