Headphones come in all shapes and sizes, and they all have their own unique listening profiles, but that doesn’t mean that every ear will listen to them in the same way. With that in mind, a new gadget has popped up on a crowdsourcing website to help define headphones better.
Sound is one of those things we all hope will be better than what it is, and while most headphones over $50 are usually decent or semi-decent, they don’t always sound what we imagine they will sound like.
A new gadget and app could make this easier to deal with, however, mapping sound frequency ranges to what can be heard by individual users.
It’s called the “Aumeo”, and it’s a little gadget that connects to a phone to create a sound profile using an app of each ear, mapping out an audio profile on an ear-by-ear basis and a headphone-by-headphone basis that lets you hear more of the audio you’re keen to listen to.
We haven’t tried it for ourselves, and you can bet we’re highly interested in it, but the idea has merit.
While we review a lot of headphones here, our thoughts on what the headphones can do aren’t always likely to be shared by all listeners, and this is one of the reasons we include a sound test every year that people can listen to on music services, so that they can compare and contrast.
But while you can read our thoughts and see what we’re thinking, you might not hear what we’re hearing, simply due to the fact that the ears of the reviewer aren’t the same as the ones stuck to the side of your head. It’s not even the fleshy bits either, with our brains interpreting sound differently, and other aural shock factors needing to be considered, such as tinnitus, which can affect how we hear music.
The Aumeo gadget might actually go a long way to helping people with aural issues to hear the sound they’re listening to the proper way, and with a Bluetooth transmitter built into the gadget, it’s also something that they don’t have to be tethered to their phone to do.
Aumeo’s Paul Lee told GadgetGuy that an app will be released soon that does similar things, meaning you might not require the hardware, but did say that while the app will give you a great experience, it will be limited by things the app can access, such as music found on your phone, telling us that Spotify and games may not be a part of what the Aumeo app can work with.
“A separate hardware device gets around that limitation handily,” said Lee. “Having a hardware device also means people can enhance their audio experience with their home HiFi systems, TV, etc.”
We’re told that home theatre systems and speakers will also be able to benefit from the technology essentially by improving what is pushed through the speakers because it will be enhanced for your ears, so to speak, with the frequency changes applying to loudspeakers as well as headphones. We suspect the headphones will provide better results being more confined and closed, but loudspeakers could end up acting almost like a profiled open headphone, attempting to adapt to environmental sounds so that your ears hear more.
Right now, Aumeo is a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter competitor Indiegogo, but only a few days in, has already hit its minimum mark and then some.
As a result of it being a crowdsourcing project, its pricing and availability isn’t as simple as “here’s the price and you’ll be able to buy one from this store”.
That being said, right now the price of the Aumeo sits around $99 USD (roughly $128 locally) with an expected delivery date of November, so if you’re interested to see what corrected headphones sound like, you’ll find it being made available via crowd-funding before stores even get their shelf-like-mitts on it.