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Improve earbud comfort with Comply Foam Tips

A cushy earphone accessory from Comply could help you get a more comfortable fit from your 'buds.


Earbuds. You either love them or hate them. Or you just tolerate them. Anyone who's worn a pair--which is likely 100 percent of those who own an iPod or other MP3 player--knows that comfort and fit isn't always the greatest when it comes to these tiniest of headphones. Maybe you have a pair that is reasonably comfortable, but slips ever-so-gradually out of your ears as you move. Or the opposite: they really stick in there, but dole out a pain-causing pressure to the inside of your ear after extended wear. So maybe you give up, and pair your portable player with a full-size, over-the-ear model. That's one solution, but those don't provide the extreme portability of earbuds, and they, too, can put uncomfortable pressure on the ear--the outer portion.

Another solution is to find some comfy sleeves to replace the ones that came with your earbuds. For owners of canalphones, which are the variety that is inserted into the ear (rather than the stock 'buds that rest just inside the outer cartilage), one option is Comply Foam Tips. These compressible foam sleeves are nearly identical to the highly-regarded variety included with Shure's SE line, and they're available for a huge array of earbuds from Sony, Koss, Sennheiser, V-Moda, and more. There's even a set that works with the Zune Premium Earphones, and a unique "earbud enhancer" variety that snaps onto the stock Apple earbuds.

The Comply Foam Tips come in sets, with packs containing three, five, or ten pairs. Prices range from $14.95 for a set of three to $37.95 for a set of 10. While I applaud the idea--and Lord knows comfort is paramount with earbuds--I'd like to see those prices reduced by about a third. They're only little pieces of foam, after all.