Everyone's ears are shaped differently. In fact, a person's right and left ears aren't even identical. So it's hard to find earbuds that fit just right. But what if you could mould your buds so each one perfectly plugs your ear holes? That's the idea behind Decibullz.
What Is It?
Workout earbuds that mould to fit your ears.
Who's It For?
People who work out and need their headphones to stay in place.
Totally normal — inline controls, a mic and a standard plug — except for the teardrop-shaped thermoplastic moulds you press into your ears.
The rock-hard moulds don't look comfortable. But then you microwave them for two minutes in a bowl of water, let them soak for three minutes more, and press each into your ears. The warm putty hugs every contour as it cools and hardens over the next five minutes.
The Best Part
Holy crap these things are comfortable! They look like wadded-up pieces of gum, but I guess that's just how the inside of my ear is shaped. They stayed in place during runs, and no amount of head-banging could shake them free. It's actually shocking how comfortable they are. I was all set for these to be my new favourite earbuds, but then...
Sound quality is really lousy and disappointing. The highs are loud, but snares sound like little snaps of static. The mids are very quiet and very muffled. The lows are vaguely muddy, but practically non-existent. The balance is just all out of whack. It's bad.
This Is Weird...
Pushing that warm plastic into your ears and letting it sit there feels, like, a little too good.
- To make sure the poor sound quality wasn't just the moulds' fault, I swapped out them out for some standard rubber tips. The tips improved the bass, but it still sounded really bad.
- They were a non-starter against my current favourite running headphones, the Sennheiser PMX685i, so I compared them against some earbuds Samsung included with a phone. The free Samsung buds sounded noticeably better.
- You can re-mould these as many times as you want. But you cannot leave them in direct sunlight on a hot day. They will melt.
Should You Buy It?
I wanted to like them, but no. The audio quality is just too bad. The drivers that Decibullz selected just don't have the power or clarity to cut it. You can do a lot better for the price.
This, however, should not stop you from having bespoke buds. See, you can buy the moulds by themselves for $US10. For the moulds to work, you need the kind of buds with replaceable rubber tips. They fit just fine with some Plantronics BackBeat GO Wireless headphones, and they fit my cheap Samsung buds — and the Samsung buds definitely sounded better than the Decibullz afterwards.
Sadly, the moulds did not fit my Sennheisers — those don't push into your inner ear, so they're too big. They also didn't work with a pair of skinnier Sony buds, because the Sonys were too small to stay in place. Whether or not the buds fit your headphones (you can return them if it doesn't work out), the $US10 is worth the gamble. They really do feel great. [Decibullz]
• Weight: 17g • Sweat/water resistant: unknown • Cord length: 1.2m • Hands-free: yes • Price: $US60