The best Beats headphones can’t help you if your ears are unable to hear certain subtle sounds. You can crank up the volume, but that only puts your hearing in peril.
The creators of Aumeo want to change the way you listen to music with an audio device that profiles your hearing – testing it with a smartphone app to find the frequency suited for each level – and offers sound-rich audio that lets you take your thumb off the volume button.
A person’s hearing is as unique as their fingerprints, but electronic audio devices provide more of a “one-size-fits-all” range of volume, according to Aumeo co-founder Paul Lee.
“We all hear differently and are sensitive to different sounds,” Lee said in written statement Tuesday. “With today’s . . . devices, consumers turn up the volume to hear more clearly.”
The result is widespread hearing loss, according to the Center for Disease Control, which estimated 5.2 million children and adolescents (aged 6-19) and 26 million adults (aged 20-69) suffer permanent damage from excessive exposure to noise. The CDC urges volume control on music to reduce risk.
Aumeo, which launched Tuesday on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, claims its device can provide sound clarity without sacrificing hearing or audio quality. In the first five hours, Aumeo raised more than $30,000 en route to well exceeding a goal of $40,000.
The brushed-metal, pocket-sized square gadget connects with any audio device by either cable or a Bluetooth wireless connection and can work with Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, Netflix and other media services, not just your personal audio files.
You can connect it to your smartphone as well as a home audio system. It works with a companion app called AumeoPlayer, which will be available for iOS and Android. The app is like a hearing test. It takes you through a series of tones that you register to tailor the music for your ears.
Lee worked with Prof. Andrew van Hasselt, an otologist (otology is the study of the anatomy and physiology of the ear) and department chair at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who is created as being the lead inventor, according to the Indiegogo site.
A contribution of $99 will give donors an Aumeo audio device and access to the app.