If you've been wanting a pair of earphones and eyeing pricey names like Beats, you know what? Save your money.
Normal has a better suggestion: 3D-printed earphones that are tailored to your ears for maximum comfort, even to the point of having different left and right earpieces. Because even your own ears will differ widely from each other, besides the obvious side they face.
It all started when company founder Nikki Kaufman tried to see how much it would cost her to get custom earpieces after finding the regular ones were uncomfortable. The answer? About US$2,000 and a lot of time waiting around. She decided she could do better – and thus Normal was born.
3D-printed earphones anyone?
- Specs-wise, the earpieces are pretty decent: 14mm Neodymium Dynamic drivers, 109 dB/mW sensitivity, a frequency response range of 20Hz–20kHz and a 32 Ohms impedance. In other words, these aren't your run-of-the-mill £15 earphones.
- What you first need to do to get a Normal custom set of earphones is download a free app. The app will then take pictures of your ears and from there you can choose to customise your earphones. You can change colours, length of cord or tweak the hardware. How much will it cost you? US$199.99 (around £115). That might sound like a lot but considering high-end earphones already cost that much, why not splurge on custom-fit ones instead? They also come with a carrying case.
How are the earphones made? They're all assembled via ten Fortus 250 3D printers at Normal's headquarters in Chelsea (the New York Chelsea, not the West London one). The first products will start shipping on 8th August – the same day Normal opens its Manhattan showroom.
Besides earphones, Normal just might get into other product lines including Bluetooth headsets and perhaps hearing aids. Kaufman also said that she doesn't see Normal as being limited to devices related to hearing.