Ever wanted to drown out an irritating noise in a public environment but not lose touch with your surroundings? Perhaps you’re deep in conversation, or someone has created a really great playlist in the café you’re in. Doppler Labs may have the product for you and it’s called Here. It comprises of a pair of wireless earbuds and a smartphone app and it functions in a similar manner to noise-cancelling headphones. Unlike noise-cancellers, however, Here has a range of settings which allow the user to tailor the sounds or frequencies that are cancelled out. Pre-set modes allow users to cancel the hum of aircraft engine noise while in-flight, or even to suppress the screams of a child. Even more interestingly, there’s an EQ that allows users to tweak sound as they please. That means if the sound engineer at the little sweat box gig you’re at has taken his eye off the ball, you can put it right by rebalancing those mids and killing that terrible booming bass. We’re fascinated by the possibilities.
"Here is not meant to replace your headphones, headsets, or earbuds. The Here Active Listening System is designed for live listening environments, and is optimized for targeted, episodic use in live scenarios (e.g. concerts, stadiums, flights) where you can control and curate what’s happening in real time. Put simply, earbuds are for listening to recorded audio. Here buds are for engaging with real world sound."Unlike headphones, these are designed for real world environments. We’re curious if there will be any sound quality degradation, and this doesn’t appear to be covered in anything we’ve read so far. That said, we’re really looking forward to being able to try these out. Anything that encourages people to think about their audio environment is a plus to us.
Check out the Kickstarter (with some good video examples and tech details) here.