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Aumeo - experience music tailored to your ears!

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by sgtbilko, Jun 9, 2015.
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  1. MashaT2281
    Agreed -- Aumeo is not your average equalizer, rather it calibrates sound frequencies to each of your specific ears. I think many people are misinterpreting what this product does, and moreover, why hardware is necessary (which I briefly explained in a prior post).

    I got the differences betweenn an EQ and Aumeo from the get-go based on what I initially read prior to backing Aumeo, but as of last week, I can say that Aumeo is vastly different based on my initial firsthand taste of it! My initial experience with the Aumeo iOS beta app was very positive (you can find the Android version here). The app still needs a lot of polishing and work, but the basic functionality is there. It was easy to tune each of my ears separately according to various frequencies by simply listening to each frequency's audible tone and dialing it to the lowest volume that I could hear each. Then the app calibrated both ears, and voila! (It reminded me of a hearing test I underwent as a volunteer subject when my sister was studying Speech Pathology at NYU and had to conduct hearing exams on multi-million dollar equipment for an audiology class she was taking -- which isn't surprising since the company has been working closely with Audiologists.) You don't have to have a hearing deficit to benefit from Aumeo. I'm a 34 year old young woman with very good hearing, and yet, the app helped me hear tones and nuances that I couldn't detect when I shut the Aumeo tech (you can turn it on/off within the app). I'm pretty adept with using equalizers, and this was a far better experience that produced more tonal clarity, richer sounds, etc. no matter what kind of music genres or spoken audio I played (and mind you, that's with a beta app and without the Aumeo hardware!). I imagine that the app will get better, and paired with the Aumeo hardware, it'll produce killer results. (Note: Beta access is only open to backers of the Aumeo campaign on Indiegogo.)
    By the way, the CEO recommended that users calibrate their hearing profiles using Aumeo own earbuds, even if you own the best cans in the world. As per my explanation about phones' varying hardware/OS's, every pair of headphones will produce differing results. He said that since they designed Aumeo taking into account the specific specs of their own earbuds since it's impossible for them to accurately account for the millions of headphones and IEM's out there. Thus, you'll get the most accurate tuning if you create your hearing profile with their own pair. Once you've created your tuned Aumeo profile, you can then use that profile with your own headphones. That said, he made it perfectly undrstood that you can absolutely use your own headphones to tune your hearing profile, and it'll work great for most people -- but audiophiles with keen, discerning ears will notice more accurate results by initially tuning with the Aumeo earbuds. If you check out the Indiegogo comments on the campaign page, the CEO explains more details including why their own earbuds tune more accurately than cans that are far better.
  2. MashaT2281
    I'm curious -- did you ever speak to your audiologist friends about Aumeo? My sister studied speech pathology at NYU several years ago, and as part of her coursework, she had to take an audiology course. Towards the end of the semester, as part of her final, she needed volunteers who would be willing to allow her to conduct hearing exams with high-tech multi-million dollar equipment. As a brave soul, I volunteered my ears to the cause of my sister's education! When I tried the Aumeo iOS beta app last week, it reminded me of one of the hearing tests my sister did on me. Aside from that, I know the company has been working with audiologists to develop the technology. I'm not an audiologist, of course, but I definitely believe that the company's claims are reasonable. The beta app produced very promising results, even with 34 year old ears that are working well for my age, and I am certain that the results will be far better with the Aumeo hardware. Nevertheless, I am pretty curious to hear an expert, independent point of view. :)
  3. arnyk
    Haven't had a chance to speak with them FTF. Unknown to me they were out of town the last time we would have logically met.
  4. snafu1
    I agree with you 100%.
    I am one of the backers and am anxiously waiting for them to start shipping the hardware (currently looks like early Jan 2016), I was impressed with the capabilities of the app, which is supposed to be a poor imitation of what the hardware will do. Turns out they will not be shipping them with the "reference" earbuds. But they have designed it to use the ubiquitous Apple earbuds. They're cheap and easy to get. Granted they suck, but I guess they're good enough to pump out the single test tones. 
    One thing they mention is that while there are only 6 tones for the test, they kind of extrapolate from these to adjust a larger set of frequencies.
    Also there is some level of amplification on the device but I haven't seen any specifications on that.
  5. snafu1
    Since I finally received my Aumeo from the IndieGoGo project I thought I would post my first impressions here. I am using the Aumeo with an iBasso DX80 and HiFiman-HE400S headphones.
    The hardware is first rate. The retail packaging that mine arrived in was very elegant. To be honest, I didn’t expect this high level of packaging from a IndieGoGo project. The Aumeo device itself is very well made and is all aluminum. No plastic. It’s roughly 2” square and a little less than ½” thick. It has a volume knob, Bluetooth/wired switch, 3.5mm stereo in and out ports and a micro USB port for charging. In addition the volume knob is used by pushing it in to turn the Aumeo sound profile on or off. 
    Once you have your phone paired with it via Bluetooth you are ready to start the AumeoHub app on your phone or tablet. On the app you select Create Profile and with your earphones plugged into the Aumeo (they suggest you use Apple earbuds for the tests) the testing process starts. You will hear 8 tones generated during the test (125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 12500Hz) during which you adjust the volume in the app until you can just barely hear the test tone. You do this first for the left and then for the right ear. Once you complete the test you can then transfer it to the Aumeo via Bluetooth. While the Aumeo can hold only 1 profile, you can generate many on in the app. They can be uploaded to the Aumeo whenever you want. It’s also nice that the profiles are saved and synced in your Aumeo account, so if you ever use another phone, you don’t have to do the tests again.
