Wearables

Audiogram-administering earphones deliver tunes with prescription-like customization

Audiogram-administering earpho...
Even's earphones feature embedded software that provides a self-administered test to measure one's ability to hear
Even's earphones feature embedded software that provides a self-administered test to measure one's ability to hear
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Although cabled, Even's earphones require power to operate via an integrated rechargeable battery
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Although cabled, Even's earphones require power to operate via an integrated rechargeable battery
Even's "EarPrint" hearing test is based on an industry standard that takes an active-listener approach
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Even's "EarPrint" hearing test is based on an industry standard that takes an active-listener approach
Even's earphones feature embedded software that provides a self-administered test to measure one's ability to hear
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Even's earphones feature embedded software that provides a self-administered test to measure one's ability to hear

Human anatomy varies so much, that our own two ears can hear as differently from each other as they might to anyone else's. But one company has taken a more scientific approach towards delivering the kind of sonic experience so many individuals spend endless hours seeking. Even's earphones are designed to analyze, adjust, and adapt audio to ears by using a built-in audiogram, or hearing test.

Given the human ears' varying sensitivities to all audible frequencies, it's no wonder why music is by and large considered to be subjective. The Even earphones aim to deliver quality sound by measuring one's ability to hear. Software embedded into the controller provides a self-administered test, similar to the kind of audiograms that have been used clinically to diagnose hearing loss.

A double press of the "Even" button on the in-line controller initiates the test, which takes approximately 90 seconds to conduct. A virtual assistant guides users through the process of responding to each audible sound with a single button click. Once complete, the results – how each ear is tuned to the range of 16 frequencies at different volume levels – are stored on the device, yet can be reset at any time.

Although cabled, Even's earphones require power to operate via an integrated rechargeable battery
Although cabled, Even's earphones require power to operate via an integrated rechargeable battery

Like a corrective-vision prescription, the Even earphones are designed to apply the saved information to automatically adjust for deficiencies. Frequencies that a user has trouble perceiving are appropriately boosted, while the better-detected ones are maintained at safe listening levels with respect to volume. The intended result is having sound that matches the listener, with every musical note able to be heard perfectly.

This type of personalized calibration is similar to that of the Nura headphones, which employs microphones for otoacoustic emission tracking — a system by which sounds made by the ear in response to different tones are played back to the headphones and monitored. Recently, some of us at the Gizmag office had the opportunity to experience a Nura prototype and were blown away by the diversity of each other's sonic profiles.

But one major difference between Nura and Even is that Even's "EarPrint" hearing test is based on a proven industry standard that takes a non-passive approach, meaning that the user actively indicates what he can and can not hear.

Even's earphones are also styled as an in-ear only design (versus the Nura's in- and over-ear design), packing a 10 mm dynamic driver in each bud. By using a 3.5 mm cable to plug into devices, Even's earphones bypass potential connectivity and latency issues often common with wireless listening devices. Although cabled, these earphones require power to operate. The built-in battery is designed to last up to nine hours before needing a recharge.

The Even earphones are available now for a US$99 sale price (MSRP $129) and ship immediately. Each unit comes with interchangeable silicone ear tips in three sizes, a USB charging cable, and a nylon case.

Source: Even

4 comments
VoiceofReason
Sounds ( no pun intended ) awesome. Might want to make a course correction into hearing aids. I'd buy one just for that.
Jeff G
Seems like a great idea. I wear expensive programmable digital hearing aids which have a bluetooth option but hearing aids are optimized for voice not music. I have found them very unsatisfactory for listening to music even with them programmed for music. I am curious to see if Even earphones will do a better job. I would also expect that the self programmable technology to work for hearing aids which would make them product able to be sold direct to the consumer for a fraction of what people currently pay for hearing aids.
frogola
Jeff g, great comment. the price for hearing aids are way to high and i think this would be a little more control over that.
Chizzy
I'd love to be able to do a test like this, or even better the NURA headphone system test, then import that data into something like Here ONE. It seems like the ideal combination, as the Here system, combined with noise cancellation to not only enhance what you can't hear, but cancel out what you don't want to hear.