A clever new product from British audio inventor Flare Audio, enables people to upgrade their current music set up and all listening experiences, by wearing a small, non-electric in ear device.
Launched June 25th, Calmer® enables wearers to naturally ‘upgrade’ their ears. Moulded from soft-touch flexible silicone, Calmer features a unique technology that minimises distortion in the ear, greatly improving the audio quality we hear in any situation. Calmer can be worn under headphones, for home HiFi listening, in the car, or at concerts; promising to deliver a clearer sound and increased detail.
“Calmer can upgrade a standard pair of headphones into an audiophile experience, and take a high end set to another level entirely,” explains Flare CEO, Davies Roberts. “It enables you to upgrade your current audio set up without spending a fortune to replace it.”
Flare has long identified that audio distortion has a detrimental effect on sound, reducing clarity and detail in the music we hear. Having managed to dramatically minimise distortion in its award -winning range of earphones, Flare turned its attention to the human ear itself.
Our ears have evolved to alert us to danger by adding over 20dB of mid-range resonance, which destroys our ability to hear high definition sound or relax in our modern noisy world. This is known as HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function). While experts say this response was a vital part of our evolution to alert us to the slightest sound or threat, it is an overactive mechanism in today’s modern world where we no longer need to be alert to the snap of a twig, and this added resonance is loading us with unnecessary auditory stress.
Cue Flare’s mission to reduce this resonance and ‘upgrade’ our ears. Calmer is a one size fits all design and does not affect the characteristics (or colouration) of music, it simply diminishes distortion (unwanted noise) from our ears that would otherwise be compromising the sound.
What’s also exciting is that Calmer has been found to reduce stress, by reducing these distortions that would usually trigger the human ‘fight or flight’ response. When wearing them, every day sounds that would normally be uncomfortable or trigger an alert response, such as tube announcements, traffic sirens or phones ringing, suddenly seem less shrill, enabling wearers to feel calmer.
With the World Health Organisation publishing in (2018) that unpleasant city noise contributes to raised stress levels, a multitude of health issues and even increased risk of premature death, this is a pretty incredible bonus feature which could prove hugely beneficial for the nation’s health, as well as our musical enjoyment. Click here for more information on the health benefits of Calmer.
How Calmer Works
Calmer simply changes the way sound is delivered into our ears. It targets resonance by using a tiny waveguide that removes the effect of the Concha (the small shell shape that connects to our ear canal which normally resonates mid and high frequency sounds). Calmer receives sound and guides it accurately into our ears, without losing energy. By reducing this resonance, mid frequency sounds have none of their normal painful aspects.
This graph demonstrates how Calmer is effecting the distortion in our ears. The blue line shows Calmer’s frequency response which reduces the resonant frequencies in our ears (unwanted noise) between the frequencies of 2–8 kHz. This is compared to the black line that represents the human ear, where you can see the large natural boosts which are generated entirely by resonance from the ear (resonance is distortion).
The graph shows the frequency response at 90 degrees, as if the listener was wearing headphones.
The dotted line shows peaks of distorted energy and the blue line shows how Calmer reduces those harsh frequencies. By reducing these harsh boosted frequencies, you will hear more detail in your headphones.
Independent testing by the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton, confirm Flare’s findings. “We conducted a range of tests on Calmer and found it to significantly reduce sound levels at middle to high frequencies (2 kHz – 8 kHz). This successfully meets Flare’s design objective,” says Gergely Orosz of the ISVR.
Flare Audio’s ethos is focussed around audio innovation. Its products include award winning earphones and high-end speakers, as well sleeping aids and its patented aluminium and titanium ear protectors.
Calmer: RRP: £19.99 / US $24.99 / Euro €22.99
Available globally from Flare Audio’s website.