Have you ever been at a concert, only to realize you can’t even hear the singer thanks to the sound guy cranking the bass way too high? Yeah, me too. As of today, Doppler Labs aims to fix all your sound woes by giving a considerable shake up to the live music industry. The wearable tech company has already seen sizeable success with their DUBS high-tech acoustic earplugs, but with the launch of their latest Kickstarter campaign, they are aiming a lot bigger.
Here Active Listening System is the first ever pair of live mixing earbuds. They allow concert attendees to make up for bad seats or even for a sound guy that isn’t doing his job well. While jam bands like Umphrey’s McGee have offered headphones for fans to listen to a live audio mix, never before has the fan been in complete control of the mix.
These two earbuds (which are also wireless) connect to a mobile app via Bluetooth. In the app, you can control the volume, effects like reverb, flange, and vinyl crackle, and even a full equalizer. The app comes with a range of preset EQ filters, or the listener can fully customize all the levels.
While this is clearly a huge new development for live music fans, its uses do not end there. Imagine being on an airplane and being able to lower the volume of the plane’s rumble, while still clearly hearing the voice of your friend. Or even being able to cancel out the noise of the crying baby seated behind you. The possibilities go on and on.
With the success of their DUBS high-quality acoustic filters, Doppler Labs had an easy time getting some high-profile fans. Hans Zimmer, Quincy Jones, the team behind Coachella, festival organizers Superfly, and Tao/Marquee nightclubs have all come forth in support of Doppler’s innovative take on audio technology.
In the words of Doppler CEO Noah Kraft, “With the Here Active Listening System we want to give you the tools to have the perfect listening experience. We all perceive sound differently, but everyone has been to a concert where the audio wasn’t quite right or has been subjected to a long flight with a screaming baby. Here changes all that, giving control back to the listener by allowing you to curate what you hear and how you hear it. Our goal is to make it so you never have to deal with noise or a bad mix ever again.”
While these buds truly sound like a dream for any music fan or gadget junkie, the quality of the final product remains to be seen. Doppler states that sound waves, after being captured by the earbuds, are played back with a delay of only 30 microseconds, a delay so small that it is completely imperceptible. This sounds extremely promising, but as with many first-iteration devices, it is possible that there will be some kinks to work out after the initial release. The buds have a six hour battery life and come with a charging case that holds up to two additional full charges for use on the go.
At the moment, these seemingly-magical earbuds are available exclusively through the Kickstarter campaign, with product-based rewards starting at $179, far cheaper than the $249 planned list price. Rewards include access to beta testing and even a partnership with Doppler’s audio engineers to design your own built-in audio filter. The campaign runs until early July, so get your pair now and start mixing away.