If you’re wondering what the differences are between in-ear and half-in earbuds, here’s a quick explanation. Earbuds with silicone tips that go in your ear produce better bass and sound. Outside noise is blocked by the silicon tip. Semi-in-ear earphones (also known as half-in-ear earphones) lack a silicon tip and thus lose all of the benefits of in-ear design. Instead, they’re made with plastic heads.