Puro Sound Labs PuroPro headphone review: Comfortable, superb noise cancellation, safety from hearing damage

I’ve long advocated for protecting your hearing by limiting the levels you listen to. Long-term exposure to high sound pressure levels leads to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), which can greatly reduce your sensitivity to high frequencies and midrange frequencies that are fundamental to understanding speech. Another potential symptom is the constant annoyance of tinnitus (aka ringing in the ears), which can become permanent—and there’s no cure.

Puro Sound Labs addressed this concern with its PuroQuiet headphone, reviewed here, which is designed for children and limits its output level to protect them from NIHL. Now, the company has introduced an adult version of the same idea. The PuroPro purports to limit the sound pressure level reaching your ears while providing hybrid active noise cancellation, Bluetooth connection to your source device, and excellent sound quality. It’s remarkably successful in achieving these goals, with one minor caveat.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best headphones, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

Features

The PuroPro is a lightweight, over-ear headphone made mostly of plastic with protein-leather-clad earpads and adjustable headband. The earcups fold into a compact form that fits in the included travel case.

psl puropro in case Puro Sound Labs

The PuroPro folds into a compact shape that fits in the small included carrying case.

Interestingly, the PuroPro is shipped in a wood box. The wood is very light; it reminds me of the balsa wood used in the model airplanes I used to build as a kid. The company touts its “environmentally friendly packaging,” but I’m not sure how environmentally friendly this wood is compared with cardboard.

Each earcup houses a 40mm full-range, custom-designed dynamic driver with a frequency response specified to extend from 20Hz to 20kHz with less than 1% THD. The rated power delivered to the drivers is 10mW, and the wired connection has an input impedance of 32 ohms. The company touts its Puro Balanced Response Curve, which is said to deliver clear, crisp vocals and full, dynamic bass within the volume limit imposed by the headphone.

Speaking of which, the PuroPro limits the sound pressure level of its output to help avoid—or at least reduce—noise-induced hearing loss. Unlike the PuroQuiet, you can select one of two limits: 85 or 95 dB SPL. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifies that workers can be exposed to an average of 85 dB SPL during an eight-hour day, while 95 dB SPL is safe for only 50 minutes. I guess Puro Sound Labs figured that adults can be responsible for time-limiting their exposure at 95 dB SPL, but I suspect that plenty of young adults will not heed that limit.

As with many wireless headphones, the PuroPro offers hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) with four microphones (two per earcup) that pick up ambient sounds. The headphone’s DSP inverts the phase of those sounds and adds that signal to the original sounds, reducing the overall level thanks to phase cancellation. Interestingly, the PuroPro offers two levels of ANC: 32 and 15 dB. The word “hybrid” refers to the passive attenuation offered by the circumaural earcups.

psl puropro features Puro Sound Labs

The PuroPro has several cool features.

Bluetooth 5.0 provides a wireless connection. The right earcup provides a 3.5mm analog audio connector for legacy devices, and the headphones come with a cable to connect them. Fortunately, the headphone doesn’t need the power to be on for this type of connection.