As far as the needs of modern headphone buyers go, the Australian-made Audeara A-01 ticks all the right boxes. Made to be used on the go, this pair of headphones is wireless and even offers active noise-canceling technology for when you just want to silence roaring jet engines or that annoying, overly talkative seat neighbor. There's an interesting twist, too. The Audeara A-01 recognizes that not everyone hears the same and aims to tailor its sound to your own ears. It creates an audiogram—a graph that shows the audible threshold of one's ears for standardized frequencies—and applies it within the headphones themselves. This feature works with a smartphone app, which contains a detailed hearing test. The idea is that you'll use it to figure out your level of hearing impairment, as everyone's hearing has deteriorated to some extent, to have the app adjust the sound output of the headphones to compensate for what you're missing. For example, if the app establishes that you have trouble distinguishing finer details in the 1 kHz frequency range, the so-called "Audeara Experience" technology will boost it appropriately. This is a simplified explanation of what Audeara tries to do, but surely, you get the gist of it.
The Audeara A-01 comes to market after a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2017. Their set goal of AU$100,000 (around US$71,000) was surpassed by more than four times as they ended up gathering almost AU$470,000 (around US$330,000) from their supporters, of which there are exactly 1,504. It would appear that a lot of people were very fond of the idea of a pair of headphones developed not only by engineers, but also medical experts. The Audeara A-01 has been registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Hearing Services Program in Australia. As we're now starting to venture outside of my realm of expertise, I'm going to quote the manufacturer:
The result of the audiogram display at the product set-up phase is useful for long-term tracking of any hearing loss and also as an educational tool to prevent long-term hearing impairment. The headphones help to protect hearing health and monitor for prevention of hearing loss through the user's hearing profile. If it shows significant impairment they see an alert, which suggests they seek more formal analysis.This essentially means the Audeara A-01 is not only attempting to improve the way you listen to your music as it is also there to help you figure out if your hearing is degrading, and whether you need to seek appropriate medical attention.
All of this comes at a price—the Audeara A-01 costs a hefty US$400/€330. Let's examine if it is justified!
- 40-mm Mylar dynamic drivers (neodymium magnet)
- 32 Ω impedance
- 20 Hz - 22 kHz frequency response (specified by the manufacturer)
- Bluetooth 4.2 (SBC, aptX)
- Active noise canceling
- Up to 65 hours battery life
- Over-ear, closed-back design
- Built-in controls (volume, next/previous/Play/Pause, answer/drop calls)
- Hard-shell carrying case, Micro-USB charging cable, airplane headphone adapter, 3.5-mm audio cable with built-in microphone, 6.5-mm audio adapter
- Weight: 254 g