Here One is the world’s first three-in-one True Wireless Smart Earbuds. According to the San Francisco based Doppler Labs – the manufacturers of the earbuds, Here One delivers premium audio, smart noise cancellation and speech enhancement.
With Here One, anyone can dynamically increase or decrease the volume of the world around them, selectively enhance specific sounds such as a conversation in a loud restaurant, or suppress specific noises such as a jet engine, a crowd or background office noise.
This is made possible through the magic of Real World Sound Control, Here One’s proprietary sound technology that turns what looks like a normal headphone, into a device that gives you superhuman hearing.
Won a pair of Here One Wireless Smart Earbuds
I recently won a pair of the Here One True Wireless Smart Earbuds at the Singapore launch event earlier this month. Members of the media and influencers were invited to the event.
So here are my thoughts and comments about the Here One earbuds.
Packing is sleek
The packaging for the Here One earbuds is quite sleek. The earphones come with a sleek wireless charging capsule with an LED light in front to indicate charging status and battery life. The earbuds rest within metal sensors inside the charging capsule. When the buds are not positioned in the correct place, the LED light in front will flash – I thought that this is a rather nice idea.
As well, the box also contains a charging cable as well as a relatively large selection of ear tips to cater to ears of varying sizes. This is good, because after all, not everyone has the same sized ears.
Setup takes time
Setting up the earbuds can take quite some time though. To do so, you have to download the Here One app which is free on both iPhone and Android.
The initial sync upon opening the box, requires you to to perform several steps, such as being able to customise your hearing preferences in both your left and right ears before you are good to go.
I must say though, that the pairing instructions are clear and very easy to follow. If you understand basic English, or any other language that your phone has been set to, there should not be a problem in order to pair your new Here One buds to your phone.
Despite the number of steps involved to set up the Here One earbuds, at least this means that you will be eventually be getting a pair of earbuds that can cater directly to your own ears. This is what Here One prides itself in, after all. And for example, some people may be more sensitive to some types of sound rather than others, and the individual sound preferences of the Here One earbuds clearly takes this into account.
After the pairing process, the subsequent syncing is automatic and completely seamless when you take the Here One buds out of the case; as long as your phone BlueTooth is switched on, you only need to put the Here One buds into your ears and they will be instantaneously detected by your phone.
So far, I have not had any issues with the BlueTooth connectivity dropping when I am using the Here One buds, but some other users of the Here One have commented about this though.
Comfortable enough in the ear
In terms of wearing the Here One buds, they sit comfortably in the ears and do not come out with vigorous movement. The size of the earbuds seem to be just right to sit snugly and tightly in my ears, yet without appearing obvious to the average passer-by that I am wearing earbuds.
But I have to say though, that even if they are comfortable and snug enough, I am still aware of the presence of these earbuds in my ears and at no point was I able to completely forget that I was wearing the Here One buds, throughout a two hour period of usage.
Great for running
I have also been running with the Here One buds and the feeling is really great. Without any wires dangling down my body or behind my head, the complete freedom of movement had been quite exhilarating.
As well, the buds also did not slip or come out of my ears at all, even after two hours of continuous running and this is quite good.
Also you do not need to worry about the earbuds getting spoilt when you perspire a lot in the tropical Singapore climate, especially when you are exercising. This is because the buds are sweat proof.
Music quality is great
The music quality is also quite impressive for a pair of wireless earbuds. The Here One buds also produce a clear and clean sound and it covers a wide range. The bass is good and relatively deep and the sound is full at the same time.
And the treble is adequate and can be easily adjusted on the Here One app too, in order to suit individual music preferences. So the earphones are quite customisable.
Besides simply being used for listening to music, the Here One iOS app gives users access to noise filters such as Crowd or City, Enhance Speech (Front) and (Back) and environmental settings like Restaurant, Office and Airplane. (More of these features will be coming in the Android app version according to Doppler Labs).
I tested out the sound noise filters and settings, and I particularly like the City filter for when I am running at the park; it really does wonders in terms of blocking out the distracting surrounding sounds around me and lets my fully concentrate on my running and my music.
The City filter is also great for walking around in a busy area such as Singapore’s Orchard Road, when you do not want the annoying background noise or chatter in the distance, to be a disruption.
As well, I had also turned on the City filter to make a phone call at a busy hawker centre, to test this feature out further. And the person on the other end of the line could hear me without any problems, though some background noise had been present on the other end of the line. Perhaps Doppler Labs could consider filtering out the unwanted noise for phone calls better, in future editions of the Here One.
The effects of the Office filter however did not sound too different from the City filter when I tested it out, and I didn’t really notice any major difference in terms of the sound when I had tried out the Enhance Speech filters either. So this has led me the conclusion that the difference in these filters are subtle and quite minimal.
But I haven’t had the chance to test out the Airplane filter on an actual plane yet. I have heard from other reviewers though, that this filter is like magic in terms of helping to drown out the engine roar to enable you to sleep well on an aircraft – something that I have never been really able to do, so far.
Nevertheless, I think that it would be an interesting idea for Doppler Labs to have the Here One earbuds to suggest a filter to use by detecting the background sound and ambience instead of the users having to manually pick a filter to suit their needs.
I also like the Layered Listening features in the Here One buds. This feature enables you to control how much noise cancellation you want; you can reduce or amplify ambient sound to find the right balance, making it perfect for commuting and working.
At minus 22, I can really feel the effects of the complete noise cancellation at work, and it helps me to focus entirely on my music without having any distracting background sounds to disturb me.
However at the other end of the spectrum, I can indeed hear all the ambient sound around me, including people speaking to me. I must mention though, that with the Here One buds in my ears, the sound of conversation sounds muffled and reminds me of the sound coming from a radio.
But when I am making noises with the Here One buds inside my ears, the sounds that I am emitting becomes amplified. For example chewing on food becomes noisier than usual and this can be really distracting. This applies to my speaking too; I feel as though my own voice is somewhat coming out from a loudspeaker instead of directly from my own mouth.
In terms of the battery life, this is the biggest drawback of the Here One buds. On a single charge, the Here One buds lasts for two hours.
Before the battery in the Here One buds dies, you get two warnings. One is the Low Battery warning and it comes about half an hour before the earbuds goes flat. The other is the Critical Battery warning to tell you that the earbuds are about to die. The battery then subsequently dies within the next five minutes.
I find the short battery life to be an rather big inconvenience because due to it, there are limitations of the Here One buds. For a start, I can’t train for a marathon with them because many of my long runs last more than two hours.
Also, it is not possible to use them on a long-haul airplane flight to drown out the engine noise and catch a good, long rest of more than two hours whilst uninterrupted, which is a pity, as I had thought that this had been a rather interesting feature of the Here One earbuds.
The charging case delivers over three charges though. So I suppose that this is better than nothing – as you can always take out the buds of your ears when the battery is flat and put them back again into the ears when the battery has charged fully. It takes an hour for the Here One buds to completely charge inside the battery case.
As a whole, I think that the Here One earbuds are a great, if not, ambitious product, and in my opinion, are one of the best true wireless smart earphones out there in the market.
But there are some improvements that can be made though, and I think that the battery life is the biggest one, by far.
Cost and where to get the earbuds
The Here One earphones have a retail price of SGD$459.
In Singapore, they are currently available at several retail outlets across the island. These are at ‘We The People’, AV One, Best Denki, Challenger, Connect IT, Jaben, Headphones SG, SixFive, Stereo, XGear as well as online, at TrueWireless.sg.