I love my Airpod Pros. The noise cancellation is excellent, they’re light and comfortable and they sound great. But I’m not a fan of silicon tips. I just don’t find them comfortable and struggle with the fit. So I really wanted some Airpod Pro foam tips.
For years, when I want to use wired earphones, my make of choice has been Shure, and a few years ago I bought some Comply foam tips for them – which to me were the perfect combination of comfort, sound and noise isolation. I find that foam tips, which slowly expand to gently fit the contours of an ear, are far better than the generic rounded silicon tips.
Recently two companies have both brought out foam tips for Airpod Pros – Comply and one which is new to me Dekoni. I’ve managed to get hold of tips from both these companies, and here are my first impressions.
tl;dr Both these tips are great, offering a solid upgrade to the Apple silicon ones. Better comfort, better noise isolation, fit in the charging case. A great upgrade
Packaging and delivery experience
There was a big difference here for me – a UK buyer. The Dekoni tips shipped locally in just a few days from a local supplier – Electromod. But the Comply – which have only just been released – had to ship from the US, which not only took longer but cost a LOT more. I got stung with import costs of £4.56 in VAT plus a rip-off “handling fee” by Royal Mail of £8.
The Dekonis cost £30.50 all-in (£10 delivery – really??!!). They came well protected in three (!!!) envelopes. After getting over the initial pass-the-parcel thrill, I started worrying about the environmental impact of this.
These arrived a few days before the Comply ones, so I pretty much left them alone, other than making sure they fitted. Waiting patiently for the alternatives to arrive.
The Comply tips came in a standard padded plastic flatpack, liberally plastered with “Customs Fee to Pay” stickers. They took well over a month to come, seeing as I pre-ordered. Looking now at my invoice, I see that they didn’t charge for shipping. This must have been a mistake, as current orders incur a $4.99 fee for the UK.
So the Comply tips ended up costing me around £33 after customs fees and Paypal’s usual rip-off exchange rate. Not very much difference so far then.
The Comply packaging was better quality. It’s both better aesthetically and easier to get in to, with a nice little pull strip and an easy to understand installation graphic. Moreover, the packaging contains a clear plastic box, very handy for storing the spare pairs. First blood to Comply.
I’ll be honest – straight out of the package I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to tell the two makes apart. However, once I got to look at them carefully the differences became clearer.
First off, I should mention that I ordered “Medium” from both companies, as my recollection was that that was the size I use for the Apple silicon ones. It was only when I started taking pics for this blog that I realised that actually I use a Large. A big win for Comply – they offer Guaranteed Fit Program, where they will offer a store credit if the sizing is wrong. I think I’ll be taking advantage of that!
On this close-up they do look very different. It’s easy to see that the Dekoni, shown here on the right, has a mesh tip guard higher up than the Comply (which is just out of sight on this angle). I’m not sure this matters, since I find I throw them away when they get dirty and my ears don’t seem to throw off enough slough to make mesh cleaning an issue. (Ewww!)
Flipping them over shows what to me appears to be the primary design difference.
It’s easy to see here that the foam on the Comply goes all the way down to the base of the hard plastic core, which fits on to the Airpods. But on the Dekoni it stops a little (maybe less than 1mm) higher. This gets important when it comes to removing them from the Airpods (as discussed below).
Fitting to the Airpods
Now, to be honest, I found practically no difference in fitting these tips to my Airpods. It was easy. There is no “click” on either. But that is clear on the web sites.
Taking them off again was different. In this case the shorter foam of the Dekoni made it much easier to pry them off the Airpods. Win here for Dekoni.
Both sets are fantastic! A real step up over the silicon. The idea s that you roll them around your fingers for a few seconds, then put them in your ear and let the memory foam expand for a few minutes. Comply recommend holding in place for 10-15 seconds while this happens, but honestly I found no need.
They are super comfortable when in place. The foam adapts to your ear, rather than your ear having to adapt to the tip shape.
I didn’t really spot any difference in feel between the Comply and the Dekoni. They both have a sort of shiny exterior which makes them easy to keep clean.
I can imagine wearing these for many, many hours without any discomfort.
As shown in the picture, sizing of the Mediums is pretty much identical to the Apple’s. And so there is no issue fitting into the case.
Again, this is going to be short – there really was little difference here. I’d say that in both cases the bass was a little stronger, and the noise isolation was better. Transparency mode worked just fine on both.
But the Apple Ear Tip Fit Test failed for both for me – wrong sizing. Der.
Both sets are great. Pricing is pretty good, and at £10 a set it’s a no-brainer that they are worth buying. Even if you like the white Apple silicon tips I’d suggest that you try a pair.
Overall, I’ll have to say that Comply come out just in front, as I will need to take advantage of the free replacement program, but the Dekoni are much easier to get replace when they are on the Airpods.
I’ll post again when I have lived with the sets for a little while.