Hard of hearing Elton John fans attending his farewell tour can use an app to help them better hear his music.
Elton John has gifted die-hard fans with a device that can control the volume of instruments at his concerts in real time, making the live music more accessible for those who are hard of hearing.
A full 48 years after he released Tiny Dancer, Sir Elton’s aging fan base can now control the volume of his vocals, guitar, keyboard, drums and even the bass by wearing headphones and using an app.
The 72-year-old artist, who has spent half a century on the road, said the technology will “revolutionise the way fans listen to live music”.
The device is the result of a collaboration between the star and PEEX, who worked together for four years prior to the start of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
In a video to announce the technology Sir Elton said he was “passionate about giving my fans my best possible performance and making sure they get the best possible experience.”
He added that throughout his 50-year career, “playing live has always been so important to me” and that “nothing quite beats the sound of a live concert.”
PEEX CEO Patrick Vosgimorukian said that there is no limit to how many people can use the technology.
He told the BBC: “For people who are hard of hearing, which essentially you do have locations in the concert hall where they can come and hear, this allows them actually to be anywhere in the concert hall.”
Concert-goers can choose to hire a device, which is worn around their neck and connects to headphones.
A digital audio signal from the instruments is then sent to the radio receivers worn around fans’ necks, syncing this with the sound of music from the speakers.
The device is then connected to an app which allows the user to turn the volume up or down on five different channels.
The ability to personalise sound has been praised by hard of hearing charities.
Jesal Vishnuram, Technology Manager at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “This is a great example of how technology enabling people to personalise the sound to their own unique preference can help those living with hearing loss.
“As everyone’s hearing is different, this allows each person to adjust the sounds they can and can’t hear to enhance their listening experience.
He added that “lyrics are often lost” when listening to music meaning the ability to “turn down lower frequency sounds” would allow people with hearing loss “the opportunity to enjoy music again”.
The tour, which has consisted of more than 300 shows across five continents, will come to the UK next month, starting with the O2 on the 2 November.