The small silicone tips that allow your earphones to fit in your ear are extremely easy to lose. Fortunately, they’re also simple to replace, with a semi-standard size that fits roughly 90% of the earbuds on the market. Here are some of the best.
We’ve chosen the best replacement solutions for standard silicone tips, which are available in a number of sizes for even the most unique earbud designs.
We’ve also selected memory foam earbud tips, which are a popular choice for those looking for extra comfort, as well as options for those looking for an ultra-secure fit for sports and fitness and a multi-flange design for those looking for excellent sound isolation.
To know more about the best replacement earbud tips, make sure to read the whole article! We also give an instruction on how to properly insert this replacement!
Why Do You Need Replacement Earbud Tips?
If you’ve ever used your earphones and lost the foam tip, you know how inconvenient it can be if you don’t have any replacements. Tip-less earbuds will not only not fit comfortably in your ear, but they will also not sound as well.
The foam tip creates a seal between the foam and your ear, which increases noise isolation or noise cancellation. So, if one of your tips happens to fall off, it’s usually a good idea to have some extras on hand.
Earbuds can also protect against ear wax buildup, which can cause your earbuds to slip out of place. Foam earphones, in particular, are well-known for their ability to create airtight seals and provide excellent isolation from external sounds.
Foam earbud tips are also excellent at transducing low-frequency sounds, thus they provide good bass tones. In rare circumstances, your earbud tips maybe a little too long for your liking. Fortunately, you can change them yourself.
Memory foam earbud tips, in particular, are meant to conform to the shape of your ear canal over time. Every person’s ear canal is unique, and your left and right ear canals aren’t even the same; they’re asymmetrical. True Wireless Earbuds that may be custom-fit to your specific ear shape are often superior to any other type of earphone.
It may take some time to break them in, but foam memory buds are definitely the most pleasant type available. Additionally, having new earbuds or ear headphones may be handy if your earphones do not fit equally in both of your ears.
Because most people’s ear canals are slightly asymmetrical, your right ear may be slightly larger than your left, and vice versa. As a result, replacement tips allow you to tailor your earbud experience to each ear.
How to Shop for Earbuds Replacement Tips?
Step 1: Check that the Tips fit your Earbuds
Many tips are classified according to their bore size (the diameter of the small hole in the middle of the tip) or their compatibility with specific sound-tube diameter (in millimeters). The sound tube is the stem of the earbud that holds the tip in place.
Unless you have your own calipers, we recommend looking for earbud tips using your earbud model name on Google, Amazon, Walmart.com, and other similar sites and then reading the product description to ensure that the tips will fit your specific earbud model.
It’s usually rather simple to find a match for earbuds from well-known manufacturers such as Apple, Bose, and Jabra. However, if you’re looking for a lesser-known brand, don’t be afraid to contact the earbud-tip company and ask questions. You can’t usually return ear tips once they’ve been opened, so do your research to avoid wasting money.
The good news is that, for the most part, if a tip company says a particular tip will fit a particular earbud, it will. The bad news is that if you own earbuds with unusually shaped sound tubes, such as the oval 1More True Wireless ANC or an all-in-one wing-and-tip type like the Jaybird Tarah Pro, using a third-party replacement tip will be much more difficult. In these cases, you may have to rely on the original manufacturer’s recommendations.
Whether your ear size falls outside of the normal small, medium, and large sizes, contact the firm and inquire if it offers smaller or larger tips than what is included in the package.
Step 2: Determine the Best Fit for your Ears
When you’ve discovered a set of tips that will fit your earbuds, be sure they will also fit (and feel nice in) your ears. Material, form, and size are the three factors to consider here.
The majority of replacement tips are made of silicone ear tips, which is fantastic because it retains their shape well, are washable, and last a long time. It cannot, however, accommodate all ear shapes. If your ear canal is oval and the tip is spherical, it will be difficult to achieve a proper seal.
Foam is another popular material for earbud tips. This material is fantastic since it is soft and can stretch and conform to any ear shape, so it frequently keeps earbuds in place better, especially for people with narrow ear canals.
A better seal using foam may be easier to achieve than with silicone, and a better seal may aid in noise isolation and bass performance. However, foam ear tips are more challenging to clean (some kinds can be washed, while others cannot), and they lose their springiness with time.
In fact, foam-tip makers recommend that you change your foam ear tips every few months if you use them on a daily basis. However, they are sometimes available in multi-packs, allowing you to purchase a year’s worth of tips at once.
Silicone tips are also available in a “multi-flange” design that looks like a pine tree or a stack of open umbrellas. Multi-flange tips normally provide a good seal for people who have trouble with spherical tips, but if you’re not used to wearing a tip that goes deeper into your ear, it can seem invasive at first.
