There is a pretty interesting product on Kickstarter right now that could find a niche in birding. The Here wireless earbuds promise to do one thing and do it well – allow you to customize how you hear real world sounds. You can think of it as hacking your ears.
Here allows you to adjust the volume of sounds, change the mix of highs and lows with an equalizer, and create filters that reduce noises in specific frequencies.
I can see a couple great applications for birding, from boosting those high frequencies to better hear the Blackpoll or Blackburnian Warbler, boosting the flight calls of migrating birds while filtering out nearby traffic noise, or just boosting the volume of the dawn chorus.
It also brings up many questions about whether boosting your hearing is considered cheating, particularly in competitions. Of course, no one complains about using binoculars and scopes which boost our vision, so its an interesting debate that may be more based on tradition than anything else.
How would you use the Here earbuds? Would you consider getting them? Let us know in the comments!