Ask anyone who frequents loud concerts, and you’ll probably learn why protecting your hearing is important. Knops are a new pair of adjustable ear plugs looking for funding on Kickstarter that claims to be “the volume button for your ears” to help you do just that.
To clarify — unlike, say, the Here One wireless earbuds — the Knops aren’t some kind of high tech audio filter. Instead, they’re a pair of analog acoustic filters (i.e., earplugs), albeit ones with some very nice industrial design, meaning there’s no battery, no Bluetooth, and no connected smartphone app.
Instead, the Knops stand out from a regular pair of acoustic filters (like, say, Doppler Lab’s Dubs) by offering multiple levels of adjustable sound blocking. By twisting the knob (or Knop, I guess?), users can adjust each ear between four settings — ranging from an initial level of no filtering at all, to lower amount of ambient noise filtering, to higher level of blocking meant for live music, to totally sealed.
The biggest issue with the Knops is the price, which starts at $62 for the standard stainless steel version, and tops out at $117 for the gold plated option. Those prices are also early-bird Kickstarter numbers — final retail price is expected to be even higher. Furthermore, while custom fit ear protection for professional musicians can cost in hundreds of dollars, the Knops aren’t actually custom molded to your ears. Most off-the-shelf products in a similar one-size-fits-all style cost just $20 to $25 range for a decent pair.
As always, Knops are a first time product from a new company that has never actually shipped hardware before, so use your best judgement before backing. While it’s hard to recommend the Knops based on their relatively high price tag when compared to similar products, if the adjustable settings and design appeal to you, then they might be worth a closer look.