3D-printed earphones you customize yourself for a tailored fit

"Normal: One Size Fits None" video screenshot. (2014 YouTube, LLC)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

We all know how hard it can be to find a pair of earphones that fit properly, but now a new start-up is using 3D printing to offer customized earbuds.

"Normal" lets users order tailor-made earphones by taking photos of their ears via a smartphone app that launched this week for iPhones and Android phones.

Once each ear has been photographed, customers are led through a "customization flow" to create their earphones from various design options.

The brainchild of Quirky co-founder Nikki Kaufman, Normals are then manufactured using 3D-printing technology in New York and shipped within 48 hours in a personalized carrying case.

As well as staying in place whilst running, working out or simply listening to music, Normals also claim to deliver a better listening experience as the sound direction is more precisely tuned than with standard earphones.

Normal was inspired by the difficulties Kaufman had finding custom-made earphones, which typically involve having silicone moulds created and waiting for weeks for manufacturing before being hit with a hefty price-tag.

Meanwhile customizable headphones are having a moment, with Velodyne Acoustics unveiling its new customizable "skins" at the recent CE Week FashionWare showcase in New York.

The ear candy brand is working on a website portal that will enable headphone users to upload their own images to create unique skins for their designs.

Normals are available for US$199.


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