“It has taken us a long time to come to the realisation that we are not all the same,” Dr Henrik Matthies told Sound+Image after a launch at IFA 2018 of new beyerdynamic products and corporate identity.
Dr Henrik is the MD of Mimi, and it is this company's 'Mimi Defined' which powers the sound personalisation in beyerdynamic’s two new MOSAYC products/
And also, as we discovered the next day, of Loewe TVs once a new firmware update comes through to new and existing Loewe owners.
Mimi Defined gives you a hearing test which takes about six minutes to determine if one ear hears better than the other, as well as how response varies across a broad range of frequencies. Then it uses the results to deliver what should be music that sounds the way it was made.
But, says Dr Henrik, this is not an EQ-based solution.
“No”, he says. “Some other solutions use EQ but this will simply boost everything at certain frequencies. This is good if a sound is too quiet for you to hear, but it is not good if that frequency happens to be loud — the EQ may lift it beyond the level at which your hearing can even be damaged.”
Instead the Mini solution uses dynamic signal compression, which he is quick to point out does not sound like limiting compression, rather it overcomes the simpler solution of EQ without affecting the expression of music.
Does it eat your batteries?, we asked.
Not as much as you might think, he replied, because the correction is built into the main processor chip, which is processing the sound anyway, so the difference in power use is tiny.
You can try the system on any headphones by downloading the Mimi Music app and trying the hearing test for yourself.