Fresh from a major CES showing and having a strong backing on Indiegogo are the Stages Hero and Sidekick. Audio startup company Stages is looking to bring a few fresh takes on technology that’s currently in the audio field and makes big promises with words like “Selective Sound” and “Ambient+ Directional Audio Filtering”. What this comes down to is that the Stages Hero is a pair of headphones that will do active noise cancelling and by all intents and purposes, should be excellent at it.
What sets the Hero headset apart from its noise cancelling competitors is that it sports four microphones at the earcups and eight additional microphones in a circular mount called the “Stages Array”. Their product looks to outdo the competition by providing intelligent feedback to the audio processor allowing extremely accurate noise cancelling. Working with an app on your phone, the Hero will custom tailor the audio experience for the user. The app will allow the user to determine whether any inbound audio will be filtered based on head tracking or if they want to lock the focus of the microphones in a specific direction. Additionally you can set keywords that will allow audio to project to the user after they are said. You can also set voice profiles that will offer the same effect.
The Stages Sidekick is ready to offer all of the same sophisticated noise cancelling technology, but it works as a stand alone unit that allows you to plug in ANY headphones that you already have. It features the same “Stages Array” microphones that aide in providing the user their customizable listening environment and it’s also relatively portable should you want to take it with you to various locations. The Hero headset offers clean styling similar to many modern headphones on the market today and will be using premium metals, leathers, and other high end materials for their construction. It will also be offered in wired and wireless configurations and has phone support/integration with their built-in controls.
While both the Hero and the Sidekick have been shown at CES, there is no concrete release date on Stages’ timeline for the year. Pricing for the Hero is $699 MSRP and for the Sidekick it is $399 MSRP. If you help fund their Indiegogo, you can grab the Hero for $299 or the Sidekick for $199 as a backer and you get a free T-shirt for your support. Check out their Indiegogo page here.