Startup SoundFocus has just raised $1.7 to improve the listening experience, particularly those with hearing loss. A member of the Y Combinator class of 2013, investors in this round include Kapor Capital (Lotus and EFF Co-Founder Mitch Kapor’s fund), Y-Combinator, Greg Badros, Ovo Fund, RTA Capital, Vegas Tech Fund, Garry Tan, Alexis Ohanian, and Harj Taggar. The company launched it first app late in 2013.
While SoundFocus has the potential to help those with hearing loss with many tasks, they're starting with music. Their first app lets users hear music in full fidelity when listening via an iPhone or iPod Touch (stored tracks or Spotify) by tuning the audio to their hearing pattern.
Users tune SoundFocus in less than a minute with a test that figures out which sound frequencies they do not hear well and compensate. They can also use the equalizer to enhance the audio more.
SoundFocus is also working on a hardware equivalent of the app that’ll bring similar functionality to any music source, according to TechCrunch.