When you buy a new phone, you usually get a set of crap-tacular earbuds to listen to your music. Of course, the most popular phone currently is Apple’s iPhone, which have included redesigned earbuds since the introduction of iPhone 4.
These entry-level earbuds don’t offer any improved audio quality, which are still quite average by industry standards, but they don’t push your ear canal wide open like an enthusiastic gynecologist. As with a new expectant mother, having two of your orafices forcefully expanded gets uncomfortable after a minute or two. The new earbuds aren’t as intrusive, but definitely slip out more often than Ron Jeremy with a bottle of Astroglide.
Enter the redesigned Acoustibuds EPB. These flexible silicone earbud tips now fit over the new Apple earbuds. These flexible tips stretch and grip the earbud while small fins fit inside your ear canal to provide a custom fit, keeping the earbuds securely in place.
A Closer Look
The profile of the new Acoustibuds are more low profile. The front part (the part intended to fit inside your ear) is oval and tapers like a cone, and is surrounded by four flexible fins, which will grip the inside of your ear canal. There is a large opening that fits around the earbud itself, and there is a hole in the back so that the “bass port” of the earbuds is not blocked.
The size of the earbud is molded right on the top flat part of the prosthetic. The sample box we were provided have two sets, size “4” and size “5”.
Once installed, your earbud looks like a viper about to strike, and it’s hungry for the waxy paste coating of your head’s side orifices
Installing the black silicone prosthetic is about as easy as putting clothes on a Barbie doll. Once installed, we did notice a difference. The sound wasn’t any better, per se, but just sounded different. We didn’t notice any additional bass response, and the muted highs already present with Apple’s new earbuds were not magically transformed.
The silicone fins create a seal which helps keep out noise. The noise isolation is closer to passive around-the-ear headphones, but is nowhere near the level of active noise-cancelling headphones like the Bose QuietComfort headphones reviewed here.
The Acoustibuds do make things feel different, though, making for a more snug fit. The rubber fins are inside your ear and they can become uncomfortable after a few minutes’ use. If you can get used to the sensation, then they do remain steadfast while jogging or doing other exercise.
The trim sport design fits under helmets and hats, so you can still use them while riding a bike, skydiving, horseback riding, or any of the other activities featured on personal hygiene commercials.
While these silicone grips do have good Kung Fu, the fins can tickle the inside of your ears after about 10 minutes of use. They do a much better job of keeping the music in your ears during activity that makes you sweat.
The primary purpose of this product is to provide a better fit, and Burton Tech claims that they also improve the audio quality as well. In theory it could be argued that the trumpet-shaped air channel can improve acoustics, but the scale is too small for this to be a reality. The only acoustic benefit is the natural sound dampening achieved when the buds make a proper seal.
For us, there wasn’t any obvious audio advantage to the Acoustibuds EPB. They can help keep your newer Apple earbuds more secure while you’re active. You can get Acoustibuds online for about ten to fifteen dollars.