These New Earbuds Let You Adjust the Volume of Everything Around You
Business travel is fraught with irritating noises – the insistent whooshing of a plane engine, crying kids, chatty neighbors.
If you're a frequent road warrior (or even just on your daily commute), you likely always keep a pair of earbuds on hand. But what if you could just simply turn down the volume of the world around you? Two-year-old wearable tech company Doppler Labs wants to give users that experience with its latest product, the Here Active Listening System.
The company launched a Kickstarter campaign this week for the wireless earbuds and accompanying mobile app that allows the user adjust the volume of what they are hearing in essentially real time, characterizing the system as a "remote control for your ears." The technology takes in what you are hearing, processes it and then plays it back to you within 30 microseconds, so there's no perceptible time delay.
You can't use them to listen to a podcast or a new album on your devices, but you can turn the volume up at a concert or an outdoor movie screening, or turn down the sounds of the street below your office building. With the app, you can also change what you're hearing with sound effects options (i.e. reverb, and echo) or choose from a series of filters with names like Blue Note and Hendrix. The company has also developed specific algorithms to combat sounds like those jet engines.
Last year, Doppler Labs released its first product, $25 "advanced tech ear plugs" called DUBS Acoustic Filters that are specifically designed to filter out harmful sound without muffling it, unlike an average rubber earplug.
The Here Active Listening campaign has already met more than half its goal of $250,000 with 27 days left to go. Some of the perks that come with donating range from branded swag to meeting the Doppler team and seeing a live demonstration.
The system is on track to ship December 2015 at a list price of $249.
Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.