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

new airpods pro earbuds
In an updated support document, Apple said the original AirPods Pro earbuds have “noticeably tighter mesh” than second-generation earbuds. Apple didn’t provide any further details, but the mesh density could result in acoustic differences.

“Earbuds are designed specifically for their AirPods Pro generation to deliver the highest audio experience,” the support document states. “As a result, you must use the eartips that came with your AirPods Pro. AirPods Pro (1st generation) eartips have noticeably denser mesh than AirPods Pro (2nd generation) eartips.”

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

The second-generation earbuds are available in a new XS option, while the original earbuds are only available in small, medium, and large. Both generations of earbuds are available on Apple’s online store in sets of two for $7.99 in the US.

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

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