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Listening to the intriguing, immersive and divisive Iris Flow headphones

lacuna

Well-known member
Feb 17, 2011
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18,525
I tried the app on my phone with spotify streams and I'm afraid I am not at all impressed. With algorithm turned on it sounds directly comparable with the normal spotify stream, however, turning it off makes the stream significantly worse than it would be in the spotify app. My inner cynic thinks the iris app artificially makes the spotify stream sound flatter to increase the apparent 'improvement' by the algorithm.
 

david.c

Member
Aug 18, 2020
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I tried the app on my phone with spotify streams and I'm afraid I am not at all impressed. With algorithm turned on it sounds directly comparable with the normal spotify stream, however, turning it off makes the stream significantly worse than it would be in the spotify app. My inner cynic thinks the iris app artificially makes the spotify stream sound flatter to increase the apparent 'improvement' by the algorithm.
I disagree.
I was kind of suspicious of something like that also so compared the unaltered(no IRIS) sound using the app to the same songs on Apple Music. Personally I couldn't hear any difference and I did several comparisons. It would be unethical and too easy for people to discover them messing with the sound like that. Anyways I found the IRIS sound to be enjoyable and a definitely improved over the standard streaming quality. Enough that I went ahead and funded them through Indiegogo for a black pair.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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Iris says its algorithm 'resynthesises lost audio information in a recording, allowing the brain to piece it back together'.
Word salad at it's finest.
 
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david.c

Member
Aug 18, 2020
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Iris says its algorithm 'resynthesises lost audio information in a recording, allowing the brain to piece it back together'.
Word salad at it's finest.
Maybe but did you read the article? It sounds reasonable and isn’t most important part in the actual listening? Personally I thought it sounded pretty damn good on my headphones with the sample song and a couple others I tried. But of course this kinds of things are extremely subjective and that’s why any headphone reviews are too be taken with a grain of salt. What sounds good to you might sound like crap to me and vice versa.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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770
I don't know what you mean by reasonable? Heavy on the new technology phrasing and the obvious enthusiastic words of people heavily invested in their beliefs that they are onto something.
It's all subjective , yes.
 

MKF

Member
Aug 19, 2020
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20
Interesting article about Iris algorithm and headphones (I have ordered one).

I had hope that the technology behind the algorithm should have been uncovered even more. Testing myself with different recordings my guess is that information from both left and right channels are compared and the algorithm uses similarities and differences processing the sound. I have tested mono recordings, recordings done with one stereomicrophone only, binaural recordings, digitally remastered analog recordings and more. In some cases there is no difference in sound at all (I leave for you to test yourself), in other cases the sound is blured but in many cases (reflecting my CD archive) the "improvement" make listening much more enjoyable.

Regarding phase information and ambience nothing beats analog recordings or recordings made digitally with higher sample frequencies (4x) than what is used for standarad CDs/DVDs. But if your record archive is rather old, the IRIS algorithm is nice to switch on for some of the material (when you do not get disturbed by that the stereo image is slightly changed).
Hope that more sound compression formats will be supported in the future!
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
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19,070
Interesting article about Iris algorithm and headphones (I have ordered one).
I've been trying it on Spotify for a few days and I've been very impressed with it. All my Spotify listening will be done through the Iris app now.

One thing I don't understand. What is the difference in sending the signal through the app into existing headphones against using Iris headphones? I probably missed something in the write-up. Is there an advantage in sending it through both the app and again through the headphones?
 

MKF

Member
Aug 19, 2020
2
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I've been trying it on Spotify for a few days and I've been very impressed with it. All my Spotify listening will be done through the Iris app now.

One thing I don't understand. What is the difference in sending the signal through the app into existing headphones against using Iris headphones? I probably missed something in the write-up. Is there an advantage in sending it through both the app and again through the headphones?
As stated in the article Iris algorithm is run in the earphones, so you do not need to use the app.

I have not seen any tests between using the app or headphone. It should be intersting to know if there is any differences in sound.
 
Aug 27, 2020
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The key issue in the tech that Iris describes is the way our ears hear music bouncing around in live recordings--the way you hear and "feel" the room, as well as the stereo hearing effect that allows your brain to know where the piano is, where the drums are, etc. This is all very real, and it is lost by microphone placement in most recordings. How effectively the Iris technology is at using transforms to recreate your brain's ability to hear and feel "where" all the instruments are, remains to be seen. I have listened to the Spotify songs on my high end stereo system ( Big Magnepan speakers and mono block amps)....this is not the same as how Iris headphones will accomplish the sound, obviously, but it was intriguing enough that I might have to buy the Iris headphones just to really get the feel of whether this is a good thing or not :)
 

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