Chances are you’ve wanted to turn down life’s background noises on occasion, whether it’s at a noisy pub or the clatter from construction in the upstairs flat. Thanks to Amsterdam-based tech startup Knops, it will soon be a reality.
The Knop earplug has four volume levels, or steps, which can be adjusted by turning a knob on the side of the earplug. Step one feels like you’re not wearing any earplugs, step two begins to dull ambient noises, step three can tune out a deafening concert and step four will envelop you in perfectly serene, isolated silence.
“Instead of using electronics to try and synthesise something artificial, we’re taking the actual sound waves that come into your ear, and modifying them,” says founder Dr. Arjen De Jong, who received his doctorate degree in acoustics. “What you hear is the actual, physical pressure wave, as it was already arriving into your ear.”
This differentiates Knops from similar concepts like the Awareness or Filter app, which adjust ambient noise fed through the mic. The sound waves that enter your ear are from the source, rather than transmitted through a microphone, as is the case in many other noise-cancelling designs.
This will be immensely useful for those who want to take their focus to the next level. Perhaps this will be the next must-have productivity-tech.