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How often have you been somewhere and wanted to mute the outside noise of real life — a crowded bar, sporting event or nagging partner? Now thanks to Dutch startup Knops, that could become reality.

Their new Knops earplugs are acoustically developed to reduce noise in four steps. You can in turn adjust the volume of what you hear around you simply by turning a knob on the side of the Knops.

Step one allows you to hear virtually just as you would without the plugs, while step two cancels background noise of a vibrant city. Step three is then designed to dull down a loud concert, and step four thus creates a bubble of isolated silence. Ultimately, Knops are designed to be worn all day long.

“Instead of using electronics to try and synthesize something artificial, we’re taking the actual sound waves that come into your ear, and modifying them,” explains Arjen De Jong, founder and head of technology at Knops, who also happens to have a PhD in acoustics. “So, what you hear is the actual, physical pressure wave, as it was already arriving into your ear.”

For more on the innovative Knops earplugs, follow on over to their Kickstarter.

Not NYC, not LA.

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