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4 custom-fit earbuds for active people, at every price point

by Kayla Matthews | June 17, 2017June 17, 2017 1:00 pm PDT

Headphones are great until they fall out. Not to mention, they create some inconvenient limitations thanks to the wires.

Luckily, there are wireless earbuds that sit just inside your ear. They connect to a device — like your media player or smartphone — via Bluetooth. There are no wires and no restrictions. But unfortunately, they aren’t perfect either.

Have you ever tried to run or workout while wearing wireless earbuds? Some will stay in for a little while, and others will fall out after just a few minutes. Nothing ruins a workout faster than having to pop your headphones back into your ears every five minutes.

Even the wireless options that do stay in your ears don’t often have very good sound quality.

There must be a better way.

Luckily, there is: Custom-fit earbuds are exactly what you’re looking for.

What are custom-fit earbuds?

Custom-fit or custom-molded earbuds are wholly unique, and often more expensive than conventional earbuds. As the name implies, they’re “custom-molded” to fit the inner shape and contours of your ear, which does several things to improve your earbud-wearing experience.

For starters, the earbuds are much more comfortable and secure. They fit snugly inside your ear without feeling uncomfortable.

But because they fit more snugly, it leads to better sound quality. They aren’t effectively noise-cancelling, but they do eliminate more surrounding noise than conventional earphones just because of their form-fitting nature. Environmental noise will no longer overpower your audio, allowing you to hear more crisp, clear and accurate sound details.

Of course, you get what you pay for. These quality earbuds tend to be more expensive than traditional earbuds since they’re made with unique materials and must be molded to your unique ear shape.

Because of their price, custom-fit earbuds tend to be used more in the commercial and professional industries than by consumers. Yet, there are options out there for consumers interested in custom-fit earbuds.

Below, we’ve broken down some of the best options for consumers based on the products’ price ranges.

If you want earbuds you can custom fit from home: Decibullz Bluetooth Earphones

 

Cost: About $120

Who says that custom-molded earphones have to break the bank? Decibullz offers a great pair of Bluetooth earphones that can be quickly and accurately molded to fit the shape of your ears.

Decibullz earphones are compatible with all Bluetooth 4.1 capable devices. They’re sweat and water resistant and even come with an inline remote and microphone. Plus, they’re made of a lightweight, metal material that won’t feel too bulky in your ears.

Decibullz earphones also offer high-definition audio streaming in crystal-clear quality. They rival even some of the most expensive models on the market.

If you’re looking for a high-quality, affordable pair of custom-molded earphones, Decibullz is the best option out there right now.

If you want professionally fitted earbuds: Etymotic hf5 Earphones

Cost: About $140 for earbuds, plus separate service fees

Keep in mind, Etymotic offers a variety of models, including the hf5 earphones, with a more conventional design. If you want a custom-fit setup, the site provides listings of hearing professionals near you, where you can go to have your ear impressions professionally taken and sent to that organization’s preferred earmold lab.

Etymotic is a UK-based company that offers a great selection of wireless earbuds for reasonable prices. The audio is lower key when compared to professional-grade models, but that doesn’t mean it’s poor. In fact, most consumers would be quite happy with the sound quality the hf5 earbuds offer.

If you’re a perfectionist willing to pay up: Ultimate Ears 5 Pro

Cost: $600

Audiophiles rejoice. If you’re looking for something of higher, premium quality, then look no further than the Ultimate Ears 5 Pro.

You can personalize just about everything about them, including the color and finish. They also include a custom-fit molding, so they fit perfectly inside your ears and provide much better sound.

Lots of professionals and musicians rely on Ultimate Ears for their gear, and for a good reason. The 5 Pro is a pricier series offered by the company, so only people who are truly obsessed with music are likely to invest in these.

With two separate sound channels to keep musical highs, mids and lows perfectly aligned, musicians and music fanatics alike will love this option.

If you want professional-grade audio at any cost: JHAudio Custom-Fit Earphones

Cost: $600 and up

You can’t have an audio round-up without including JHAudio, one of the best brands in the business.

They also happen to be one of the most expensive options on this list, which means they won’t be for everyone.

Rather than pick one model or series, you’d be hard-pressed to find a product in their lineup that isn’t exceptional. Prices range from $599 to over $1,300 depending on the model and customization options you choose.

They all offer great, clear sound with custom-molded earpieces. Just like any other product, however, better quality is going to cost more.

That, combined with the fact that JHAudio is the preferred in-ear audio technology for world-famous musicians like Foo Fighters, T-Pain and The Weeknd, this brand has earned the respect of music communities everywhere and its prices reflect that.


Whether you’re looking to spend $100 or $1000, there’s a custom-fit earbud out there for you.

Image by Alexander Mils


Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a writer and tech blogger, talking about connected devices and smart tech on websites like MakeUseOf, VentureBeat, Motherboard and...

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