When it comes to Android, one of the first pieces of security advice I give people is to only install essential apps. Follow that advice and your chances of ending up with ransomware or other malicious software on your phone are dramatically reduced.
For a decade, I’ve hung my hat on that advice—and it’s served me well.
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However, I recently reviewed the Denon PerL Pro earbuds, which completely blew me away. One of my review criteria is that sound equipment should be experienced as intended by the manufacturer. Sure, I can adjust the EQ to my liking, but that’s not an accurate representation of how the hardware sounds — it’s artificial.
Yet after the review, I was curious if the headphones had more to offer. On top of that, I wanted to see if there was a firmware update – something that can only be done on a device like this via an app. And so, I installed Denon Headphone App From the Google Play Store, created an account, inserted the earbuds into my ears and let the software do its thing.
I was, as you might expect, skeptical. But Denon rolled his eyes and said, “Ready for some magic?”
The first thing the app did was check the headphone seal.
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The next part, where my skepticism really hit its stride, was that the app tested the headphones against my hearing to create a personal profile to improve sound.
Various sounds were coming through the headphones. As the sounds bounced off my eardrums, the blobs moved around in a circle in the app, expanding beyond its boundaries as if they were trying to escape. A few minutes later, the process was over and I was ready to listen again.
Of course, I expect the PerL Pro earbuds to sound the same as they did before I installed the app. But wow, am I wrong?
These earbuds already blew me away once but, thanks to the app, their depth and clarity improved so much that I swore I was listening through seriously high-quality, over-the-ear headphones.
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I then decided to toy with the immersion mode slider, assuming it wouldn’t change much. A slight push to the right and the sound “Wow!” has reached even higher levels.
Even better, the Denon app did all of this with very little input from me. I didn’t have to bother with EQ or anything else (apart from a slight interruption in immersion mode) and the PerL Pro earbuds took on a new, brighter life.
I could go on for minutes about the Denon Headphone app, but that’s not really the point. Aside from raising the impossibly high bar these headphones had previously set, the app helped me realize that a company like Denon, which has been in the electronics industry since 1910, knows what it’s doing. And although there is a seemingly infinite number of snake oils in the tech market, not all over-promise and under-deliver.
Does this mean I’m going to start installing tons of apps on my Android phone? No, not in the least. However, it does mean that when a company as well-known in their field as Denon says an app can improve the user experience, I might be more inclined to believe it.
So, the lesson here is not that installing any app on your phone is fine. Instead, the lesson here is that sometimes a product works well without an app, but can be a world of improvement when used alongside the corresponding hardware.
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Ultimately, the choice is yours, but I hope you proceed with the mobile phone lifestyle with caution. If you believe you need an app to enhance a piece of hardware, as in the case of the PerL Pro earbuds, make sure you do some research before installing the app.
Read some reviews, check on the company or developer, and toss the app name into a Google search and see what comes up.
As for the Denon Headphones app, if you have a pair of Denon earbuds, I suggest you install this app and let it work its magic.