YEAH, yeah, we know, the iPod is the best thing that happened after the CD but you’ve got to admit one thing – those stock earbuds suck sonically. Which explains why headphone specialists like Sennheiser, AKG and Monster have been selling them by the ship-load in recent years – the first thing the sonically-enlightened soul does after getting one of these Apple mobile devices is to chuck away the supplied ‘phones and get a proper pair.
What if you want to stay with those cans, though, and not want to spend any more moolah? A Swedish company called Dirac Research AB reckons it has a solution by way of an app you can download on your device that will result in sound quality from the stock earphones that is on par with costlier cans.
The Dirac HD Player sound optimisation app for iOS devices, says the company, delivers clearer and more natural sound from those white plastic bits.
“The Dirac HD Player is compatible with the iTunes library – you just listen to your music and create playlists like you are accustomed to doing, while the optimisation runs in the background. There is no need for any technical know-how,” said Dirac CEO Dr Mathias Johansson in a statement.
“Our advanced algorithms make the earphone actually perform better, producing the most clear, natural sound possible from these devices. You cannot achieve this with legacy solutions such as psychoacoustic sound effects or graphic equalisers.
“The Dirac HD Player addresses a real need for music listeners on the world’s most popular portable devices,” Johansson added.
Dirac is an R&D outfit that specialises in high-performance digital sound optimisation, room correction and sound field synthesis. Its clients include BMW, Rolls Royce and Bentley.
The technology behind the app – Dirac HD Sound – improves the acoustic properties of the original earbud-style headphones shipped with the iPhone and iPod touch, giving users the best possible listening experience.
Precise acoustic measurements of the ‘buds at Dirac’s research facilities have allowed a specially-tailored digital sound processor to control and improve the acoustic properties of these listening devices. The Dirac HD Player delivers “extended bass response, smooth accurate midrange and artifact-free high frequencies truly representative of the original recording.”
The app is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and iPod touch (fourth and fifth generations).
There are two versions – the Lite is free, while the fully-loaded one will set you back a princely US$2.99. There are caveats – the app is not fully compatible with iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud, while DRM-protected music is not supported.
Try it and tell us what you think …