There are tips and tricks throughout life that you’ll receive as you move further down your journey. My father once imparted on me a tip that went in one ear and out the other. It was along the lines of ‘for anything that keeps your butt off the ground, pay for it’. It’s a well known universal saying at this point but In his example, he meant a chair, mattress, and even car tires. For years, I didn’t heed his advice. I used a $70 IKEA chair for half a decade, and a cheap Amazon foam topper on my bed, and don’t even get me started on car tires; who even knows what brand or year those are.
I’m in my mid-20s now and I can assure you, that fact remains steadfast and true; honor it and it’ll pay dividends to your comfort. I now use a Herman Miller Aeron at work, a quality mattress, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. And believe it or not, this same idea applies to headphones as well.
Headphone pads and earphone tips are the primary human interfacing element that provides sound to the listener. Yet the mass majority of us run them stock, why is that? For some, it’s because it’s good enough (like my $70 IKEA chair), and others because it imparts effort or cost. Looking around today, I’ve also noticed it was due to the lack of high quality alternatives to what consumers will typically utilize.
Our friends at Dekoni Audio sought to change that with their new Bulletz line of In-Ear Headphone tips with prices starting at just $12.99. These are a reusable high quality solution that includes a custom fit option for the Apple Airpod Pro (starting at $14.99) and universal options for IEMs.
Installation onto the Airpod Pros takes 30 seconds, it’s that simple. Tug on the stock silicone tips and they will fall out. Simply re-insert the new Dekoni Bulletz back into the same location and you’re done. From there, they insert into your ear almost like the stock tips with one added step, you’ll need to gently push and scrunch the foam and then insert. Or as I like to call it, Push, Plop, and you’re ready to rock. It’s that easy.
While I do not have an issue with silicone, I find that over the course of an hour, the Apple stock silicone tips start to feel slimy and my ears start to reject them. Add in a quick workout and the sweat will start to pool up around the ear canal further loosening the stock tips. The Apple stock tips are workable and still a good option for those that use them. They stay in my ears just fine and can do light exercise but that’s about it; they’re just ok.
The Bulletz have a superior in-ear feel and cohesion allowing them to stay in better. I found them to provide slightly better isolation to outside noise and a more filling feeling in my ear canal. This is thanks to the light memory foam material used in the Dekoni Bulletz which expands to gently fill in the listener’s ear canal. The Bulletz felt more secure and gave me more confidence to really use the Airpod Pros on the go.
The stock tips, by comparison, gave me far more anxiety, there was no feeling of the tips actually staying in place in my ear. Using my finger to gently push downwards on the Airpod Pros confirmed this, they were staying in place due to the geometry of the tragus and antitragus. They did stay in place during jump roping exercise, but by the end of it, I couldn’t help myself but to readjust and push the Airpod Pros back into my ear to secure it. As anyone that has used silicone tips has done in the past, this happens constantly where you’ll be pushing the earphones back into your ear again.
The Airpod Pros with the Dekoni Bulletz impart a bassier sound signature with a reduction in the upper mid-range ‘snap’. This creates a darker tonality and the illusion of a ‘duller’ sound when in reality it’s just a tonal balance shift. I do find the stock Apple tips to provide the cleanest tonality but at the loss of mid-bass impact and sub-bass.
The current market is already saturated with the likes of Comply and their clones, why Dekoni? That was a question on my mind for the good part of a week until I got to try Dekoni’s option. And the answer is that it’s the best middle option we have. Comply are far too foam based and that is their weakness. While they impart the best cohesion to the ear and seal, they last just a few short weeks before needing to be replaced. Not to mention, they are poor against sweat which will reduce their lifespan; alongside developing a gross looking coloration. The Dekoni Bulletz are machine washable and reusable and offer the best in-between of isolation with how tightly the foam expands to fill your ear canals. Comply’s while superior in isolation and cohesion, are not reusable (they last only a few weeks) and have a more involved setup requiring the user to scrunch up the tips and to use two hands to place each earphone into the canal.
Overall, I found the Dekoni Bulletz for the Airpod Pros to be the ultimate companion to the world’s most popular and iconic true wireless earphone. They are low cost and reusable and offer close to no negatives. I did find them harder to remove than the stock tips but tweezers quickly rectified that. I’m a fan of the bassier and darker sound signature with the Bulletz tips and how comfortable they are to use. At $14.99, the Dekoni Bulletz are a no brainer for the Apple Airpod Pros, they improve the experience that much more compared to the stock tips. Back to the tip my father imparted on me, I’ll just add an extra phrase. For anything that separates you from the ground….or your headphones from your ears, pay a bit extra, it’s worth it.
Price: $14.99 for one pair | $29.99 for three pairs