It has been over a year since I first got Apple’s AirPods Pro earphones. They have been a constant companion on numerous phone calls and conference calls. However, when it comes to music, they didn’t match up to my tastes. I wanted better quality — even if it was from Spotify streams. One option I had was to plugin the AudioQuest’s DragonFly (Red) USB headphone DAC/AMP and use either one of my in-ear-monitors — custom Ultimate Ears Live or Noble Audio’s Django. Both IEMs are spectacular and gave a nice boost to the music coming from Spotify.
But I wanted to carry just the AirPods Pro. I always thought — wouldn’t it be great if I could get good sound from AirPods Pro. Apple’s earphones, great as they are, weren’t a perfect fit for my ears. I mean, they are good, but not great, and after a couple of hours, they started to hurt. Besides, in a few months, they became less fitted. Don’t get me wrong. Apple did a great job with their proprietary silicone tips — they are a radical new design –but I was left looking for something else.
I then came across these new foam tips from Dekoni Audio, which makes replacement pads for headphones of all shapes and sizes. They have a product line called Bulletz. These are tips for IEMs and were launched in 2017. They are made out of a different kind of (slightly harder) memory foam and are easily washable.
Dekoni recently launched a version that is compatible with AirPods Pro. They are black and look pretty sweet with the all-white AirPods. They have the “plastic mounting ring that allows the tip to snap right into place,” and the memory foam allows them to create a better seal in the ear. I didn’t know my size, so I spent $30 for a sample pack. The smallest tips were perfect — even though the medium looked as if they would be a better fit. Next time I will have to pay $15, instead of springing for the extra pack.
It took less than a minute to set them up. It took longer to rip open the packaging than it did to install the tips. Apart from that, there isn’t much to say. They fit in the charging case. I have been using it for almost a week now, and boy do they keep the external noise out. I can’t even hear the trees rustling in the background. There is no pain after wearing them for a few hours.
You won’t notice the difference in the quality of sound when making phone calls, but the difference is noticeable when it comes to music. I have been listening to Spotify, and the stream sounds better. Distinctly better, though, please don’t ask me by how much. There is a slightly more at the low-end, so I can play the music at a much lower volume and still enjoy it.
Apple Music sounds better as well, probably a little bit better than Spotify. However, when I play my hi-res files (which I buy from Bandcamp), AirPods Pros just become a whole different beast. I mean, wow! This might be the best purchase I have made in many months — I have no hesitation in recommending these to one and all. They are now on my Omakase list.