AirPods deliver great sound, effortless pairing, and unbeatable convenience. Unfortunately for some, the experience is tarnished by poor-fitting earbuds that cause discomfort or require constant adjustment.
Even the AirPods Pro with their tight-fitting silicone tips aren’t immune, so what can you do to solve the problem?
AirPods Pro Users Can Perform a Fit Test
If you have a set of AirPods Pro earphones with removable silicone tips that fit inside the ear, you can conduct a test using your iPhone or iPad to see how well your AirPods fit. This test is not available on standard, all-plastic AirPods or AirPods 2 models.
To test the fit, place your AirPods Pro in your ear and grab the iPhone or iPad they are paired with. Head to Settings > Bluetooth and tap on the “i” next to your AirPods Pro, then tap “Test Ear Tip Fit” to start the test.
Hit “Continue” then use the play button to start the test. Your iPhone will play some music at a moderate volume for a few seconds, after which you will get the results of your test. If you see “Good Seal” then (as far as the AirPods Pro are concerned) you’re using the correct size earbuds.
If you see another message, you might need to increase the size of the eartips using the spares Apple provides in the box. Even if you are told your ears form a good fit, this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have problems like earbuds falling out or moving during physical activity.
Hooks Stop AirPods and AirPods Pro Falling Out
Neither the standard AirPods and AirPods Pro are particularly well-suited to physical activity out of the box. Sometimes even moderate activity like a brisk walk or strength training is enough to dislodge an earbud. The answer to this problem is after-market “hooks” that keep the earbuds securely in place.
There are a few different types of hook design you can use, most of which use silicon or similar to create a tight yet flexible hold. You can go for in-ear hooks or over-ear hooks, with the latter more closely resembling Apple’s Powerbeats Pro “clip” design.
KeyBudz EarBuddyz 2.0 Ear Hooks and Covers Accessories Compatible with Apple AirPods or EarPods Headphones/Earphones/ Earbuds (3 Pairs) (Clear)
Comfortable and flexible silicon in-ear hooks for securing standard AirPods in place.
The most important thing is to buy the right hooks for your particular model, since they are not interchangeable. So for in-ear hooks AirPods users want something like the EarBuddyz 2.0 Ear Hooks, while AirPods Pro users should opt for something like the AhaStyle AirPods Pro Ear Hooks.
AhaStyle 3 Pairs AirPods Pro Ear Hooks Covers [Added Storage Pouch] Anti-Slip Ear Covers Accessories Compatible with Apple AirPods Pro (White)
In-ear hooks for AirPods Pro users featuring three pairs of hooks and a silicon case for easy storage.
For an over-ear design, elago make a version of its TPU slip-on over-ear hooks for AirPods 1 and 2 or AirPods Pro.
The unfortunate thing about these accessories is that you will need to remove them each time you want to put your AirPods into the charging case. Once you’ve done it a few times it becomes pretty natural, and the peace of mind knowing your AirPods aren’t going to disappear down a drain is more than worth it.
Hooks Uncomfortable? Try an AirPods Leash
Some people don’t get on very well with ear hooks, whether it’s for comfort reasons or the inconvenience of having to remove and reapply the hooks every time you take your AirPods out of the case.
Poorly-fitting AirPods are inconvenient, but the threat of them falling out at an inopportune moment is a greater concern. If hooks aren’t an option for you, consider a leash to catch your AirPods should the inevitable happen.
Airpods Strap Magnetic Super Strong Cord Anti-Lost Leash Sports String – Accessories for Airpods PRO3/2/1(White)
A leash that attaches to your AirPods or AirPods Pro, with a strong magnet to form a closed loop around your neck when not in use.
You can find all sorts of Strong Magnetic AirPods Straps on Amazon and similar retailers, most of which have a universal fit for both AirPods and AirPods Pro.
AirPods Pro Users Can Try Memory Foam Ear Tips
The AirPods Pro use removable silicone tips, of which three different sizes are included with every pair. The tips clip on and off, which makes them easier to change and more secure than other similar all-silicone designs.
For an even better fit than silicone, consider memory foam eartips. You can buy high-end options from Foam Masters or COMPLY, or try a cheaper option like those from brands like Lanwow.
COMPLY Foam Apple AirPods Pro 2.0 Earbud Tips for Comfortable, Noise-Canceling Earphones that Click On, and Stay Put (Assorted Sizes S/M/L, 3 Pairs)
Get a better fit with memory foam eartips that mold to the shape of your ear.
If you change your eartips, make sure you run the ear tip fit test described at the top of this article to ensure you’re getting the best sound.
Consider Another Model or Brand Instead
In the same way that some people have preferred brands of shoes for their fit, you might find another brand or model or headphone is a better fit for your ears.
If you would like to stay with Apple, consider something like the Powerbeats Pro which use the same H1 chip as the AirPods, but include a built-in ear clip for exercise. There’s no need to remove this clip, since the whole earbud fits neatly inside a charging case (albeit with a footprint larger than comparable AirPods).
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds – Apple H1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth Headphones, 9 Hours of Listening Time, Sweat Resistant, Built-in Microphone – Black
Using the same H1 chip as the AirPods and AirPods Pro, Powerbeats Pro are wireless earbuds designed for sport with non-removable clips to keep the earphones secure even during vigorous exercise.
Failing that, consider one of our recommended wireless earbuds for iPhone and iPad users.