New iPhone app brings solace to the weird-eared

A new iPhone app from Yurbuds allows users to take photos of their ears in order to pair them with the right earbud tips.

Anyone who has spoken to me for five minutes would probably tell you I'm quite normal. What they don't know is that I harbor a deep, dark secret, a strange deformity that sets me apart from the average person. OK, OK...it's not a secret at all, and I'd hardly call them deformed, but my ears are really ridiculously small. I've literally had people who've never read CNET point out how tiny they are. This is fine by me--I embrace my differences. And now a company called Yurbuds is embracing them, too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Yurbuds is wise enough to know that not all ears are created equal (indeed, they are actually very similar to fingerprints in their uniqueness). The company offers custom-fit eartips that are based off of a photo of the ear rather than a visit to the audiologist.

The benefit to this is twofold. First of all, you don't have to take the time out of your day to go into the specialist's office, and perhaps more importantly, the tips won't cost you an arm and a leg. Yurbuds Earbud Enhancers only cost $29.99 and include a pair of earbuds (though my speculation is that the quality of these is not top notch).

Now, the company is making the fitting and ordering process even easier by offering a free iPhone app. "Size yur Ear!" lets you use the iPhone's camera to take a photo of your ear and send it directly to the Web site for a fit check.

Of course, the custom tips offered by Yurbuds aren't going to provide the same specific contours that would be provided by an audiologist, who actually injects wax into the ear to make a mold, but that is a sacrifice you have to make for saving all that time and money. My only real complaint about these is that they're specifically designed for stock-type earbuds (such as the ones that come with the iPod and other MP3 players), which sound terrible regardless of fit. It would be great if Yurbuds would add tips for popular in-ear sets going forward.

About the author

    Since 2003, Jasmine France has worked at CNET covering everything from scanners to keyboards to GPS devices to MP3 players. She currently cohosts the Crave podcast and spends the majority of her time testing headphones, music software, and mobile apps.

     

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