European audio software developer Sonarworks, based in Riga, Latvia have an exciting software platform they call True-Fi. True-Fi aims to address the issue of delivering original studio sound to all music listeners.
Most people are unaware that all headphones, especially on the lower end, alter the sound of the music when compared to how it’s heard in the recording studio. Another factor is as we age our hearing changes too. This means we all miss hearing and enjoying our favourite tracks as the artist recorded them. Sonarworks True-Fi aims to change that with an app which transforms your sound into the original sound and its tailored to your age!
Sonarworks True-Fi launched in early 2018 and the app currently supports 287 headphone models, including popular models from AKG, Beyerdynamic, Focal, Sennheiser and others.
Available on OS and Android desktops Sonarworks True-Fi are currently offering early access and a free 10-day trial.
Full price €79.
The mobile app versions arrive early 2019.
So that’s the sell, but does it work?
In a quest to listen carefully to music I’m sent in the highest quality and format I’ve investigated software like VOX which offered HD quality sound; however, I’ve found the improvement noticeable but only marginally.
However, a sound tailored to my exact headphones and for my ears already sounded uniquely appealing. And what’s to lose with a free trial!
My regularly, and much loved AKG Y50BT wasn’t on their compatibility list, but my Grado SR80e were. Note, they offer a customisation service for headphones not listed.
Download and set up of Sonarworks True-Fi is easy and two minutes later I’m selecting tracks to compare with, while repeatedly clicking the enable button on and off for comparisons.
Of course, the selection had to be soulful and from Scandinavia; Fatima, Little Dragon, Christoffer Hiding, Janita and Marie Dahlstrom make an ideal start.
This time the difference was dramatic.
Overall I found the sound became immediately balanced and tonal even. The peaks were less sharp and the lows less punchy but cleaner. A graph on the desktop app shows the DB and Hz corrections Sonarworks Tru-Fi has made as it takes the waves and converts them into an almost even horizontal line.
The app also allows you to make personal adjustments to the bass levels, and toggle the age adjustment on and off. I enjoy a deeper bass, so I was pleased this option was available. Grado SR80e don’t have a heavy bass drive, so a little extra punch always satisfies.
My Grado SR80e already deliver an all-around spatially engrossing experience, yet Sonarworks True-Fi managed to add a fresh dimension to my listening pleasure. A low-level hiss on the album Season of Life by Janita, for example, is now removed breathing new life in this past gem. The majestic vocals of Fatima, Christoffer Hiding and Marie now sits among, and not in front of the instrumentation.
A standard EQ, with a flat setting, wouldn’t achieve the same result. This is more complete, real and enjoyable.
That’s not enough time for me to listen back through the complete Scandi soul catalogue, so I know what I’m asking Santa for!
This is NOT a paid for review. I found Sonarworks True-Fi on my travels in the musicsphere, with a little help from Google.