Like it or not, the headphone brands from big-name artists like Dr Dre, 50 Cent and Ludacris, have opened up a new market for quality sound in headphones and earbuds. However while style and substance are there in varying quantities and they’re great for everyday use or while in a relaxed state, often the bulky designs aren’t perfect for working out with. Even the best earbuds will occasionally fall out, or they’ll get sweaty and slide around; what’s the solution?
Apparently it’s this sort of thing: Sharkfin Self-molding Ear Buds. They fit around the earphones and mold to the shape of your ear, holding them in place while resisting sweat and movement. Let’s put these claims to the test.
- Self-molding buds
- Comfort fit
- Stays in place
- Sound isolating
- Mold in 5 mins
You can’t expect the greatest packaging in the world for a £5 product and these are no exception. There’s a simple cardboard blister with a vacuum formed ear-like shape on the front that stores the earbud molding material.
There’s a few specs on the back, including letting you know that there’s enough material included to make three ear buds. Two for use and one for when you mess it up the first time – as I ended up doing.
The Earbud Material
Once you tear open the packaging this is what you find inside:
A small instruction manual and a pair of plastic cups that contain two different compounds that when combined form the earbuds.
So you take the two compounds, which in my instance are both white. Well one’s white and the other’s sort of off white, but it’s very hard to distinguish them so keep them separate. The instructions advise you to split each piece into three segments, before combining one of each segment to make an earbud.
Before doing so, I’d advise instead of using the bundled instruction leaflet, you use one of the videos Sharkfin has online as they’re far easier to follow than the tiny pictures on the miniature instruction sheet.
That’s what led me to mess up the first one. Another bit of advice that should be noted, is that while the instructions advise you to wash your hands and ear before making the bud, I think it would help to carefully wipe the earphones too, since the grease on them can make it hard for the silicon product to attach properly.
So once everything is clean, you put the stuff in your ear and push it around till it makes a solid fit and contours to your ear, then leave it for five minutes and you come out with the following:
It’s not the most attractive thing to have stuck to your head, but it does work pretty well.
Not a massive ammount of testing can be done with a product like this, but I did use my newly moulded earbuds for listening to music while running, working out at the gym and general listening. In the results I’ll be comparing some of the claims that Sharkfin make, against whether they actually achieve them.
Comfort Fit and Stays in Place
While it feels a bit awkward when you’re first moulding them and when you reattach them later, when these earbud moulds are sitting within your ear, they’re very comfortable indeed. They sit solidly and don’t move around at all, even during pretty intense running.
This aspect of the Sharkin earbuds was very impressive. Apart from above average level noises, just putting these in without music will render the outside world as if its at an extreme distance. Once you have a track playing at reasonable volume, you won’t be able to hear anything but what you’re listening to. This is both a blessing and a curse, in that if you like to run while out and about, it becomes a little dangerous as you become completely oblivious to cars or other people. However, in the same instance, those same people and cars can’t interrupt your exercise or other activity at all.
So they are extremely effective at sound isolating, but perhaps to an extreme that’s not quite as useful as if it was a little less effective.
One of the problems with rubber coated earbuds is that sweat can often loosten their position, making it likely for them to fall out. While foam covers don’t suffer from this quite as much, the rubbing from the material can become uncomfortable. The Sharkfins protect the interior sound producing portion of the buds and therefore the positioning isn’t affected by sweat at all.
For those that struggle with mobile earphones while on the move, the Sharkfin Self-Molding earbuds are a great idea, since they fit nicely in your ear, isolate what you’re listening to and make it easier to concentrate on your workout or whatever else you’re doing.
They do make the outside world a little to distant for my taste and the instructions included could do with better pictures, but all in all this is an affordable, effective product.
Stops your earbuds moving around or falling out
Very effective sound isolation
Available in white or grey
Sound isolation can be a bit dangerous
Instructions are hard to make out
White compounds are hard to tell apart, grey looks easier
Looks odd in your ear