Free Audio App Improves the Sound of Your Apple Earphones...Sometimes

Free Audio App Improves the Sound of Your Apple Earphones...Sometimes

Vahan Baladouni
Dec 10, 2012

Are you thinking about upgrading your Apple Earphones, a notoriously so-so audio performer? Before upgrading the hardware, maybe you should consider downloading an app which claims to improve the sound of Apple Earphones or EarPods. Swedish firm, Dirac, has worked with signal prosessing for a variety of environments like cars, home hi-fi systems, and now Apple earphones. Can this free app truly enhance your listening experience?

The Dirac App is a music player which allows you access to your iPhone/iPod music library while also running the sound through signal processing. This processing is a result of Dirac's research into the sound of the Apple brand earphones and EarPods. By carefully analyzing the Apple models, Dirac has developed software that claims to improve the sound of Apple Earphones/EarPods with a simple on/off effects toggle, the processing working its magic in the background.

Listening: Luckily, Dirac offers a free lite version of the player which only omits playlists, shuffle, and repeat functions. After downloading I opened the Dirac player and used my Apple EarPods with my iPhone 5 for a test.

Upon my initial listening I was convinced that the sound had improved, and in some ways it certainly had. Pop music like Beastie Boys, Beach House, and Stereolab sounded much fuller with more midrange clarity. In fact, most pop music sounded hollow without the processor with the Apple Earpods.

The Dirac App works with Apple Earphones and EarPods

Listening to Orchestral music and music recorded in live performance halls did not fair as well with the Dirac processor on. Spatial information like reverb, width, and depth seemed to be lessened. Violins lost some of the the spatial information from the performance hall reflections. Some orchestral performances sounded better while those with a larger amount of ambient detail suffered.

So, before you go spend any more money, it seems worth a (free) download to see whether Dirac HD Player Lite improves your Apple Earphones/EarPods performance enough to warrant the full $2.99 version, noting its appeal may depend upon which variety of music you use it with.

Besides buying new headphones, has any other app improved your music listening experience?

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