We’ve got some bad news: Your best days of hearing are behind you. To the end, maybe the music you listened to a decade or two ago might’ve sounded better just because, well, you had better hearing.
If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to your peak listening potential however, Audeara – the company behind the hugely successful Kickstarter that raised over $460,000 to create a pair of hi-res headphones with a built-in hearing testing and frequency amplification feature – have finally released their first product, the A-01.
While other brands pride themselves on audio reproduction to match industry standards, Audeara’s goal is to create headphones that adapt to your hearing – if you have a hard time hearing signals in the 15KHz to 20KHz range (most of us above the age of 30 do) the headphones will boost that section of the audio spectrum.
This could, very likely, help bring out the details of your favorite songs that you couldn’t hear before because they were too faint for your ears.
According to the headphone maker, this audio manipulation is done by first calibrating the headphones to your ears – creating something called an audiogram – and then using the audiogram in tandem with a modulation table to adjust all incoming signal to compensate for hearing loss.
The headphones use an attenuation model instead of increasing gain, which it says maximises signal intensity without adding distortion to the sound.
Basically, the headphones make sound clearer in the areas of the audio spectrum you can’t hear without tampering with the areas you can hear.
The sound of music
If this sounds familiar, it might be because you’ve heard of Even – another sound company that promises a customized EarPrint that boosts signal of different parts of the audio spectrum.
While there’s some definite similarity between the two brands, Audeara is playing just as much to the accessibility space (the folks who need headphones for practical everyday use) as it is to the folks who just want better audio period.
If you’re looking for a tie-breaker between the two headphones, the Audeara A-01 will offer noise-cancelling in addition to its other features, while the Even H1 comes in at a slightly lower price point of around $149 (£158, around AU$190).
If you’re interested in the Audeara A-01, it’s available to pre-order for $400 (£299, AU$499) on Audeara’s website.