Fraunhofer upHear® Calibration

Customized solution that intelligently adapts any home audio playback system to individual playback environments

Fraunhofer upHear Calibration is a customizable, flexible calibration solution for soundbars, smart speakers, and AVR/speaker combinations. External microphones, microphones built directly into the devices (such as for a voice assistant in a smart speaker) or smartphones can be used for the calibration.

upHear Calibration Infographic

Features

Automatic/intelligent target curve adaption

The overall timbral performance is optimized for the actual individual reproduction environment by adjusting the shape of the target curve based on parameters of the actual room.

 

Room mode optimization

Bass reproduction becomes more accurate by special processing of detected room modes.

 

Improve spatial reproduction

The overall sound reproduction becomes more transparent and spatial by considering room properties and aligning different speakers to each other.

 

Best possible sound from any playback system in any environment

Calibration algorithm is device class independent and can be adapted for different playback system designs.

Challenge

Loudspeakers, soundbars, and other audio reproduction devices are typically designed and optimized with ideal or application-specific environmental conditions in mind. However, once placed in their location of intended use, the speakers interact with the space around them. This affects the playback characteristics of the speakers, in many cases preventing them from reaching their full potential. This issue can be resolved by calibrating the speakers once they’re in the desired playback environment.

 

Our approach

Fraunhofer’s upHear Calibration technology analyzes the room to facilitate the best possible interaction of the playback system with the environment and to optimize playback for the current scenario. To make this adjustment at the receiver end of the transmission chain, the latest member of the upHear family can flexibly address the requirements of different playback systems and scenarios.

Fraunhofer engineers work in close cooperation with device manufacturers so that upHear Calibration can be tailored precisely to the product being developed. This makes the technology suitable for the full range of playback systems, including soundbars, smart speakers, and AVR/speaker combinations. Right from the start, the experienced IIS team is on hand throughout the product development process to assist with individual and device-specific calibration. upHear Calibration can be combined directly with the upHear Immersive Audio Virtualizer, which, based on the information it detects about the surroundings, adapts the spatial reproduction perfectly to the respective environment to ensure the best possible enveloping sound.

 

Possible applications

To calibrate the speakers, soundbars or smart speakers, dedicated external microphones, microphones integrated into the devices themselves – which are already available for use with voice assistants – or native smartphone microphones can be used. The various options ensure that particular requirements of the target group can be addressed, also with regard to the effort involved for end users.

Calibration with an external microphone

When using an external microphone for calibration, this is connected to the playback device (usually via cable) and placed at the primary listening position. This ensures the most accurate playback adjustment at the desired listening position.

Automatic calibration

This less complex calibration option uses the microphones already present in a device with an integrated voice assistant. Accordingly, no additional hardware or support is required for the setup.

Benefits of upHear Calibration

For manufacturers

  • The technology can be optimized for different hardware device classes and software platforms.
  • Fraunhofer supports device manufacturers with integration and their own device-specific calibration: This way, cooperation ensures the best possible sound and the desired performance for the given product in the respective playback environment. The Fraunhofer audio experts understand the workflow from end to end and can provide solutions for every part of the audio chain.

For consumers

  • Consumers can get optimized audio playback in any room with minimal effort.

More information

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