Apple and Bose are optimistic about the technology that can save the sound quality of TWS headphones

time:2022-11-27 02:50:44 author:Small parts
Apple and Bose are optimistic about the technology that can save the sound quality of TWS headphones

Since Apple released the first generation of AirPods and led the Bluetooth headset to become a new trend, a large number of Bluetooth headset products have emerged on the market. Major mobile phone manufacturers follow Apple's pace in a timely manner, and even veteran audio companies such as Sony, Bose, and JBL have also launched their own TWS headset products. For a time, Bluetooth headsets developed explosively. In 2018, the shipment of TWS headsets was less than 50 million, and by 2021, it has exceeded 310 million, and the shipment has increased by 6 times in just three years. The speed of popularization development is quite terrifying. . Nowadays, people wearing TWS headphones can be seen everywhere on the subway, bus and even on the road. The emergence of products that support noise reduction has made this phenomenon more common. However, there are still many loyal supporters of wired earphones today, who think that the sound quality of TWS earphones is not good, even the most basic wired earphones can't compare. To be honest, the sound quality of TWS earphones in the past few years was indeed "listening", but the situation is completely different today. With the continuous upgrading of processing chips, lossless sound quality can also be enjoyed on TWS earphones. (Source: Apple official) Not only that, TWS headphones seem to be developing in the direction of "computing audio". Apple's new AirPods Pro 2 supports the adaptive equalization function, which will automatically optimize the sound quality according to the user's ear structure. Recently, Bose's newly launched QuietComfort II also supports a similar sound quality optimization function, allowing TWS headphones to have the "personalized customization" feature to enhance the user's listening experience. This technology, which optimizes audio for each person's ear canal differences, also tests the brand's ability to adjust sound quality and the performance of the headphone processing chip. It can indeed substantially improve the sound quality of headphones, but the requirements for technical thresholds should also be higher. Perhaps, this technology can save the status quo that the sound quality of TWS earphones is not optimistic, and help domestic companies to achieve cornering overtaking, but it is also likely to fully widen the strength gap between different brands, and even make copycat products unable to survive.

The sound quality of TWS earphones has to be saved by tuning

Bose's new QuietComfort II focuses on "thousands of ears, because of You are different", which is equipped with Bose CustomTune intelligent in-ear sound field adjustment technology. According to the official introduction, the technology is automatically activated after you put on the headset and turn it on. The built-in microphone will measure the response to the sound effect according to the structure of your ear canal, and use this to formulate your own hearing effect and noise cancellation experience. . That is to say, the headphones will fine-tune the sound quality and noise reduction according to the differences in the structure of each person's ears, so that everyone can get the most comfortable listening experience. (Source: Bose official) In addition to the customization optimization at the software level, Bose also provides consumers with more flexible matching solutions at the hardware level. QuietComfort II is equipped with a brand-new Fit Kit, including 3 pairs of left and right earbuds and 3 stable rings, with 3*3 combinations, allowing users to freely match the most comfortable set, improving wearing experience and firmness . Through the optimization at the software level and the combination at the hardware level, Bose brings users a personal customized experience, which should be the first time on TWS headset products. It is unclear how much improvement this can bring, but it may be a new direction for the development of TWS headphones in the future. In addition to the above technology, QuietComfort II is also equipped with a customized independent noise cancellation chip, and with Bose's powerful algorithm, there should be a greater improvement in noise reduction capability. The sound quality has always been Bose's strength. Its professional three-band dynamic equalization technology combined with CustomTune technology can also bring the clarity and vividness of the sound to a higher level. Taken together, the QuietComfort II is indeed a very outstanding TWS noise-cancelling headset, which is not much better than Apple's AirPods Pro 2. (Source: Bose official) Xiaolei learned that the personalized spatial audio function on Apple AirPods Pro 2 can use the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone to build the geometry of your head. The built-in H2 chip will perform special calculations according to your ear shape to improve the sound quality and noise reduction of the headset. Its technical principle is similar to Bose's CustomTune, but Apple calculates it based on the outer contour of the ear, while Bose goes deep into the ear canal, which may have a better effect. In addition, Bose has also customized hardware, which is more intimate than Apple, which may be the reason why it is more expensive than AirPods Pro 2. Today, both Apple and Bose's latest TWS earphones have added a personalized sound quality adjustment function, which may lead the future direction of the industry. In the past, audio companies could only improve the sound quality of earphones by adjusting the dynamic unit. Some brands’ adjustment styles may be biased towards bass or vocals, and the products naturally come with this feature after they leave the factory. But for consumers, not everyone likes this style of music tuning, so it will be more tangled when purchasing products. Today, with the advent of computational audio technology, tuning is done to everyone’s preferences, enhancing sound quality and helping you find the style that works best for you. (Source: Apple official) However, at present, the old audio companies may have such adjustment strength, and the internal core algorithms have high technical requirements. How domestic brands deal with this change may be related to the development of future products. If they cannot master similar optimization technologies, it will be very difficult to reach the high-end.

Is computational audio the new trend?

In recent years, in addition to Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, vivo and other brands are also actively developing wearable device product lines, and also launched several TWS earphone products, among which vivo TWS 2 and OPPO Enco X2 have a good reputation good. However, the flagship products of most brands can be sold for up to 999 yuan, which is still unable to cross the threshold of 1,000 yuan. There has always been a saying among headphone enthusiasts, "Headphones below 1,000 yuan are just a sound." That is to say, most domestic TWS earphones are just as loud in the eyes of audiophiles, and it is difficult to be elegant. However, domestic brands are also working hard to improve the sound quality of the headphones. The Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro is equipped with innovative "independent spatial audio" technology, which optimizes the sound quality through the independent computing power of the headset, and cooperates with the customized ultra-dynamic dual magnetic moving coil and LHDC transmission technology, so that the headset has a higher sound quality performance. In addition to joint tuning with Devialet, Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 is also equipped with digital frequency crossover technology to enhance the high and low frequency characteristics, and intelligently calculates and optimizes the compensation listening effect through a triple real-time listening optimization algorithm. Thanks to this, these two products have broken through the threshold of 1,000 yuan, which should already be the first-class level of domestic TWS headphones. (Source: Huawei official) Although the adjustment methods of the two manufacturers are different, they are indeed moving closer to the direction of "computing audio", especially Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2, which can also dynamically monitor the structure of the ear canal and optimize it. Bose's technology is very similar. It can be seen that computing audio has become a trend, but everyone is still in the exploratory stage and has not reached a consensus. However, personalized tuning for the structure of the ear canal may become the focus of research and development by major manufacturers in the future. After all, Apple, Bose, Huawei, etc. are all optimistic about it, which shows that it is still very feasible. After entering the era of intelligence and digitization, it seems that many things are inseparable from algorithms and computing power. You turn on your phone and take a photo, and there is an algorithm behind it to help you optimize it in real time. When you open the app to order takeout or online shopping, the products you see are also presented based on algorithm analysis. Our lives are already surrounded by all kinds of big data and algorithms, which analyze our habits and preferences, and intelligently recommend your favorite products or behaviors to make life smarter. (Source: Bose official) Now, the small earphones will also receive algorithm blessings, and the sound quality improvement of the earphones should also be quite significant. If domestic brands want to take their products to the next level and improve the sound quality of headphones, they should also invest more in algorithms. If we can comprehensively enhance the performance of all aspects of headphones through technological means, we may have the opportunity to surpass established audio manufacturers and become the mainstream of the audio industry in the future.

(Responsible editor:Monitor)

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