Long live the eardrum: a Sprinter nomad’s hearing protection.

Two people are lying in a van and looking at a red steel bridge

“If you ain’t busy living you’re busy dying.” The motto which Jack Mann, the founder of Vibes, lives by transmits a clear message.

A man of action.

The audience is ready, the concert hall is crowded when the band goes on stage. There is deafening noise because the fans, in a wave of pleasant anticipation, cheer loudly when the music starts blaring from the loudspeakers. What for Jack Mann as an experienced concertgoer was rather common, on that particular night led to an incident which was to have a lasting impact on his life: ruptured eardrums. Jack was therefore bound to do something to protect his hearing the next time he attended a concert. Dissatisfied with the poor sound quality of the conventional earplugs he tried out, he came up with the idea to develop his own product – earplugs that, on the one hand, would reduce the volume level, but on the other, not adversely affect his concert experience. The idea for Vibes was born.

A man is sitting in a van on the beach

Jack Mann smartly used his experiences to start his business.

Enjoying the sun and exciting adventures in the Sprinter instead of icy winters at home.

Let’s look some three years ahead: Vibes has meanwhile established itself in the market, but this is just one of several dreams which Jack Mann has realized. As an outdoor sports enthusiast, he has always striven to spend a good part of his time in the great outdoors. In order to escape the icy winters of his home town of Minneapolis, he travels south together with his girlfriend. And those who like hiking, cycling or tearing up the slopes require a vehicle that matches their needs. Therefore, after careful consideration, the couple chose a Sprinter. Mann’s expectations were high: enough space in the van’s interior to be able to stand up in it, sufficient storage space for the luggage, an engine that – even under harsh conditions – would not fail them, and a substantial range. But there was more that convinced the US-American of acquiring a Sprinter: “The Sprinter fully meets our requirements in terms of style and performance”, says Jack, who firmly believes that he made the right choice.

A woman and a man are sitting in a van and look outside

A well-rehearsed team travelling together: Jack Mann and his girlfriend.

The Sprinter serves as a flexible office – whether in the forest or in the parking area.

However, if you think that Vibes founder Mann does not do anything else than hiking or skiing, you are definitely wrong. Both Mann and his girlfriend are working full-time and are used to accessing mobile hotspots or visiting cafés to remain interconnected. The Sprinter permits them to remain mobile and flexible at the same time. “We can use any parking space and the van does not drive like ‘boat on wheels’”, Jack enthuses. When questioned, he confesses that it can be difficult to keep focussed on the job when your environment invites you to discover and marvel at the scenery. But at the same time, the couple wants to be as productive as possible during the day so that they have the possibility to enjoy and explore the vicinity when their work day ends.

It is a stimulating experience to wake up in a different place each morning.

Small but powerful.

The product which the name stands for is rather astounding. In comparison to conventional earplugs which are primarily designed to protect your hearing, the Vibes do not only lower the decibel levels of the environment. Rather, instead of becoming muted, the sound is transmitted without distortion and allows you to keep communicating with your fellow human beings as usual. Simultaneously, the volume is decreased to such an extent that no long-term hearing damage will occur. The Vibes can be used as often as required and their usage is not limited to concerts: The Vibes are equally effective in protecting your hearing at sports events, in the army or on construction sites.

A woman holds an earplug up to the camera

The Vibes earplug: a small product with a big impact.

A bright future for everybody.

The small, but very effective Vibes team is always looking for new ways to promote their company and teach potential customers about noise-induced hearing loss. Even groups like autists, who are very sensitive to noise, can benefit from the earplugs – this being an area where the young company wants to make further progress. In cooperation with the Hear the World Foundation, Jack Mann also became involved in charitable projects which donate a fixed sum for each pair of Vibes sold to aid projects. In Peru, for example, hearing tests for some 31.000 children were sponsored and carried out. Subsequently, the children who needed them were even provided with hearing devices. Jack says that he would like to support more projects like these in future to give something back to the world: “It is one of my primary goals to keep developing the aid projects to the degree that Vibes is growing.”

A van from the inside, a mountain range is visible through the window

Jack Mann has overcome higher hurdles than these mountains.

A van is parked on a clearing in the forest

Whether he is on the beach, in the forest or in a coffee shop, Jack never neglects his work.

A van is parked in the desert, in the background you see the sun going down

Thanks to the solar cells on the roof, Jack’s Sprinter is provided with electricity in the wilderness, too.

A van is parked on a clearing in the forest

The Sprinter permits Jack Mann to be flexible and mobile.

A converted van seen from the inside

The converted Sprinter provides enough space to live and work in it.

A woman is standing behind a van with opened rear doors

The Sprinter is the winter domicile of Jack and his girlfriend.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Jack Mann

More Links to explore: discovervibes.com – @Instagram, @Facebook

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