Tuesday, May 02, 2017

People Are Throwing Money At This Swedish Startup – With Earplugs That Shut Out Noise But Let You Continue Talking

Via Business Insider:

Do you find the noise level at your workplace disturbingly high? If so, you should definitely check out Malmö-based startup Ear Labs’ new campaign on Kickstarter.

The smart earplugs, called dBud, are designed to protect your ears from harmful noise – for use at the workplace, but also when clubbing or going to concerts. The company is targeting the mass market, comprising pretty much everyone except perhaps hermits living alone in the wilderness.

dBud’s unique selling point is that even with the earplugs on and protecting your ears you can still have a normal conversation with your colleagues, and you don’t have to miss out on the gossip in the office. As Ear Labs exemplifies in the promotional video, the earplugs are designed to be used by anyone from a DJ to a kindergarten teacher or a copywriter to shut out noise while working in any environment.

dBud has an “advanced acoustic filter” and a volume slider so you can adjust the amount of decibels to filter out. The volume slider has two positions: in the open one the noise reduction is about 15 dB and in closed position about 30 dB.

“In the open position dBud reduces the perceived volume with around 65% and actual sound pressure with as much as 97%. In closed mode the perceived volume reduction is about 87.5% and actual reduction of sound pressure as much as 99.9%”.

The campaign has got off to a flying start. In less than two weeks, it has secured almost $90.000 (approximately SEK 800.000). Due to the high engagement, the company has decided to raise the goal from $50.000 to $100.000 and to include an additional pair of foam tips in the offer.

A single set of air plugs will cost you $54, including worldwide delivery. You’ll get a discount if you're buying two or more. Deliveries to the first customers are estimated to be made in October 2017.

According to the company, as many as one billion young people are at risk of hearing loss. Elevated sound levels during a longer period of time can cause problems like "hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance”, according to the product description.

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