Finding the right pair of earphones can be such a headache, literally. Headphones are notoriously uncomfortable, presenting a constant ergonomic challenge for industrial designers to overcome. In-ear, over-ear, wrap-around, clip-on, the list is endless. However, Australian gadget gurus Dog & Bone have tackled the issue head-on and released a new addition to their range of smart accessories for mobile devices: Bluetooth custom earbuds. The product was launched at this year’s CES electronics and technology trade show in Las Vegas, which took place between January 5 and 8 2017.
Aptly named “Earmade,” these wireless headphones mold to the user’s ear by using a heated dock, personalizing them for maximum comfort. They are attached by a USB cable to the dock, which softens the moldable component of the earbud over the course of two minutes, allowing it to nestle easily into the user’s ear and then quickly set to a proper shape. Maria Ranchod, co-founder of Dog & Bone, says, “Designing comfortable earbuds that fit each and every consumer can be a difficult feat, but we’ve succeeded by utilizing a heating dock that makes for a safe and streamlined process that is so simple, my 8 year old could create earbuds on her own. By custom molding the earbuds, we achieve the exact fit, allowing us to deliver premium sound isolation.”
These audio pieces are the latest in the trend of wearable tech, which was high on the list at the CES consumer conference. Smart watches, rings and even dog collars were debuted at the trade exhibition, and Bluetooth is becoming ever more present in the audio market.
Headphones utilizing this wireless technology are continuing to grow in popularity due to the freedom of movement they give to the user and, particularly in this case, because of their stylish design. Earmade offers a neat alternative to bulky, over-ear headphones which can be difficult to store while you’re on the go and are often prone to damage. They will be available in black, orange, and white, and the inserts can be removed and replaced so your earbuds will continue to last even after heavy usage. Dog & Bone have also designed them specifically to be both water- and sweat-resistant, making them ideal for use outdoors or while doing exercise. The earbuds slip comfortably over the user’s ears and are attached around the back of the neck with a waterproof cable.
On top everything else, they are powered by an 80mAh battery that lasts for up to six hours and is easily recharged using a micro USB. There’s no need to worry about whether they will be cumbersome to use with your specific phone either. Earmade is X5 rated, compatible with both iOS and Android devices, and control operated to play, pause or answer a call while in use. The box set includes the earbuds with the remote, two sets of moldable inserts, a micro USB for USB ports, the heating dock, and a soft carrying case and will retail for $159.99.
Earmade are patent-pending, but the product’s pioneering customizable technology eschews the “one-size-fits-all” solution, and coupled with Bluetooth, could be a definitive answer to the headphone headaches of the past