Music
Plugfones Liberate blocks out noise, lets in favorite tunes

Noisy environments are usually a temporary nuisance — unless, of course, one has to work in them all day. In that case, noise cancelling ear plugs are necessary to properly protect one’s hearing. Unfortunately, that means no music or audiobooks to get through the workday with. Shaun Knudsen couldn’t deal with that limitation and created a set of noise-cancelling headphones called Plugfones. After a few years of success with his initial wired version, the product is on Kickstarter in its new, wireless iteration: Plugfones Liberate.

The noise-blocking headphones shed its 3.5mm port to make it easier for anyone to work without the hassle or potential danger of tangled wires. Beyond that, it’s pretty familiar territory as far as earbuds go. The Plugfones Liberate feature a noise-reducing mic for phone calls and controls for things like playback and volume. It’s recommended that the Plugfone Liberates’ variety of user-replaceable silicon and foam tips are replaced every few weeks to ensure a snug fit and maintain the benefits of its s Noise Reduction Rating of 26. Plugfones sells them direct from its Web site for $7.99.

One neat differentiation is a magnetic charging cradle makes it quick to charge its battery for up to eight hours of audio goodness. A pair of Plugfones Liberate (short or long model), two silicon tips, two foam tips, and charging cradle all goes for $79 and is slated to ship June 2016. Its Kickstarter campaign is looking for $35,000 by May 13th, 2016.

Most headphones focused on blocking noise, like the QuietOn and the Hush, are designed for a bedroom setting only. The Liberate edition of the Plugfones are incredibly versatile in comparison, seeing that it can not only be used in the bedroom if necessary, but in a factory, construction, driving, shooting, landscaping, and gym setting, too. There are obviously no sleep tracking benefits, but their versatility makes up for it.