Audiophiles haven’t been truly satisfied with the audio quality of their portable devices. Some, like legendary rocker Neil Young have launched audiophile-focused music players like the Pono. Others, like Audyssey have launched stand-alone apps like the AMP that attempt to compensate for the acoustic differences between headphones (see our Audyssey AMP review here).
Now, there’s a new approach from SoundFocus, a San Francisco-based startup by Alex Selig and Varun Srinivasan that attempts to marry the practicality of an iPhone case with the science of hearing to bring you a personalized and improved audio experience. (SoundFocus already has an app called “SoundFocus” in the iTunes app store
that will offer a tailored audio experience for your music library).
Their idea is called the Amp case
(not to be confused with Audyssey’s AMP app) and it’s a fusion of hardware and software. According to SoundFocus, the Amp case companies the technology behind hearing aids and professional audio production. The Amp case uses an audio test that creates a fingerprint of a users hearing pattern and listening preferences so that all the sound from the phone—music, movies, apps, and even phone calls—are all tailored specifically for that user.
SoundFocus says that the Amp case will personalize the audio by learning a person’s hearing pattern, musical preferences and adapting to his or her changing environment. The Amp case will take these three things—user’s hearing, musical preferences, and their environment—and remaster the audio on the fly both through the Amp case’s speakers and through audio coming from the headphone jack.
The Amp case almost seems like a hybrid of a DAC, Mophie battery case, and external speaker attachment. The case includes speakers as part of the case that include 14×20 mm drivers and a 6 cubic centimeter acoustic back flow that SoundFocus claims delivers “warm, rich bass notes and crisp highs.” The case includes an ARM M4 processor with a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter and a headphone amplifier. SoundFocus says that the Amp case will also increase a smartphone’s battery life by more than 25%.
|The Amp case from SoundFocus uses a hardware and software solution to personalize audio on the iPhone.
As you can see, packing all those items in appears to drastically increase the length of the iPhone and add some heft to the back.
The case, which will be available for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, has an introductory price that’s 50% off for only a few days. You can pre-order an Amp case for $69 before the price doubles.
If you want to learn more about this interesting approach to portable audio, you can checkout the Amp case site at: www.ampaudio.com