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A little more in depth on earbud tips and their sizes

Posted by The Ear Tip Expert on Nov 8th 2018

Here's the first thing you should know about earbud tips - they are not universal.  There are hundreds of earphone brands out there and many of them do use the same tips, but with so many manufacturers there are certain to be differences.  One key issue is the connection diameter.  Some earphone manufacturers design their earphones with a very narrow sound port.  Shure, Klipsch, Westone, Etymotic Research are good examples.  Other brands design their earphones with a much wider sound port.  Skullcandy, House of Marley, JVC, and Jaybird are examples of those.  And then of course, there are some companies that produce different models with different sound port sizes.  This can create a problem for companies like us because a typical Google search will be something like "Sennheiser ear tips" and the results will yield the appropriate choices, but then if the shopper doesn't read the specifications they may find out the hard way that Sennheiser is one of the many brands that use multiple connection sizes.  So, rule number one is measure the diameter of your sound port and then check the specifications in our ads so you are purchasing the right connection size.  Feel free to contact us for more personalized assitance too.

The next thing you need to know is that the size of an ear tip has relevance only to the other two sizes that came with them; there is not an industry standard for ear tip sizes.  For instance, the size medium ear tips that came with your old Apple earphones are not going to be the same size as the mediums that come with your new Powerbeats earphones. Here's what we say and why:  It doesn't matter - everyone's ears are different, and many people have two different sizes of ear canals too, so the name of the size is just a reference.  Just use whatever gives the best seal and is comfortable.  Have you ever tried on a pair of one brand of shoes in your size and they felt too loose or too tight, and then you tried on another brand in the same size and they fit perfectly?  Even in standardized sizing there can still be differences that will affect your comfort, so don't lock yourself into the idea that you wear size "medium".  Many who used those Apple earphones I mentioned before and then switched brands might have discovered that they now wear a size large in their new brand of earphones (depending on what they bought).  As self serving as this sounds, people should try a wide assortment to find the optimal combination of both comfort and isolation in their ear tips, especially if they are wearing a couple hundred dollars' worth of in ear monitors.  The sound quality of your earphones is dependent on a good seal inside the ear canal, so if your ear tip is too small you may miss out on the the full potential of bass response that is engineered into your earphones.  If your ear tip is too large, you may get the right seal, but then after about 15 minutes your ears begin to hurt.  That's called ear fatigue and it is brought on by improper sizing.

Finally, try a number of styles in your quest for sound isolation and comfort, and don't limit yourself to wearing the same size ear tips in both ears.  You might find that you are one of the many people who find greater comfort that wearing two different sizes, no matter the style.  Our best selling, non traditional style tip are our triple flange ear tips.  They penetrate a little deeper in the ear canal, so for many they do provide that magical balance of comfort and isolation.  The double flange is a nice option to those for the same reason.  For me, however, memory foam ear tips are the best fit and as one of those people with two different size ear canals, they provide me with the most consistent level of comfort between both ears.  I wear a large in one side and a medium in the other, but because they are memory foam, the fit is nearly identical so I don't get ear fatigue in either ear where before I could get it in one ear and not the other.  The isolation is also perfect because of how they function, contracting for insertion and then expanding back to create a perfect seal.

So your takeaway should be this - don't fret about size; find the right fit no matter what size or style it's called.  Remember what Shakespeare said about names, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet",  but in this case the more apt phrase might be, if the shoe fits, er I mean, if the earbud tip fits, wear it.  Thanks for stopping by today!