    I can say that after doing a lot of experimenting, the resulting sound quality using the Aumeo is better. Of course this can vary greatly depending on your own hearing deficiencies – if any. I can notice an improvement in the upper-mids. I can hear a bit more detail. As an example when listening to jazz, I can hear more detail with the trumpets, symbols, and the wire brush.
    Now, let me state that it took me a while to get to the final sound profile. Firstly I had issues with the 12500Hz test. OK, so I’m approaching 60 years old. I expect that I will have trouble with higher frequencies. When doing the 12500Hz test, I don’t hear the test tone until the volume is at about 70%. When I use that setting, the resulting sound profile is terrible. The highs are very exaggerated and sibilant. After experimenting I learned that when doing the 12500Hz test, I have to turn the volume setting at around 10% or off completely. Now for bass, I had to do the opposite. I was setting the lower frequencies to where I could barely hear the tone, but the resulting profile was definitely losing some bass. So, I redid the test and added about 10% to what I normally would have set for the 125 and 250Hz test. Bingo – that did it. Finally with those two adjustments during the test, I had a noticeable sound improvement when the Aumeo was enaged. Since everyone’s hearing can be different, the type of improvement you hear will likely be different.
    Like many recipients for the first Aumeos shipped, I am experiencing a lot of firmware issues. I have had the Aumeo just suddenly die on me 3 times. Aumeo Audio has admitted that the initial firmware wasn’t able to handle a device that had a depleted battery. I have installed the newer firmware that is supposed to resolve this. But, mine has still died even when the battery was at 80%. So, there’s something else amiss here. I have corresponded with the Aumeo group and they have convinced me that they are committed to resolving all of these issues as soon as possible. Luckily the firmware is easily installed via the phone app.
    So, bottom line, I still recommend an Aumeo. Unless you have perfect hearing it is likely to make an improvement for you too. But, I would wait a bit for Aumeo to get the bugs sorted out. As a backer I paid $99. I’m not sure what the retail price is going to be.
  6. dlorde
    I've just received my Aumeo, and I agree with your comment about the sound profile using the recommended test tone levels - it does sound over-sibilant and needs adjusting for best results - I'm wondering if this is due to my audio perception becoming accustomed to slowly declining high-frequency hearing loss over the years and compensating so that a corrected input sounds way too bright.
    Having also just bought the HTC 10 mobile for its headphone sound, I notice that they use the same kind of response customization to make profiles for left and right ears, except they only use five tone frequencies whereas Aumeo uses eight. In both cases, when adjusted to taste, the difference is worth having. It's easy enough to test the difference between the HTC compensation and the Aumeo, by connecting Aumeo to the phone via bluetooth, so the headphones can be plugged either into the Aumeo or directly into the phone. As might be expected, the Aumeo does sound slightly better.
    Would I have bought the Aumeo if I'd already had the HTC 10 whe aumeo was announced? Probably not, if I'd been able to compare them - for portable listening, the slight improvement in sound quality doesn't quite overcome the extra hassle of pairing and carrying around an extra device, small though it is. Also, to switch between different sound profiles, you have to run the app, select the profile, and download it to the Aumeo, which isn't as easy as just selecting a profile from the HTC Boomsound settings.
    I've yet to try it as an enhancement to headphones via my hifi system - I suspect it's more likely to find its place there rather than used as a portable device for a phone that already has (admittedly less sophisticated) customization...
  7. Shonen84
    I was just going to mention the HTC 10 after I saw the Aumeo video, the implementation looks very similar. I've just backed Nura, which seems to have a similar concept but a different, in-headphone integrated approach. I wonder how that will turn out next year!
  8. lawlbear
    That is awesome.
  9. oryan_dunn
    So far, I'm quite disappointed with my Aumeo for a couple reasons, both of which are likely hardware and not fixable.  They've said they're working on a fix, but my gut says it'll never come.
    1. Bluetooth range is horrible.  Line-of-sight, it's a couple feet. Non-line-of-sight, a few inches.  I can't have my phone in my left pocket with the Aumeo in the right, constant breakups.
    2. Battery drain, even when off.  With the unit off, it'll be dead in a day or two.  Even when off, you can see there is an LED that's always powered inside (you have to look in through the charge port).  Also, the 6 LEDs on the front blink/breath once every minute or so.  I have a feeling this contributes to the poor battery life.
    If feels like it's pretty well built, in an aluminum or metal shell, and that's likely the cause of the poor Bluetooth reception.  They may not have any plastic/rubber antenna lines.
    I've e-mailed their support, and there have been a couple firmware updates, but they've not addressed the two huge issues above.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it.  Maybe I'll sell it.  If you can look past the battery issue, and you use it cabled, it's probably fine.  I have an HTC 10 with built in compensation, so I really don't need the Aumeo.  I signed up to the Aumeo IndieGoGo before they announced the 10, otherwise I'd have held off.
    Aurion likes this.
  10. Ultrainferno
  11. Sound Eq
    what if i like to add more bass, and do i have to use a certain music player, or can i use players like neutron
    and how is that different what for example napster app has to offer for calibrating signals
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  12. Sound Eq
    anyone has more to report on this
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