Hearing technology experts Asius Technologies claim that AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson could be back performing live “within six to 12 months” thanks to the next generation of earbuds and in-ear monitors that the company is developing. Johnson met with Asius chief scientist Stephen Ambrose after the singer was forced to stop touring with AC/DC or else face permanent hearing loss. Now Asius is ready to have Johnson test a new prototype that the firm predicts could have him back onstage in the not-too-distant future.
The 68-year-old Johnson said he was “moved and amazed” by the technology Asius was developing after he took his first meeting with Ambrose last spring.
The Colorado-based company is preparing to launch a crowdfunding drive to attract backers for their new line of products.
Ambrose said about Johnson’s potential involvement in a new round of trials, “I will endeavor to kick up the development of the technology another 10 notches, at which point I expect to get the green light from Brian’s doctors to test the prototype with him. We need to know he can test it without further damaging his hearing. And I expect those tests will go very successfully.”
The company is developing a tiny, 10-millimeter earbud that can sit comfortably behind the ear, allows 14-band EQ control in each ear, and is programmed via computer or smartphone app.
Ambrose explained that Johnson’s participation is not just personally beneficial to the singer, but could help others, saying, “Having Brian Johnson involved has helped us get the support of a lot of major companies — support that wouldn’t have been there without him . . . Brian is not just doing this for himself but for everyone else who needs help. We aim to make our technology available at a price point that people can afford.”
Asius hopes to secure financing for the next round of research and development by late October.
Johnson was replaced in the AC/DC lineup by Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose, who performed in Europe and North America with the group during the final leg of its Rock Or Bust tour cycle. AC/DC co-founder and sole original member Angus Young has not revealed yet whether he will keep the band — which underwent extensive personnel changes just in the last years — going for more recording and touring.