Gadgets

These headphones let you control how you hear the world

Crying children on long-haul flights. Distorted bass at the gig venue. The rumble of traffic ruining your YouTube session. All scenarios set to be improved by the Here 'active listening' earphones. 

These covert buds aren't like anything you've stuck in your head before: they won't pump your favourite tracks into your ears, but rather allow you to control how you hear the world around you - an audio studio for your ear canal. 

Inside each of the Here earphones is a Digital Signal Processor, providing you with a volume control and equalizer for everything trying to get into your ears. By connecting to its accompanying app, you can set the Here system to boost aspects of the live music you're listening to, drown out the frequency of a screaming infant, reduce the background chatter of an office or even enhance the noise of traffic when cycling home.

It's basically the gadget equivalent of becoming Daredevil.

In addition to a set of preset filters and modes, you can inject some trippy experiences into your day by using the Here effects: make a woodland walk even more epic with a splash of echo; improve a conversation by adding flange to your friend's voice; or make the world sound like a vinyl record.

Useful? No. Fun? Heaps of it. Think of it as the audio equivalent of rose-tinted spectacles.

Currently amassing funding over on Kickstarter, you can order a set of for a limited time for £117 ($179), with the first models due to ship in December.

Until then, you'll just have to make do with sticking your fingers in your ears. Or just listening to some music with your existing headphones, which now seem quaintly archaic.