These days, most foam tips are circular, but you may come across those that appear like cylindrical earplugs, which are normally meant to block the most amount of external noise. The cylinder-shaped foam can be useful for larger ears, but smaller ears may discover that all that foam starts to expand too much and slowly escapes.
Unfortunately, determining which size tip will fit your ears is difficult. However, just because you normally wear a big tip does not imply that large is the correct size in a third-party replacement. It’s similar to clothing sizes: You may have to go through some trial and error until you figure out what size you are in a particular brand.
This is especially true for brands that provide in-between size recommendations (XS, S, S/M, M, M/L, L, XL). More affordable foam tips are frequently sold in multi-size packs, which is an excellent place to start. For less expensive buds, we recommend purchasing a few sizes larger than your typical size to ensure that you get a set that provides a satisfactory seal.
If all of this sounds like too much work, and you’re prepared to pay any price for custom-fit earphone tips, Snugs manufactures custom-fit eartips for practically every popular set of earbuds. The difficulty is that these tips can be as expensive as the earphones themselves.
5 Different Types of IEM Ear Tips
Let’s start with the most fundamental notion of ear tips: understanding the various materials and possibilities available.
1. Rubber Ear Tips
Rubber ear tips are the most difficult and uncomfortable to use. Contact may also cause a reaction in people who have skin allergies. Because of these drawbacks, rubber is rarely used or recommended as an IEM ear tip material.
2. Silicone Ear Tips
Silicone is chemically inert and so unlikely to irritate the ears. However, some customers have noted that silicone ear tips are painful to wear for an extended period of time.
Sweat can make the silicone surface slippery when used for exercise, causing the IEMs to slip or fall out of the ear. Silicone ear tips, on the other hand, are less noise-isolating than foam ear tips. As a result, they are a safer option for people who need to be aware of their surroundings, particularly runners.
On the bright side, silicone is readily cleaned, providing customers with a sanitary and long-lasting alternative.
3. Foam Ear Tips
Because they contour to the ear canal, foam ear tips are often regarded as the most pleasant option. They are essentially earplugs with a hole in the middle (typically around a stiff rubber tube to allow sound to pass through the foam).
They are well-known for providing an excellent seal and fit in the ear, as well as excellent isolation from extraneous sounds. Users on enthusiast sites such as Head-Fi, on the other hand, frequently report increased bass (and decreased highs) due to a ‘funneling’ effect into the ear canal.
4. Hybrid Ear Tips
Foam-stuffed silicone ‘hybrid’ ear tips do exist, but they are uncommon (come with select Sony models) and not as popular as the other types. If you want to give them a shot, there are aftermarket versions available.
5. Custom Ear Tips
Some companies specialize in manufacturing custom ear tips for your universal IEMs for significantly less than the cost of Custom IEMs (CIEMs).
Typically, this is accomplished by obtaining putty from the maker and using it to make imprints of your ears. The completed impressions, color selection, and your IEM are then returned to the manufacturer. Within a few weeks, you will receive a pair of sweat-proof, hypoallergenic, antimicrobial tips that are custom-made for you (and only you).
How to Insert Ear Tips Correctly?
Choosing the appropriate ear tips is half the battle. The second half necessitates that you wear them correctly.
While silicone ear tips can be inserted straight into the ear, moistening the ear tips before insertion may be beneficial.
They are designed to go deep into the ear canal for the optimum seal, but if any pain or discomfort is encountered, they should be withdrawn immediately. When properly inserted, the IEMs should feel snug, secure, and comfortable.
Foam ear tips, similar to earplugs, must be used. This achieves the best possible seal, isolation, and sound quality. The same criteria apply to IEM ear tips as they do to earplugs. You can insert foam earplugs by following the methods outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- With your fingertips, roll the ear tips into a little, thin “snake.” You may use either one or both hands.
- Straighten out your ear canal by pulling the top of your ear up and back with your opposite hand. The rolled-up earplug should fit perfectly.
- With your finger, insert the earplug. While waiting for the plug to expand and fill the ear canal, count to 20 or 30 aloud. When the plug has formed a good seal, your speech will sound muffled.
- When you’re finished, double-check the fit. The majority of the earplug’s foam body should be within the ear canal. Try forcefully clasping your hands over your ears. If the sound is significantly muffled with your hands in place, the earplug may not be securely sealed. Remove the earplug and try again.
Best Replacement Earbud Tips
Best Silicone Earbud Tips: Spinfit (Various, $10-20)
If all you need are replacement earphone tips, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of almost similar options available online and in retail stores. Among them, we propose the SpinFit replacements. While the design is similar to those of the others, SpinFit’s exceptional materials set it apart.
