These earbuds don't play music, but they let you customise how the world sounds around you

What if you could tweak and customise the sounds of the world around you?

That’s the goal of a new Kickstarter project for the Here Active Listening System, which is basically a pair of earbuds designed to filter and process the sounds of real life.

The idea with the Here earbuds is to allow you to wirelessly customise how you hear events like concerts, flights, stadiums, and subways so you can enjoy the experience more. With Here you can add a bass booster to a live concert, add an audio filter to lessen the sound of a baby crying aboard a long flight, or block out the sounds of the subway or crowds on your way to work.

It’s important to note that the Here earbuds don’t play actual music and they aren’t a hearing aid, they only filter the noise happening around you. They work by quickly picking up and recording the real world sound surrounding you and then running those sounds through a digital signal processor to tweak it before playing it through a speaker into your ear.

“Here does not stream or play recorded music,” its Kickstarter page says. “Instead, the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) inside Here acts as a studio in your ears by providing you with a volume knob, equaliser and effects to transform real world audio. Use this ‘remote control for your ears’ to have an optimal listening experience every time.”

The Here Active Listening system also connects wirelessly to your smartphone so you can easily choose from a series of existing audio filters, equalizers, presets, and sound effects.

The Here Kickstarter still has 28 days to reach its goal of raising $US250,000, but so far it’s raised over $US55,000. You can pre-order your own Here earbuds starting at $US179 with an estimated delivery date of December, and the earbuds will eventually retail for $US250 — both of which are extremely expensive when you consider you won’t be able to use them as music earbuds.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Here Active Listening system, you can watch the Kickstarter design video below or head on over the crowdfunding website if you’re looking to pledge. 

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