About Here One Wireless Earbuds
Here One Wireless Ear Buds feature 3-in-1 technology that promises to deliver premium audio, smart noise cancellation, and speech enhancement for a listening experience unlike anything else.
Combined with their smartphone app, this means you’ll be able to stream crystal-clear music and perfectly-synced video, with high-fidelity balanced armature speakers that provide powerful bass. You can make calls, hear better using the speech enhancing microphones, or use noise filters to turn down—or amplify—the noises around you.
Looking for hands-free operation? Here One's smart earbuds also allow you to pause streaming and noise filters, take phone calls, and access assistants like Siri and Google Now with a tap. And when the time comes, these buds can be recharged in about an hour using the portable charging case.
Whether at home, during your commute or flight, or at the office, Here One’s wireless earbuds certainly seem to provide many useful features. Can you expect it to optimize your hearing, though, as claimed on the website?
In this article, we’ll explore the device so you can make a more informed and empowered purchase.
Let’s Start by Taking a Closer Look at How Here One Earbuds Work
Each Here One earbud weighs about 5g, is about 3/4" on all sides (width, height, and depth), and comes with a variety of silicone ear tips for a customized fit. They feature a 50mAh battery that’s said to deliver about two hours of playtime and can be recharged to 50 percent in 15 minutes, with a full charge taking about an hour.
There is no power button, so your earbuds are always on when removed from the included charging case, which can fully recharge them three times before needing to be recharged itself.
Once paired via Bluetooth to a smartphone and connected to the iOS or Android app (which we’ll talk more about in the next section), Here One’s three built-in microphones allow you to make, accept, reject, hang up, and place a call on hold. All while the noise elimination enhances sound quality and the NFMI technology ensures audio and video sync perfectly.
By tapping the ‘face’ of either the left or right earbud, you’ll also be able to activate and cancel assistants like Siri and Google Now, as well as play and pause music. Here One provides the ability to connect their earbuds to multiple devices, but according to their FAQ, “you’ll need to manually disconnect and reconnect to whichever device you want to stream from.”
Finally, Here Buds are sweat-proof and water-resistant, but they can’t be submerged in water or used while showering.
Here One’s wireless earbuds shown in their recharging case, which takes about an hour to complete. Image credit: Doppler Labs
Is Here One’s App Integral to Earbud Functionality?
Outside of these tapping functions, Here One’s app is the sole interface with their earbuds. It’s optimized for iPhone 5 and above (with iOS 9.0 or later, although iOS 10.0 or above recommended), as well as Android phones running Android 5.0 or later (no availability for Windows phones).
It delivers access to three main functions:
Real-World Hearing Control
This function gives you the opportunity to turn real-world sounds up or down, while simultaneously controlling the volume of your streamed audio (called Layered Listening), so that you’re not isolated from the world around you.
Noise Cancellation & Directional Speech Enhancement
Users can also utilize the Smart Noise Cancellation function to automatically tune in (or out) specific frequencies, such as background noise in an airplane cabin, while still retaining the ability to hear the flight attendant. You can even access the Live Mix feature to manually tune these frequencies.
When connected to the smartphone app, Here One’s wireless earbuds can implement smart noise filters (left), and even allow users to manually adjust individual frequencies (right).
After setting up location tags in Here One’s app, Smart Suggest can recommend noise filters or real-world volume settings accordingly, such as while you’re at work, at the gym, and so forth. And the more you use the feature, the better it will become at learning your preferences.
The directional speech enhancement powered by Here One’s app and three mics allows you to hear where sounds are coming from, whether in front of or behind you, which can help you amplify speech in a noisy environment and tune into conversations.
Your Listening Profile
In addition to learning your preferences for Smart Suggest, these earbuds will use the information they track to help create a personal Listening Profile that optimizes real-world sound to your ears.
Here’s the example provided on the Here One website:
“If we see that your left ear doesn’t hear low frequencies as well as your right, we will increase the volume of those frequencies to balance your hearing for real-world audio, helping you hear better.”
How Much Do Here One Wireless Earbuds Cost?
Available in black or white, each pair of Here One earbuds is priced at $299.99, with free standard shipping within the U.S. Expedited two-day shipping is available for an additional $20.
