I thought headphones apps were pointless – until this one blew me away
I thought headphones apps were pointless – until this one blew me away

I thought headphones apps were pointless – until this one blew me away

I thought headphones apps were pointless – until this one blew me away

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The Denon PerL Pro earbuds.

You won’t find a better pair of earbuds on the market, without having to remortgage your home.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

When it comes to Android, one of the first pieces of security advice I give to people is to only install apps that are absolutely necessary. Follow that advice and the likelihood of you winding up with ransomware or other malicious software on your phone drops dramatically.

For a decade, I’ve hung my hat on that advice — and it has served me well. 

Also: The best headphones

However, I recently reviewed the Denon PerL Pro earbuds, which completely blew me away. One of my review criteria is that sound equipment should be experienced as the manufacturer intended. Sure, I can adjust EQ to my liking, but that’s not a true representation of how the hardware sounds — it’s artificial.

Yet after the review, I was curious if the headphones had more to offer. On top of that, I wanted to see if there was a firmware update — something that can only be done on such devices by way of an app. And so, I installed the Denon Headphones app from the Google Play Store, created an account, inserted the earbuds into my ears, and let the software do its thing.

I was, as you might expect, skeptical. But Denon rolled its eyes and said, “Ready for some magic?”

The first thing the app did was to test the seal of the headphones. 

Also: The best noise-canceling earbuds: Bose, Sony, and more compared

The next part, which is where my skepticism really hit its stride, was that the app tested the headphones against my hearing to create a personalized profile to improve the sound.

The Denon Headphons app on Android 14.

The Denon Headphones app adjusts the headphones according to your hearing needs.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Various sounds came through the heaphones. As the sounds bounced off my eardrums, blobs moved around a circle on the app, stretching beyond its boundaries like they were trying to escape. A couple of minutes later, the process was finished and I was ready to listen again. 

Of course, I expected the PerL Pro earbuds to sound the same as they did before I installed the app. But wow, was I wrong.

These earbuds had already blown me away once but, thanks to the app, their depth and clarity had improved to such an extent that I would have sworn I was listening through a pair of seriously high-quality, over-the-ear headphones.

Also: Forget AirPods Pro: These Bose noise-cancelling earbuds sound better and feel premium

I then decided to toy with the Immersion Mode slider, assuming it wouldn’t change much. Just a slight nudge to the right and the sound reached even higher levels of “Wow!”

Even better, the Denon app did all this work with very little input from me. I didn’t have to bother with EQ or anything else (other than a slight bump to the immersion mode) and the PerL Pro earbuds had taken on a new, brilliant life. 

I could go on about the minutiae of the Denon Headphones app, but that’s not really the point. Other than raising the already impossibly high bar that these headphones had previously set, the app helped me to realize that a company like Denon, which has been in the electronics industry since 1910, knows what it’s doing. And although there are a seemingly an infinite number of snake oils on the tech market, not everything over-promises and under-delivers. 

Does that mean I’m going to start installing loads of apps on my Android phone? No, not in the slightest. However, it does that mean when a company as well known in their field as Denon says an app might improve the user experience, I might be more inclined to believe it.

So, the lesson here isn’t that it’s OK to install any apps you want on your phone. Instead, the lesson here is that sometimes a product works fine without an app, but there could be a world of improvement when its used alongside the associated hardware.

Review: Bose QuietComfort Ultra: A rightful heir to the ANC throne

In the end, the choice is yours, but I do hope you continue approaching mobile phone life with a measure of caution. If you believe you need an app to improve a piece of hardware, such as in the case of the PerL Pro earbuds, make sure you do a bit of research before installing the app. 

Read some reviews, check into the company or developer, and toss the app name into a Google search and see what comes up.

As for the Denon Headphones app, if you have a pair of Denon earbuds, I highly recommend you install this app and let it work its magic.

SOURCE : www.zdnet.com

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