July 10, 2019

The best UI for true-wireless earbuds is no UI at all

The objective for true-wireless earbuds is to create a seamless integration with us and our music. They are inconspicuous by design and as they get more compact it will quickly get to the point where you don’t know if somebody has them in at all.

Even the portable battery pack that houses the earbuds and charges them up is discreet and small (in most cases) enough to fit in your pocket. These are products designed to not look like headphones or be shackled by a dangling cable.

But when it comes to the UX, nothing is simple or seamless. You have to remove them, tap them, swipe them or pull your phone out of your pocket to pause your music should you need to interact with the ‘real world’, whether that is navigating a busy city street, moving between different locations and environments, bumping into an old friend or avoiding getting knocked over by a speeding paramedic.

But what if these clever little buds anticipated what you might want to do or reacted to what was happening? What if they picked the perfect equalisation settings or turned noise cancellation off when you didn’t need it? What if they changed transparency and volume settings when they detected danger or you talking to a friend?

Then they’d be truly seamless from a design and UX point of view. Consumers wouldn’t have to stand there tapping or swiping their ear or digging them out in front of people. Brand owners could market discreet, intelligent earbuds at a premium.

Recently we conducted a survey of consumers in the US and UK and asked them about true-wireless earbud ownership and their attitudes to AI. We put to them three exciting applications for AI: dynamic noise cancellation, dynamic sound equalisation and event detection and there was a really strong desire across all of these features as well as AI in general.

Consumers reacted well to the benefits of what only sound recognition could offer, as well as highlighting how popular true-wireless earbuds have become in a relatively short period of time, especially among those willing to spend lots of money on hearables.

For hearables brands, they get to market premium devices that are responsive, intelligent and, what’s more, as seamless as the physical design. And consumers get an engaging music and product experience that helps them move between their own little world and the world around them.

To learn more about consumer attitudes to AI and hearable ownership, download our detailed report here.


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About Audio Analytic

Audio Analytic is the pioneer of AI sound recognition software. The company is on a mission to map the world of sounds, offering our sense of hearing to consumer technology. By transferring our sense of hearing to consumer products and digital personal assistants we give them the ability to react to the world around us, helping satisfy our entertainment, safety, security, wellbeing and communication needs.

Audio Analytic’s ai3™ sound recognition software enables device manufacturers and chip companies to equip products with Artificial Audio Intelligence, recognizing and automatically responding to our growing list of sound profiles.

Audio Analytic is the pioneer of artificial audio intelligence, which is empowering a new generation of smart products to hear and react to the sounds around us.