Even better, they come with a number of adaptor sizes, so they’ll work with a wide range of earbud and in-ear monitor brands. Choose 4mm for the semi-standard size. For others, consult your manufacturer’s specifications or measure an original.
SpinFit’s replacement tips are available in a range of ear canal sizes, with several provided in each box for a custom fit. In addition to the typical silicone design, they come with various flange alternatives for those looking for a better or deeper seal. There is a set that is perfect for you somewhere in this vast product selection.
Best Memory Foam Earbud Tips: Comply Isolation Plus ($15)
Comply’s well-liked memory foam tips are ideal for people who prefer a more snug, comfortable fit. It’s a good improvement if you’re looking for a set of tips that are more secure without being overly tight, with solid foam that compresses as it goes into your ear and expands to produce a tight seal.
While there are many copies, Comply’s original memory foam design is still a popular choice. The regular edition includes three pairs in small, medium, and large sizes (with a triple pack available with one of each).
There are also four different adaptor sizes available for a perfect fit with a variety of earbud brands—consult this guide to determine which ones you need. For varying levels of pressure and noise isolation, the ear shapes are also available in “isolation,” as seen above, “sport,” and “comfort” variations.
Best Replacement Earbud Tips For Sports: Phaiser ($10)
Users who want to utilize music to supplement their exercises require headphones that are rock-solid, and the fit of the earpiece is a key part of that.
These Phaiser replacement silicone tips come in a number of sizes and incorporated clips for a snug fit in the earlobe, which also comes in a variety of sizes. It’s an excellent choice for a secure fit and a stress-free run or gym session.
These clips are technically designed for Phaiser’s workout-focused headphones, but they should expand to suit most bud-style headphones. It’s worth noting that if you’re using something larger, with a dedicated band or a non-standard driver, you may have to seek replacements from your manufacturer—replacement components are usually advertised on the online store if they’re available.
Best Sound Isolating Earbud Tips: AudioEquip ($12)
Foam earbuds do an excellent job of isolating sounds from the outside world, but they have a muddiness and an artificial emphasis on bass sound. If you desire sound isolation as well as a general neutral sound profile, these triple-flange tips from AudioEquip are ideal. Their staggered chambers design aids in sound isolation from ordinary earbud and in-ear monitor drivers.
They’re notably large for earbud tips—depending on the size of your ears, you might want to snip off the third flange using sharp scissors or a knife. This set is intended for high-end Shure headphones, but it should also work with similar designs.
Custom Options: Soundmolds, Snugs, Westone
Earbuds are typically created to be one-size-fits-all; while some come in packs of three or more, they’re all spherical and designed to accommodate most people. If you routinely use earbuds during the day and are bothered by them slipping out, you might want to consider a custom-made solution for your ears.
Snugs, SoundMolds, and Westone Customs all use custom-molded plastic that’s designed to suit the folds of your earlobe and ear canal for a snug, sound-isolating fit that won’t come out under extreme pressure.
They’re all exorbitantly priced by earbud standards—don’t expect to walk out of any of them for less than $200. They are also time-consuming to obtain because you will need to meet with an expert and have bespoke imprints of your ears taken. However, if you want the best in both fit and sound, it may be worth your time and money.
Conclusion: Best Earbud Replacement
If you buy cheap earbuds and don’t like the sound, you may have purchased a defective pair. If, on the other hand, you spend more than $100 and are dissatisfied with the sound, consider purchasing a set of replacement earphone tips. For less than $20, you could transform a clunky pair of earbuds into something you adore.
But remember, because of their small size and thin cords, earphones are prone to breaking. If this keeps happening to you, check out our advice on how to keep your headphones from breaking.
We hope you enjoy the items we suggest and discuss! Leave us a comment section below if you have any other inquiries!
FAQs About Replacing Earbuds
Are earbud replacement tips interchangeable?
Do different earbuds need the use of different ear tips? Because not all earbud nozzles are the same size, it can be difficult to find a compatible premium ear tip. If you’ve ever examined your earbuds without the ear tips, you’ll discover that there isn’t a uniform standard for earbud-nozzle diameter.
What size earbud tips should you get?
Unroll an ear tip and look for S, M, or L inscribed on the inside of the ear tip near its base to determine its size. Insert the AirPods with the medium-sized ear tips into your ears to ensure that they are comfortably and firmly lodged.
Do ear tips have an effect on sound quality?
One widespread misconception about foam ear tips is that they impede playback frequency response. A good seal can improve bass response during playback, but it generally results in a perceived decrease in treble response. According to their measurements, Comply memory foam ear tips have no discernible effect on the sound.
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