Philips brings sound personalisation to its 2021 Android TVs

Mike Wheatley

Philips is looking to differentiate its televisions for people who’re hard of hearing by adding the unique Mimi Sound Personalisation technology to most of its Android TV range this year.


The technology is developed by a company called Mimi Hearing Technologies and works by helping viewers calibrate their TVs’ audio to their specific hearing needs, Philips said. In order to use Mimi Sound Personalisation, viewers must first take a short hearing test using an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, which is used to create a “Hearing ID” profile that can be synced to the TV using a QR code.

The software uses artificial intelligence-based algorithms to assess more than 100 parameters that affect how someone hears audio, including psychoacoustic factors such as the lowest intensity sound they’re able to detect, and their ability to process “masked” sounds when there is lots of background noise.

The software uses the Hearing ID profile to adapt the volume of different sound frequencies that emanate from the TV in order to compensate for each person’s unique hearing capabilities.

The feature sounds like it might appeal to older people especially, as loss of hearing is a common problem associated with aging. But it can be beneficial for anyone in fact, as every person perceives sound differently, Philips said.

Users also have the option to turn the feature off by selecting “Guest Mode” on their TV, which might be a good idea if lots of people are watching the TV at the same time.

Philip’s Mimi Sound Personalisation tech isn’t new. It first appeared on headphones from brands such as Beyerdynamic, Kygo Xellence and Bragi, and has also been a feature of some high-end TVs from the German manufacturer Loewe. Philips first added the technology to some of its TVs sold in China last year in a test run, and is now bringing it to its European customers for the first time.

“We have always considered the user’s overall experience to be an essential part of any Philips TV’s offering and just as important as outright picture and sound quality,” said Martijn Smelt, chief marketing officer of TP Vision. “The inclusion of the Mimi functionality is proof that TV viewing can be further improved and personalised to make it a more immersive and enjoyable experience.”

The company said that Mimi Sound Personalisation will debut on its 2021 Android TV range in Europe, including models such as its 85x6 LCD TVs, its new 9506 Mini-LED TV and its OLED706 and OLED806 models.

Those sets cover both the mid and higher-end segments of Philip’s 2021 TV range and are expected to go on sale in early May.