If you’re like me, you’ve found that standard earbuds never quite fit right. Any earbuds with noise isolation end up giving me an annoying ache if I wear them for hours on end. It comes with the territory.
But a new hardware company called Revols is trying to solve that problem by bridging the gap between high-price custom earbuds and casual consumers.
The company has developed a custom moulding process for earbuds which takes just 60 seconds and works by connecting to your smartphone.
I tried out a prototype and the process was dead simple. The detachable earbud “tips” come in an initial gel-like state. You place them in your ear and use the app to start the moulding process, which you can tell is working because they get a bit warm. 60 seconds later, the tips have finished hardening into the shape of your ear.
The finished earbuds were comfortable in a way no standard-size ones ever are, at least for me. “That’s because there’s no pressure point,” cofounder Daniel Blumer explained.
Revols are not exactly the first to have invented custom earbuds, but what’s intriguing about the product is the price point and the ease of use. Though Revols initial product is a feature-filled Bluetooth earbud that will cost $US169, the actual (detachable) mould only costs $US15 to replace.
There wasn’t a complete working prototype of the earbuds available, so I can’t speak to the sound quality and other promises Revols is making. The company has, however, been working with Onkyo, a well-established manufacturer in Japan, and has been part of the hardware accelerator Hax.
But beyond the launch of this first product, the concept of a $US15 customisable ear mould that works in a minute is intriguing in itself. Most custom buds involve the process of mapping your ear in some fashion, either with a doctor or through photos. A company called Normal has an innovative solution involving 3D printing.
The potential to simply pay $US15 dollars extra for customisation, on top of whatever the earbuds would normally cost, would be an easy choice for me as a consumer. Now we just have to see if Revols can deliver on the sound quality and hardware end.
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