Face it, the earbuds that come with the new iPhone suck: They are painful, sound tinny and allow your music to bleed into your surroundings. The best solution for a comfortable fit and discreet, quality listening is to buy custom earphones, but until recently, getting ear tips molded precisely to match your noggin had a four-digit price tag. Now, thanks to new mailable materials and advanced 3-D printing, anyone can order affordable custom-made earbuds, sometimes without even leaving home.
Normal makes springing for personalized earphones easy: Download the Normal app, capture a few images of your ears, select a color scheme and hit SEND. An engineer converts the images into a 3-D model and sends it to the printer; expect your new buds to arrive in two days or less.
From $299, ownphones.com
Want more design control? With OwnPhones, the company’s design tool lets you choose the shape, material, color and embellishment of your pair from more than 10,000 possible combinations. The Bluetooth-enabled buds are 3-D printed to your exact specs.
Not a fan of -strangers or 3-D scanners probing your ears? Decibullz puts the customization completely in your hands. Simply heat up the ear tips in a bowl of warm water to make the plastic pliable, then use your fingers to gently mold them to your ears.
From $149, snugsearphones.com
Scoring custom ear molds used to mean meeting with an audiologist and sitting for ages with silicone in your ears. Snugs uses a 3-D scanner to eliminate the middleman. Get fitted with custom buds in under 10 minutes at one of the company’s scanning locations.