I have a love-hate relationship with 3D printing. Don’t get me wrong, as a concept it’s fascinating and some of the things that have been done with it provide that “cool factor” for me in spades. Rocket engines, pens that write in air, 3D-printed human skulls – it seems there is no end to the ways scientists and developers are finding to use this amazing development in technology. The flip side to that, for me at least, is that we’ve also ended up with a whole lot of overpriced junk; baubles and trinkets and toys which I lovingly refer to as “future trash”. This leaves my feelings very torn on the matter of V-Moda’s new 3D-printed headphones, which are undeniably cool but could end up costing you an obscene $40,000 to make… OK who am I kidding, I think they’re awesome!
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If custom gear is your thing, or you just like to be the first kid on the block to have the latest and greatest gadgets and tech toys, then V-Moda’s new headphones with customizable 3D printed grills may be right up your alley. The company announced this week that they will now be offering the option for users to customize their XS and Crossfade M-100 headphones with 3D-printed shields made from fiber, raw metals, sterling silver, and even 14 karat gold and platinum through their online “Forg3D” system. Users will first select a base color, then the material they’d like to use. From there, the fun really begins. There are several stock designs and monogram options available to personally customize the shield, or you can even upload your own unique design (an option which is in Beta mode for now and will cost you slightly more than the offered designs).
The fiber shields comprise what is effectively the “base model” and come in nine matte and vibrant colors. This is your most wallet-friendly option at a max of $50 for the over-ear shields, and has the added bonus of also being the lightest option of the bunch – a huge bonus if you plan on wearing them while traveling at all. The next tier up is stainless steel, which are made of what V-Moda calls a “distinctive Damascus steel” effect and come in matte black, stainless steel, polished gold, polished bronze, and matte bronze. This option will set you back $100 for on-ear and $150 over-ear shield kits. Several options fall in the “in-between reasonable and absolutely indulgent” category and include materials like raw, rhodium and gold-plated metals as well as sterling silver with price tags ranging anywhere from $180 all the way up to $650. If you’ve got the money to burn though, consider going with solid gold shields, which will set you back anywhere from $4,000 to $12,800, or pony up for the ultimate in headphone luxury and design your very own platinum shield, which could cost you up to $40,000. I mean hey, it’s bound to look stunning next to that $17,000 Apple watch you’ve been eyeing, right?
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