beyerdynamic brought a new corporate identity and six new product launches to IFA 2018, along with an interesting take on audio personalisation, called MOSAYC (see main beyerdynamic story here).
“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 the beyerdynamic launch.
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, through the MIY (Make It Yours) smartphone app.
Mimi Defined / MOSAYC gives you a hearing test which takes about six minutes to determine if one ear hears better than the other, and 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.
His attitude impressed us, and we look forward to trying some of the new beyerdynamic headphones which use the Mimi/MOSAYC solution.
(In fact you can try the system on any headphones by downloading the Mimi Music app and trying the hearing test for yourself.)
We should mention that other companies are also bringing corrective algorithms to market in this way, one of which - Audeara - has Australian roots. We have a pair of Audearas currently under test for a review in an upcoming issue of Sound+Image.