At Flare we are dedicated to rethinking sound technology ‘from the ground up’, pushing boundaries and continuing to achieve exciting developments in audio innovation.
We have spent the last 10 years working with sound and have previously delivered two highly successful Kickstarter campaigns. We especially love trying to reveal more and more detail in sound. Our extensive research in the development of our loudspeakers, earphones and ear protectors has helped us to understand the human ear and how and what we hear. We’ve developed some exciting patents that we have put to great use with our products in delivering clean directional sound.
But we wanted to go further...
Our ears are wonderful things. Inside them we have some incredible biological kit that helps us to distinguish and identify many different sounds and noises.
As our ears are on the side of our head they are especially great at determining where sounds are coming from. The outside of our ear (the Pinna) has evolved to help us do this by distorting sound based on which direction the sound is coming from.
This means that what we gain in placement of sound we lose in definition and sound quality. High frequencies in-particular lose their sparkle, definition and sibilance when sound emanates from in front of us.
Our ears are very good at receiving quality sound from the sides and from devices like headphones as this sound travels straight into our ears bypassing the Pinna.
However, when we put our ears into venues and different shaped acoustic spaces, suddenly we are hearing sound from in front of us. That plays havoc when trying to hear high definition sound because of the interfering reflections coming from all other angles.
We want to upgrade your ears to let them hear more detail, higher quality sound without just increasing the volume.
We believe that what we’ve created with earHD is a game changer for your ears.
In order to receive higher levels of detail from the front earHD acts like a satellite dish. It uses a precise acoustic lens that focuses sound uniformly into one central location. This focused sound is then accurately reflected straight into our ears, revealing higher definition sound from where you are facing.
"When I’m at the piano It feels like all I hear is music. Total immersion. Which is excellent. Pure, undiluted concentration. Really impressive.”
James Rhodes: Classical Pianist
We want to invite you to join us on an audio exploration. We believe that what we’ve created with earHD is a new exciting tool to open your ears and hear the world in HD.
Rediscover your favourite sounds and hear subtleties and nuances that you have been previously unaware of with your new upgraded ears.
earHD uses a 60 degree reception from left to right to focus sound coming into our ears. Simply put: where we look is where we want to hear in high definition, sound coming from elsewhere is blurred out and reduced.
We’ve gone through over 50 prototypes with painstaking levels of attention to detail to get it right.
We hoped that earHD would improve what we hear slightly, but what we achieved has really astonished us and the independent testers we have used.
The ISVR (Institute of Sound and Vibration Research) at the University of Southampton has conducted completely independent tests on earHD to verify our claims.
earHD surpassed all our expectations. Click here to download the full report.
The Speech Transmission Index Test
- Part 1 - Speech Intelligibility
This measured earHD’s performance at how well it can receive the human voice (speech intelligibility) from one sound source emanating from the front.
As you can see below, the natural human ear is rated in the lower end of the 'fair' category at an average of 0.49 because of the Pinna distortion we mentioned earlier.
Using earHD, we take these results right up to 0.64 when listening to a female voice and 0.62 when listening to a male voice (on average). This is an entire category jump from fair to good.
The Speech Transmission Index Test
- Part 2 - Signal To Noise Ratio
'Signal' is the sound we want to hear and 'Noise' is the sound we don’t want to hear.
In this test 'signal' is sound from the front and 'noise' is sound from the side. A dummy head with microphones for ears was set up in an anechoic chamber (yes it was as creepy as it sounds!) The dummy head was surrounded by speakers.
At 4kHz we saw an average increase of 9dB in signal to noise ratio. That’s massive! But what’s more impressive is that at 8kHz we saw an average increase of 19dB.
8kHz and up is classed as high frequencies i.e where we hear most detail in sound.
The frequency graph below shows the natural human ear with and without earHD.
As you can see the human ear is naturally boosted between 1.5kHz and 6kHz (shown in the pink circle). This is due to the resonance of our ear canals. From 6kHz and above high frequencies in the natural human ear start to roll off - this is particularly noticeable as we get older. Things like listening to the TV, birdsong and speech will be harder to hear as we age.
When earHD is used, the 1.5kHz to 6kHz resonance is drastically reduced (shown in the blue circle) and high frequencies are boosted above 6kHz revealing hidden detail (shown in the orange circle).
As we live with this distortion every day we are not normally aware of it. earHD’s frequency response has been specifically tuned using Flare’s JET technology to remove the ear canal resonation/distortion issue (this can be heard in our reveal videos below). At the same time the precise frequency response we created enables earHD to become directional with high frequency sound, the entire purpose of earHD.
To summarise, we have a powerful combination:
- Improved speech intelligibility
- Increased signal to noise ratio
- Enhanced frequency response
This is incredibly exciting but what’s even more impressive is that all these improvements are coming from a small passive (non-electrical) device.
earHD can be used in lots of different scenarios to upgrade your listening experience.
- As an audience member at concerts, gigs or any live music or spoken word events.
- As a musician - Increasing focus and immersing you in your playing
- Reducing stress - Improving focus and reducing background noise has been shown to improve wellbeing.
- Watching TV
- ASMR - Revealing the most incredible detail in sound
- Listening to nature
- Anywhere else you want to focus your hearing and to reveal more detail in sound
In some scenarios, earHD has a subtle effect but in others it's dramatic.
Sounds in nature:
earHD improves the sound quality we hear in nature. In this video earHD is blocking the distorted high frequencies, reflected sound off the pond wall and surrounding bushes. These distorted reflections damage our ability to focus on the delicate water sound which you can't hear when earHD is removed.
earHD improves the sound quality you hear through loudspeakers and PA systems. It works by blocking higher frequency reflections off walls and focuses your hearing on sound coming directly from the loudspeakers. The improvement in sound quality is dramatic which you can hear for yourself below.
earHD is not a hearing aid – it doesn’t increase the volume in sound that you are looking at. It does increase the detail.
With each pair of earHD we'll also be including a selection of tips as well as a Flare carry case.
Call: +44 (0)1903 761 000 (office hours | 09:00 - 17:00 UK time)
United Kingdom Patent Applications
Registered Community Designs
earHD is a registered United Kingdom Trademark
Risks and challenges
Even though we expect everything to go swimmingly, every now and then something can go wrong.
If they do, we absolutely promise to give you full transparency into the issues and solve them in a way that leaves our backers happy and proud to support our company.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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