Audyssey has gone mobile with its AMP technology, the same process used to calibrate home theater systems to deliver excellent, high-quality audio. But rather than calibrating the headphones yourself, the way owners of these major theater systems do, Audyssey has done it for you in the form of an app.
Songza, the music streaming service that brings personalized playlists directly to you, is the first streaming service to integrate the technology.
Audyssey Media Player app (which, to be fair, is $.99) begins by asking for your headphone make and model — the top 200 selling models are in the database, which comprises about 90 percent of the market. Once you specify your cans (or buds), the app pulls in your iTunes library and offers an HQ toggle.
Flip the switch, and you immediately notice the difference. I’m not talking about an extra boost of bass, like HTC’s done with “Beats Audio Integration.” The technology working in the background actually mixes the music based on studio recording levels, and adjusts what you’re hearing based on the specific headphones you’re using.
I’ve tested it out on various over-ear and in-ear headphones and on some the bass is given a slight boost while others clarify the higher notes. Each makes a different adjustment, and the proof is in the pudding when you simply flip that switch.
Now, to be fair, if you use more than one set of headphones regularly it will become kind of annoying switching back and forth. If not, this is an easy upgrade to your headphones and mobile music experience in general.
Songza (which is totally free) is the first service to integrate with Audyssey’s technology.
The app delivers playlists built by music experts (DJs, Rolling Stone writers, etc.) based on the activities you might be doing. Songza’s Concierge feature uses info about your device, time of day, day of the week, and preferences to make an educated guess about what you may be in the mood for, or lets you browse by genre, activity, mood, etc.
You’d think that this process of upgrading to Audyssey’s HQ technology would create a larger file to stream, requiring more bandwidth, etc., but Songza has actually worked directly with Audyssey to make sure that the file is the same size as before, ensuring that you don’t go over your data limits.
The update is available now in the App Store for free to iOS users.