We’ve already seen a couple of 3D printed headphones, but they were mostly proofs of concept, not for daily use. Designer Julian Goulding hopes to incorporate the revolutionary technology into consumer-grade earphones with his Accord concept.
In theory, the Accord headphones present a variety of advantages. The first one is personalization. You can either go to a professional audiologist make molds of your ears or get a DIY molding kit from Goulding. Either way, you’ll send your molds to Goulding’s company to be scanned and turned into 3D files. This ensures that your earphones will fit snugly in your ears. They’ll also keep your files so you can order replacement parts in the future.
Another benefit of Accord’s 3D printing process is that they’re more sustainable: the earphones are printed on demand and not mass-produced. But as some you may know, custom and made-to-order earphones are nothing new. Companies like Ultimate Ears have been offering the service for years now. The problem with these existing personalized earphones is that they’re very expensive.
The picture above shows a mockup of the Android app for Accord. You can download a test version of the app here. The app lets you order your custom earphones and will let you choose its material and color, as well as track your order when it’s shipped. I wouldn’t be surprised if the price shown above is just a placeholder, but I’d even be more surprised if Accord earphones end up costing as much as its high-end counterparts. Besides, the fact that you can choose the material means you have some control over how expensive your order will be.
Goulding also mentioned on his website that the Accord can be localized by 3D printing firms to further drive down its printing costs. I wonder if that means you can specify a 3D printing shop near your location, or perhaps even let you print the Accord if you have your own 3D printer.
They actually look decent; now all we need to know is how they sound. Head to Goulding’s website to see a few more images of the Accord.
[via Damn Geeky]