How many times did we wish to enjoy our music without any other noise and sound disturbing? Personally, I experienced such a feeling on countless occasions. Very recently, for instance, during a long intercontinental flight, I found myself seated next to a young couple with their own child, who didn’t give up crying from take off to landing, to the delight of everybody next to them, including myself. An annoying noise that interfered on my beloved playlists.

But a new Silicon Valley startup comes to our rescue: Doppler Labs created Here Active Listening, a new device with the goal to isolate the sound, but to add a new element. Indeed, any new sound coming from the external environment is filtered: frequencies make the whole system more adaptable to what you really want to listen to. A sort of sonic Instagram: several filters are adjusted at the external frequencies, adapting them to the dynamics and context of the environment, allowing to choose what we really want to listen to. There are two very simple functions: turn out and turn in. The former allows blocking the sound around you, while the latter sets the way the sound comes from outside.

The product – still in its testing stage – received positive feedback: from a visit to a newsroom to a journey in the underground, people testing the device had noticed how the earbuds paired with the app work together to capture every single vibration and frequency proceeding from the outside environment, even the air flowing through the wagon of the underground.

Here Active Listeting: two wireless earbuds and a smartphone app

As Noah Kraft, CEO and co-founder of Doppler Labs, declared, these earphones are a new way of living and experiencing the sound and the outside environment: “We forget that hearing is a really powerful sense; We are bombarded by noise and we don’t have much control over it ì he said. ìIf you think about the other senses, [for vision] you have eyelids, you can wear sunglasses. If it is too cold you can put on a sweater. If it is too bland you can add spice. Your ears are on all the time”.

15 filters ready for use for every kind of taste and scenario. Are you a nostalgic of the 8 bit or other sounds of the past? The solution is approaching, with the goal of becoming the music world Instagram.

Notwithstanding, there is something that didn’t fully convince critics: you can’t reproduce your music library on your phone through this device. Kraft, indeed, points out that the aim is not to focus on playlists, but to leave those very external sounds to influence in a different way both the music we are listening to and the environment where it lays by. All of this, being aware to have in their hands an instrument that might bring about a deep change in the way they experience music in their daily life.

The project has been launched last year on Kickstarter and collected  635,000 $, producing a  fair movement of interest, such as that from the Coachella, which partnered with Doppler Labs giving to all the attendees of the festival the chance to purchase Here in order to personalize their live listening experience during the events of the 2016 edition.

Just a few more days until #Coachella Weekend 2 takes us deeper into live sound! #HerePioneer | 📸: @stephenskis

A photo posted by Here Active Listening (@hereplusme) on

But the real revolution is the price, that is between 200 and 300 $: compared to the Beats definitely has not the same commercial appeal for the hardcore of the fans, but certainly is a very little deal thinking of the advantages that bring on a large scale.

Did you try this device? What do you think? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Lorenzo Salmi

Contributor at sounDesign
Lorenzo Salmi is a freelance communication and cultural marketing operator. A relentless enthusiastic of electronic music, Lorenzo is Editor and Co-Founder of the music workgroup Collettivo HMCF and promoter of roBOt Festival in South America. With a Master Degree in Marketing, Communication and Media at the Bologna Business School, Lorenzo loves to say he lives amassing LP and singles, writing travel journals and getting lost at dawn with a swim at the seaside.