Have you ever gone to a live music event and wished you had more control over the music? Well, if you’re heading to Coachella in 2016, your wish just might come true. Doppler Labs is giving this year’s attendees early access to its amazing Here “active listening” earbuds, so festival goers will be able to mix their own audio effects over live Coachella music performances.
If you’re not familiar with Doppler’s tech, here’s a quick rundown. On the outward-facing part of the Here earbuds, there’s a set of microphones. These pick up audio from the surrounding world, which is then sent through a digital signal processor (DSP), and subsequently played into your ears with no perceivable latency (i.e. under 30 microseconds). With the help of a smartphone app, you can adjust how this DSP behaves — effectively allowing you to add, remove, or augment the original audio signal. It’s basically like having a volume knob and EQ settings for every single sound that enters your ears.
Digital Trends actually got a chance to test the system out at CES last week, and we were so impressed that we awarded Here our Top Tech of CES award in the Home Audio category. The buds work exactly as advertised, and the accompanying app makes a range of effects available to every listener, from bass boosters to equalizer controls, reverb capabilities, background noise cancellation, and more.
Until now, the Here system has only been released to a select number of Kickstarter backers, and a who’s who list of the music business (including Hans Zimmer, Quincy Jones, Mark Ronson, and Tiesto). The wide release isn’t expected for another couple months, but every Coachella attendee will receive an exclusive code to purchase their own system before everyone else.
There is already a waitlist of more than 25,000 people waiting to get their hands on the Here Active Listening System, with no official word yet when it will become available to the wider public. Doppler Labs has been building wearables since 2013, and is currently “on a mission to create wearable technology that makes computing more immersive and human.” It’s a timely goal, especially considering that so much of music production now lives in our tech capabilities. And now that live music events often require little more than the push of the play button, maybe giving fans control of the more subtle musical aspects of music listening is just what the industry needs.