This Company Makes 3-D Printed Headphones That Perfectly Fit Your Ears

Nikki Kaufman, one of the founders of Quirky, wants to give customers the best possible headphone experience.

learn more about Nina Zipkin

By Nina Zipkin

Whether you're on the your way to work or working out, it's likely you'll be using earbuds to tune out the hustle and bustle around you. And if you've ever been irritated by headphones with iffy sound quality and an even worse fit, Nikki Kaufman and the team at Normal aim to have you covered.

Normal, which officially begins taking pre-orders today, is a startup that makes 3-D-printed personalized headphones. It is the latest venture from Kaufman, who knows a thing or two about innovation from her work as a member of the founding team at Quirky, a company that teams up with inventors to develop, manufacture and distribute product ideas.

Related: No Sci-Fi Here: Your Own Personal Robot Is Coming

The 3-D headphones were designed to simplify the process of getting high-quality custom headphones. That process often involves a trip to an audiologist, a silicon cast of your ears and an end product that can cost thousands of dollars. "At the end of the day we want everyone to have a premium product…your ears aren't weird, they're normal, and that's why we're doing this."

Why You Should Never Cross Your Arms Again
Users can customize color and style to their own specifications.
Normal headphones are made in New York and ship within 48 hours.
Image credit: Normal

The headphones can only be purchased via Normal's mobile app, which takes photos of your right and left ear to get the best fit, and then walks customers through the customization process, from color to cable size. The app, which is now available in the Android and Apple store also alerts customers to each stage of production. "Everyone is talking about mass customization, 3-D printing, the reinvention of retail stores, and what that all looks like and we're really proud to be one of the first examples of that," says Kaufman.

Related: From the Sustainable to the Flexible to the Edible, We Explore the Possibilities of 3-D Printing

The earphones also come with a remote, microphone and a customized and engraved carrying case. The Normal team promises a shipping time of 48 hours, priced at $199. "If you want to run with them, sweat with them, you can." Kaufman says that because the fit is so specified, it creates a seal over the ear, so users don't have to turn the volume way up to hear their playlists.

Normal's full-service New York City headquarters also doubles as its factory and retail shop. The company, whose tag line is "one size fits none," will begin shipping orders August 9, the day the storefront is also open to public.

Related: How a 3-D Printer Called 'Mink' Could Completely Make Over the $55 Billion Beauty Industry

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Marketing

6 Ways to Wring All the Value from Your Earned Media Coverage

Press coverage can help your brand gain visibility and increase credibility — but not if no one sees it. What can you do to get more value from the media placements you've worked so hard to earn?

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business Solutions

What Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Taught Me About Getting to Know Your Customers

Despite the push toward chatbots and technology-driven customer service, nothing can replace determining what your customers want through personal social interaction.

Business News

Out With the Kibble and In With the Steak. The World's Richest Dog Has a Net Worth of $400 Million – And a New Netflix Docuseries Too

'Gunther's Millions' is set to unpack the pooch's mysterious fortune and what those around him have done with his inheritance.

Fundraising

Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.