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AI headset and clickable phone keys

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The world is a noisy place. High-end headphones are getting better and better at turning it off; Solid noise-cancelling headphones from Sony, Bose and others are increasingly essential for anyone who spends a lot of time on planes and trains, or in cafes full of people pitching AI startups. It really is a matter of common sense.

But some are already working on a giant leap in active noise cancellation. Instead of just blocking out all the sound around you, the next generation of headphones could block out all the sounds you don’t want, but let in everything you want to hear. And one day, it might even be able to do it automatically. Your headphones might block your boring friend, but not your cool friend; could silence the vacuum cleaner but not the cat; could perfectly remove background noise from your voice notes while keeping your speech crystal clear.

On this episode of The VergecastWill Poor goes to a lab and puts the deeply prototype headphones of the future on his head – then comes back to tell us how it happened.

After that, we chat with MrMobile himself, Michael Fisher, about the long history of smartphone keyboards, his new startup Clicks, and why he thinks it’s time to make your iPhone feel a little more like one old BlackBerry.

Finally, we answer a question from Edgecast Hotline (+1-866-VERGE11) to find out which microphones to buy if you want to follow Ken Burns on your family videos. We have some thoughts and some options.

If you want to learn more about everything we discuss in this episode, here are some links to get you started, starting with headphones:

And our helmet options:

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