Dec 14, 2014 | By Kira

In today's hyper-mediated world, it can feel almost impossible to disconnect, never mind get a restful night of sleep. Whether you are student with nocturnal roommates, traveling next to a screaming baby, or just can't get your phone to stop buzzing, Hush, the world's first smart earplugs, are for you.

Created by engineers Daniel "Ewok" Lee, Daniel Synn, and Daniel "Chesong" Lee, affectionately referred to as the Three Daniels, Hush is a set of wireless earplugs that connect to your smartphone. They combine noise-cancelling earplugs, sound eliminating foam, and an app that produces and controls sound to isolate listeners from their surrounding environments while still keeping them connected to the outside world by letting pre-selected smartphone notifications filter through.

When it came to designing the earplugs, the engineers knew that comfort would be key. 3D printing allowed them to create and test hundreds of shapes to find the ideal design that would accommodate a broad range of ears. "The process was highly iterative as we had multiple people sleep through entire nights with the prototypes to provide real-world feedback so that we could learn and adjust accordingly," said the creators.

The final design is comprised of four defining elements that make Hush a truly comfortable fit: an angled design that follows the natural curve of the ear canal, heat-sensitive memory foam that molds to your individual ears, silicone padding to provide an ergonomic cushion, and a curved exterior that allows freedom to roll around while sleeping.

Currently, the two most popular methods of dealing with noise disturbances are earplugs and sound machines. However, when it comes to sleeping, earplugs are uncomfortable and have physical limitations—sound can still enter through the eardrum by conducting through your bones. Similarly sound machines are limited in how much sound they can mask, and if played too loudly, they become a sleep distraction themselves.

Hush combines these two existing methods by using the earplug has the first line of defense, and then masking out any additional sounds with the app. The app includes several soothing sounds, including white noise, brown noise, pink noise, ocean wave, rain fall, and others. In addition, Hush can play binaural beats. This is when a certain pitch is played in one ear, and a slightly higher pitch is played in the other. The brain interprets the difference to encourage different states, from deep calm to alertness. When mixed with soothing sounds, binaural beats create a sleep stimulating experience.

Assembly of miniaturized boards that go into the final version of Hush.

However, what makes Hush so unique is that it goes beyond just blocking out your environment to encourage sleep. By wirelessly connecting the earplugs to a smartphone-enabled app, users won't miss out on their alarm clocks or important phone calls. The notification filter allows users to control which alerts to let through while they sleep, blocking out the unimportant ones, such as game notifications or calls from specific contacts. In addition, the alarm clock and all notifications are limited to your ears only, meaning that those around you won't be bothered.

Example of the Hush app, which will be available in the App Store and on Google Play.

The device can run up to 10 hours in one battery cycle since it runs on Bluetooth Low Energy to perform its functions. The design innovation extends to the case itself, which is small, light, and doubles as a charger. The case comes with rechargeable batteries that can recharge Hush up to 10 times in one battery cycle. Thought it couldn't get any better? The case also comes with an extra USB port so you can charge your phone and Hush at the same time.

The Hush case is almost as innovative as the earplugs themselves. It doubles as a charger and has an extra USB port to simultaneously charge your smartphone.

The initial idea came to the Three Daniels when they were in college, and had to deal with roommates constantly throwing parties while all they wanted was a good night's rest. They soon realized that it wasn't just college students who had trouble dealing with their surroundings—business travelers, married couples, and people from all walks of life were suffering due to distracting environments.

The passionate young team decided to pair up with an established engineering firm in order to address any concerns about the development and product launch. By drawing on their expertise, they hope to bring their prototype to a manufacturable state and sell Hush to the masses.

"The Three Daniels"

A Kickstarter campaign was set up with an initial funding goal of $100,000, however that goal has been quadrupled—they are currently at over $477,000. Thanks to this wave of support, the Three Daniels have continued to innovate and improve their product by incorporating feedback from their backers, such as adding extra sleep sounds to the app, squeezing a spare foam compartment into the carrying case, and adding a silicone tri-flange option for those who prefer silicone tips.

Currently, they are in nearing the end of their Kickstarter campaign, and have already tested their alpha prototypes. They plan to finalize the app by early 2015 and ship the first 2000 units by May. Thanks to a team of passionate engineers, the promise of 3D printing, and the support of nearly 4,000 backers, the promise of a good night's sleep may be just a few app downloads away.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


Maybe you also like: wrote at 2/2/2016 8:34:41 AM:

How do I buy a pair of the noise cancelling earphones?

Deanna R. Jones wrote at 5/26/2015 10:27:02 PM:

It's pretty incredible that the developers of this app found a way to create wireless noise cancelling earphones. I was wondering about how these earphones are powered until I came across the section about the case that doubles as a charger. It seems like using a case that also charges your noise cancelling earphones would be very convenient. I have trouble sleeping when I hear noise, but I'm afraid to use earplugs because I need to be able to hear my alarm. It's a good thing that they developed the app to sync with a smartphone so that you can still hear your alarm once it goes off.

edgar wrote at 5/14/2015 10:13:54 PM:

wow this is awesome !! can i use this ? now actually i am using foam earplugs which i saw a blog and inspiration me . blog at :

David Shepherd wrote at 3/15/2015 4:55:54 PM:

Next step guys, noise cancellation... Two tiny mics on either side to help phase feedback adjustment to eliminate external noise. Bone induction, not sure about that part... I'd be happy to sleep with my snoring wife. That's the big audience to shoot for. No way to get perfect cancellation at all frequencies at first. Focusing on low freq would help on first iteration I think. Good luck, thanks for your work... Found this as I was researching noise cancellation techniques for my own ear plugs, and it might just work as is, but until you send me a pair I can't know and will keep trying on my own.

Jon S wrote at 12/14/2014 9:46:44 PM:

I had an idea for something like this many years ago. It was before smartphones so my idea was to have earplugs wireless linked to an alarm clock. I even looked in to filing a patent and came across one that had already, broadly covered the idea of wireless connected earplugs/hearing aids. Unless that has expired now, Hush may be violating that patent.

3Drasle wrote at 12/14/2014 9:36:03 AM:

Correct me if I am wrong, but there is no noise canceling technology in these earplugs. Just noise isolation and sound.

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