On the circuit

Doppler Labs wants to change how you listen to concerts

By John Lagomarsino, The Verge 7/14/2015 1:44 AM Eastern
Here Active Listening System

Last week this was just a Kickstarter dream--albeit backed by Quincy Jones and Hans Zimmer. Now, startup Dopper Labs has announced the close of a $17m investment round. The DUBS earbuds are like mini personal mixers--you can control volume, filter sounds, and perhaps most interestingly apply EQ and effects such as reverb from your iPhone to suit your individual taste in a given situation, i.e. just turn down the bass if you can't hear the singer without having to hack into the FOH mixer. It's being called "hearables" and "bionic hearing." And it's all about you--the future of everything is totally personal.  -Cynthia Wisehart

Ask co-founder Noah Kraft what the goal of Doppler is, and he says, "we want to put a computer, speaker, and mic in everyone's ear." That's precisely the idea behind Doppler's Here Active Listening System. Here is a pair of small battery-powered buds with a microphone, a speaker, and a near-zero-latency digital sound processor (DSP) designed to alter, in real time, the way we hear the world.The primary goal of the system is to enhance the sound of live performances, custom tailored to the listener's own preferences and perspective. It's a niche product aimed at audiophiles who really care about the way things sound. Here aims to enhance live audio in three ways. First, there's a simple volume control. The microphones take input from the world, and Here either attenuates or amplifies the overall volume. Second, Here can apply a suite of equalizer effects to emphasize or suppress certain frequencies in the sound spectrum. The system will also target specific frequencies with anti-noise to further suppress, say, the frequencies of a baby crying, or an overactive hi-hat cymbal in a live mix. Lastly, Here also comes with a set of effects like flange, reverb, delay, fuzz, and bitcrusher to further mess with the world around you.You control all of this through a smartphone app, which sends your settings to the buds via Bluetooth. However, all the processing occurs in the buds themselves; the app is simply a remote control for Here. MORE@TheVerge

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