Have you ever stood in line next to someone who was playing their music through their earbuds so loudly that you could hear it where you were standing? You could ascribe this behavior to their selfless wish to share their music with the world (at the expense of their hearing health), but more likely it’s because they are trying to hear every detail in the music they’re listening to.
As it happens, there’s a better way to hear the detail, without increasing the volume to potentially harmful levels: Listening Care, one of the adaptive technologies featured in the new line of Yamaha wireless headphones, earphones and earbuds. In developing this technology, Yamaha engineers used their longstanding expertise in sound reproduction for home audio (creating innovative advancements such as YPAO™ Volume) and applied it to the challenge of personal audio.
The Science Behind It
Loudness is subjective. It’s the perception of sound pressure level (SPL) for each frequency, from high to low, which is different for every individual. That’s why someone wearing earbuds might not feel that their music is loud, though bystanders may disagree. At modest listening levels, more SPL is required to hear high and low frequencies. The traditional fix is to turn up the volume, which increases the pressure for all frequencies.
Listening Care provides a more sophisticated solution by using a 4-band parametric equalizer (PEQ) to apply precise settings at each level in order to produce the best tonal balance at every volume. This means that you (and earbud guy) don’t have to crank up the volume to hear the bass drops or the cymbal crashes.
The higher-end YH-E700A and EP-E70A wireless headphones go even further by taking into account the loudness of the music you’re listening to, as well as the background noise. In those models, Listening Care analyzes the average volume of the content every 0.7 milliseconds and makes adjustments slowly over time for a natural effect. It also calculates the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of the content to environmental noise (as measured by the headphone’s built-in external microphone) and subtly adjusts the volume accordingly for an optimized listening experience.
Yamaha Listening Care adapts to you and your environment, allowing you to listen intelligently, whether you’re alone in your home office or standing in line next to earbud guy. (Someone tell him … quick!)
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