Earbuds are as common as ever these days and it’s important to know there are two major types, those with replaceable soft tips and those without.

Apple’s earbuds, for instance, have a fixed shape so you have to hope they’re comfortable. When you get soft tips however, you can often customize them for fit and even alter the audio quality.

Figure 1, Comply Foam Earbud Tips

I have used earbuds and headphones since I was in middle school. Each has pros and cons depending on where you are and what you’re doing. For this review, I choose to use the Sennheiser CX-300 II Earbuds as they are widely available online, affordable, and offer decent sound for the price. They have replaceable tips so I wanted to try Comply since they come in multiple sizes and shapes. Their website offers models for hundreds of different earbuds including my Sennheiser’s

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I used the stock foam tips as a baseline to judge the Comply Foam tips. I then proceeded to use the same size of all four models (medium fit me the best) to keep everything consistent. I listened to all four earbud tips in three different environments – at home in a quiet bedroom, near a TV at normal volume, and in a car on the highway as a passenger to get a solid feel for these earbud tips. Here they are ranked from bottom to top.

Figure 2, Comply Foam Earbud Premium Tips

4th Place – Comply Foam Premium Tips

Surprisingly, these were my least favorite of all the tips. They were extremely hard to get onto the earbuds, but offered a good balance between comfort and sound isolation while staying in my ear securely. But their audio performance was merely OK. I found them to be no improvement over the stock tips. They also have a little screen in the middle hole to prevent junk from building up and getting inside the actual speaker, which was nice to see. But I didn’t like the installation difficulty, and they didn’t seem to improve comfort or isolation enough over the stock tips to justify the price.

3rd Place – Stock Foam

I found Sennheiser’s included tips quite easy to install, they just slipped on and off without hassle. However, they provided little noise isolation and easily slipped out of my ear at times. They were not comfortable nor did they provide much isolation, but they were very easy to use and switch out. I prefer these over the premium tips from Comply by just a small margin. I used these as my baseline for this review and they performed as expected.

Figure 3, Comply Foam Earbud Isolation Tips

2nd Place – Comply Foam Isolation Tips

These were difficult to attach, but not as troublesome as the premium tips. I felt they did a good job of lowering the ambient sound in the room while listening. They sounded better than all three of the other tips, but in doing so they sacrificed comfort to a good degree. It felt like putting a marshmallow in my ear. If for example you are taking a plane ride or a long car ride as a passenger, I recommend using these tips to block out as much noise as possible as they did a pretty good job.

Figure 4, Comply Foam Earbud Comfort Tips

1st Place – Comply Foam Comfort Tips

My favorite of the three tips Comply Comfort model. They really were quite comfortable to wear, while also lowering the ambient sound a good amount, but not as much as the Isolation ones. I really enjoyed them most because they were so comfortable and at the same time blocked out a good amount of ambient noise. And they felt as though I were not wearing earbuds at all. These were a massive upgrade over the stock tips and I really liked using them. I would recommend them for working in an office or while exercising as they give a great level of comfort and noise cancellation. Highly recommended!

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In summary, I had expected more from the premium tips, but I felt they tried to bite off a bit more than they could chew because they didn’t really excel in any one area. However, when you try out Isolation and Comfort tips, things really start to shine. I enjoyed using both while doing normal day-to-day tasks. I suggest that if you are looking to upgrade your earbuds, consider trying out the Isolation or Comfort tips from Comply.

Figure 5, Comply Foam Earbud Tips