Google’s second-generation Pixel Buds offer a fantastic fit and comfort, but could it be better? That’s the question that Comply is aiming to answer with their foam tips for the Pixel Buds. Let’s check them out!
By default, the Pixel Buds come with thin tips that certainly get the job done, naturally keeping some sound out and helping hold the buds in your ear. As everyone’s ears are a bit different though, the basic tips might not be quite enough to keep the Pixel Buds firmly in place. Thankfully, Comply, maker of premium replacement tips for earbuds of all shapes and sizes, is now offering a set of official, “Made for Google” foam tips for the second-generation Pixel Buds.
The Comply Pixel Buds tips come in simple, barebones packaging, which can be easily opened with a pull tab on the back. Unfortunately, this pull tab is placed directly under the instruction guide. If, like me, you make the mistake of breaking into the package before reading the instructions, Comply offers a generic how-to guide online.
The short version is that you simply pop off your stock tips and slip on the Comply ones. From then on, you’ll need to treat your Pixel Buds as you would ear plugs, rolling the foam into a smaller shape that fits into your ear and expands. As you’d expect, this adds an extra step to putting in your Pixel Buds, which may be inconvenient if you’re ever in a hurry.
In the package, you get three sets of Comply Pixel Buds tips in increasing sizes. All three sizes are a bit larger than their counterparts in the stock tips. Where I normally prefer the medium size of stock Pixel Buds tips, I need to wear the smallest Comply tips.
Immediately, from my first time wearing my upgraded Pixel Buds, it became obvious how much more secure the foam tips are. Where the stock Pixel Buds tips normally fit well enough for simple activities, I had found that they would gradually come undone over time. By contrast, in my experience, the foam tips have not shaken loose when running, dancing, headbanging, etc.
One of Comply’s promises with their foam Pixel Buds tips is better noise reduction, which makes sense given how similar they are to traditional ear plugs. In my limited testing, I found the foam tips did somewhat reduce surrounding noise, but not significantly so. That said, the Pixel Buds are meant to allow noise from the outside world, so there’s only so much noise reduction that can be done.
That said, the increased security and noise reduction comes at a cost for me, as I sometimes find my ears being sore after a few hours of wearing the Pixel Buds with foam tips. This isn’t a consistent complaint of mine, and the experience will definitely vary from person to person.
I wish I could say that was the only issue with the Comply tips for the Pixel Buds. However, there’s a certain level of incompatibility between the foam tips and the charging case for the Pixel Buds.
Normally, with the stock tips, the Pixel Buds “snap” perfectly into place when you put them into the case, thanks to small magnets. The importance of this snap is that it effortlessly aligns the buds with the charging pins. By comparison, with the Comply tips, the buds need to be manually rotated into the correct position, with guidance from the indicator light.
Relatedly, once the tips expand inside of the case, it becomes much more difficult to remove each Pixel Bud. Instead of simply breaking the gentle hold of the magnet, you need to dislodge the cold, expanded foam from the case. Combined, these problems take away from the “magic” or the “delight” of the Pixel Buds in the way I didn’t expect.
Generally speaking, I don’t hold these faults against Comply. The issues seem to be inherent incompatibilities between the Pixel Buds charging case and foam tips in general. With that in mind, it seems odd to me that this accessory that arguably makes the Pixel Buds less delightful — even if only in this one area — was able to get the “Made for Google” stamp of approval.
Another minor issue I discovered is one of durability. When testing the various sizes of tips, the foam of one of the large-size tips began to tear loose from the inner ring. This is likely a matter of needing to take special care when swapping tips to grab by the ring and not by the foam. Considering how rarely most people will need to swap tips, this shouldn’t be a major concern.
Setting the minor gripes aside, if you’re looking for a way to make the Pixel Buds fit more snugly in your ears, as well as gain a bit more isolation from your surroundings, the Comply foam tips for the Pixel Buds are probably your best bet. And at $20, there’s no reason not to pick up a set to try out.
The Comply foam tips for the Google Pixel Buds are available only on the Google Store.
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