Dirac is a company started by a group of PhD students at the Signals and Systems Group at Uppsala University in Sweden who felt that their speakers weren’t giving them a clear enough audio experience. They combined their knowledge of digital signal processing that they had gained from years of study with their passion for music to fundamentally improve the speakers they used every day.
In essence, they developed a piece of software that corrects the various and unavoidable sonic imperfections created naturally by audio hardware, whether that is a pair of £20 earphones, or 5.1 channel arrangement of bespoke speakers worth tens of thousands. They realised early on that, regardless of the quality of the speaker components, there were always mechanical idiosyncrasies that affected the speaker’s ability to reproduce the optimum sound. This is not the fault of the manufactures, but simply the nature of mechanical devices: they are not all perfect!
Using the software to correct impulse and magnitude frequency response, and after collecting a huge amount of data through acoustically analysing the listening environment, Dirac is able to optimise and adjust the digital signal, leading to a dramatically improved listening experience. This means a more engaging soundstage, clearer articulation, not just within each track but within the instruments themselves, better voice intelligibility, and clearer bass fidelity.
As this system is tailored to each individual speaker model, and each unique listening environment, it has the ability to completely transform any listening experience, regardless of room size, budget, or location. Dirac have even worked closely with some car manufacturers such as Rolls Royce, Bentley and Volvo to give their vehicles in-car audio systems that match the best in home HiFi systems.
In fact, the software is so powerful that in a ten hour listening test between Apple EarPods using the Dirac App and a £1,100 pair of Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones, Ken Rockwell stated that ‘The optimised Apple EarPods [were] better’. If that doesn’t do justice to the power of the system, and whet your appetite thinking about how it could improve an already great in-home HiFi system, I don’t know what will.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at how Dirac works from our Manager John Nelson, who is himself a qualified Dirac technician and passionate about the technology.