Meet The Young CEO Who’s Taking On Apple In The Smart Earbud Race

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If you’d told people 15 years ago that we’d all be walking around with hand sized computers in our pockets, plenty of them would have called you crazy. That seemed like the kind of tech you’d see in a movie set a hundred years in the future. It was other-worldly. Fast forward to today, and it’s hard to imagine that we ever lived our lives without smart phones. It’s something we’ve been reflecting on as we approach the ten year anniversary of the iPhone. Technology has transformed the world at a breakneck pace, and our lives have changed drastically along with it.

It makes you wonder about the next piece of can’t-live-without-it tech. Most of us have no idea, we’re simply along for the crazy ride. But if Doppler Labs has anything to say about it, the next big thing is going to be complex computers located in your headphones. Specifically their complex computers located in your headphones. Their product, Here One, is a set of wireless headphones that allow you to interact with sound in a revolutionary way. They came out in February, and already the world is buzzing about them. (The nice thing about these headphones is that you can turn that buzz down to a reasonable level if you’re so inclined.)

In only two years, Doppler Labs has grown from a company with a Kickstarter campaign for earbuds to an 80 person empire. As their growth goes astronomical (adding new engineers, experts, and seasoned executives), they keep one big goal in mind: They want to take on and defeat Apple in the race for the best ear bud.

“There was a big report that came out two weeks ago that simply said, ‘On September 7th everything changed,'” 29-year-old CEO and co-founder of Doppler Labs, Noah Kraft explains. “When Apple decided to remove the headphone jack and release the AirPods, everything changed. Now the race is on.”

Kraft who founded the company in 2013, has always had a bug for tech, with a background in film and music. He’s worked for the founder of Def Jam records, and most recently worked in film production. His most well known project was the Scorsese produced, “Bleed For This” starring Miles Teller. Still, the future for him was always in music.

“I’m an audiophile, drummer, and a music lover,” Kraft says.

So when the entrepreneur saw the opportunity to develop a smarter ear bud, one that would basically be a computer in your ear, he leapt. The result is the Here One — wireless ear buds that process 100 percent of the sounds in your vicinity. They allow you to fully integrate with the world around you. Then they allow you to manipulate it.

“Once we can mimic your ears, we can do a lot of incredible stuff on top of that,” Kraft says. “So we can amplify the world. We can reduce the world. We can add filters. For example, an airplane filter will cut out the jet engine, but not the human voice. You can be sitting on an airplane and you can talk to the flight attendant without hearing the rumble of the jet engine.”