I own a pair of headphones that I have been using for a few years now. They are worn and battered—stained with the paint of past summer jobs—and jagged so that every twist of the head takes with it a sliver of skin. Another quirky pain comes along when the volume peaks out with a clipping buzz, like a busted TV set. It is painful enough that I can rarely use them for longer than an hour.


Or at least I couldn’t until I downloaded SoundFocus: now I can’t take them out.

SoundFocus optimizes equalization levels in music specifically for the listener. It works by tuning the music to each person’s unique hearing pattern and compensating for the sound frequencies they do not hear well. After the initial one-minute test, the user can even create a custom pre-sets and tailor their equalizer as they would like. Of course, this is a fantastic app for the hard of hearing, but it is also great for those looking for a higher-quality sound.

SoundFocus has a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface: The app seamlessly integrates the user’s iTunes library, Spotify account, and supports AirPlay to stream to Apple TV and AirPlay-enabled speakers. Likewise it can be controlled from the Home screen—just like the iTunes player.

Alex Selig and Varun Srinivasan developed SoundFocus to aid the “600 million people in the world [who] have hearing loss.” Their ultimate goal is to “[allow] people with hearing loss listen to music in full fidelity.” While that might seem like a tall order, SoundFocus has covered a lot of ground in that direction. Selig and Srinivasan have alluded to a technology in the works—a device that would operate in conjunction with the app—but, as of now, they are playing that close to the chest. In the meantime, SoundFocus users can look out for maintenance and quality updates and an altogether greater listening experience.

Leave a Reply