Making earphones customized for hearing ability, Even tunes up $2 million

MeQ Inc., the company behind Even earphones, the tunable earbuds that adjust to users’ unique hearing abilities, has raised $2 million as it looks to expand its business.

Financing came from firms like  Firstime Venture Capital, whose managing director, Ilan Shiloah, the former chief executive of the Israeli arm of the advertising firm McCann Erickson and the chairman of McCann Worldwide Group’s operations in Israel, will take a seat on the board. Seed investors First Time Ventures and Metamorphic Ventures also participated.

Other backers include: Gadi Amit, president and owner at NewDealDesignAllen Morgan, a former partner at Mayfield Fund and MD at IdeaLab; Israeli athlete and national soccer team captain, Shimon Gershon; former Big Lots president and chief executive Michael Potter; and David Atchison a former senior vice president of Zulily.

Even’s technology works through a combination of software and hardware. To tune headphones, Even requires its customers to take a two-minute hearing test that determines their ability to hear certain frequencies at different volumes.

The company officially launched on June 28th to a pretty glowing TechCrunch review, and now, after shipping two batches of its product, the company is looking to speed up its growth.

Founded by classically trained composer and sound designer Danny Aronson, and his CTO partner Ofer Raz, MeQ has plenty of competition in the headphone market.

Not only is the company’s product battling the wildly popular Beats and the many, many other headphone and earphone makers out there, but other startups as well.

Indeed, Nura is another headphone maker promising to tune to its listeners’ frequency. It raised nearly $1 million with close to 3,800 backers through a popular Kickstarter campaign.

The difference between the two? Nura has yet to ship.

“We developed with a group of audiologists,” says Aronson. “We give you a 90-second hearing test and then optimize that based on your specific hearing profile.”

The company has done more than 750 clinical tests of the product and swears by its efficacy.

Tests can be re-taken and the headphones can be re-tuned, as well. “The equipment is embedded in the headphones and stored in a flash memory in the headphones,” Aronson said. “You can redo the ear print process as many times as you want. The earphones can change over time with you as the user.”