Here earbuds let you tune how you hear the world

In the beginning there was the volume control, and it was good — so good in fact that it launched an infinite number of ways to tune and distort audio. But there was always a catch. The audio had to be playing through some kind of device, whether it be a transistor radio, CD player or iPhone.

But now, for the first time, people will be able to apply some of the same adjustments they’ve made to recorded audio to real-life audio via Here Active Listening earbuds. Somewhat of an equalizer for the real world, the Heres use a digital signal processor to allow you to not only tune people out, but change their bass and treble settings as well as a host of other options. The app comes equipped with a number of settings to take into account prolonged aural unpleasantness such as a baby crying or a being in a plane.

Cell Phone Accessories

SounDish parabolic audio enhancer will crank up sound output, won’t receive DirecTV

The sound engineer in all of us instinctively knows to cup smartphones with our palms to increase the volume of the random cat video. With that idea, the SoundDish was born. The product is as a passive acoustic amplifier and, like your hands, needs no electrical source to function. No matter where you take it, the SounDish’s design will double the sound coming out of a smartphone if its odd shape doesn’t get in the way of getting it there in the first place. Something as low-tech as this is certainly welcome if the sound quality is worth it. Otherwise, a bluetooth speaker and a pack of batteries can run you less than its $40 asking price — even at the expense of being at the whim of temporary power. The creators of the SounDish are looking for a $30,000 infusion to bring their idea to market. One will cost backers $40 with delivery in February 2015.