Anyone who is workout-obsessed knows how important a solid pairs of headphones are to achieving an optimal sweat-session.  The most frustrating experience is having to constantly interrupt a cardio or weight workout to re-insert the little earbuds that never seem to stay in place. Enter NORMAL, the company that customizes high-quality and inexpensive earphones.  We got the inside scoop from founder Nikki Kaufman. 

Q: These earphones look incredibly cool! What is the story behind the creation of the Normal brand?

A: The idea for Normal was born out of a frustration by the poor fit and quality of earphones on the market – they would never stay in my ears during a run! This is a very “normal” problem that many athletes like myself have experienced. I looked into having a pair custom made, but found the process involved a doctor’s visit, uncomfortable silicon molds, a three week wait, and a price tag anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. As a founding team member at the consumer products company Quirky, I had been surrounded by 3D printing and innovative production processes, and knew there had to be a better way to create a high quality set of earphones with a custom fit at an approachable price point.

Q: What goes into the process of creating a pair of customized earphones?

A: The ease of the order process sets us apart from more traditional custom earphones. Ordered in-store or using the mobile app (available on iOS and Android), users take photos of each ear (no two are alike) and are led through a customization flow to design their earphones. The earphones are then tailored to fit each user’s ears and assembled to reflect their customization choices. No two pairs of Normals will ever be the same. Because Normals are made in house, each order is manufactured, assembled, and delivered in as little as 48 hours, guaranteed. We make it easy to buy tailor-made earphones.

Q: Why is customization so important?

A: Consumers want custom products, and we’ve seen this through everything from Nike ID sneakers to monogrammed bags. There’s definitely a growing trend in products that are totally tailored to personal preferences and needs, and we envision Normal as a platform to enable mass customization not only through the development of our own products, but also through strategic partnerships with brands who see the value in personalized products.

Q: How will this impact our workout experience?

A: Normals are custom-fit for your ears only, so they stay perfectly in place and will never fall out while running or during your favorite workout. Never again will  you have to worry about your earphones falling out – you can simply stay focused on your performance! Because of their personalized fit, Normals also allow a more precise delivery of sound, offering an even better listening experience for the athlete.

Q: Music and fitness go hand-in-hand. What’s on your personal workout playlist these days?

A: Absolutely agree – I listen to “Top Tracks in the United States” play list on spotify!

Q: What should we expect when going in for fitting?

A: You can expect an easy, painless and fun experience that takes about 2 minutes! If you’re able to come into our factory/store/HQ in NYC (150 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th), a retail fitter will walk you through the process by taking a photo of each of your ears and then allow you to personalize your Normals to your own style. The perimeter of the store is lined with 3D-printers where you can actually see your Normals being printed. Our store is also our factory and is fully transparent, so you’ll also be able to watch the assembly line in action, and experience the full end to end process of creating a pair of Normals.  If you can’t make it to the store, you can be fitted for Normals from anywhere in the world by downloading the NRML mobile app.

Q: What’s the best way to get our hands on a pair of Normal’s?

A: Download Normal’s mobile app and start your order or visit us in NYC at 150 West 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th.