Apple’s AirPods are among the best-selling headphones and they are worn by millions every day. However, there are still disagreements about their shape and form: ear-buds are not stuck in the ear canal like in-ears, but sit in front of them. This means that for some they fit like a glove, but for others, they hang so loosely in the ear that they sometimes fall out.
And as Apple doesn’t offer any solutions to improve their own top product, there are a huge number of attachments for AirPods and EarPods, especially from Asian no-name brands. Which product should you choose? We simply picked out the expensive brand product by Comply, which can be considered the leader in the field of “earpods”.
In a small cardboard box, we found two pairs of “AirPods Socks” of identical size as well as a silicone storage bag with a small key ring, and that’s all.
It is very simple. The attachments are simply pulled over the AirPods or EarPods like a sock and then adjusted so that the sensors of the headphones are exposed. The headphones should then be ready for use, and in fact, thanks to the fabric attachment, the improved AirPods hold really well in the ears and seal the ear canal nicely. No matter if you’re doing sports or headbanging – nothing wobbles, nothing totters, nothing falls out.
The idea is great but the execution has weaknesses. For one thing, it is a pity that the foam tips are glued to the silicone. Here, we would have liked to see a slightly stiffer silicone that would allow the foam to be replaced. Also, the foam used here is not comparable to the typical Comply memory foams. A compromise that the manufacturer justifies with the fact that with memory tips, the AirPods sound muffled and distorted because they isolate all external noise and thus also block one of the AirPods speakers.
On the downside, the SoftCONNECT attachments virtually puff up on contact with liquids (rain, sweat), which really affected the fit. Furthermore, until recently Comply offered SoftCONNECTs in only one size. However, they are now available in S, M and L. And don’t forget that Apple’s True Wireless headphones no longer fit into their charging case when they have attachments.
Naturally, the SoftCONNECTs affect the sound. Due to the now more or less sealed ear canals, everything sounds more compact, basses are pumped more forcefully into the ear canal, although the Softies also swallow a certain amount of treble and with it a lot of spatial information. In a direct A-B comparison, this sounds unusual at first, but after a while you get used to the new, muffled frequency response. However, as the saying goes: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The Comply SoftCONNECT is a useful solution for all those AirPods and EarPods fans that don’t want to do without the ubiquitous tiny white accessories in spite of their problems fitting. However, you have to live with a change in the behaviour of the sound and they need regular assembly and disassembly. There is also the fact that the current price of almost 22 Euro is really not a bargain.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- available in S, M or L
- suitable for Apple AirPods (not Pro!) and Apple EarPods