When it comes to TWS earbuds, the ear tips doesn’t usually come to mind when it comes to factors affecting audio quality. But Apple is implying that it does, and is advising customers to use the ear tips that came with their AirPods Pro. It’s not stated outright, but the implication here is to not use the ear tips of the first and second generation interchangeably. As in, don’t use the ear tips of the first generation TWS buds with the second, and vice versa.
MacRumors spotted a change in an Apple support page that says that the first AirPods Pro ear tips “have noticeably denser mesh” than the sequel. The page also says that the ear tips have been designed specifically for their AirPods Pro generation “to deliver the highest-fidelity audio experience”. No other details were provided, but it implies that using the “wrong” ear tips will degrade sound quality.
The Verge reports that despite the messaging, the ear tips of the two AirPods Pro generations can physically fit each other. The report also notes no obvious changes in sound quality when swapping the ear tips around, but also notes that maybe more sophisticated testing tools maybe able to pick up differences that ears cannot.
Additionally, report speculates that the reason Apple wants users to stick to the generation-appropriate ear tips may have something to do with the Adaptive EQ. This feature adjusts audio output and noise cancellation in real time based on the fit and seal. Each AirPods Pro generation may have their Adaptive EQ specifically tuned to the mesh density of their own ear tips.
Whatever the reason, this could be something to keep in mind if you’re already an owner of the AirPods Pro, and are thinking about getting the successor model. This is usually a subjective experience after all, in the same way that some can hear the difference between a lossy audio file and a lossless one.