Luu Huu Hai, 23, did not apply for a job after graduating from college, but decided to start a business in his own way: making custom in-ear monitors at home.
The young man, hailing from Hai Duong Province in northern Vietnam, lives and works in Hanoi.
Despite his young age, Hai has started his own business with his passion for making custom-built earphones, which some call a 'super niche.'
Custom in-ear monitors are personalized audio devices that fit snugly into the ear canal and provide high-quality sound and good noise isolation.
Until now, Hai's custom in-ear monitors have mainly been used by artists or sound engineers, and the cost of these earphones is often quite high.
|When making custom in-ear monitors, the manufacturer must measure the shape of the customer’s ear canal in order to turn out a product that fits only the customer. Photo: Son Minh / Tuoi Tre|
Building an unusual career
When Hai was in 9th grade, he had a special impression of the extremely beautiful earphones that K-pop stars wore onstage at that time. That was the first time Hai had heard about this type of custom-made earphone.
While searching for information about the earphone, Hai came across a big problem: the cost.
Each pair of these custom earphones would cost him a fortune, between US$1,000 and $2,000.
On top of that, all the knowledge material explaining the structures of these earphones is presented in technically specialized English.
Driven by his fervor, Hai did not give up. As an enthusiastic self-taught engineer, he tried to teach himself and master new concepts from specialized books on audio engineering and the nature of custom in-ear monitors.
He learned about all the details and small components used in bespoke in-ear monitors. The more knowledge he gained, the more challenges he had to overcome; the more details there are, the more difficult the manufacturing becomes.
After many years of persistently pursuing his longing, he finally succeeded in making them. He presented himself with his first pair of customized earphones made by himself.
At the age of 18, Hai secured a place at the VNU University of Engineering and Technology in Hanoi.
During his studies, he spent most of his time acquiring as much knowledge as possible in the field of audio.
When he turned 19, Hai set up his own lab and started his own career making unique, tailored in-ear monitors.
|A model of Luu Huu Hai's customized in-ear monitors. Photo: Son Minh / Tuoi Tre|
Becoming known for quality products
Hai did not apply for a job after graduating from college and instead decided to follow his calling.
In a small room on Vu Thanh Street in Hanoi, Hai and a colleague take orders for custom-made earphones.
Hai leads a quiet life in the Vietnamese capital, focusing only on his work rather than bragging about anything.
Therefore, few people know that the young man's custom in-ear monitors are already used by several famous singers.
Not only are his earphones unique and beautiful, but many customers have also praised their sound quality.
Hai said that for his love of beauty, he carefully and affordably crafts each pair of earphones.
“The more beautiful I find them, the more excited I feel and the more encouraged I am to keep up the passion,” the young man said.
After hearing about Hai’s products, a young singer found her way to his laboratory. She said that she had previously ordered custom in-ear monitors from abroad, but the price was too hefty for her.
“I am surprised that a young man in Vietnam can make such earphones. I am really curious and admire him,” said the singer.
Hai is currently researching the development of a new model of bone conduction earphones to help patients with hearing loss.
He had already delivered a presentation on this research topic in his studies, earning an A+ from his instructors.
Dr. Dinh Van Manh, former head of the Institute of Mechanics at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, is impressed by the topic Hai has researched because it has potential applications and is meaningful to patients with hearing impairment.
“We hope Hai will continue to follow his passion for research and development of new products," Manh said.
"We also expect Hai to be able to find someone who can put all his initiatives into action."