As the saying goes, if something doesn’t exist then invent it yourself. Boulder, Colorado-based athlete Kyle Kirkpatrick took this sentiment to heart after becoming frustrated that he couldn’t find a pair of comfortable earbuds that would also stay in his ears. Custom made in-ear headphones exist, but they can cost as much as $2000 per pair. So Kirkpatrick consulted with some audio engineers, and with the help of crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, ushered in the first custom-molded wireless earphones, which have already won awards and rave reviews. On December 13, Kirkpatrick's company, Decibullz, exceeded its Kickstarter goal and became fully funded, having raised more than $250,000.
The lightweight earphones work like this: soften the thermoplastic molds and silicone canal tips in hot water, wait for them to cool (you don’t want to burn your ears), attach the machined aluminum earphone to the molds, and contour the earpieces into your ear. According to Decibullz's Indiegogo page, “Once cooled, the earpieces retain their shape until reheated. Decibullz earpieces are the only earpieces that can be reheated and reshaped as many times as desired.”
The headphones feature up to a 40dB noise isolation, a five-hour battery life, an in-line remote and microphone, and are resistant to both water and sweat.
Right now, Decibullz earphones come in three different types. The custom-molded earplugs ($19 on Indiegogo) don't play music; their only function is to block out noise. The wired earphones ($49 on Indiegogo)—which come in seven different colors, including beige, lime green, and pink—have tangle-resistant cables and are fully compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and computers that offer bluetooth. The most popular model is the custom-fit wireless earphones ($89 on Indiegogo), because, you know, no wires, high-quality audio (9mm performance drivers), and Bluetooth 4.1. If all goes well, the products should be delivered to buyers by March.