I’ve been a big fan of the AirPods since they launched and, being a self confessed Apple fan boy I could resist the AirPods Pro when they launched last year. I’d never tried headphones / earbuds with noise cancelling technology in them before, so I was really blown away with their performance, despite having a few reservations in relation to their overall comfort levels.
Fast forward a few weeks, however, and I noticed the performance of the noise cancellation and Transparency starting to wane. The once snug fit started to feel a bit loose, and quickly ended up feeling like they were going to fall out. Any sensible person would have tried to take them back to Apple and stick with their perfectly good 2nd generation normal AirPods. I, on the other hand, am clearly not all that sensible, so I decided to try the Viticci Method to try modifying them. To be fair, Federico says in his review that he also got the idea from someone else, but ’The Viticci Method’ sounds much better than ’Random Forum Poster Method’, so we’ll go with that.
You can read all about how to actually do this via Viticci’s article, so I wont go into that there, but I saw a lot of interest from people when I mentioned I’d tried this on Twitter, so I thought I’d share a bit of feedback.
Firstly, getting hold of the Symbio Eartips wasn’t the easiest. There seems to be a lot of places, such a eBay or Amazon that sell random Symbio, or Symbio like products, but it wasn’t very clear at all. To this end, I ended up just going directly to the Symbio website. This was quite expensive, in the end, about £20, but it only took a week or two so was a fairly pain free method of getting hold of them.
The modding itself sounded a little fiddly when I read Federico’s article, but having the tips in-hand made the instructions a lot clearer to understand, and it ended up only taking a minute or two to do. I got the set that came with small, medium and large sizes, so I applied all three, so I could try various fit options. I ended up going with the Small ones.
I popped them in and ... instantly felt a little bit disappointed. After the fiddling around, and extra cost, they felt pretty uncomfortable and the size didn’t seem any better. The part you put inside the Apple tips, however, is memory foam so after a little wiggling about they started to feel far more comfortable. They’ve now seemingly fit around my ear shape and are, in fact, working wonderfully!
There’re little vents around the part you insert the new tips which can be obscured a little by the memory foam inserts, which require a little adjustments here and there. When these are covered the AirPod is unable to work its magic to release some of the pressure caused by filling your ear hole the way it does. This is easily rectified, however. The real improvement can be found with the noise cancellation, however. With this modification, at least in with my ears, the noise cancellation felt super charged. It worked almost too well, I really couldn’t hear a thing. If you’re having difficulty with fit, or don’t find the noise cancellation is ... noise cancelly enough, I can’t recommend this small modification enough.
On that note, however, it’s far from ideal that I would be recommending spending £20 more on a £200+ set of headphones to get the functionality and quality they should ship with, but there we are.
If you have any questions about my experiences with this modification, please give me a shout.