Sharkfin Promises Custom-Fitted Earbuds For Just $5

Illustration for article titled Sharkfin Promises Custom-Fitted Earbuds For Just $5

Having customers build their own cheap furniture helped IKEA build an empire. So a Canadian company hopes the same approach will work when it comes to custom-fitted earbuds.

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When using earbud style headphones you typically want to block any other sounds from coming in, and the most effective way to do that is with a custom set designed to perfectly fit your ear. But those are also very expensive, so most consumer make do with the included silicon inserts that fit well enough.

Illustration for article titled Sharkfin Promises Custom-Fitted Earbuds For Just $5
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Sharkfin's approach takes advantage of the years we all spent mashing up wads of Play-doh as kids. For $5 you get a set of grey and black soft-squishable material that when combined, chemically react to form a flexible silicone that won't lose its shape.

Once you've mashed them together you only have five minutes to roll the material out into a snake, wrap it around your earbud, and then stick it in your ear. But once it's hardened you're left with custom fitted earbuds which only cost you $5. They don't exactly look amazing, but for $5 who cares as long as they work as promised. [Sharkfin]

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DISCUSSION

brokenmachine
Broken Machine

I went to a motorcycle show a few years back and a company I was familiar with was fitting custom earbuds. A technician inserted a string into my ear, injected silicone and had me chew gum while it hardened. Once set, he removed the plugs with the string, and made molds of these plugs on the spot. I was given the plugs and he used the molds to make custom fitted earbuds and I got them in the mail 6 weeks later. The earbuds are valved for pressure relief (you can hear the valve hiss when you swallow) and are the most comfortable earbuds I've tried, even with a motorcycle helmet on, for hours at a time - they seal well, block noise and allow me to keep the volume low on my player of choice. On airplanes they are a godsend. The earplugs are comfortable enough for all-night sleeping, all day at the range, etc. Best investment I've made in earbuds, I havent needed new ones in years.

Unfortunately, the company no longer hits the motorcycle show circuit, and stays in-house in Colorado. They can make earbuds from molds made at audiologists, but that costs around $100 extra. Also bad news is the price - at $350, it's a big decision. And yes, they still look like you have wadded up chewing gum in your ear.