Many headphone amplifiers offer a head-related transfer or crossfeed function toggle that can create a more “three-dimensional” image for some listeners. OOYH is far more than an HRTF or crossfeed circuit. I’ve never heard a head-related transfer function circuit that changed the imaging as completely as the OOYH app. I don’t consider even the most sophisticated crossfeed circuits, such as what you find on the SPL Phonitor II, to be in the same league of processing sophistication or effectiveness as the OOYH app. Although OOYH is not unique in generating HRTF cues, it differs from other systems in that these cues are derived from measuring speakers in a room, rather than from theoretical calculations.
The only software/hardware device I’ve experienced that does have an equally impressive and convincing three-dimensional out-of-head experience with headphones as the OOYH app is the Smyth Research Realiser A16 system ($1690). The Smyth system also samples a room and builds a profile of it that simulates listening to the loudspeakers in that room. I’ve had several demos of the Smyth system and each time I was wowed by its imaging accuracy, which was superior to what I’ve heard from the OOYH app. But the Smyth system requires that you do your own measurements using a speaker that you currently own (or have access to) and costs substantially more than the OOYH app. In comparison, the OOYH app is virtually plug-and-play compared to the Smyth’s hands-on approach.
Want to watch your computer sing and dance? Try using Darin Fong’s Out of Your Head software! Well, OK, that’s not true, but if you have a great pair of headphones that you should be listening to more than often you currently do, perhaps the addition of the OOYH app to your computer-playback rig could re-energize your music-via-headphone consumption. I’ve found that using OOYH with Hulu definitely made watching movies on my 26" monitor a more involving cinematic experience than using headphones without it.
While I haven’t been so converted by OOYH’s enchantments that I’ve made it the only way I listen to headphones, I have been using it consistently and regularly for part of my listening ever since I downloaded it to my desktop. If you spend a good part of your listening time attached to headphones, adding the Out of Your Head application to your sonic arsenal will enhance your pleasure, bigly. And given that you can try it out anytime, on almost any system via the demo page—and on your own system if you download the Trial version of the app—you don’t have to take my word. Try it. Because, I guarantee that Darin Fong’s OOYH app will get that headphone sound out of your head.
Specs & Pricing
Type: Virtual speaker software for headphone listening
System requirements: Windows 7 or later; OS X 10.8 or higher (64-bit processing required)
Price: $149 (additional speaker algorithms are $15-$25 each)