Wearables

Plugfones updates its Bluetooth earplug/earbud hybrid

Plugfones updates its Bluetoot...
Earplugs meet earbuds in the new Plugfones Liberate 2.0 model
Earplugs meet earbuds in the new Plugfones Liberate 2.0 model
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The silicone plug fitting offers a NRR of 26dB
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The silicone plug fitting offers a NRR of 26dB
You can easily take a phone call through the earbuds
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You can easily take a phone call through the earbuds
A controller offers easy access control
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A controller offers easy access control
The Plugfones essentially work like decent noise-blocking earplugs but with Bluetooth earbud capability
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The Plugfones essentially work like decent noise-blocking earplugs but with Bluetooth earbud capability
The device comes in two colors
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The device comes in two colors
A graphic on the NRR ratings for each plug
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A graphic on the NRR ratings for each plug
Available in black or blue
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Available in black or blue
The noise-blocking effect of the plugs make the device useful for frequent travelers
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The noise-blocking effect of the plugs make the device useful for frequent travelers
They plugs effectively block noise making them useful for those who like to listen to music while mowing the lawn
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They plugs effectively block noise making them useful for those who like to listen to music while mowing the lawn
Earplugs meet earbuds in the new Plugfones Liberate 2.0 model
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Earplugs meet earbuds in the new Plugfones Liberate 2.0 model
View gallery - 10 images

Bulky noise-cancelling headphones aren't always effective or practical for those who work in especially loud environments or just like to mow the lawn while listening to some tunes. And although active-noise canceling earplug technology has come a long way in recent years, the best solution to block out environmental noise is often still good old foam or silicone earplugs. Plugfone's latest earplug/earbud hybrid combine the effectiveness of a traditional earplug with a functionality of a Bluetooth earbud.

Earlier this year we tested the QuietOn active noise canceling earplugs, and while they did effectively filter out a great deal of outside noise, we found them to be not significantly dissimilar to old-fashioned cheap foam plugs. With no audio playback capability to listen to your own music or podcasts they felt like a bit of a tough sell.

With its Liberate line of earplug/earbud hybrids, Plugfones has focused on creating a set of noise-blocking earplugs that also have Bluetooth audio playback capability. The second generation of the model is currently being launched on Kickstarter offering a notable upgrade on the specs from its predecessor.

The silicone plug fitting offers a NRR of 26dB
The silicone plug fitting offers a NRR of 26dB

The Liberate 2.0 Plugfones offer up to 100 ft (30 m) of Bluetooth range and 12 hours of play time on a single charge. They weigh in at 0.6 oz (17 g) and have a cord length of 34 in (86 cm). Power, music playback, call answer and end, and volume are controlled via a three-button inline remote.

The device comes with two kinds of interchangeable SoundSeal noise-suppressing earplug fittings, foam ComfortTwist plugs with a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 23 dB, and silicone ComforTiered plugs with a noise reduction rating of 26 dB.

A set of typical earplugs will offer a NRR of anywhere from 20 to 30 dB, so the Plugfones certainly sit in a decent sweet spot to be functional for most people in a professional setting looking for basic ear protection. And for those making calls in noisy environments, a noise isolating mic will help the person on the other end of the line hear you better.

They plugs effectively block noise making them useful for those who like to listen to music while mowing the lawn
They plugs effectively block noise making them useful for those who like to listen to music while mowing the lawn

The current Kickstarter campaign offers a set of the Plugfones for between US$75 and $80 depending on how quickly you get on board. Having previously produced a model of the earbuds, the company estimates delivery of the Liberate 2.0 by October 2017. They'll be available in blue/yellow and gray/black color options.

Take a look at the Plugfones Liberate 2.0 in the video below.

Sources: Kickstarter, Plugfones

Where Earplugs Meet Earbuds! PLUGFONES® LIBERATE 2.0

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