Doppler Labs’ Here One are smart, true wireless earbuds with a difference. While others try to give you an expanded feature set, Here One is focused on the listening experience.
Design-wise, they are nothing to shout about. Simple, functional but tastefully done. There are no fancy wing tips and clips; wearing them is as simple as putting them on, and it feels rather comfortable. From my experience, at least, there’s no reason to fear that they will fall out.
The carry case also holds a battery that’s good for approximately three charges of almost two hours each. Yes, the Here One has a rather short battery life, but that’s not as big a problem as it looks because its feature set seems to cater to an audience who want quality earbuds for their commutes.
And quality is what they’ll be getting. Just by sound quality alone – Here One is rather good. They aren’t using any special drivers (just regular Knowles armatures) but before you start listening, the setup process, done via the app, tunes each earbud to your ear with a series of hearing tests. The results just by doing that alone are surprisingly good. So good, you can hear the limitations of the drivers. But it isn’t off-putting because the overall balance is excellent, plus it still sounds better than its peers.
Furthermore, the noise-cancelling is rather intelligent, and for the most part, I can easily tune out the noise without much of the discomfort of uneven pressure associated with noise-cancelling gear. You are also able to adjust it the other way, amplifying the background noise so you can pick up certain sounds – it’s certainly useful when you need to be alert to your surroundings. I was worried that windy days would be the bane of the Here One, but save for the odd angle that will cause a slight, but not uncomfortable buffeting noise, I’ve yet to encounter any serious issues that will detract from a pleasant listening experience.
It’s not perfect, and it would be good to have longer battery life. Even so, the Here One is a tech geek’s dream. Most new concepts will fall short of expectations, but the Here One accomplishes what it set out to do well: masterful management of background noise and tech to augment your listening experience.