I’m sitting on a busy subway train in Manhattan, listening to some tunes. This is a normal situation, something I do a dozen times a week. What isn’t normal is that I only hear my music, and I don’t hear any of the train or crowd noise around me. Instead, my music is backed by white noise. No panhandlers or chatty kids or the screech of subway wheels on rails. Doppler Labs’s Here One wireless earbuds are blocking out all that nonsense so I can focus on my tunes.
Building on the Here Active Listening product that made its limited debut back in 2016, the idea behind the Here One earbuds is that you can adjust the sounds happening around you in real-time—muting obnoxious noises when you want to listen to tunes, but filtering them back in when you need to hear the course of traffic or an announcement from the train conductor. The earbuds, which are comfortable and about the diameter of a dime, are actually tiny little computers with built-in microphones.