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Old Mar 3, 16, 2:31 pm
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Here Active Listening

Anyone try these yet? Mine are supposed to be at my door when I get home.

Lots of promises, and I couldn't resist being an early adopter. But I've criticized folks walking around with things in their ears full-time as "bluetools", so I wonder how much I'll actually use these.
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Old Mar 4, 16, 2:11 pm
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Intriguing concept - are they active noise cancelling or just noise changing?

Do they integrate with your phone (ie: can you talk on them) or are they simply miniature speakers for your ear holes?
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Old Mar 4, 16, 2:36 pm
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Delayed a day, but now confirmed delivered at my door, so I'll find out tonight.

As I found I was somehow in the first round of product, I read up a little more on my impulse buy from a while back. My current thinking is that they are basically an in-ear equalizer, processing outside sounds before they hit your eardrum. You manage the various DSP settings from your phone that talks through BT to the devices. I don't think they are actually "headphones" - you don't conduct phone calls, listen to music, etc., through them from your phone - simply a flexible, digital filter to the outside world.

I would assume this includes active NC capability, with the ability to shape the NC curve to different sounds, frequencies, etc. Whether they have an external microphone to do this is an open question. It says it can cancel out a crying baby, which is obviously different than jet noise in a plane. It would need to have an external monitor to do this, unless it has a pre-defined "baby" filter that applies universally.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Delayed a day, but now confirmed delivered at my door, so I'll find out tonight.

As I found I was somehow in the first round of product, I read up a little more on my impulse buy from a while back. My current thinking is that they are basically an in-ear equalizer, processing outside sounds before they hit your eardrum. You manage the various DSP settings from your phone that talks through BT to the devices. I don't think they are actually "headphones" - you don't conduct phone calls, listen to music, etc., through them from your phone - simply a flexible, digital filter to the outside world.

I would assume this includes active NC capability, with the ability to shape the NC curve to different sounds, frequencies, etc. Whether they have an external microphone to do this is an open question. It says it can cancel out a crying baby, which is obviously different than jet noise in a plane. It would need to have an external monitor to do this, unless it has a pre-defined "baby" filter that applies universally.
And do you have a report for us yet?
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Old Mar 23, 16, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Boogie711 View Post
And do you have a report for us yet?
Yes! Please update! You are leaving us hanging!
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Old Mar 28, 16, 12:08 pm
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Not OP, but I have a pair.

They don't connect to the phone other than to allow you change settings via their app. Can't use them for calls or other audio. I don't have a problem with that, others might.

The basic idea is that each bud hears via a microphone, does its DSP business based on what you've set in the app, and plays the results. The lag is short enough that I haven't noticed it, but there is one. There's no active NC. Instead, imagine you have passive NC, but the earbud is just a open tube. That's essentially what you have until you turn down the volume or apply a filter. At that point, you'll hear whatever makes it past the passive NC plus whatever the buds are hearing as modified by the DSP.

The app has a volume dial, a 5-frequency EQ, and a number of pre-sets with effects (echo, flange) and what they call tune-in and tune-out settings, some of which just play with the EQ, and some of which add varying amounts of white noise. There is not yet a frequency-specific filter, but they've had many requests for one, and I'd be surprised if it doesn't show up sooner rather than later.

I've used them in the office (scary, since I might as well be alone at that point), walking around downtown SF (reducing traffic and construction noise to about what you'd get inside a car), and events in a couple of conference halls/sports arenas (totally excellent, can still hear what's going on, but so much easier on my ears). I haven't used them on the plane because I find earbuds very uncomfortable in flight.

Downsides? They'd be more comfortable for extended wear if they were rubberized instead of hard plastic. You hear a lot of your own sounds (swallowing, etc.). Conversation is easy, but you're still that guy who doesn't take out his earbuds when he's talking to you. The lack of BT audio/phone will be a deal-breaker for some.

Overall? I like them. I suspect the next version will be even better, and I'd like more selectivity in the EQ, but they're already pretty neat. If you're on and off the phone a lot or already have a fairly quiet work-space, they may not be great for you.
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Old Mar 29, 16, 2:29 pm
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Sorry, kind of busy at work, and then off on a short vacation. But it allowed me several weeks and several situations in which to use the devices.

My conclusion is that they are basically "hearing aids" with a graphic/parametric equalizer, without great sound quality, for which I struggle to find a good use case.

