[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]They’re called Audeara - an Aussie startup. Their kickstarter campaign launched yesterday, hitting a behemoth 120% of their $100k target in the first 24 hours. If sound quality was a gen X male, Audeara has effectively stripped him of everything he has, slapped him around, given him a crisp haircut, sorted his life out, then put him in a rocket and sent him past the stratosphere. What I’m saying is - they’ve shaken things up, for the better.
Over the past two years, I’ve owned a set of Bose QC15’s, which have provided me endless joy. The noise-cancelling wizardry, world-class sound quality and phenomenal comfort has significantly enhanced my appreciation for all genres of music. So when I had an opportunity to try a set of Audeara’s new headphones, I was excited but also a little sceptical. How would they compare against my dear Bose?
The demo pair arrived in the mail, together with a few instructions. These headphones aren’t your average joe ‘unpack-and-turn-them-on’ pair of headphones - they perform a hearing test first. I have the option of taking the 8, 16 or 32-part test, each one being longer but achieving a higher degree of calibration. I thought it would be rude not to do the 32-part test. I use an app to indicate the point that I can’t hear a certain frequency, and so this continues for a series of frequencies, in turn producing a graph of how my ears performed. My hearing is within ‘normal’ range, with the bass notes received slightly below average.
I’m given the choice of three different sound profiles, it’s time. I kick-start things with a song that has distinct, acoustic layers - Paper Aeroplane by Angus and Julia Stone. I’m blown away. I can hear a kick off to my front right, a snare in front of me, the singing is directly in front of me. I try Lee Foss, Miles Davis, Tame Impala, Asgeir, Gesaffelstein, Odesza - the once hidden components of certain songs are now super crisp. It feels as if these headphones have been designed to complement the endless hours producers spend mastering and balancing their songs, providing somewhat of a more intricate and dimensional listening experience.
The boys at Audeara highlighted that everyone has different hearing abilities, some better at receiving certain frequencies than others, and so this has become the premise upon which Audeara has developed their technology. The hearing test assesses your hearing, determines which frequencies you can hear well and those not as well, then uses this information to invert the less-received frequencies on the MP3 of your song, allowing for a clear, tailor-made sound.
The first 200 pairs of A-01 (standard model) are selling for $199 and later selling for $499. The set I tried were only a demo, so I’m rather excited to see what improvements will result from the campaign. Would I buy a set? Yes.
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