LAS VEGAS — Of all the things I expected at CES, I didn't plan on a startup's CEO pressing heated thermal plastic into my ear. But that's exactly how Decibullz's newly announced wireless custom molded headphones work — by being shaped exactly for your ears.
After the headphones were boiled in water for about five minutes, and then molded in my ear for three minutes more, I was able to try the headphones out myself yesterday (Jan. 6). They will launch in mid-February for $129.
The molding isn't new — it has shown up in Decibullz's wired earphones and earplugs. But Decibullz claims that these are the first custom-molded wireless earphones to make it to market. The headphones use Bluetooth 4.1 and are designed to work with both iOS and Android, meaning that music controls, volume buttons and voice control for Siri or Google Now should work. The headphones will come in seven colors: black, red, blue, orange, green, purple and brown.
There are no electronics in the actual earbuds at all. They're all in the cable. In what a representative referred to as a "balanced design," the Decibullz wireless earphones have controls dangling on one side that are mirrored on the other by a module holding the battery.
The company said the only difference between Decibullz' wired and wireless headphones is that the wireless version uses a bigger driver, which should in turn deliver a more pure, powerful sound. Combined with the company's patented noise isolation, I can say that Decibullz' system works. Talking to a company representative was difficult as dance music blasted into my ears, and I could barely hear the outside world through the near-perfect fit. I wished only that the audio-control buttons had been a bit clickier.
I can definitely see these headphones being used in gyms. The comfortable fit and lack of a wire swinging around would be great for running on a treadmill or lifting weights while blasting some upbeat tunes. Kyle Kirkpatrick, Decibullz' CEO, agreed. He's a gymnast, and said he wanted comfortable headphones he could use while listening to The Offspring while jumping on a trampoline.
Having tried them on, I have no doubt that he can do that now.