Sonarworks Creates Headphone Correction App for Mobile Devices

You wake up and turn on your desktop speakers, then go for a run with earbuds, then listen to music on your drive to work. Terrific. But your music sounds different on each of the three playback systems, and none of them are particularly tuned to your liking. Sonarworks wants to fix that.

We have previously reported on Sonarworks and their headphone correction software. Briefly, they measure and evaluate headphones then create correction EQ curves that bring the response closer to a reference quality. When you listen to a headphone, you pick the curve from the archive and the music is corrected as it plays. Moreover, you can use their software to adjust the sound to your personal taste.

Specifically, the customer buys the True-Fi software, available for both PC and Mac computers. There are now nearly 300 headphones in the archive, with more coming. There is no extra charge as the archive expands.

Now, as they say, there's an app for that so you can enjoy True-Fi on your mobile device. Sonarworks has released an app for Android and iOS, which can applied to all the same headphones in the archive. As with the computer version, the app processes the file in real time as it is played, using the device's native processing power; no other hardware is needed.

The app will be priced at $3.99/month, or a lifetime license can be purchased for $99. Existing customers who already own the desktop version will be provided a free upgrade option to a lifetime license for the mobile app.

And there's more: Sonarworks now plans to expand their software into vehicles. The company will measure and evaluate vehicle sound systems and generate correction curves. When you listen to a vehicle's sound system, you simply choose that vehicle from the archive, your phone processes the file accordingly, and you Bluetooth the corrected file to your car's sound system.

A few technical details: The True-Fi mobile app supports a range of file formats including MP3, WAV, AIFF, ALAC (for iOS) and MP3, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, and ACC (for Android); these encompass iTunes and Android content libraries. The highest supported sampling frequency depends on the processing power of the host hardware; iOS users can expect 96 kHz and higher, and Android can expect sampling frequencies up to 48 kHz. FLAC files, as well as higher sampling rates, will be supported in the future.

Customization and personalization of audio files is a new and growing market. It will be interesting to see how Sonarworks develops its technology to respond to this market's needs.