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If you are new to the universe of portable audio devices, you may want to know about the various types of earphone tips. Many of the best headphones are earphones, and these gadgets typically ship with different-sized tips to suit different consumers. So what tips are a perfect fit for the best wireless earbuds, and which are right for you? Keep reading to find out.
There are many types of earphone tips out there, similar to when learning the types of headphones. These tips come into play when learning the best wireless earbuds and when simply researching the category. If you are learning how to keep earbuds from falling out, placing correctly-sized tips is an absolute must. The same goes when learning the best noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping.
No matter which type of tip you choose, clean them regularly to avoid contamination.
In other words, earbud tips are made for comfort during use. Here are the major types of earphone tips.
This is the de facto leader in the space as the vast majority of earphones ship with a range of different-sized silicone tips. Silicone tips are cheap to manufacture, which could account for their ubiquity. This established material makes for a comfortable tip that does not water down the sound as you listen to your favorite tunes or podcasts.
Silicone tips excel with both wired and wireless earphone designs, and the durability inherent to the material makes them a popular choice for most earphone and third-party manufacturers.
The other primary material used to manufacture earphone tips is foam, with an expanding foam design similar to memory foam. These are widely regarded as being the more comfortable option, as the foam is much softer than silicone. Additionally, foam is spongey and adheres to pre-existing ear canal shapes without too much concern.
Foam tips have come a long way in a short amount of time, as today’s tips are much more comfortable than those of yesteryear, with a more diverse lineup of uses.
Tips on Buying Foam Earphone Tips
The vast majority of earphone tips that actually ship with earphones are of a single-flange design. This means they are made from just a single layer of silicone or foam. To that end, foam earphone tips are always single-flange designs, as foam doesn’t operate in layers like silicone (increased thickness in foam is achieved in other ways.)
Single-flange silicone tips are incredibly common but do not fit every user, leading to dropouts when in use, particularly when exercising.
STAT: A double flange ear tip looks like a small single flange ear tip placed on top of a large single flange ear tip. (source)
Now it’s on to bigger and better things, literally. Double-flange earphone tips, as the name suggests, include an additional flange, or layer, positioned on top of the original flange or layer. This type of tip looks like a small single-flange earphone tip placed right on top of a larger ear tip.
This added flange allows for a better seal during use, especially when compared to single-flange tips. Double-flange tips are only available in silicone models, as foam cannot be layered in this way.
If you really want to prioritize stability, there are triple-flange earphone tips. Imagine earphone tips ranging from small to large. Triple-flange tips are the largest of the large. These tips are available only with silicone earphone tips, as foam does not layer or stack in the same way. The basic shape resembles a Christmas tree.
This extra flange takes everything positive from the double-flange design and amps them up, including bass response, noise cancellation, and more.
Now imagine three single flange ear tips in a pile ranging from large to small – this is what a triple flange ear tip is. The shape resembles that of a Christmas tree. The extra flange further enhances bass response and noise cancellation. The three flanges make the ear tip longer than the standard single flange, so they won’t be suitable for those with short ear canals.