Here 'active listening' earbuds let you remix real world audio

This Kickstarter project has smashed its target and the buds don't even play music
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Over 1,500 people have pledged to buy a pair of wireless earbuds that don't actually play music. Has the world lost its wits to wearable tech? Maybe not.

The Here active listening earbuds, which have already raced past the initial $250,000 Kickstarter target, promise to change the way you hear the world.

The wireless buds feature a digital signal processor (DSP) with volume controls, an equaliser and effects such as reverb, flange and echo to allow you to effectively remix real world sounds. We're talking bass boost and live EQ for gigs and noise masks for plane engine noise, babies crying and office chatter.

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It sounds potentially brilliant and having already passed its first stretch goal, Here will now also allow users to save audio presets for situations and places in the accompanying smartphone app.

Composer Hans Zimmer is an early Here fan and you can see him chatting in a video on the Kickstarter page. If you hear the world musically, this could be a great composition tool - the closest thing we've experienced to what the New York based Doppler Labs team is offering is our demo of LJ Rich's on-the-go glitching kit. Listening to an altered version of our ambient noise in real time actually had the effect of making us feel closer to our surroundings.

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Here has raised $361,635 so far with 23 days to go until the campaign ends on 1 July. The early bird devices have sold out so you'll have to pledge at least $199 if you want a pair of these smart earbuds. Shipping is set for December 2015.

Hearables are pretty hot right now. One of our latest Crowdfund This projects was OpenEars which captures binaural 3D sound as you here it - hook the Bluetooth headphones up to a GoPro camera for immersive sound on your action vids.

And Carl Thomas is building Audiowings smart headphones which stream Spotify direct, without the need for a smartphone, and can play music based on your location - for instance, a sample track if you're looking at an advert for a new album. Still, we think it will take the likes of Motorola or Sony, both of which are working on hearables, to combine a compelling set of features into a breakout pair of smart, wireless earbuds.

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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