Written by 7:09 am Headphone + Accessory Reviews

Ear-Tip Follies

Are the ear-tips on your earbuds a personal health hazard? They can be. But Steven Stone offers a common sense solution to this potential pain-in-the-ear.


Sometimes bad things happen to good eartips. Sure, this Gizmodo
article’s tale
is a worst-case scenario that implies that ALL in-ear phones are
dangerous to your ear’s health. That is just plain wrong.

The only eartips that have the right shape, size, and materials
to get lodged in your ear canal are the triple-flange ear tips.  With all the soft pillow and foam ear-tips
it’s virtually impossible to lodge them in your ear canal because they are too
large to fit. These kinds of tips work by filling your outer ear canal, not
your inner canal.

I only use a triple-flange ear tip when all other options have
failed. Even Etymotic earbuds, which come standard with a triple flange, can be
re-fitted with larger double-flange tips, which can be a better fit for many


The trick with earbuds is that they need a good seal in your
ear to reduce outside noise and for good bass response. It doesn’t matter if
that seal is in your outer or inner ear canal to be effective. So I recommend
starting with the largest tips when you are first fitting your earbuds. Use the
largest one that makes a good seal.

If you follow this advice, you’ll never be “attacked” by your

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