Meridian Audio Partners with British Airways for First-Class Audio Experience
I’ve seen partnerships between consumer tech brands and airlines in the past—one recent one in particular that comes to mind is Apple partnering up with American Airlines to give travelers free in-flight access to the Apple Music streaming service. But this one between Meridian Audio and British Airways feels a little different, in a good way.
British Airways recently committed to making a £6.5 billion ($8.54 billion) investment to upgrade the in-cabin experience for travelers. Part of that includes the partnership with U.K.-based Meridian Audio, which will see the audio brand develop high-performance headphones that can handle delivering top-notch sound at 30,000 feet.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with British Airways and to have the opportunity to enhance the entertainment experience for passengers traveling in First,” John Buchanan, CEO of Meridian Audio, said in a statement. “The aircraft cabin is an acoustically demanding environment and we have relished the engineering challenge of delivering headphones that will, for the first time, enable passengers to sit back and truly lose themselves in their in-flight movies and music.”
I’ve been on a few flights in my time, and I’ve seen some of the abominations that get handed out to travelers by flight attendants. It’s tough to call those things headphones. Sure, first class passengers may get a slightly different, if not better performing pair of headphones sometimes. But, from the sound of it, there’s no way that anything being passed out today will be able to hold a candle to what Meridian is working on for British Airways.
The Meridian team was tasked with crafting a pair of headphones specifically designed for the optimal in-flight listening experience. Typically, when companies work on “travel headphones” they’re also considering where else the user may take their cans. These, though, are going to be specifically designed for listening to audio in a pressurized cabin—an environment unlike anything you’d experience at surface level.
“These new headphones have been designed to significantly reduce resonance, reflection, and distortion, allowing the user to enjoy a combination of exceptional noise cancellation, excellent sound quality, and ultimate comfort—resulting in a fully immersive in-flight sound experience,” Buchanan explained.
And that’s what makes this partnership so exciting, and unlike anything else that I can recall.