Sonarworks Launches SoundID Listen to Bring Personalized Sound to Headphones on Mac and PC

April 29 2020, 00:40
After Sonarworks introduced the SoundID concept at CES 2020, the expectations couldn't be any higher. After all, Sonarworks is the company behind the Reference Studio and Reference Headphone software used extensively by musicians, producers and studio engineers to generate a consistent reference monitoring environment. By anticipating the launch of its new SoundID Listen app for Mac and Windows, Sonarworks is reaching out to consumers with a solid technology proposition for personalized sound on headphones. But will consumers recognize the value as professionals do?

"Many companies have touted personalized sound, but either their technology is limited to a single pair of headphones, or it doesn’t take listener preferences into account," Sonarworks states. "SoundID does just that by identifying a sound profile that is unique to you and your musical taste, instead of the commercial sound profile of existing headphones."
Basically, SoundID generates a unique sound profile identified through three layers of personalization based on the headphones users are using, hearing ability and how they like their sound. Listeners will first be able to experience their SoundID through the new SoundID Listen app for Mac or PC, where the desktop application allows to unlock the full potential of headphone music listening, be more engaged with sound effects from movies and TV series, and hear more detail in their gaming environments. SoundID currently supports 360 headphone models so there’s no need to buy any new hardware.

To perfect the SoundID concept, Sonarworks conducted the largest ever consumer sound preference research study, surveying more than 39,000 participants. They discovered that the definition of perfect sound differs considerably among individuals. No more than 17% of listeners preferred the sound of one particular headphone model, leaving more than 80% of users believing headphone sound quality could be improved. To improve sound quality, Sonarworks realized that they had to take a more personal approach. Early research shows that with SoundID personalization, over 80% of blind test participants preferred their personalized sound over the sound of their headphones without SoundID technology. 

"SoundID is more than just an audio preset that an "expert" is telling you is best. It's your individual profile that is as unique as your fingerprint but more advanced in that it uses smart algorithms and machine learning to evolve with you over time. Your SoundID profile is your personal asset that is stored in the cloud and can be used to connect to different SoundID enabled devices much like your Apple ID login. With a three-layer approach to identify your unique SoundID - based on your headphones (calibrating each headphone to deliver sound the way an artist intended in the studio), your unique hearing ability and your listening preferences - it offers an unmatched level of personalization," the company explains.

Beyond SoundID Listen, Sonarwoks still intends to rollout the SoundID mobile app and more technologies throughout 2020, allowing users with mobile devices to benefit from the same personalization features, and directly integrate the SoundID features across streaming, social or music database platforms, and devices.

For now, users can download the free SoundID app from the iOS or Google Play Store to identify their SoundID profile with a simple in-app test. After they download the SoundID Listen app on Mac or Windows, they can easily connect and transfer that SoundID profile, which is stored in the cloud.

"We believe music has the power to create a sense of community, especially during trying, uncertain times," says Martins Popelis, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Sonarworks. "With more people spending their time indoors, working from home and tuning into livestreams and virtual concerts, SoundID Listen is extending its 30-day free trial period to 60 days in support of music lovers everywhere," Sonarworks announced.
related items