While it was once a mainstay of our parents’ work spaces, the office cubicle is on the decline, with a surge of businesses converting row upon row of sterile, sectioned working into open, inviting spaces where employees can collaborate, socialise and, hopefully, get a bit of work done. The catch, however, is that times of blissful quiet are rare, and have been replaced by chatter, dishwasher racket and office radio.
Short of using industrial-strength ear muffs â€“ which tend to look a little anti-social â€“ you canâ€™t do much to drown out your colleague or fellow coffee drinkers. We think Knops earphones are the best solution.
These clever earplugs out of Amsterdam mimic the “natural resonances of the human ear” by allowing the user to dull, or even completely drown out, sound around them. There are four components to these earplugs, which have a small volume knob on each: one setting that allows you to hear as well as if you didnâ€™t have them in; another that helps amplify music when you might want to up the sound quality (for example, at a live concert); as well as two more settings that include dulling background noise; and another to completely erase it.
The real genius of these earphones is that they arenâ€™t using electronics or batteries â€“ they simply use clever acoustics in order to create these aural environments for you. In other words, thereâ€™s no charging necessary. Refreshing, isnâ€™t it?
You can get yourself a pair of Knops from their Kickstarter page hereÂ or see how it works below.