There are few things in life more pleasurable than a perfect fit. But when it comes to in-ear headphones, such a luxury can be extremely elusive. The twists and turns of each of our ears are as unique as a fingerprint, and no matter how many tip sizes or designs we try, it’s nearly impossible to get it just right. To tackle the problem, Normal harnesses the burgeoning new technology of 3D printing along with the smartphone in your pocket to create tailor-made headphones you can design from anywhere.
Until Normal came along, the path to custom headphones was both extremely expensive and time consuming. The process – usually costing over $1,000 – requires going to an auditory professional for custom molds, which then have to be sent away for manufacturing and construction, normally taking weeks. But, luckily for us, we live in the future. Normal CEO Nikki Kauffman knew there had to be a better way, and thanks to her background in 3D printing, she set out to create it.
Her solution involves a simplified process for mapping the human ear that combines a highly developed smartphone app, a state-of-the-art design facility in New York, and what the company calls “nerdalicious software and 3D printing to create each one-of-a-kind pair.” Using the app, users take ear selfies, which the company then uses to sculpt each unique sonic solution in as little as 48 hours. And the best part? The price is only $200 per pair.
Each pair of Normals employ a brilliant combination of standardized premium earpieces affixed with custom-printed upper fins, which are designed to slide into those extraordinary coils of cartilage on the sides of your head like a glove. To ensure great performance to go with their great fit, each custom shell packs premium components, including a 14mm dynamic driver, a CNC anodized aluminum housing and outer cabinet, and a “bass tube” for a rich lower register.
Normals haven’t made their way onto the market yet, so we can’t tell you just how good they sound. But if you’re looking for an earphone that fits better than your bespoke suit, Normals just might be the headphones you’ve been waiting for. Orders are slated to start shipping August 9th, and you can pre-order your Normals in a variety of colors at the company’s website today.
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