SRS TruMedia sound debuts on NEC mobiles

Noise-cancelling mobile tech could make the rush-hour number 11 sound this empty...
Noise-cancelling mobile tech could make the rush-hour number 11 sound this empty...

The days of shouting into mobiles or having to turn up the volume to ear-bleeding levels just to hear your calls could soon be over.

NEC has just announced the world's first mobile phones with 'audio enriching' and noise-cancelling SRS TruMedia built-in.

With an active ambient noise management system, TruMedia enables phone users to hear better, and be heard. In normal listening environments, voices are given a Barry White-like deep, rich bass (I'm guessing it's not aimed at the ladies, then. On second thought, maybe it is...).

Sharp words

In noisy environments, SRS TruMedia will sharpen the spoken voice and enhance the overall volume gain in real-time, improving voice intelligibility while helping you hear more clearly.

SRS TruMedia also aims to provide a cinema-like 5.1 surround sound experience over headphones when viewing multichannel video content. It doesn't sound as if virtual surround technology will feature, though.

"While communication is still a number one feature of mobile phones, it's no longer the only use. Today's users demand superior multimedia capabilities in their phones, making a premium audio experience just as important as a clearly understood phone conversation," said Allen H. Gharapetian, Vice President of Marketing for SRS Labs.

The NEC N-01A, N-02A, and N-04A DoCoMo handsets all feature 3-inch screens and 200+ minutes of 3G talk-time as well as the new sound tech. There's no word yet on SRS TruMedia showing up in any European or US handsets, but we'll keep you posted.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.