Awareness!® The Headphone App In Action
We asked a number of regular headphone and earphone users to try Awareness! out in normal everyday use. Here’s what they had to say…
Our test cyclist started Awareness! and put his music on at a comfortable listening level via iPod player on his iPhone 4 using Apple standard earphones with an inline microphone. He adjusted the mic volume on Awareness! using the slider on the far right of the user interface.
He then adjusted the mic trigger threshold manually by sliding his finger over the red scale on the screen so the road noise did not trigger the mic.
AutoSet measures the sound level of your background noise and sets a mic trigger level accordingly, this works well for most environments however if you are in a place where the background noise is continually changing, you should fine tune the mic threshold level to prevent the mic from switching on when you don’t need it to. On a busy main road our cyclist found the mic threshold worked best for him at around 50%.
He placed his iPhone in his shirt pocket and wore his jacket over the headphone wire, this stopped it from flapping about. He had a 20 minute ride and towards the end we drove a car behind, beside, & in front of him, tooting the horn on a not so loud Renault Clio. He heard it at all times.
He told us it worked well, he could hear his music as normal with no wind or rubbing noise triggering the microphone and could clearly hear when cars approached or overtook.
We checked his Awareness! settings when he finished, he had the mic level at around 80% and the microphone threshold level at 50%.
“I just didn’t realise how much my headphones deadened sounds like ambulance sirens or cars approaching, I’ll definitely be using Awareness! from now on!”.
In The Office
We asked a graphic designer who works in an open plan office to test Awareness! The headphone App at work. He and most of his colleagues wear headphones while working. He listens to music on his iPhone with MM50 Sennheiser noise isolating earphones that have a built in microphone.
We pointed him to the Awareness! video tutorial and left him to it.
The next day we asked him how he got on. “It was great not having to take my earphones off whenever I was called, I could hear when the phone rang, and best of all I could hear whenever a coffee was on offer”.
“I only needed to take my earphones out three times, twice to take calls from a client and once when I needed to talk to my boss. Three of my workmates now have Awareness!”
On A Motorbike
We asked a biker who routinely wears earphones to hear his Sat Nav App to test Awareness! for a few days and give us his verdict.
Before placing his helmet on, he put his Apple earphones on (with inline microphone) and set the Sat Nav’s sound level, he has to have it quite loud to hear the directions above the sound of his bike’s engine revving.
He turned Awareness! on and adjusted the mic volume, he found it best at about 90%. Awareness! AutoSet the microphone threshold but our tester found that revving the bike hard triggered the microphone so he tweaked it manually to around 80%.
Finally he zipped up his leathers, put his iPhone in his top jacket pocket with the wire tucked in, leaving the microphone exposed to the side of his collar, then set off.
‘Amazing’ was the first word he said as he unmounted, “I could hear a police siren long before I normally would. Occasionally a loud car would trigger the mic but I didn’t mind that, it let me know how near it was. My full face helmet dulls a lot of the outside noise and using Awareness! felt like taking cotton wool out of my ears, It actually felt more natural with Awareness! on.”
Running With Awareness!
Awareness! makes running, training, and working out with music safer. Research shows that up to 500 pedestrian deaths per year (a figure that’s rising by 5% each year) or 26,887 casualties per year may be due to ‘inattentive’ pedestrians distracted by mp3 players.
Edmund King, AA President
Awareness! The Headphone App makes wearing headphones in general a lot safer and more convenient to use, however we do not recommend that you wear headphones while engaged in any activity where danger is present.