In 2012, extreme athlete Kyle Kirkpatrick grew frustrated by the lack of comfortable headphones on the market that were compatible with an active lifestyle.
He searched long and hard for the right fit but ultimately came up short. Kirkpatrick took it upon himself to create the perfect headphones for athletes — he consulted audio engineers, material specialists and elite athletes to test his prototypes. Hundreds of designs later, Kirkpatrick launched Decibullz, the world's first thermo-fit, custom-molded ear buds.
"The human ear is incredibly diverse," says Kirkpatrick. "In fact, our ears are as unique to us as our fingerprints. I found the only way to create earphones that fit well is to mold them to the exact shape of the ear. I can honestly say Decibullz are the best earphones I have ever had, and I'm really excited to share them with the world."
As an endurance athlete, I've never been a fan of wearing headphones while working out. Most are uncomfortable or fall out and I find myself carrying them bunched up in my fist halfway through my workout.
When I first learned of Decibullz's custom-fit Bluetooth wireless earphones ($89.99), I was intrigued.
From start to finish, Decibullz comes complete with detailed step-by-step instructions as well as a guided video to follow. To mold the earphones to the exact shape of your ear, you simply heat them in hot water and then shape them. The process is pretty simple but it took me a few tries to get a fit I was satisfied with. Luckily, the earphones are re-moldable so if you aren't happy with your first shape you can easily reheat them and try again.
These are not true wireless headphones. They’re wireless in the sense that they don’t need to be plugged into to your phone or iPod, but there is a small wire connecting the two ear-pieces that includes the power button, volume control, and microphone. The wire can be a tad irritating at first but you quickly forget it’s there and it’s nice to have easy access to volume control and the microphone for phone calls.
In the act of full disclosure, I must admit I've never owned Bluetooth anything before. I'm not technologically inclined and trying to sync my headphones to my phone has always seemed like an effort not worth undertaking. So, I was a bit nervous taking the plunge and fully entering the 21st century. Luckily, my worries were unnecessary as the wireless pairing instructions were quick and easy to follow. Within minutes, I had my phone paired and music filled my ears.
Running is my first love but recently, mountain biking and hiking have entered the mix. I typically run sans headphones because I enjoy being submersed in nature, but on occasion, urban runs are inevitable. To combat the monotony of street running, I decided to put Decibullz's headphones to the test.
Decibullz labels these headphones as “noise isolating.” They're definitely not noise cancelling, but they do block out the majority of outside noise, making your music, podcast or phone call crystal clear. They also include a small remote with a microphone and volume control, so taking phone calls on the go is easy to do.
While most headpones leave my ears aching within minutes, these moldable ear buds were comfortable enough to wear for the entirety of my workout. They come in four different color options and include three different sizes of ear tips, so you can figure out which is most comfortable for you. The mold helped keep the ear buds securely in place throughout my workout and the design was even slim enough to work under my bike helmet.
Working out in the company of a friend or in the nude (aka no headphones) will always be my go-to, but it's nice to have a comfortable option for days when I need some musical motivation to power my workout. In the world of wireless earphones, Decibullz custom-fit Bluetooth earphones are definitely a winner.
More Fitness Gear from ASN