The Best Replacement Earbud Tips

The little silicone tips that let your earbuds fit in your ear are very easy to lose. Luckily, they’re also easy to replace, with a semi-standard size that will fit about 90% of the earbuds on the market. Here are the best.

We’ve selected the best replacement options for regular silicone tips, which come in a variety of sizes even for the more unusual earbud designs. We’ve also made picks for memory foam earbud tips, which are a popular option for those who want some extra comfort, plus picks for those who need an ultra-secure fit for sports and fitness and a multi-flange design for those who demand superior sound isolation.

Best Silicone Earbud Tips: Spinfit (Various, $10-20)

If all you need is a new set of earbud tips, there are hundreds—maybe thousands—of nearly-identical options online and in retail stores. Among them, we recommend the replacements sold by SpinFit. While the design is more or less the same as the others, SpinFit’s excellent materials are a cut above the rest. Even better, they come with different adapter sizes—that means they’ll work with a variety of earbud and in-ear monitor brands. For the semi-standard size, pick 4mm. For others, check your manufacturer’s specs or measure an original one.

SpinFit’s replacement tips come in a variety of ear canal sizes with several included in each pack for a precise fit. In addition to the standard silicone design, they’re available with multiple flange options for those who want a better or deeper seal. Somewhere in this deep product line is a set that’s perfect for you.

Best Memory Foam Earbud Tips: Comply Isolation Plus ($15) 

For those who prefer a more snug, comfortable fit, Comply’s much-loved memory foam tips are perfect. With dense foam that compresses as it goes into your ear and expands to form a tight seal, it’s an excellent upgrade if you’re looking to a set of tips that are more secure without being too tight.

While there are several imitators, Comply’s original memory foam design remains a favorite pick. The standard version comes with three pairs, in small, medium, and large options (with a triple pack available with one of each). Four different adapter sizes are sold as well, for an ideal fit with multiple earbud brands—check this guide to see which ones you need. The ear shapes are also offered in “isolation,” seen here, “sport,” and “comfort” varieties, for different levels of pressure and noise isolation.

Best Replacement Earbud Tips For Sports: Phaiser ($10)

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Nite Ize Made a Toothless Zipper for its Vacuum-Sealed Travel Bags

You can make a bag as water-resistant as you like, but liquids can still get through a conventional metal or plastic zipper. That’s the problem outdoor supplier Nite Ize set to solve with its new RunOff bags.

Nite Ize had to engineer a completely new approach to zippers, tossing out a century or two of convention to make a seal with sides that grip each other at every millimeter. When the “TRU Zip” head docks into the depression at the far end, the soft bag is absolutely airtight: putting a solid hundred pounds of force on the top didn’t produce so much as a squeak.

The company is aiming to attract general travelers, as the bags are ideal for keeping liquids from leaking out of shaving kits and makeup bags. They’re also good for on-the-fly waterproof inserts, handy for keeping a damp bathing suit from coating the inside of your backpack with moisture. Outdoor and camping enthusiasts, or anyone who gets unpredictably soaked, could find some uses too.

The RunOff bags aren’t without trade-offs: they take significantly more force than a regular bag to close, enough that small children or those with arthritis might not be able to close them fully. But with bags from the size of a wallet up to around eighteen inches square, you should be able to find one for plenty of applications. Prices range from $25-55 based on size, and they’ll hit retail shelves immediately.

The Sunflower Labs Bee is a Flying Robot Guard Dog

2019 is the year in which Blade Runner takes place. We don’t have hyper-realistic Replicants that try to kill hard-boiled detectives yet. But admit it: when you read the words “flying robot guard dog,” it feels like the future.

Drone company Sunflower Labs was showing off just such a gadget at the massive CES trade show. The Bee is a drone that will deploy from your backyard and investigate anyone who gets too close to your literal safe space. The system relies on “sunflowers,” staves that go into your yard like the popular solar-powered nightlights, to detect motion around the house. When something’s amiss, the lights activate and the Bee pops up. It starts a reconnaissance mission, recording—and hopefully scaring away—potential intruders.

Sunflower’s floral theme is awfully friendly for a security product, but there’s no denying that the waterproof “Hive” base station for the drone looks like a dog house. For most of the time, it’s sitting inside, the charging contacts automatically connected thanks to the Bee’s rounded bottom. (It’s held upside down in the image at the top of the article.) When intruders are detected, the roof opens up and the drone deploys. It can return and land, once again charging, after the threat is gone.

The app-controlled system can be expanded with more sunflowers for bigger properties, and it includes detection of authorized people, vehicles, and even pets. Estimated time for deployment is 15 minutes, with another 30 to fully recharge. And anyone who actually wants to do harm might not be deterred by a bit of buzzing plastic, so integration with existing smarthome tech to give live video feeds and security alters will be a major part of the final product.

