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Flare Audio E-Prototype Earphone Unveiled

Flare Audio's E-Prototype earphone aims to reduce HRTF distortion by improving how sound is reflected inside the listener’s ears.

Flare Audio E-Prototype Earphone
Flare Audio E-Prototype Earphone

Brighton UK (March 21, 2022)—Flare Audio has introduced a new listening device—the E-Prototype earphone—based around its new Universal Sound Quality (USQ) technology, said to reduce HRTF distortion by improving how sound is reflected inside the listener’s ears.

According to Flare, the human ear distorts sound far more than most audio equipment; with that in mind, most of the development behind USQ focused on minimizing distortion in the ear itself, and included testing at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR).

Flare’s first product using USQ technology is the new E-Prototype earphone, which reportedly channels sound directly into the eardrum and inner ear, eliminating the reverberation and distortions naturally created by human ears.

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Flare Audio co-founder and CEO Davies Roberts noted, “Over the last 10 years, Flare has set out to identify what was wrong with audio products throughout the music sector. We started with loudspeakers, moving on to headphones and in-ear devices, and discovered that our own ears add far more distortion than most of the audio equipment we listen to. Known as the HRTF, this distortion is unique to each person due to the individual size and shape of people’s ears. On average, there is 21 dB of distortion being added to everything we hear which destroys our ability to listen to high-definition sound. Depending on the listening level and each person’s ear shape, this can equate to 20 percent or more of added and unwanted distortion. This is why everyone hears music slightly differently. USQ is the first patent-pending technology that reduces HRTF distortion by improving how sound is reflected inside our ears.

“Our ‘OMG’ moment was when we applied that principle to earphone sound. It was a quality we’d never heard before. When we took away natural distortion, the quality was extraordinary – beyond what you hear in the recording studio. All music producers to whom we’ve shown E-Prototype so far have been astonished that such an unassuming earphone can produce such exceptional sound quality.”

The E-Prototype is 3D printed in limited quantities at Flare Audio’s headquarters near Brighton, UK. Each E-Prototype is made from a bio-compatible non-toxic polymer material in a manufacturing process that minimizes material waste and energy consumption.

The E-Prototype retails at £250.