The New York Times Magazine has produced a slick and interesting piece where they travel around the world to various locations and focus on what you would hear if you were there. In the piece we hear the sounds of lava flowing from Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, then travel to northern Chile to hear the cracking of the Atacama Desert, stop briefly to hear the sound of rats conversing in New York City, and so on.
And no one knows why. Oddly, the eardrums move, or wobble, “whether or not there’s externalized noise,” writes Ed Yong, The Atlantic. Odder still, the eardrums start to “wobble about 10 milliseconds before the eyes.” Click the link above to read this fascinating article.
Knops are acoustic adjustable hearing solutions that reduce noise in four steps. No electronics, comfortable to use and easy to carry.
Essentially Knops are adjustable earplugs that allow you to increase and decrease the amount of sound filtering you need for any given situation. If they work as promised, they could be really useful for someone who is exposed to different soundscapes in the course of a day (e.g., a quiet home, noisy gym, chatty workplace, and loud restaurant). What makes Knops interesting is that the Kickstarter story suggests that hearing protection was a motivator and not just being the master of your personal soundscape.
Knops are on offer for €58 ($62) during the Kickstarter pledge phase, with a “normal” price of €99 ($107.50). It’s unclear how many people will be willing to part with about $100 for a pair of adjustable earplugs, but as of 10:00 p.m. EST on April 24th they have $137,386 pledged in their Kickstarter campaign, which is $100,000 over their $32,532goal.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class will blast pink noise at you just before an accident, to protect your ears. That’s right, in an effort to cut down on “hearing damage caused by the deafening crunch of a car crash,” Mercedes-Benz is going to “blast pink noise through the stereo when you’re about to hit something.” What will the pink noise do? It will “trigger a fascinating physical response…known as the acoustic reflex, or stapedius reflex – an involuntary muscle contraction in the middle ear that effectively dampens the vibrational energy that’s transferred to the cochlea.” Essentially, the reflex action will reflect some of the noise from a crash back through the ear drum, thus avoiding the inner ear. Click the link to learn more.