Deciding which headphones to buy can be as simple as picking what looks fashionable and stylish or it could be that you’re an audiophile and you do some research into finding what works best for the music genre that you mostly listen to on a daily basis, but what if there was a pair of headphone that is not only ready for any music genre you listen to but can also be tuned specifically for your hearing without the need for a professional fitting of some sort?
Audeara A-01 headphone will be the second of its kind out of Australia by auditory professionals with a successful Kickstarter journey like Nura which also conducts some tuning process for your left and right ears in order to determine what is perfect for you. No two ears are the same and as we get older, whether we’ve been standing next to loudspeakers at concerts or not, our earing can decline but can be sometimes hard to notice until tested.
Audeara says the A-01 has been designed by both doctors and engineers to ensure it’s tuned correctly and to produce the best sound possible. Audeara headphones can be used to test and retest hearing over a lifetime and adapt music to your needs. In order to enjoy music, it’s not about making it louder, it’s about making it sound better and enjoyable as the producers and sound engineers intended. The first time you wear and power on the headphones, you complete a hearing test – the results of which, are subsequently stored in the headphones themselves.
The headphones use this hearing profile to adjust the sound signal as it passes through them. They adjust the right ear differently from the left, making sure each part of the signal reaches your brain in a way that’s heard as a perfect reflection of the intended signal.
After the first test, the app isn’t required again unless want to retest your hearing; since Audeara pointed out that our hearing can degrade over time, what I would have loved here is a prompt every 6 months as an example telling the user to test again just to ensure it’s always perfectly tuned.
While it’s easy to market something like this as something good for your ears, what makes me want to try it even more is Audeara’s strong foundation in the medical field and having tried the Nura headphones – which I swear by – I wanted to see what else or who else was out there doing the same thing and priced around the same price bracket, I was intrigued.
Audeara A-01 Design:
Each ear cup
The Audeara A-01 in all-black stealthy design with matte finish is the type of look I tend to go for so I have no complaints there at all. The ear cups carry the Audeara logo on them, and although one could argue that it doesn’t look or feel premium when compared to the Bose QC35 for example or even the Nuraphone headphones, what I know is that it’s very robust and can be thrown in the bag easily without its travel case without worry about damaging it.
Each ear cup is clearly marked on the inside so you never get the fitting wrong and on each side, you’ll also notice the buttons available; the right side has the ANC switch with a LED light to let you know when it’s on or off and a micro USB port for charging it up. On the left are your volume up/down buttons with a function button in the middle, power button with a LED light to show when it’s on/off and when in pairing mode. Below the power button, you’ll see the 3.5mm headphone jack if you prefer to be tethered to your music source. I generally find the buttons easy to find and differentiate when in use or on the head, but they are quite tiny.
Audeara A-01 Performance:
When it comes to performance on headphones like the
When ANC is disabled, the A-01’s battery lasts ridiculously forever, well up to 65 hours and up to 35 hours when using ANC, and if you’re like me, I charge my gadgets every night, it means you will never have to worry about running out of juice. It’s also perfect for long haul flights even if you were to be flying to Australia from London.
On to the A-01’s sound quality, I feel like Audeara struggled to strike a good balance between protecting your ears with the initial tests you have to perform, and sound quality. Having said that, it doesn’t result in bad sound quality, it just means that when compared to the likes of the Nura headphones or even the QC35, it falls short. When ANC is on, the sound is isolated very well but I also noticed it’s not always needed. ANC can sometimes affect the vocals in songs, but this can be adjusted using the equaliser settings.
With a tailored listening feature, you can thoroughly set the A-01 to suit your hearing; you can even set how much of the effect you want so you can ease yourself into the experience and how it works. Unlike some other £300 bracket headphones, I feel the A-01 could be better with how sound is perceived across various music genres (Soundstage and Imaging). When listening to bass-heavy songs, it was hard to place which instrument is what and also vocals were affected.
Who is it for?
After using the Audeara A-01 for months now, I found myself switching between them and my Samsung in-ear headphones and my Bose QC35. What that’s saying is if you’re really concerned about your hearing, then the A-01 is definitely for you, but if you want something that also gets the sound right whilst looking after your eardrums, then you should also consider the Nura headphones. The thorough initial test you have to do suggest it does really care for your hearing and not only that, sound is tailored to how you’re supposed to hear the music or sound you play, if that’s accurate, that’s not something I can say unless I use it over time and test my hearing again to see if it’s worse or better. The A-01 handles sound very well, but not across all genres, perhaps the next version will cater for sound too.