More of the world’s in-ear headphones would be perfect if only they had better eartips. That’s the little rubber or foam bits that go in your ear and, if they’re a good set, keep them there even if you run or jump around. A good set of eartips will also keep outside sounds at bay and stop music from leaking out from your 'phones. Plenty of decent earbuds come with so-so tips. And, if your set is a few years older, you might have lost the tips or they simply fell apart.
Whatever the case, you need some new eartips. Comply makes a slew of foam eartip replacements, but do they work? We decided to test them on a set of headphones that didn’t come with satisfactory tips: the Heartbeats by Lady Gaga. In my hands-on with these earbuds I noted that the sound quality is good – though bass-heavy – but only when the buds stayed firmly in my ear canals. This didn’t happen often for whatever reason. So I tried them out with Comply's T-400 and Tx-400 Foam Tips.
I should mention first that Comply makes tips that fit on headphones from several different companies, including Monster, Skull Candy, Philips, and dozens more. The tips are designed to fit specific models from each company, so be sure you choose the correct headphone model before ordering.
The Comply tips come in packages of three or five that doubles as a resealable carrying case. The foam itself is very slightly tacky/sticky and molds to the shape of your ear canal. Once I picked the right size, I had to work at inserting them.
Here’s a tip: clean your ears well before you try this. That slight tackiness doesn’t play well with ear wax. Clean ears took much less effort, and I got them in pretty deep even with the awkward shape of the Heartbeats.
Once in, the Comply tips didn’t move or feel like they would pop out. I danced around to some Adam Lambert and probably frightened everyone at the LAPTOP offices that day, but there was not a hint of slippage.
I also tried the tips on the Diddybeats headphones and the result was the same. My wary co-workers reported that they couldn’t hear what I was listening to – which is probably why they were so alarmed by my behavior – and with the volume set to medium decibel levels, I couldn’t hear them, either.
Since both of these models boast excellent audio quality to begin with, the Comply tips didn’t do much to enhance it, but also didn’t hinder the excellent sound. The company claims that users will be able to hear better at a lower volume with their tips and get a bass boost.
The cost of Comply Foam Tips differs depending on the style, but you can usually get a pack of 3 starting at $9.99. The most expensive set is $19.99. The company suggests replacing the tips every three months for “optimal performance”.
If you’re in the market for replacement eartips or just want to enhance the sound of an inexpensive pair, head over to ComplyFoam.com and see if your headphones are supported. They’re worth it.