Here One

Here One

HWM (Singapore) - - CONTENTS - By Mar­cus Wong

The Here One wire­less smart ear­buds are the lat­est to join the fray, but where Dop­pler Labs say they dif­fer from ev­ery­thing else is that they of­fer you the means to con­trol not only the way you hear your mu­sic, but the way you hear the world.

An evo­lu­tion of the Here Ac­tive Lis­ten­ing ear buds the com­pany rst launched on Kick­S­tarter, th­ese al­low you to stream mu­sic and make calls while giv­ing you a Dig­i­tal Sig­nal Pro­ces­sor (DSP) that al­lows you to turn down the vol­ume or am­plify cer­tain fre­quen­cies that you hear from the out­side world.

In terms of looks, the Here One is sleek and mod­ern-look­ing, with two color op­tions; black and sil­ver. The case is fairly well-de­signed too. It’s fairly slim, much like the case for the Bragi The Head­phone, but has four in­di­ca­tor lights to in­di­cate how much charge is re­main­ing. The Hear One has a play­time of up to two hours, while the car­ry­ing case of­fers up an ex­tra three ex­tra charges when fully charged.

This brings the to­tal pos­si­ble play­time with the Here One up to eight hours, but it takes an hour to charge the head­set once it’s been com­pletely dis­charged. So, it’s sup­pos­edly a full day’s worth of lis­ten­ing with one-hour breaks in be­tween.

One thing that stands out with th­ese head­phones is the amount of cal­i­bra­tion they do at the start to cre­ate a unique pro le for your ears. A set of ve test tones is played for each ear, while you ad­just a slider to in­di­cate at what vol­ume you can hear each sound. This is then saved and used to ad­just the way au­dio is played to your ears – and by this we don’t just mean your mu­sic, but sounds from the real world too.

That’s the great­est dif­fer­ence the head­phones bring, but it seemed like there wasn’t re­ally that much dif­fer­ence be­tween pre­sets, so we gen­er­ally just left it at the max­i­mum can­cel­la­tion strength of -22. This let us fo­cus on just the mu­sic, and we were re­ally im­pressed by what we heard.

There’s good body to the au­dio, with nice depth and good clar­ity on the mids and highs. The midrange in par­tic­u­lar seems to be a strength with th­ese head­phones. Vo­cals come out nice and clear, and both pi­ano and gui­tar sounds are pre­sented with great nat­u­ral­ness.

On a record­ing of Nils Lof­gren’s Keith Don’t Go, you can pick up ev­ery squeak and squeal as he shifts from one chord to an­other and the high notes ring out sweet and true, so there’s plenty of de­tail to be had with th­ese head­phones.

Switch over to a record­ing of Don’t Know Why by No­rah Jones, and the lower range of the Here One comes into play. The head­phones do a great job of ren­der­ing the bass gui­tar in this piece with body and just the right amount of de­cay. Mean­while, there’s good sep­a­ra­tion from the drum work and the vo­cals of the backup singers, so you can truly hear each of them.

This was again re ected on our for­mal test tracks, where we felt it per­formed best with Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia by The Ea­gles. The head­phones did an ex­cel­lent job of recre­at­ing the con­cert hall the band played in with its stereo imag­ing, mak­ing it feel like you’re right in the crowd.

At $459, the Here One is the most ex­pen­sive pair of wire­less ear­buds we’ve tested thus far, but they’re also the most in­tel­li­gent and the most mu­si­cal we’ve heard too. The op­tion to dial up the au­dio from your sur­rounds also works as ad­ver­tised, though it can cer­tainly get too loud if you’re not care­ful.

The big­gest issue with th­ese ear­buds how­ever, is the bat­tery life. We av­er­aged only about an hour and a half of lis­ten­ing time per charge with th­ese head­phones. Given that it takes a full hour to get a full charge, it seems like you’ll be charg­ing the buds al­most as much as you’ll be lis­ten­ing to mu­sic with them, which is a real shame.

CON­CLU­SION Great au­dio, hor­ri­ble bat­tery life.

Four LEDs to the right in­di­cate the charg­ing sta­tus .

The ear­buds run through in­ten­sive cal­i­bra­tion be­fore you even start.

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