Songza for iOS updated with headphone-specific sound improvements from Audyssey

Daniel Bader

December 13, 2012 7:43pm

Since Songza launched in Canada earlier this year, it has quickly become one of the most popular music streaming apps for both iOS and Android. The company even boasted that it hit a million signups for the service on iOS devices in less than 70 days, an amazing achievement.

The app, which is available on Android, iOS and the web, allows you to pick curated playlists based on mood or activity, with full songs and high-quality audio for whatever you’re doing. It also boasts no audio or visual ads within the app, which means that unlike services like Pandora, which isn’t even available in Canada, the service appears seamless and, well, premium.

Today Songza releases an update for its iOS app that brings high-quality sound, based on specific headphone characteristics, courtesy of Audyssey. The company has developed a cloud-based headphone optimization engine that boosts sound quality by tuning the music stream to produce the best possible results based on your hardware. By choosing HQ Audio in the menu you’ll be given a list of headphone manufacturers and models; after selecting you’ll notice that the quality of the audio has increased perceptibly, but there there is bandwidth or bitrate premium.

I had a chance to talk to Songza’s CEO, Elias Roman, about the feature. He told me that Audyssey has been working on this partiuclar technology, called Audyssey Media Player (AMP), for 10 years, and that Songza is the first app to incorporate its technology. Popular brands like AKG, Audio Technica, Etymotics, Klipsch, Sennheiser, Sony and Ultimate Ears are supported, and because the database is hosted in the cloud, Audyssey can dynamically add support for more headphones as they’re released.

“The AMP method allows us to adjust balance and preserve the audio characteristics of each headphone,” said Roman. “This is the first time the technology has been applied to streaming.”

The difference is pretty astounding, and it makes Songza indispensable to the streaming music fan. Audyssey integration is coming to Android, says Roman, though a firm release date was not given. When asked about expansion to other platforms, he said that Songza is looking hard at Windows Phone, but wouldn’t commit to anything right now.

Download Songza for iOS.

  • snafu

    I tried it earlier today, personally I didn’t notice much of a difference.

    • ReplyGuy

      No technology is going to make the crappy earbuds that Apple includes in the box sound better. I suggest you try the Klipsch S4 earbuds shown in the picture, they are (by far) the best earbud you are going to get under $100.

  • Brian

    Hey, Brian at Audyssey here. We’re stoked about the kind words, but we do want to point out that there’s no bitrate or bandwidth premium. Using our AMP Technology doesn’t increase your data usage at all.

    But all that stuff about the difference being “pretty astounding”… that’s right on. We absolutely encourage you to keep saying that. Thanks!


    • Boulos

      Hey brian,

      I’m a regular user of the Songza website and would really like to see the app on my windows phone 8 device.