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You probably shouldn’t use foam tips with Google’s Pixel Buds, at least not yet

Google’s Pixel Buds are pretty great wireless earbuds as we’ve mentioned in our recent review. However, they’re not perfect for everyone. For some users, though, this style of earbud requires a pair of foam tips. The good news? Pixel Buds technically work with foam tips. The bad news? Let me explain.

Pixel Buds ship with a pair of silicone tips pre-installed and two other pairs in the box to help you find the right fit. Personally, I think they work well enough even if they do feel flimsier than competing options. Still, that doesn’t really have an effect on fit.

If you were hoping to swap out the silicone tips on Pixel Buds with foam ones, you should do so with caution for a handful of reasons.

Firstly, there are no foam tips currently on the market that are actually designed to work with Pixel Buds. Because of that, some options might end up with tips that come off too easily or even slip off of the Buds’ tip while in your ear or the case.

For my own test, I picked up a generic pair on Amazon. They fit on the Pixel Buds without any issues and don’t come off too easily. As for actually wearing them, they work! The fit is comfortable and the seal is definitely a bit better.

However, the real deal-breaker for foam tips on Pixel Buds in my experience is the case. Because foam tips are taller and thicker, they prevent Pixel Buds from properly fitting in the charging case. Not only does that mean the Buds might not charge properly, but that the lid won’t close properly as seen below. I’m not alone in that issue either.

On top of those two issues — which, in my opinion, are deal-breakers on their own — the foam tips can actually get stuck inside of the case. On one occasion, one of the tips slipped off of the bud when I took it out of the case, ending with me grabbing a pair of tweezers to try and get the tip out.

Right now, I don’t think it’s worth it to try and use foam tips with a pair of Pixel Buds. The cons outweigh the pros and end with an experience that’s just frustrating. For the time being, you’re better off using what comes pre-installed or just buying a different pair of earbuds. I’m hoping that Comply, a maker of foam tips that makes custom solutions for AirPods Pro, Galaxy Buds, and others, will also make an option for Pixel Buds. However, they’ve not said anything about that just yet. Beware, though, because the company’s generic tips won’t work great either.

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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