The New Normal

Published July 7, 2014

ABOVE: NORMAL EARBUDS (BUT NOT YOURS).

When it comes to working out, we’re masterful excuse generators. Any tiny obstacle—a slightly-too-high humidity index, an already-full spin class signup page, one-size-fits-all earbuds always on the verge of falling out—is enough to keep us on the couch, surfing Net-a-Porter instead. We swear, though, our intentions are good! So it’s always nice to discover a new product that does away with one of those justifications on our behalf—and particularly one as genuinely cool as Normal earphones.

Normal uses 3D printing technology to create completely personalized earbuds for its users, based on simple cell-phone snapshots of their ears. Before Normals, custom-made earbuds would have entailed a trip to an audiologist to engage in an uncomfortable molding process (remember what it took to get a retainer?). The ultimate product would carry a price tag on the order of $2,000, plus a weeks-long wait. Normal cuts down both by 90 percent: once you’ve downloaded its free app, submitted pictures of each ear (they’re different!), and customized your set’s coloring, the earbuds can be delivered in as little as 48 hours, for just $199. Because they’re made specifically to fit in your ears, they’re guaranteed not to fall out—besides which, they actually sound good, thanks to top-of-the-line components. Plus, we can customize them to match our running shoes, meaning we’re officially out of excuses.

THE NORMAL APP IS NOW AVAILABLE AT THE IPHONE AND ANDROID STORES. FOR MORE ON NORMAL, PLEASE VISIT ITS WEBSITE.