Fit and seal are crucial to getting the best sound out of your earbuds. But getting a perfect seal typically requires a time-consuming (and expensive) process of making a custom molding of your ear. A few startups have tried to make this process easier in the last few years, but Colorado-based Decibullz is one of the first ones to deliver on that promise.
Decibullz is showing off its newest products here at CES — wired and wireless headphones with wings around the earbuds that you can easily mold to your ear. All you have to do is put those wing tips in boiling water for a few minutes before you press and shape them into your ears.
Cheaper and easier than the pro solutions
It’s a weird solution, but it’s one that some athletic mouthguards have employed for years, and it sounds scarier than the process actually is as I recently learned. Not to mention it’s less crazy than the approach taken by Revols, a company that launched a Kickstarter campaign in late 2015; their solution to custom-fit earbuds was to use an electric charge to heat and solidify the material surrounding the $200 Revols earbuds.
An added benefit of Decibullz tech is that if you get the fit wrong, or if you just want to readjust, you can always dunk the tips back in the water to soften them up again.
Decibullz started out on Kickstarter, but the company’s new custom earbuds were brought straight to retail and are available online now — $59 for the wired versions and $119 for the wireless.
The Decibullz earbuds aren’t as perfect as professionally custom-molded versions, but it’s a pretty clever solution for the price. I’ve been trying out the wireless versions here at CES, and while the sound isn’t fantastic, it’s good enough — especially after I matched the right earbud tips with my custom-molded wings. The biggest drawback is the 3–4 hour battery life, which leaves me thinking the wired versions might be worth the corded hassle.