Audio technology in gaming headsets has been overdue a shake-up for some time now.
The vast majority of headsets on the market use Moving-Coil (Dynamic) drivers. This technology has been around for nearly 100 years. Of course, dynamic drivers have been refined to the Nth degree and the sound quality can be exceptional. but we have arguably reached the limit of what can be achieved with dynamic drivers (or have we?)
What a company called Drown has produced, though, is a genuinely new and innovative way of delivering sound, that combines delivery directly to the ear canal, but also combining it with tactile audio.
Tactile audio? What’s that?
The brainchild of creator Mark O’Callaghan, Drown earphones are the result of years of testing, developing and refining Mark’s original concept.
Have you ever seen the audio devices that let you make phone calls by putting a finger in your ear and talking into your thumb? They send vibrations through your bones, to and from a device worn on your wrist. The Drown headphones work in a similar way. A carefully designed earpiece, that is shaped to match (*most) users’ outer ear, passes vibrations through the bone and cartilage around the outer and inner ear, that your brain then processes as sound.
Drown have combined this with a dynamic-driven earpiece, inserted directly to the ear canal. By nature of its size, this should produce less reverb and/or distortion than can be noticeable on larger over-ear headphones, whilst also increasing the response rate due to the smaller size. In theory, this direct delivery to the ear canal should create strong, deep bass, without risk of the bass drowning out the higher frequencies.
By creating a tight seal in the ear canal and with the sculpted shape matching your ear, this should increase the air pressure entering the inner ear, and provide more vibration to be picked up through cartilage conduction. There should also be exceptional noise isolation, which increases immersion immensely. The claim from Drown is that this creates soundscapes and audio-detailing that surpasses anything available today, and if feedback from users is anything to go by, it really is.
It’s a device that’s as genius as it is simple. It’s exactly how your ears actually work, and it’s the first time it has been exploited in such a way. If it works as described, it should have the effect of “tricking” your brain into thinking you are hearing real soundwaves.
Without trying them out I can’t personally say for sure if they are as good as they claim, but you can be damn sure I want to find out!
The Drown Tactile Earphones retail for just £129, including free shipping within the US or UK, which in the world of high-end audio is very reasonable.
The box contains the earpieces, 4 pairs of different sized seals so you can find your perfect fit, a 2-metre audio cable (with inline controls), detachable boom mic, instructions and fitting guide, and access to the Drown discord.
If you want to find out more about Drown’s innovative tech, you can:
Visit their website: https://drownaudio.com/ (purchasing can be completed from the site, too.)
Follow them on social media: