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In this guide, we'll introduce you to the idea of personalized sound: what it is, how it works, what personal sound headphones do, and why they can utterly change the way you listen to the sounds of music, films, games, and the world around you.
Sound might seem objective, but that's really only the case for machines. In reality, we each perceive sound differently, and that's affected by our physiology, personal experiences, and age. This is the basis of personalized sound: if we can adjust audio to suit individuals, we can tailor a listening experience with greater clarity than most have ever heard.
You can think of personalized sound as a much more rigorous equalizer (EQ). An EQ tuning adjusts the relative volume of the sounds we can perceive—from 20Hz to 20kHz—by focusing on particular frequencies. You might have used a graphic EQ on a stereo to adjust the sound to suit your taste or the environment, bumping up the bass or shaving off some high-end. Personalized sound works similarly but with much greater accuracy and control. We'll go into the specifics of how Denon personalized sound works below, but at a basic level: our products tweak the sound in response to your hearing feedback, producing audio best suited to you.
Our process isn’t based on subjective feedback; it's driven by Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology (AAT). To truly map the sensitivity and unique qualities of your hearing, there's a simple and objective test: when sounds are played into the inner ear, the cochlea responds by producing small sounds in return. This audio phenomenon (called otoacoustic emissions or OAE) is louder across frequencies to which you're more sensitive, and the data produced from these tests then determine how best to shape audio to give you the best experience.
To get this information, we use some self-contained, self-learning technology. Our earbuds contain tiny microphones that perceive the volume of OAE in your ear, identifying how sensitive your hearing is to specific frequencies. Using this data, Masimo AAT adjusts frequencies across the acoustic spectrum so that what you hear is much closer to how the audio is supposed to sound. The audio will be uncolored by the idiosyncrasies of your own ear, giving you the most faithful audio representation possible.
Personalized sound depends on the individual, but here are a few potential applications:
Immersive sound is part of the gaming experience, helping us leave our lounge room and enter the game world. Games are often sonically dense, but personalized sound can give clarity to the music, audio effects, and dialogue so that everything is perfectly balanced and crystal clear.
People often consider live music to be the most incredible musical experience because everything is so clear and present. Personalized sound can give audio recordings the same presence and vitality as live music, giving space and precision to individual instruments.
Health and Wellness
Consider therapeutic soundscapes for sleep or anxiety, with every frequency perfectly tuned so as not to distract. The ideal background music or relaxation soundtrack needs to be comfortable and subtle while still being clear—this is the advantage of personalized sound.
Film and entertainment
Like gaming, film and television are transportive. The sort of realism personalized sound provides is vital in making a good film great, and this is of particular advantage outside of the expensive sound systems of the cinema.
We're just scratching the surface of what personalized sound can be. With continual advancements in this exciting technology, the future of audio is clearer than ever. Here are a few things to look out for in the coming years:
Our personalized audio offers precision and clarity of sound that we expect will only keep improving in the future. We're excited about future technological advancements that will provide an even greater level of individualized audio based on preferences and the hearing profiles of our users.
Integration with smart devices
Personalized sound has so much potential beyond earbuds and headphones. With the broader adoption of smart devices throughout the home and beyond, audio personalization may start filtering into almost every aspect of audio playback.
It’s reasonable to expect that, as Masimo AAT gains wider acceptance, personalized sound will become more accessible and available. This could include advances in affordability that would benefit the general public.
If you’re ready to explore the world of personalized audio, check out Denon PerL and Denon PerL Pro earbuds. Great audio products deepen your connection to music, and we can't wait for you to experience the difference that personalized audio makes.