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Kawai Insiders Blog

Headphones and Kawai's SHS Feature

Headphones are an invaluable tool for players of electronic instruments. Back in the mid 60’s, I would use headphones with our electronic home organ so I wouldn’t drive my parents crazy.  In later years, as a young dad, I did my songwriting and arranging late at night using headphones and would not wake my children.  Today, we see “ear buds” used during workouts, jogging, or on the subway.  We’re able to get a “private concert” and be lost in our own world, without annoying folks around us.

Unfortunately, there is often little that you can do to change the sound of what’s coming into your ears from headphones. Usually, it’s “What you hear is what you get”, and it mostly depends upon the quality of the headphones or ear buds.

The new Spatial Headphone Sound feature (“SHS” for short) is found in Kawai’s latest CA67, CA97, CS8 and CS11 digital pianos.  SHS technology enhances both the depth and realism of the sound when listening through headphones or ear buds.  A player can select one of three different acoustic presets that adjust the spatial positioning of the sound, while also helping to reduce auditory fatigue when using ear buds or headphones for an extended period of time. In addition, SHS works alongside a new dedicated, high fidelity headphone amplifier, utilizing the same premium hardware found in audiophile music devices.  The technology significantly improves sound quality when using headphones and allow players to select a variety of headphone types for an optimized listening experience.

SHS won’t protect us from getting carried away with the volume, so please always keep the sound at a reasonable level — no matter how emotionally involved in your music you may become.  And be sure to select headphones or ear buds that are comfortable and fit you well.  (I prefer the comfort of headphones and I feel that I’m able to block out external distractions more easily.)

Enjoy playing and creating… in privacy.  And check out the SHS feature.  It’s sweet!

— Sean O’Shea

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