Apple Earbud Fix

If your ears are like mine and you’re an Apple user, you’ve been struggling with the flawed design of Apple’s earbuds*: their odd shape only fits the ear rather loosely (switching the left and right earbud helps) but without any cushioning that would provide a little more friction, the bare plastic doesn’t prevent the entire thing from slipping out of the ear sooner or later. Because of the loose fit, the sound is also rather poor, in particular the low frequencies.

This was the reason why I never even remotely considered AirPods – I knew they’d be falling out of my ears all the time, and I’d lose them sooner or later. One meme that circulated when Apple first released them went something like: “Apple removed the one thing that kept you from losing your earbuds.” I even bought the fancy silicone slip-on covers for the earbuds that have an extra hook or whatchamaycallit, but after 10 minutes of wearing them, it became uncomfortable.

Then I stumbled over a YouTube video that described a “fix” for the AirPods – and it’s essentially the fix that ALL newer Apple earbuds need. Some simple replacement foam/sponge cups (not even specifically for Apple’s earbuds) are good enough to keep them from falling out of the ears, and also improve the sound (in particular, bass). For the AirPods, it required a little bit more fiddling because of the additional bells & whistles that the AirPods have. None  of that is necessary  for the normal earbuds: sliding the sponge cups on is a little bit finicky, but that’s it!

You can find these replacement foam cups on Amazon in dozens of varieties. I bought a pack with 12 pairs and it was $5.69.

Fixing Apple's earpods with 3rd foam/sponge replacement cups.
Fixing Apple’s earpods with 3rd foam/sponge replacement cups.


*) are they actually called earbuds? Shouldn’t they be called something fancy like iBuds? Apple calls the wireless version AirPods, so are these CablePods perhaps? iPod was already taken, obviously. Are they EarPods? Questions over questions…


Thoughts? Let me hear them.

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