Doppler Labs, the same team that brought you the Dubs mechanical ear plug and the Here Active Listening system, is today announcing the close of a $17 million Series B funding round, led by The Chernin Group, Wildcat Capital Management and Acequia Capital. Live Nation Entertainment, Universal Music Group and WME also participated in the round.
Doppler Labs was first founded by Noah Kraft and angel investor Fritz Lanman back in 2013 with the promise to change the way we hear the world around us.
The company’s original product, the Dubs, were launched in September of 2014, and were meant to be worn in clubs or at concerts to take down the decibel level without sacrificing audio quality. The product was fully mechanical, cost $25, and to date Doppler labs has sold nearly 250,000 units of the Dubs.
This summer, however, Doppler Labs has taken live audio curation to a new level, introducing the Here Active Listening System.
In short, Here is a computer, a microphone and a speaker all stuffed into a tiny ear bud, allowing users to curate the audio around them in the real world. This isn’t meant to be plugged into an iPhone to listen to music, but rather worn on a plane to cut down on engine noise or during a commute to cut out the screech of the train. Users can adjust the EQ settings to switch up the bass, mids, or treble, as well as apply effects like reverb, flange, vintage vinyl crackle, echo, and more.
Doppler Labs launched the Here Active Listening system on Kickstarter, pulling in more than $600,000 from backers for the first run.
On the heels of this new funding, and the successful Kickstarter campaign, Doppler Labs has pulled in some new talent, including former Senior Director of Product for the Nike FuelBan Kennard Neilsen, who was also leader of Amazon’s product design team for the earlier generations of the Kindle Fire. The company also brought on Gints Klimanis, who was leading audio teams for Google’s Nest Labs and, before that, Apple, as well as Dr. Jeff Baker who previously served as Chief Technology Officer at Interlink Electronics where he worked on sensor technology for companies like Tesla Motors, RIM, Samsung, and Medtronic.
“The biggest challenge is combining very sophisticated software with very sophisticated hardware,” said cofounder Fritz Lanman. “The adaptive filtering engine and compression engine we’re developing is something no one has ever done before, and from a physics perspective, we have to achieve sufficient power and computational resources at a size and price point that is reasonable to the consumer.”
If you want to learn more about Doppler Labs, check out the website here. You can also check out the time we went hands-on with the Here Active Listening System in the video below.