Ear protection as a style product

3 Apr '2017 Life

We know it’s hard to imagine that ear protection can be a style product. Most earplugs are designed in a way that they don’t draw too much attention. You can even find earplugs transparent or in skin color, giving the image that you don’t want to be seen with them. But isn’t style important, especially when it comes to ear protection? Isn’t it time for a new approach in designing ear protection?

Ear protection and visibility

When it comes to hearing protection it’s often something people don’t want to be seen with. Although this is changing the last couple of years, somehow wearing earplugs is still a bit of a taboo. Strange about this, is that ears have been decorated for many years, in many different cultures. Even earbuds and headphones are linked with aesthetics and style. Ear protection devices on the other hand lack aesthetics.

Ear decoration worn by different people

Ear decoration worn by different people.

While developing and designing Knops we chose a new approach of visibility of ear protection. With a great design, a product like earplugs can be seen. We believe that it’s time for a new view on ear protection, don’t you agree? You can make a statement by wearing ear protection that also looks good.

Protection from outside

People protect themselves from influences from outside influences for decades. Sunglasses, for example, are originally designed to protect your eyes from the sun. Nowadays it’s still used for protection from sunlight, but also (and maybe even more than protection) it’s a style product, an accessory.

With Knops we want to show you that ear protection also can be used as a style product and protection at the same time. We think that ear protection is ready for this step because more people are aware of the growing problem of hearing damage. We believe more people will wear hearing protection, and stylish earplugs will be a common thing the next few years. This statement is confirmed by research showing that the market for hearables  is a fast growing market.

Inspiration for the Knops design

The design of Knops is inspired on a classic round volume button, with on the inside the shape of a gramophone cone, showing the link with volume and sound. This design is made of high quality materials and in combination with the option of various colours and trims, it makes Knops an accessory item which fits your personal style. We developed different prototypes for Knops using 3D prototyping.

By now you probably have some new insights and ideas about wearing ear protection. It does not have to be silly or ugly, it can be beautifully designed to fit your personal style. This way you look stylish and amazing, while taking care of your ears. Let the music play!


At Knops we use 3D prototyping for product development

3D prototyping is part of digital fabrication techniques, which also include laser or water cutting/engraving and CNC-milling/lathing. A designer can, due to 3D prototyping, produce real world prototypes from a computer file. At Knops it gives us the possibility to create nearly complete prototypes early in the design process. In this way we can test our designs and concepts in an early stage. 3D printing There are numerous different types of 3D printers with different kinds of quality, print speed, materials, and reliability.  When it comes to 3D printing, reliability is an important aspect. 3D printing is relatively new and