My favorite change to the new AirPods Pro is perhaps the smallest one. Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro come with a new extra small eartip size, and they finally make Apple’s pro wireless earbuds a near-perfect fit for me.
I loved the first-generation AirPods Pro, but they frequently fell out of my ears when I was doing anything but sitting perfectly still, even with the smallest eartip (at the time). On Zoom calls, I’d be constantly adjusting my earbuds while talking. When eating, the older AirPods Pro would eventually slip out while I was chewing. On runs, I’d have to constantly wiggle them back into my ears.
The problem wasn’t bad enough to be a dealbreaker. I still wore my AirPods Pro all the time. The adjustments just became a nuisance that I just accepted as something to deal with when using the AirPods Pro.
I initially wasn’t excited about the extra small eartips
When I ordered the second-generation AirPods Pro, the extra small eartips were at the bottom of my list of things I was excited about. The longer battery life, improved noise cancelation, and upgrades to the charging case were much more interesting. When I got the headphones, I didn’t even bother trying the extra small eartips. I just rolled with the standard medium ones to see what would happen.
A few days in, though, I ran into the same fit issues I had experienced with the first-gen Pros. They just kept falling out, which shouldn’t have been a surprise, given the design is essentially identical to the original AirPods Pro (and because I stuck with the medium eartip out of pure laziness). When I popped in the extra small eartips, I didn’t expect them to make a difference. Now, the AirPods Pro fit better than they ever have.
Video calls are no longer a game of “how few times can I poke my own ears.” I can happily chew my food without preparing to catch a falling headphone. On runs, I can focus on steps and music instead of the headphones in my ears.
Technically, the extra small eartips are only for the second-gen Pros
More than a month on, the smaller eartips are easily my favorite upgrade with the AirPods Pro. But if you want them for yourself, technically the best way to get them is by dropping the $249 for a brand new pair of the second-gen headphones, as Apple says that its eartips “have been designed specifically for their AirPods Pro generation.” But as my colleague Chris Welch found, tips fit either version of the earbuds, so you could also try buying a set of $7.99 replacements for the second-gen Pros and sticking them on your older pair of buds.
I’m amazed that such a small thing has made such a big difference, and for me, they’ve made the second-gen Pros worth every penny. Now, I just need Apple to hurry up with that USB-C case.