‘Normal’ Earphones Are 3D-Printed for Custom Fit

  • Scott Blickensderfer
  • July 9, 2014
  • 0

The start-up manufacturer of customized earphones called Normal produced an informational video that was anything but normal. Their quirky video featured a bespectacled Brit who demanded the attention of the viewer by walking backwards through Normal’s apparent, yet fictional, facility that resembles a 1960s-era Bond villain’s complex as he explained Normal’s innovative earphones product.

Although the video shows a bizarre man, referred to as “the Tailor,” who uses his “dexterous fingers” to craft each pair of custom earphones, Normal is actually using 3D-printing technology to manufacture earphones that will fit snugly into the consumer’s “ear-hole,” as the Brit referred to them.

 

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nrmlearphones

via Normal

“People have been talking about 3D printing and mass customization as the new future of manufacturing, but there hasn’t been a really good consumer application for that technology,” Normal founder Nikki Kaufman said.

According to Tech Crunch, Kaufman had the idea last August while working as an executive for Quirky, when she was introduced to 3D-printing technology, as well as hardware sourcing and manufacturing. Kaufman explained that it would normally cost thousands of dollars and take weeks for a consumer to buy custom-engineered earphones that could fit in their distinctive ears.

 

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Consumers are to use the Normal app, which is available on Apple’s iOS and Android, to send pictures of their ears so that Normal can form the earphones to match the shape of their ears. For sizing, the consumer is directed to place a coin next to their ear, and Normal is able to scale the ear’s dimensions off of that, according to Tech Crunch.

In addition to matching the consumer’s unique ear shape, Normal headphones offer other customizable options. Consumers can select the length and color of the cords, as well as the color of the earphones themselves.

Once the consumer has completed the process on the app, their customized earphones will be shipped to them in just two days.

Normal also boasts about the improvements to sound quality that a custom-fit earphone can offer.

“Anyone would really appreciate that sound. We went out to find the best components we could find, and it’s about the engineering too,” Kaufman said, according to Tech Crunch. Kaufman explained that because Normal earphones are engineered and manufactured to fit the consumer’s ear, the sound quality will be improved.

“In general, leakage is never good. Especially when it comes to sound. A proper fit helps every single note go directly into your sound craters. No noise left behind!” Normal claimed on their website.

Normal has priced these personalized earphones at $199. Comparatively, Beats Studio headphones are priced at $299.95, and Beats Tour earphones, which offer better sound quality than typical earbuds, are priced at $149.95.

Investors are confident that Normal will be very marketable, as consumers have already shown they are willing to dispense a fair amount of money on high-end headphones. Normal has raised over $5 million from various venture capitalist firms.

 

 

 

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Scott Blickensderfer is the office's token Midwesterner. When he isn't writing business interest articles or editing up a storm, he can be seen quietly eating crackers at his desk. He probably knows a lot about corn.