THE ESSENCE OF SOUND: An interview with an audiophile

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From the archives:

Audiophiles are a fastidious bunch.  They’re audio perfectionists who are constantly on the prowl for the latest gear to appease their ears.  What sounds “fine” to one person, sounds like fingernails down chalkboards to an audiophile. But there are few audiophiles who could claim they have a way to enjoy high quality audio when they’re in a noisy city.  Can the all new Nokia Essence, a in-ear Bluetooth headset designed for audiophiles, live up to their steep expectations?  “YES!” says Essence Product Manager, Karolina Järvensivu, a self-proclaimed audiophile, in my recent chat for Nokia Conversations.

Another Bluetooth headset?  What’s so special about the Essense?

It has never-been-done-before 99.8% peak total noise cancelation, more than in any other wireless headset out there. But it’s not just the performance; it’s how we did it that makes the Essence special.

Because Nokia is all about being on the move, we took pains to understand how to make music sound better in noisy places. It turns out that the biggest problem with listening to music in noisy places is the low frequency rumble from cars, trains, buses – regular in-ear headphones isolate midrange and high frequency noise, but bass frequencies pass through and destroy the experience. You end up turning the volume up in order to hear enough bass, and the sound is then often piercing and painful in the midrange, and muddled and overpowering in the bass range. Pretty far from an audiophile experience.

So what we did was use the in-ear headphone design to eliminate noise in the mid and high frequency range, and then focused all the active noise cancellation power to the low frequency range. So when you’re on the bus or in traffic, you can hear that crisp, clear, strong bass, rather than having to crank up the volume.  You don’t have to t turn the volume up, you just turn the world down.

That’s awesome.  Tell me more awesome things.

One very cool side effect that audiophiles would value is that we use ...

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