Not a fan of Apple’s EarPods? Looking for something new to use with your iOS devices? We took the Nue Era in-ear headphones by Polk Audio for a spin this week. The Nue Eras are, as the name implies, a brand-new model that was just recently released. Are they worth checking out? Keep reading for our full review.

I listen to a lot of bass-heavy music, but I can’t usually hear most of the bass unless I’m in my car. My EarPods just don’t carry it. The Nue Era earphones, on the other hand, sounded great in terms of bass. Unfortunately, as is often the case with this style of headphones, the bass is a bit overpowering, causing the mids and especially the highs, to become buried under the lower frequencies. The result is a slightly muddy sound that can cause vocals to sound a bit muffled.

The headphones themselves look great. I used the black ones which fit my black iPhone well. I’ve only seen photos of the “tortoise” finish, but I’m comfortable saying that if they look as good as the black ones, they’re quite nice.

As far as the fit goes, the box comes with seven different sets of tips: five silicone and two foam. Because the different tips have different-sized openings, they can noticeably alter the sound quality when using them. I found that the pair that fit my ears best did not sound as good as another pair, so I was torn between the noticeably better sound or the noticeably better fit. Thankfully switching tips is easier than with some other models, so I didn’t have a problem going back and forth until I decided to stick with the more comfortable pair.

The Nue Era headphones also have a three-button control and microphone capsule like those found on many headphones today, allowing you to control your iPhone’s volume and Siri remotely. I did find that the buttons on the capsule were a bit difficult to push at first, since I’m used to using EarPods, but once you’ve used it for a little bit it gets easier.

The Nue Era headphones look and sound great (although, as noted, can be a bit heavy on the bass). If you don’t use in-ear headphones, these likely won’t inspire a sudden change of heart. If you prefer the in-ear style, though, the New Eras are a great option. They retail for $99.95 on Polk Audio’s website. They’re available in two colors (black and tortoise).

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2 Responses to “Review: Polk Audio’s Nue Era in-ear headphones”

  1. Why do all the alternatives to Apple’s earbuds look like crap? These things are over designed, weirdly shaped for: reason? and have a giant brand on the side. Why eliminate potent customers with a weird, ugly design like this when it has nothing to do with the sound quality?


    • silas681 says:

      Seriously? The sound quality on the new apple ear buds is poor by any standard when compared to a decent set of headphones. The bass comes from the larger structure rear of the ear insert part! Flip in heck! The styling in minimalist. Would love to your attempt at industrial design ( from a ux and industrial design professional)