Can’t stand the sound of a baby crying on the way to work? Here Active Listening is a volume knob for real life that will allow you to turn down the annoying background sounds of the world around you.
Available for $199 (around £140), Here looks like a pair of wireless headphones, but its creators insist they are anything but. “Here is not
a headphone,” said Fritz Lanmam, co-founder and executive chairman of Doppler Labs. “It’s a computer for the ears.” The team prefer to call them ‘hearables’ that augment sound, just like how Microsoft HoloLens does for vision.
As well as turn down sound, you can even transform and remix live music through a free app in your phone, allowing you to crank up the bass, mids and trebles, and even add a reverb and other sound effects.
Successfully crowdfunded last August, a limited run of 10,000 Here earbuds are now being sent out to artists, musicians and Kickstarter backers. The rest of us can sign-
up to order any spare earbuds, but you might be in for a long wait…
the public waitlist was already over 30,000 on 3 February.
How does Here work?
Here’s external microphone detects natural sounds. The original and additional signals enter the ears concurrently, and the sum of the frequencies results in the modified sound. The digital signal processor uses the chosen algorithm (selected in the companion app) to produce additional sound waves that add, remove or remix the original audio signal. An error mic then processes this sound, and it’s played through a mini speaker into your inner ear.