Our mission at Plugfones® is to provide innovative hearing protection + a superior listening experience. We strive to continually optimize our products and foster meaningful relationships with our customers.
Plugfones, founded by Shaun Knudsen in 2008, is the story of a product truly born of necessity. Prior to even thinking about an earplug-earbud hybrid, Shaun was a real estate investor and realtor. After years of running a successful business, he suddenly found himself facing bankruptcy during the height of the U.S. financial crisis of 2008. Realizing that he couldn’t use his professional knowledge to get him out of his precarious financial situation, Shaun put his boots on and went to work at the only job he could find – pushing sheets in a glass factory. No stranger to hard work, Shaun was grateful just to be gainfully employed – but the sheer monotony of feeding sheet after sheet of glass into large industrial burners was quickly driving him crazy. What it led him to invent, however, changed his life forever. Required to have proper ear protection while at work, Shaun yearned to listen to music or books on tape while he was on the floor. An exhaustive search yielded plenty of earplugs that provided hearing protection but no music, and just as many earphones that provided music but no hearing protection. Seeing an unmet market need, Shaun began making his own line of earbuds that were tucked inside the jacket of an earplug. It was the perfect solution! Now, almost 10 years later, Plugfones features a complete line of high-quality, high-fidelity earplug-earbud hybrid products to make the day go by faster.
Vice President of Operations & Product DevelopmentDan has 15 years of experience with manufacturing and operations for consumer electronics, specifically audio and video technology. Having primarily worked with startups and small businesses throughout his career, Dan has become a specialist in developing processes and taking ideas from concept to market. He’s fluent in Chinese and diplomacy, which comes in handy when he travels internationally—as does a pair of Plugfones, which allow him to listen to audio books while making the long hours of airplane noise more bearable.
Director of Sales - Western United StatesJon has spent the last decade devoted to the distributors and consumers of the safety and industrial markets. Coming from a hard working blue-collar family, he has many relatives who haven’t always taken steps to protect themselves on the job, much less their hearing. Jon hopes to be one of the first to start losing his hearing to old age rather than hazardous noise levels at work. He uses Plugfones to listen to sports coverage while doing odd jobs around the house and working at his computer.
Director of Sales - Eastern United StatesWith over 12 years of safety and industrial experience, Cassey has helped a variety of Fortune 500 companies develop, optimize, and act on their PPE programs. He has a proven track record of dramatically reducing reportable injuries for his clients and helping them retain safety professionals by embodying a safety-first attitude. When he’s not using Plugfones to help companies meet noise reduction standards, Cassey uses the Volume Limiting models to listen to sports talk radio while doing yardwork.
Co-FounderWhile Tyler has years of experience in a variety of industries, his passion remains helping other people. Born with hearing loss, he understands just how much diminished hearing can impact one’s life. Tyler takes pride in knowing that Plugfones helps protect people’s ability to hear and improve their lives. Tyler uses his Plugfones to block out gym noise while working out to Sum 41.
President & FounderPreviously a real estate investor, Shaun was forced to take a job in a glass factory after the market collapsed in the financial crisis of 2008. Because he was required to wear earplugs on the shop floor but hated working in silence, he created an earplug-earbud hybrid that later became Plugfones. Shaun’s favorite thing in the world is hearing from Plugfones customers and how much the products have saved their workday. Shaun wears Plugfones to listen to The Killers while using his tractor to cut hay on his farm.