While it’s your ears that hear sound, it’s your brain that listens. Three processes take place – orientation, where the brain works out what direction each sound is coming from, focus, where it filters unwanted noise from the signal, and recognition, the process of interpretation of the audio.
Design, Test, Perfect
We know from over a decade of research dedicated to understanding how we perceive audio that it’s not just about delivering pristine sound to your ears, but also understanding and measuring how your brain processes the audio – and designing solutions that reduce the cognitive load of listening and interpreting the sound you hear. We call this technological approach EPOS BrainAdapt™.
We use academically rigorous test regimes across a three-part study. The first and last tests consist of playing back sentences where the subject has to correctly identify certain words with or without background noise. They are asked questions related to their experience of the test subjectively, as well as having their pupil dilation measured throughout (which is an objective indicator of how much they have to concentrate). Sandwiched in the middle is a listening and recall test, again with and without external noise.
The test results are consistent, both subjectively and objectively, meaning that the test subjects’ own appraisal of their performance generally matches the results of the pupillometry. By analyzing the results of the tests, we can conclude that the passive noise reduction performance of our headset leads to the outcomes mentioned above – a reduction in effort listening, better memory recall and higher levels of word recognition.
We use a technique known as pupillometry to measure the size of a listener’s pupils – the larger the pupil, the more the brain activity, and in the right control conditions we know it’s because they are having to concentrate harder to process the audio they are hearing, which leads to fatigue, slower reaction times and poor in-game decision-making.
In a gaming context, we can claim with confidence that you’ll be able to hear your teammates communications more clearly and that you’ll be less tired over long gaming periods from straining to interpret the audio you’re hearing. Your reaction times will be improved. You’ll have more cognitive function freed up to focus on your strategy and a better performance as a result.
At EPOS, we’re proud that we have a product innovation process that demands scientific rigor in everything we do. When we talk about the performance of our products, you can be confident that we’re not just making an assertion – we have the test results to back it up.