They are advertised as "augmented reality", which is a buzzword these days, but there's not often much that I really want to "augment" as they advertise. More bass, more treble? I prefer natural sounds. I've been at rock concerts where the balance is annoying, so they may come in handy, but that's the only scenario I've come up with.

As suggested above, they are strictly for modifying the ambient sound. While bluetooth is used to control the devices, you can't conduct a phone call, listen to music (other than live), etc.

As noted in a previous thread, one hyped use was to "tune out that crying baby", but the only way I can see that happening is hunting for the appropriate frequencies with the equalizer. It's not built in that I can find.

What is built-in are "filters" for bus, plane, train, office(loud), office(normal), and one or two others (from memory). I've tried the first 5 in all 5 situations and can't discern a meaningful difference. A train filter on a plane, a plane filter on a bus, etc., are all pretty much the same. More importantly, they're not much different than simply turning down the volume.

The device allows up to -22dB reduction, which I infer is simply muting the sound so it acts like a 22NRR earplug. But I carry around 30NRR earplug which are lighter and certainly cheaper.

It also allows +6db(iirc) amplification, but the associated hiss is unacceptable in normal use. I suppose if I wanted to listen in on someone without them knowing, it would work. But I don't think I'd want to, and big black plugs in my ears might be a tip-off.

Now perhaps I'm too harsh on these, as they're only $99. I'm not the demographic that just loves anything with "digital" and "bluetooth" and "augmented/active/etc." millennial buzzwords. I'm an engineer by training and an audiophile by avocation. I have multiple SPL meters, and have a dedicated listening room, so I'm rather serious about sound and quality.

If "hyper real" (to borrow a despised photography term) appeals to you - if you're the one that always turns up the bass and treble in my rental cars - if you find super-photoshopped pictures to be attractive - then maybe this fits the bill.
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Old Mar 29, 16, 3:11 pm
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Here's a review that I ran across that pretty much summarizes it:
If you could buy a pair of augmented reality glasses that made the world around you appear to get bigger or smaller, change colors, have glowing psychedelic trails, or make individual objects transparent ... well, that would be an AR product straight out of a sci-fi novel, far beyond anything we've ever seen. Now imagine that same product, only instead of sight it relied on your sense of hearing.
I can imagine that product and I can't imagine any desire to have it.

Another analogy from another hobby of mine, photography: The predominant purpose of a fisheye lens is to demonstrate the effect of a fisheye lens. Once you've played around with it to see what it does, if goes on the shelf.
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Old Jun 28, 16, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
. While bluetooth is used to control the devices, you can't conduct a phone call, listen to music (other than live), etc.
Here One is now available - it adds these features. Only $200 more for us early adopters, as we throw away our initial purchase.....

Introducing Here One, which takes everything in Here Active Listening and adds streaming and phone calls, making it the first all-in-one, truly wireless listening system.
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Old Jun 30, 16, 7:34 am
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They also are carefully saying you can "TAKE" phone calls. No mention of "making" phone calls.

So if you do happen to connect, you still have to hold the phone in front of you to talk? I mean, I get it - a Mic is a hard thing to engineer from an earhole.

But still... Yeah, no thanks.
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Old Oct 22, 16, 10:41 pm
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Just ordered HERE ONE after this wired update...hopefully I am not fooled. Not sure when they will be delivered.

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/dopple...eid=8db4d051bd
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Old Nov 1, 17, 3:54 pm
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Back from the dead because it looks like Doppler Labs is, well, dead... Per Engadget:

Doppler Labs unveiled its Here earbud line in 2015 with dreams of being at the vanguard of smart audio: you could control how much you heard of the outside world, and there were plans for translation and other voice-guided features. Unfortunately, that vision of the future isn't coming to pass. Doppler is shutting down after struggling to raise funds for its next project (an "alternative to traditional hearing aids") and otherwise keep the lights on. Support will keep running until December 1st, and the company will release a rough version of its next-generation Here One iOS app as a going-away present, but there won't be more than that.
And from Wired:

But it's not that simple. At one point during our conversations, I ask Kraft if he thinks that Doppler could have succeeded, if it had done everything right. No delays, no product issues, everything out as promised. He thinks about it for a long time, then answers simply: "No."

WHEN YOU GET right down to it, Kraft says he feels he’s only made one real mistake. "We f*****g started a hardware business! There's nothing else to talk about. We shouldn't have done that."
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