The Bee doesn’t have a stinger or any other kind of offensive ordinance—it’s for recording only. Even so, it’s hard not to see the dystopian elements in the concept, if not the application. Maybe it’s just as well that Sunflower Labs doesn’t have a price (probably very high) or a ship date (probably not anytime soon) for the system. We could use another year or two to get our android hunting outfits ready.

HP and NVIDIA Made the $5000, 65-inch Monitor Your $5000 Desktop Deserves

The cheekily-named “BFGD” program—for “Big Format Gaming Display,” and nothing else—was announced at CES 2018, a full year ago. We expected these overpowered, gamer-friendly screens to hit shelves before the end of that year. The wait was worth it.

Technically, the HP Omen X Emperium 65 is only a “display,” not a TV—a distinction required in the US because it lacks a tuner for over-the-air TV programming. But what it lacks in rabbit ears it makes up in every other category. Looking at it purely as a TV, it’s a 65-inch, quantum-dot, 4K HDR screen, with a 120Hz refresh rate. Which is nice. But that won’t get people to fork over five grand for a don’t-call-it-a-TV.

What will? Let’s  break it down. First, since it’s technically a gigantic gaming monitor and not a conventional TV, it comes with G-SYNC. That’s NVIDIA’s anti-tearing frame-syncing system that slows down the refresh rate of the panel to match dips and valleys in a PC game’s performance. It’s enabled by an extra bit of NVIDIA hardware built into the screen. But it’s not the only extra bit, because there’s also a built-in SHIELD to handle the Omen’s smart TV functions. NVIDIA told us that this is the same Tegra X1-based system as the stand-alone SHIELD, which is far and away the best set-top box on the market. It will even get its frequent software updates directly from NVIDIA at the same time. The TV’s remote is a SHIELD remote, naturally.

Not enough? Understandable. How about the included sound bar? While even the most expensive TVs from the likes of Samsung and LG expect you to shell out for anything over the standard speakers, the Omen X Emperium comes with its beefy soundbar in the box. The bar features 120 watts of power from its included drivers and integrated subwoofer. It’s pretty stylish, too, sliding in under the TV’s stand legs, or attaching to the bottom if you’re mounting to a wall with the massive 400mmx400mm VESA mount. (Be sure not to miss the studs.)

Still not enough? Take a closer look at that back. In addition to being surprisingly attractive for a bunch of plastic you’ll never see—dig that Omen branding—it includes its own built-in bias light. The LED bar at the top of the rear panel splashes light onto your wall, reacting to the content of your movie or game and flashing the corresponding average of the colors in real-time. No need for stick-on LED strips, though if you’re not a fan, you can turn it off.

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Razer Raises Eyebrows With the Raptor Monitor, Coming for Less Than You Think

Gaming brand Razer has a reputation for over-the-top lighting and equally outlandish prices. So it was a pleasant surprise to hear a representative at CES say that the company’s upcoming gaming monitor, a first for Razer, will be priced at around $700.

I was expecting the 27-inch panel, tuned for gaming and colored like a stealth jet with rainbow ground effects, to cost over $1000. But assuming that Razer holds on to its projected price when the “Raptor” launches sometime later this year, it will be competitive with most of its contemporaries that match its specs.

The 27-inch monitor uses ra—uh, paper-thin bezels on three sides, with only a slightly thicker bottom that’s still slimmer than most gaming monitors on the market. That’s not the only difference: Razer is using an IPS panel for the 2560×1440 display. That resolution is a popular choice for gamers (ideally juggling sharp visuals and GPU strain), but the panel type is not. IPS is more vibrant and accurate, but slower, so gamers ten to go for VA panels with sub-5ms input lag. Razer says it’s tuned the Raptor IPS panel to have just 1ms of response time, among the best on the market of any panel type, while keeping the widest possible color gamut for HDR and 400 nits of brightness. The refresh rate goes up to 144Hz.

And speaking of refresh rates, the monitor does include G-SYNC…sort of. Technically it’s adaptive sync, more commonly branded “FreeSync” with AMD’s Radeon cards, since it doesn’t include the expensive extra processing chip from NVIDIA to enable G-SYNC and its tear-reducing frame syncing tech. But here at CES NVIDIA announced a “G-SYNC Compatible program” that certifies a very select group of adaptive sync monitors for its standard. The Razer Raptor is the first monitor that will be built from the ground up to pass these tests and be G-SYNC compatible out of the box, no extra hardware required.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the monitor’s styling. The Chroma-compatible LED lights integrated into the base are actually the least interesting thing about it: Razer sells mousepads and coasters with the same feature. No, it’s the stand that caught our attention. A single line of aluminum sweeps up from the rectangular base to the back of the screen in an appealing display of minimalism.

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