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Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby tommyle » August 17th, 2017, 1:44 pm


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Hi guys, I have been fascinated by these sound manipulating earbuds for a while now, especially because I have a hard time hearing people accurately in loud places. Do these earbuds actually work well? I am aware the battery isn't great, but super human hearing to me seems worth the price tag...

https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/21/1467 ... ed-reality

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby Cyberdemon » August 17th, 2017, 2:38 pm

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Interesting that they've effectively built hearing aid features into a pair of headphones and coined it "augmented reality".

I could see this being useful, but if you have trouble hearing in loud spaces a trip to the audiologist might be worth it. I always found myself having trouble hearing people in bars and stuff as well...then quite recently discovered I had a small tumor blocking half my ear canal.

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby tommyle » August 17th, 2017, 3:34 pm


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Cyberdemon wrote:Interesting that they've effectively built hearing aid features into a pair of headphones and coined it "augmented reality".

I could see this being useful, but if you have trouble hearing in loud spaces a trip to the audiologist might be worth it. I always found myself having trouble hearing people in bars and stuff as well...then quite recently discovered I had a small tumor blocking half my ear canal.


True a lot of the features seem similar to hearing aids.
I think the AR twist is when they promote using it at live concerts and putting "filters" over the music.
That part is strange to me though, I think I'd rather listen to the concert how it was intended to sound.

Wow, will definitely take a look at visiting an audiologist... is yours a benign or malignant tumor?

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby yo » August 17th, 2017, 5:05 pm

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First off they only last two hours and they have drop outs, so using them to 'filter' a concert seems pretty silly. Second, filtering a concert is dumb. The only way I'd want to be wearing earbuds through a concert is if there was a mic perfectly in the sweet spot that was broadcasting the best sound possible at the concert and I was out of the sweet spot (pick your seats or spot carefully, a concert sounds very different depending where you are). Mic'ing the concert at the point of your ears, running an EQ over it, then playing that sound 3mm's away from the mic point is a bit odd and seems like the best way to make the concert sound worse.

If someone really does have a hearing issue, there are products that will last all day that are much better. They don't have phone connectivity and all that, but they also don't have those problems.

Personally, my view is that wireless earbuds are just not there yet. The sound quality suffers a lot, battery life is poor, and then there are issues with loosing them and charging them. A good pair of corded in-ear buds would crush these for sound quality, and really the point of having the earbuds for me is to listen to music. Having an 18"-24" cord doesn't bother me nearly as much as the drop outs and quality ding.... and remembering to charge something else...

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby Cyberdemon » August 17th, 2017, 5:08 pm

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tommyle wrote:Wow, will definitely take a look at visiting an audiologist... is yours a benign or malignant tumor?


Benign - and it's a super rare congenital thing, but it means I'll be getting cool titanium ear bones in a month. :D

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby yo » August 17th, 2017, 5:55 pm

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Dang Mike, glad to hear is is benign! i missed that in the first read through.

Tommy, I also was loosing a ton of hearing and went to the doctor. I thought my 5 years in audio (compounded by lots of concerts) was having its toll.... the conclusion? I just had a ton of ear wax (gross). The nurse cleaned it out in 30 seconds. They told me it was pretty normal in 40-45 year olds. Stuff builds up. So get it checked out, could be a range of things.

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby WSMI » August 18th, 2017, 9:30 am


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yo wrote: I just had a ton of ear wax (gross). The nurse cleaned it out in 30 seconds. They told me it was pretty normal in 40-45 year olds. Stuff builds up. So get it checked out, could be a range of things.


30 sec - you got off easy Yo. A few months ago, 5- 10 minutes of flushing my ears out. The nurse looked pretty amused with all the gunk she was digging out. I guess 20 yrs. of city bicycle commuting? Wow the difference in re-gained frequency range and clarity.

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby yo » August 18th, 2017, 10:24 am

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The difference was incredible.

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby NURB » August 18th, 2017, 3:54 pm

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My son has profound loss in his left ear, and mild loss in his right ear. He wears a hearing aid in his right, and was implanted in January with a cochelar implant.

The technology out there is incredible. Particularly the use of multiple microphones to aid in identifying where sound is coming from, as well as communicating between the two devices (provided you're using compatible brands... my son doesn't.)

But a consumer version will never meet the same level of quality. Hearing aids are finely tuned to the exact shape of your individual ear canal, and mapped for specific frequencies and tones to your hearing. A few default features means that you'll likely miss a lot of what it's filtering that it shouldn't. There's new technology just coming available that was developed by Apple using bluetooth to communicate directly with hearing aids, and CI's that they've actually made open source. Now it's just up to each brand to develop a product with that technology on board. Phonak just recently unveiled their rechargeable bluetooth HA's, and Cochlear America just released their version.

Besides that, 2 hours usage time is pathetic. Rechargeable battery tech for this field is out there for at least 12-14 hours run time. Using something like zinc-air batteries will get you weeks of constant usage.

Of course, cost is everything... my son's hearing aid was in the $2800 range, and his implant comes in around $10K for the processor. (All in, it's about $125K for one ear)

(Side note: Mike, glad to hear about the tumor. Long term will you be needing hearing aids?)
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Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby Cyberdemon » August 18th, 2017, 4:47 pm

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NURB wrote:(Side note: Mike, glad to hear about the tumor. Long term will you be needing hearing aids?)


Long term who knows, short term I have moderate hearing loss for the next 4 months or so. I'll have another surgery in a month where they remove my ear bones completely with a prosthetic, and then it will likely be about 3 months of healing where I slowly start to regain hearing. She said I should only be 10-15db less than I was previously so it shouldn't be perceptible, but the implant may need adjustment if it moves or bends over time. They basically stick a miniature titanium pogo stick from my ear drum to the inner ear...wonder if theres a Bluetooth version available.

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby yo » August 18th, 2017, 6:24 pm

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wow, that is amazing.

Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby NURB » August 21st, 2017, 8:01 am

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I had no idea you could get prosthetic inner ear bones... incredible!

For those keeping score at home, remember that the dB scale is logarithmic. For example: the difference between a sound 30 dB and 60dB is not 30x louder, but 1000X louder. (10^3), an 80dB sound is 10,000,000x louder than a sound 10dB (10^8)
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Re: Here One's Augmented Reality Earbuds

Postby tommyle » August 21st, 2017, 3:02 pm


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I am not sure if this may have cause the ear wax problems, but I hear using Qtips to clean your ears isn't healthy because it pushes and packs the wax further into your ears. I've stopped using them.

I follow the pinky rule: avoid putting things smaller than your pinky into your ears :)


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