Tailoring Audio to Each User’s Hearing – Audiodo Personal Sound

Tuesday 12/6/22 08:24am
Posted By Ana Schafer
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“One size fits all” sounds convenient, but it doesn’t always apply. It’s rarely true in clothing, and it’s not often true in audio, either.

The engineers at Audiodo approach mobile audio with fresh eyes – and ears! They’ve created Audiodo Personal Sound, which tailors mobile audio to your unique hearing characteristics in headphones and hearables powered by the Qualcomm QCC5171 audio platform. It’s an example of improving user experience by locating the technology as close as possible to the user’s senses.

Making mobile audio sound right for you

Everybody hears things — music, voices, nature, crowds, street noise — differently because of subtle differences in our ears. But the world of mobile audio is limited when it comes to adapting sound to each individual’s unique hearing.

For instance, when you use a wireless headset with a mobile device like a smartphone, you have a blunt tool: the volume control or slider. That may help you hear more, but it doesn’t help you hear better.

You can search for and try an equalizer app to boost some ranges over others. That gives you granular control, but it’s still at the mercy of Bluetooth and the wireless connection between your device and your headset.

Then there’s the inescapable fact that your right ear hears differently from your left ear. As powerful as your smartphone or computer may be, it’s still too far from your ears to accommodate your hearing perfectly.

Audiodo moves the hearing technology into the headset

Based in Malmö, Sweden, Audiodo develops software that complements consumer audio products like headphones, True Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices and earbuds. The software, called Personal Sound, adapts to each individual’s unique hearing. It enhances audio headgear that is powered by the QCC5171 and creates optimal hearing conditions for each ear.

Optimized for wireless headphones and hearables, the QCC5171 is a premium-tier, ultra-low power, single-chip audio platform with a programmable digital signal processor (DSP). Audiodo relies on the QCC5171 to run a simple yet advanced hearing test that creates a profile defining Personal Sound audio algorithms. It then uses the profile to program your headgear and process sound in a way that is uniquely suited to your ears.

Qualcomm Technologies is essential to the solution because the Audiodo firmware libraries are integrated to the headgear containing the QCC5171 chipset. Everything Personal Sound needs to process runs on the chip and is controlled by an app on the mobile device. By creating and processing the audio profile in the headgear instead of on the mobile device, Personal Sound eliminates the variable of the Bluetooth connection. It delivers optimal audio for the specific hearing abilities of each individual.

Audiodo’s tips for developing on the QCC5171

Audiodo engineers recommend first exploring the full range of features available; they saved hours — if not days — by digging into the documentation before starting. They find that coding goes smoothly on the Qualcomm QCC517x, which helped them stay on schedule.

Integrating to the platform was a much smoother transition than they are used to navigating. The software architecture and the documentation are easy to use and the efficient platform design of the QCC517x reduces the number of points at which to integrate their software. In fact, they were pleased to discover that they can use virtually the same integration to the Qualcomm QCC514x series as to the QCC517x, saving them even more time.

For the vast majority of users, Audiodo is simply a way of rediscovering music. But by relocating the work from the volume control to the algorithms, it also allows people with mild to moderate hearing loss to enjoy audio for long stretches again.

Audiodo looks forward to adding more intelligence and expanding Personal Sound to new domains, including through its membership in the Qualcomm Advantage Network.

Qualcomm QCC5171, Qualcomm QCC517x, and Qualcomm QCC514x are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.