Why should I upgrade my earphones from a generic tip to a custom fit tip?

It’s time to buy some new earphones. You do your research, considering factors such as price, wireless connectivity & noise cancelling, and invest in a pair. On arrival, they are supplied with a number of generic (standard size) tips. These tend to be Small, Medium & Large; you find the best size for you and that’s that. They may not be perfect, but this is as good as it gets…isn’t it?

At Snugs HQ, we know that they are not as good as it gets! We advocate one size does not fit all, and that our custom-fit earphone tips solution has a number of benefits over generic tips. Read on to find out more…


Our ears are unique. So much so that they may replace fingerprints in the future.

Did you know – it is possible to recognise someone from even a fuzzy picture of their ear with 99.6% accuracy in just 0.02 milliseconds1

Not only are your ears unique to look at from the outside, the size and shape of the ear canal varies between individuals too. This means that the small, medium & large generic earbuds are not going to provide the perfect fit. For a number of people, this is not a problem. They find a ‘standard’ fit works and are happy. However, for many the earphone does not securely stay in the ear, which can prove expensive when the earphone falls out and onto the train track or the dog snuffles it up (which has happened!).

Introducing custom fit earphone tips. At Snugs, we 3D print the tips, using your ear impressions, to fit the exact size and shape of your ear. We have successfully made tips for many ‘weird and wonderful’ ears, including tips for AirPod’s for a customer with cauliflower ear – this was game changer for him:

“The sound quality has been fantastic and they’ve stayed firmly in his ears through exercise”

Snugs customer Bobby Rich has cauliflower ear. He is now able to use his AirPods whilst exercising with a custom fit tip

Noise Isolation

A sub factor of fit is noise isolation (which is not to be confused with noise cancelling), and the level of isolation from custom fit is significantly better than generic tips.

With noise isolation, there is no tech involved. Rather, the level of isolation you receive is directly linked to the fit of the bud in your ear. You need a good seal to reduce outside ambient noise coming in, and leak of audio leaving your ears. If you can find a generic tip which fits your ear canal securely you may be able to achieve a good seal and isolation. Comply tips for instance are designed to expand in your ears and offer a good seal.

However, for the best seal possible, you need a bespoke tip. These offer what standard size buds cannot – depth in the ear canal. As they are made from your physical ear impressions, which go up to the second bend, they offer a plug deep into your ear. This means minimum noise leaving, and minimum external noise entering.

When using Snugs, you find that you hear parts of the song that you had never heard before. Due to the level of noise isolation and sound fidelity, you will find you need to lower the volume on your earphones. This has a health benefit as lower volume = safer listening, and reduced risk of damaging your hearing.

Generic tip next to a Snug custom fit tip. Snugs are custom fit to the size and shape of your ear canals to provide maximum noise isolation


If you use your earphones regularly, and for prolonged periods of time, comfort is very important. If the earphone does not fit correctly, it will be uncomfortable.

As Snugs are ‘made to measure’, they offer superiority in comfort over a generic tip. If it wasn’t for the music playing, you can sometimes forget you are wearing your earphones they’re so comfortable.


The generic tips supplied with earphones tend to be a foam material or silicone. From a hygiene perspective, silicone is the winner as it is washable, which is important to stop problems such as ear infections. Many foam tip suppliers recommend replacing the tips every few months, which could be even more frequent as they are not always washable.

Snugs are made from a medical-grade soft silicone which is easy to keep clean. Additionally, they keep their shape. Foam tips after a number of uses tend to change shape and mean you need to replace them.

So, there are advantages of using a custom fit silicone tip over a generic foam tip, in terms of hygiene benefits and longevity of use.

Snugs are made from a medical grade soft silicone which is easy to keep clean and does not lose it’s shape


Leading on from the above point, for every earphone, an individual is going to use a number of pairs of generic tips. In comparison, one pair of Snugs will last the earphone’s lifetime. This has an environmental impact on the number of tips which go to landfill; generic tips have limited usage in comparison to Snugs which are reusable.

Additionally, you will only use the generic tip that provides the best fit for you. It is likely the rest supplied with the headphones will go, unwanted, in the bin. After all, if they don’t fit, why keep them?

Generic tips come in standard shapes and sizes. Investing in a custom fit pair has benefits including fit and longevity of use


Part of Snugs custom fit guarantee is that we will adjust the fit of your Snugs within 30 days of purchase, to get the right fit for you. Some people prefer a tighter fit in the ear, some may prefer a looser fit. We can personalise it to what suits you.

Plus, with custom fit, you can choose which colours you would like your Snugs to be, and we will even engrave your name on them too.

So, if you are thinking of investing in a new set of earphones or IEMs, make sure you consider purchasing a custom tip for them. It will require a visit to your local Audiologist to have your ear moulds taken. We scan these to create your 3D file. After that, we can make you a tip for most on the market – one fitting will set you up for life!

You can see our earphone compatibility list here

You can view our IEM compatibility list here


  1. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170109-the-seven-ways-you-are-totally-unique

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