A great pair of headphones come with many features to give users the best sound experience ever. But what if they could supply you with a unique sound experience perfectly tailored to your exact hearing capabilities? That’s precisely what Audeara’s A-01 headphones aim to do.
The brand is the brainchild of two Australian doctors Dr. James Fielding and Dr. Chris Jeffery who wanted make medical-grade audiograms more accessible to those suffering from hearing loss. They started Audeara in 2014 and launched a Kickstarter campaign last year raising $100,000, which led to them creating the A-01 headphones. The company was kind enough to send over a pair for me to experience and try out on the streets of NYC.
Straight out the box, the sound quality isn’t excellent, and that is on purpose and easily fixed. The headphones main function is activated through its companion app. Once booted up and paired, you will be allowed to create profiles tailored to your hearing. The app has three hearing exams: a Standard test that only takes 3 minutes, High Detail that takes 5 minutes and Ultimate Precision that takes 10 minutes.
If you want to get the full experience out of the headphones, I highly suggest you take the time to complete the Ultimate Precision test. Utilizing a series of tones set at different frequencies the exam will determine your hearing threshold for each ear. The more extended test will produce more accurate results and once completed the app will then upload the results to headphones via Bluetooth. The app will give you the option of applying your profile in different percentages ranging from 0% -100%.
No experience is the same, and the hearing your songs after completing the test with the sound profile applied is impressive. If you are one of those people who like their headphones to be extremely loud, then the A-01’s are not for you. These headphones were designed to preserve your hearing while giving you a premium listening experience at the same time.
You won’t be blown away by the headphones plain matte black look, at first, the A-01’s look like any generic pair of headphones if it wasn’t for the logo on the side. But that aside, the Audeara A-01’s are very lightweight and sturdy and fit very comfortably. There are large L and R’s emblazoned on the inside of the cups rather than the usual small markings on headphones to let you differentiate left from right which is vital when taking your hearing test on the app.
The buttons on the A-01’s are painfully small leading to you possibly pressing the wrong the one when trying to activate the headphones features or adjust the volume. Switching on ANC (automatic noise control) can be a hassle but fortunately, the sound quality is so good you will rarely need to switch on the feature at all. I would like to see them possibly adding the ability to control the noise control feature through the app to alleviate that issue.
Audeara boasts the A-01’s will give users up to 65 hours of listening time in flight mode with the line in with ANC activated. 35 hours in regular mode with ANC on and the Audeara effect and 45 hours in Eco Mode with Bluetooth and Audeara effect activated.
Sadly in my experience that wasn’t the case, I got a decent 20 hours with the ANC not activated cause again it’s really not necessary saving you some battery life.
For what it’s worth Audeara literally delivered prescription headphones for the most part. The A-01’s could work wonders for someone who has hearing issues to experience music like they never could before with other headphones. This is just a first step for the company and it made some impressive strides with its first model. I would like to see more capabilities with the app as mentioned above like being able to control the automatic noise control feature instead of using the button and auto power off function like Samsung’s AKG headphones would help battery life.
Initially, $380 now listed at $249 the Audera A-01’s are very solid and worth a try if you’re looking for a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones outside of Beats By Dre, Sony and Bose. If you’re not impressed with the product, the company does offer a 60-day guarantee which is a great cushion.
Audeara is definitely onto something here with A-01’s, and I am definitely intrigued to see what the company comes up with in the future with its next model.
Photos: MoNae Mayweather/ iOne Digital/ Bernard Smalls/ Hip-Hop Wired