June 11, 2014
Sprint’s Interview with Dinesh Paliwal of Harman International
An Interview by Nichole Pichardo, Communications Manager for Sprint
The age of digital audio is both a blessing and a curse for audiophiles. While access to music has never been better and songs can be downloaded at the tap of a thumb, digital compression means sounds really aren't as rich as they were in the good old days, when analog was at its peak.
As a forerunner in mobile music, Sprint, along with its collaborators at HTC and Harman Kardon, recognized this need to set new music standards, especially as they pertain to the mobile industry. This need to redefine the way people listen to music on their smartphones resulted in the launch of a groundbreaking handset –the HTC One® (M8) Harman Kardon® edition – sold exclusively by Sprint.
So, what is it that makes this smartphone so unique and a must have for music lovers? Well for one, it possesses a revolutionary application -- HARMAN’s Clari-Fi – that restores and “rebuilds” music fidelity lost during audio compression. For the first time in a mobile device, Clari-Fi yields richer, deeper and clearer sound quality for compressed digital music (like MP3 downloads or streaming services like Spotify®).
I sat down with Dinesh Paliwal, the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harman International to tell us a little more about Clari-Fi and what this revolutionary technology has the power to do for the music industry.
NP: What exactly is Clari-Fi technology?
DP: Clari-Fi is a revolutionary application – for the first time in a mobile device that analyzes digital audio signals in real time and rebuilds them during playback. It does not mask the effects of heavy compression by adding new effects, but instead uses an algorithm to put back what is lost during the compression process. The result? High-quality audio from compressed digital files from any playback source.
Specifically, Clari-Fi removes unwanted added effects like echo and distortion; it restores the crisp detail and clarity of high frequency sounds like cymbals, which can be muddied in compressed sources; it sharpens dynamic sounds like percussion instruments, which can be smeared or dulled by compression; it takes a flat, compressed vocal and brings back the intimacy of the original performance; it rebuilds the stereo image that is often compromised by compression, creating a natural, wide soundstage; and it restores the musical depth that is lost when instruments and vocals are compressed to the same volume.
NP: Tell me, what are the differences that Clari-Fi technology has to offer users?
DP: Unlike other offerings in the market today that focus on using high-resolution file formats on their proprietary device, HARMAN’s approach with Clari-Fi is to improve the listening experience for existing sources on all devices across the digital music landscape, seamlessly working with what listeners are already using.
Clari-Fi does not simply add equalization, unnatural reverb or bass boost to try to soften the effects of heavy compression. It does not try to mask the faults of the corrupt signal by adding new effects or blind “sweetening.” Instead, it uses scientific probabilities based on the compressed content to put back what was lost. Simply put, the Clari-Fi algorithm doesn’t perform gimmicks.
NP: Can you talk about any other features of Clari-Fi that customers might want to know about?
DP: In today’s increasingly mobile world, audio formats have morphed from vinyl LP’s and CD’s to digitized data files downloaded to smartphones and streamed through satellite radio and music services like Spotify. This maximum mobility is made possible by compression processes that create smaller, more portable digitized music files. While compression technology enables easy access to audio content on the go, this process fundamentally alters the music source, discarding up to 90 percent of the audio content captured during the original recording. Clari-Fi was developed to address this deterioration of audio quality.
HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition is currently available on sprint.com or in Sprint retail stores. With Sprint Easy Pay, well-qualified buyers can purchase HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition with $0 down (plus tax) and 24 monthly payments of $28.34 plus a Sprint Framily plan.
For more information on Clari-Fi, please visit: www.clarifisound.com.