Apple Explains Why Second-Generation AirPods Pro Ear Tips Are Incompatible With Original AirPods Pro

Apple today explained why the new silicone ear tips for the second-generation AirPods Pro are not officially compatible with the original AirPods Pro.

new airpods pro ear tips
In an updated support document, Apple said the original AirPods Pro ear tips have "noticeably denser mesh" than the second-generation ear tips. Apple did not provide any additional details, but the mesh density could result in acoustical differences.

"Ear tips have been designed specifically for their AirPods Pro generation, to deliver the highest-fidelity audio experience," the support document says. "As a result, use the ear tips that come with your AirPods Pro. AirPods Pro (1st generation) ear tips have noticeably denser mesh than AirPods Pro (2nd generation) ear tips."

Despite the mesh differences, the second-generation ear tips do fit the original AirPods Pro, so they are still physically compatible.

airpods pro 1 tip mesh

The mesh on the original AirPods Pro ear tips

The second-generation ear tips are available in a new XS option, while the original ear tips remain available in small, medium, and large only. Both generations of ear tips are available on Apple's online store in sets of two for $7.99 in the United States.

The new AirPods Pro will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores over the next day. The first reviews of the new AirPods Pro were shared earlier today, providing a closer look at improvements to sound quality, active noise cancellation, battery life, and more. The second-generation AirPods Pro remain priced at $249.

Update: The Verge's Chris Welch tested both generations of ear tips with the new AirPods Pro and did not notice any obvious sound differences:

Could a looser mesh pattern really make any difference to sound quality? If it's there, it's extremely subtle. Swapping back and forth between the first- and second-gen tips on the latest AirPods Pro, I didn't notice any immediate or obvious sound changes. Noise cancellation also remained just as effective with both pairs. Maybe lab testing equipment can reveal some differences between the tips, but your ears will probably have a harder time at it.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

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Top Rated Comments

entropys Avatar
22 months ago
A lot more detail that could otherwise be summarised as “profit”.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Isentropic Avatar
22 months ago
Ahem…The tips are financially incompatible with each other.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
22 months ago

Despite the mesh differences, the second-generation ear tips do fit the original AirPods Pro, so they are still physically compatible.

They simply won’t fit. Because the mesh is thicker in the original. I’ve rarely heard anyone whinge about things becoming thinner…. Except in this forum. It astounds me when people draw their own conclusions without actually reading the article.
BRO you didn't read the article and then complained about someone else not reading the article are you even for real.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
InuNacho Avatar
22 months ago


Attachment Image
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleguy123 Avatar
22 months ago
Did Apple improve the sound quality partly by shielding them less from ear wax ingress?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve09090 Avatar
22 months ago

Planned obsolescence. FTFY
So they planned to change an ear tip to force everyone to upgrade? Seriously?



So in other words if you want the smaller tip don’t spend $8 for them on their own…. We much rather you spend $249 for them along with the new AirPods Pro
They simply won’t fit. Because the mesh is thicker in the original. I’ve rarely heard anyone whinge about things becoming thinner…. Except in this forum. It astounds me when people draw their own conclusions without actually reading the article.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)