Headphones-as-a-service exists now, thanks to manufacturers Nura

Aussie headphone manufacturers Nura made a big splash after a successful 2016 Kickstarter introduced the world to Nuraphones, wireless cans that can adjust to your individual hearing.

For their next trick, the Melbourne-based company is pioneering the idea of headphones as a service with the brand new service NuraNow, which will allow customers to pay a monthly fee in order to get their hands on Nuraphones £349 flagship cans, in addition to an unspecified new pair of headphones every 24 months.

Getting your hands on the Nuraphones is probably worthwhile, we gave it four out of five stars in our review, with reviewer Andrew Williams describing “sci-fi tech”, that tunes the sound to your ears.

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Still, part of my is a little weird about the idea of getting a contract for my headphones. However, I also buy all of my phones sim-free, so I might not be the target market. For those who want to try premium headphones without a big payment up front, it could be an appealing option.

Prices start at £9 a month, but will cost you £80 up front. Then there’s a £12 option (£30 up front) and £14 a month without anything to pay. We fired up the Trusted calculator, and over the 24 months before you get a new headset, you’ll be paying: 

  • £216 + £100 upfront = £316 on a £9 subscription
  • £288 + £30 upfront = £318 on a £12 subscription
  • £336 + £0 upfront = £336 on a £14 subscription.

While there’s a fair difference in price as you slide down the scale, each of these are cheaper than buying the Nuraphones outright, at least from the company’s own website. It’s also noticeably cheaper to buy it with a small upfront price, saving you £20 over the course of your subscription.

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You get more than a set of headphones too, with the chance to get exclusive tickets or the opportunity to win music or merch and even a full warranty for the entire time you’re paying for the device. Ultimately though, you’re paying for your headphones over time, with the clause that if you decide you want to get out of the contract — which you’re free to do at any time — you’ll have to send back any and all devices they’ve sent your way.

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