We wear headphones and/or earbuds for hours every day, so comfort is imperative. Want some designed just for you? A new company called Normal wants to sell you perfectly customised earbuds by using a nifty app to get you fitted — instead of having to pay a visit to an expensive audiologist.
You get your precise fit by using Normal's app for iOS or Android, which guides you through the process of taking photos of your ears. Normal uses the photos to design a bud just for your ear's shape. The app also gives you a variety of customisation options, including colour and cable length. The information is then sent over Normal's NYC manufacturing space where your perfect bud is 3D-printed for you.
A pair of Normal buds will run you $US200. As of right now, they're only available for pre-order, so we haven't had a chance to try out the fit or the sound of the headphones. We're in the process of coordinating a review so we can report back just how well Normal's pretty brilliant scheme works.
Mostly, I'm just impressed at the creative solution to a common oversight in headphone design. Headphones need to sound good, yes, but comfort is a major feature that even some of the best companies out there ignore. If you could give me some truly perfectly comfy buds, I'd gladly sacrifice a little sound for them. [Normal]