Luxury TV maker Loewe is claiming another industry first with the addition of what it says is the world’s first “integrated sound personalisation” feature to its current and future model lineup.
Introduced at IFA 2018, the new experience is delivered via Loewe’s Mimi Defined audio technology, developed in conjunction with an advanced hearing aid manufacturer called Mimi Hearing Technologies. The technology is designed to create a more individual listening experience tailored for each person’s unique perception of sound, in order to introduce as much clarity and accuracy as possible.
Loewe says that sound personalisation is necessary because each person’s perception of sound is unique, and that most will see their hearing ability deteriorate as they get older.
As we age, “[sound] seems more blurred, less brilliant, and the diversity and richness of detail are lost,” Loewe says in its pitch.
Most people respond to this simply by picking up the remote and whacking the volume up, but Loewe says this “solution” is far from ideal as it creates lots of noise pollution. Not too mention it might upset the neighbors if they have a tendency to get annoyed about things like that.
And so Loewe’s idea with Mimi Defined is to adapt the TV’s sound to each individual user. The software works by creating a profile for each viewer based on their age. It then uses data from more than a million anonymous hearing tests in order to produce a “personalised audio fit”. It works quite differently to conventional equaliser technology, which is only able to amplify the general sound frequency when hearing is weaker. Mimi Defined goes further by optimising each individual frequency in the audio stream, and adapting these to the user’s hearing sensitivity.
“The algorithms can recognise the functions of an ‘optimal’ human ear and uses the Mimi hearing profile to stress exactly those parts of the audio signal which are weaker,” Loewe officials said.
The Mimi Defined technology was previously available through headphones, but the partnership with Loewe means that it’s now available through conventional speakers and soundbars as well.
One possible shortcoming of the technology that Loewe happily ignores is that the sound can only be personalised for one individual at a time, so we’re not quite sure what’s supposed to happen when a group of friends of different ages are all watching together. Still, the tech could well appeal to individual watchers who like nothing more than to totally absorb themselves in their favourite movies and TV shows.
Loewe said the Mimi Defined software will be made available on all of its future TV models going forward, while older models will be able to access it via a software update.