The earbuds are also sold through popular retailers like Amazon, AT&T stores, Best Buy, and Brookstone. Regardless of where it’s purchased, you’ll also receive a charging case, micro USB cable, and four sets of foam and silicone tips
All Here One orders come with a 30-day guarantee (per their returns policy, they must be “in new condition and with the original casing and packaging”), as well as a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
In order to request a refund or file a warranty claim through the manufacturer, customer support can be reached at (833) 545-1200.
What Can We Learn From Here One Reviews?
Across popular tech-oriented sites like CNET, Wired, and Digital Trends, Here One’s earbuds garnered average ratings of about 3.5 stars.
Overall, most seemed to appreciate the sound quality (considering their size), call clarity, comfortable and secure fit, effectiveness of the noise filters (especially the airplane filter), and the quick charging ability.
On the other hand, most complaints referenced short battery life, high price, occasional glitches, and a hefty learning curve for the app.
In the end, Wired’s David Pierce noted that, “If you’re looking for a pair of headphones and nothing more, you can probably do better for $300. You can probably do better for a lot less than $300, for that matter.” But if you’re interested in diving into the technology, he emphasized that they could deliver a lot of value for the money.
On Amazon, Here One’s earbuds had more than 200 customer reviews and a similar average rating of 3.2 stars, with many of the same compliments and complaints.
The app had a slightly lower 2.5-star average rating between iTunes and Google Play. While many customers reported positive experiences as far as functionality and sound quality, the most common complaints revolved around bugginess.
From a company perspective, Doppler Labs is based in San Francisco, CA and was co-founded in 2013 by CEO Noah Kraft and Chairman Fritz Lanman. Previously, Noah worked as a strategic consultant for Google and COO for Verdi Productions, while Fritz currently also serves as the CEO for ClassPass.
Here One vs. IQBuds, Airpods, Bragi Dash, & Other Wireless Earbuds
The HighYa team has written about many popular wireless earbud models over the years. Here's how some of their key criteria stack up:
|Company||Price||Size||Battery Life/Recharge Time||Special Features|
|Here One||$299.99||3/4" on all sides (width, height, and depth||2 hrs; 50% in 15 minutes, 1 hr full recharge||3 mics, hearing control, directional noise enhancement, listening profile|
|Nuheara IQbuds||$299||1.1" x 0.84” x 0.6"||Up to 32 hrs; 1.5 hrs full recharge||Dynamic noise control, speech amplification, blended audio|
|Apple Airpods||$159||0.65" x 0.71" x 1.59"||5 hrs listening; 3 hrs additional in 15 min||Blends background noises, up to 24 hrs of charge time w/case speech-detecting accelerometer|
|Air by crazybaby||$169||0.47" x 1" x 0.67"||Up to 4 hrs talk time; 2 hrs||Passive noise isolation, IPX6 waterproof, omnidirectional mics|
|Rowkin Mini||$59.99||0.55" x 0.83"||Up to 3 hrs talk time; N/A||Claims to be the smallest wireless earbuds, built-in mic, tap feature|
|Protek||$89.99||18.5mm diameter||Up to 6 hrs talk time||Voice prompts, noise reduction|
|Samsung Gear IconX||$140||0.75" x 1" x 1"||Up to 3.5 hrs; 1.5 hrs full recharge||Only compatible w/Samsung phones|
How to choose the right option? Like most electronics purchases, it’s largely going to come down to your needs.
For example, if you’re looking for devices with dynamic noise control, speech amplification, and blended audio all in one, Here One and IQbuds are the only two above that offer these features. On the other hand, Apple’s Airpods feature the longest listening time, while Rowkin Mini comes with the lowest price.
And even once you found options that line up with your needs on paper, this doesn’t mean they’ll fit well, which is why you might want to focus on models with interchangeable tips, which excludes Rowkin and crazybaby.
Our Bottom Line About Here One Wireless Ear Buds
There are clearly a lot of features packed into Here One’s earbuds. And while they’re not exactly inexpensive, compared to the only other model above that delivers many of the same ones (IQbuds), they’re priced competitively.
On top of this, the manufacturer stands behind them with a 30-day refund policy and a one-year warranty, so you might not be out more than a few bucks in return S&H if you’re dissatisfied with their performance.
But as Wired’s David Pierce mentioned above, if you’re not planning on regularly using all the tech built into Here One (or if you need to use them for more than two hours at a time), you might be able to obtain all the features you want in a third-party model, but at a meaningfully less expensive price.