At this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a few select attendees were given the chance to experience Doppler Labs’ newest active noise-listening earbuds, named Here. Named one of the best inventions of 2015 by Time, Here earpieces don’t work like normal earbuds; they don’t play audio. Instead, they amplify or attenuate the sounds around you, sort of like a hearing aid. But rather than adjusting the volume of everything, Here allows listeners to isolate specific frequencies (via the compatible mobile app), whether that’s a plane overhead or your next-door neighbor’s stereo, and increase or decrease that frequency’s volume. In short: they allow listeners to filter what’s heard and not heard.
Here started as a Kickstarter project in 2015, raising over $630,000. Doppler Labs is slowly trickling the earpieces out to mass consumers. As of now, the New York-based company says they’re making an initial limited run of 10,000 pairs of Here earbuds. Interested parties can join a waitlist.
Here active noise-listening earbuds are predicted to cost $249, and they have the technology to change the way we hear the world around us. Listeners can play with the app’s different frequency options and control the audio input. For concert-goers, this can mean hearing the music better and preventing damaging volumes of music. Or, on the street, it means the potential to have senses like Spider-Man or Daredevil, tuning up a frequency to hear a whispered conversation. And for those who, like me, are at a desk right now, it can also mean tuning out the Ariana Grande playlist bleeding out of your coworker’s earbuds. In other words, Here could be priceless.