Earbuds are of utmost necessity for music enthusiasts, students, professionals, and athletes. It’s little wonder as no other gadget can compete with a pair of these gadgets whether you want to stream your favorite album, use it for your weekly meetings, or
play some music while on the move.
The problem is most manufacturers utilize a one-size-fits-all approach for off-the-shelf earbuds, taking for granted people with smaller ears. If you’re one of them, chances are you know how it can be a challenge to find the perfect earbuds. You spend lots of money purchasing countless pairs only to settle for earbuds that either fall off or are forced to fit.
But no worries! Having smaller ears doesn’t necessarily mean that you can no longer use earbuds. You simply need to take some considerations in mind and you’ll be free to enjoy them on your MP3 player, portable music player, laptop, or smartphone. So, continue reading below and see our tips for selecting the best earbuds for small ears.
1. Aim for an ergonomic fit
One of the first things that you should do is look for earbuds that fit ergonomically. Though most earbuds makers never take people with small ears into consideration, some brands thankfully do. They produce ergonomically shaped tips that are designed to fit small ears perfectly and are available in several earbud styles that are created to end everyone’s woes. While your options can be limiting, wearing their perfectly-fit earbuds can feel like a dream come true.
2. Be keen on the size
It’s no secret that the main reason why earbuds fall out of your ears is sizing. That’s why it’s apparent that you should be paying attention to the size of the earbuds you’re purchasing. Steer away from one-size-fits-all tips as they won’t most likely fit anyway. Instead, look for earbuds that are packed with a couple of even smaller-sized tips apart from the standard size. Through that, you’ll have additional alternatives and more chances of finding the right fit that aligns with your ear canal. Thus, leading to the unmatched comfort that you can relish all day.
3. Check the material
It’s not only the ergonomic design and sizing, but the material used on the tips can make a huge difference in the actual fitting of your earbuds. Today, you can find different materials like rubber, silicone, foam, and a combination of these (hybrid) used in earbud tips
Rubber ear tips are the hardest among the materials and tend to be the least comfortable. Plus, they can also trigger skin allergies upon contact. As such, manufacturers seldomly used rubber as an ear tip material. Choosing rubbing ear tips for your small ears won’t help your problem and may even cause additional ones, so it’s better to veer away from them.
On the other hand, silicone ear tips are not likely to cause unwanted irritation as it’s chemically inert. The catch is that they can be slippery when covered with sweat when used for exercise, causing them to fall out of the ear tips.
What’s great is that you can simply wipe and clean them off, making silicone ear tips a safer, hygienic, long-lived alternative. Another advantage is that they are less noise-isolating, perfect if you need to be also constantly aware of your surroundings. If you have extra money to spend, you can opt for silicone ear tips with double or triple flanges that allow them to fit more tightly in your ears.
Meanwhile, foam ear tips are highly deemed as the softest and most comfortable, given that they are spongy and will conform to the shape of your ear canal once inside. With that, they don’t feel much intrusive and are known to provide a good seal for excellent noise isolation. A drawback, however, is that they are more expensive and cannot be cleaned as they wear out more easily. Though they promise the best grip, be prepared to buy replacements more frequently.
Hybrid ear tips, such as ones featuring silicone and foam, do exist. However, they are quite rare, not very popular, and usually come packaged in specific models of some brands. You may find some aftermarket versions should you wish to try them.
To sum it up, you’ll be better off with silicone ear tips if you’re always on the go. If not, go for foam ear tips as they offer a better fit, comfort, and noise isolation.
4. Test out different models
Sometimes, people just get discouraged quickly after a few tries. It’s a hard-to-swallow truth, but having smaller ears entails trying out a lot of items before finding the right fit. Understandably, it can be taxing. Yet, not trying won’t get you anywhere. With that, continue testing different earbud models from different brands. There are cases when you deem that you’ve already got the perfect ones but discover later that they aren’t like what you expected – no problem! Just keep on trying and you’ll soon find the right solution.
5. Keep the earbuds in the correct position
If you’re trying out different models, you’ll have better chances of finding the best fit. However, that won’t be the case if you’re not fitting the earbuds correctly in the first place. Most people tend to overlook the positioning of the earbuds on their ears. Some people just randomly place them on their ears without thinking if it’s in the right fit and position. Thus, making them prone to falling off as they are not secure.
With that, it’s vital that you should check different angles to ensure that the earbuds go with the shape of your ear canal perfectly. Begin by inserting one earbud at a single time. Angle it slightly downward so it can slide better into the ear canal. Next, twist the earbud until it fits snugly into your ear. You can continue turning until you achieve the best seal and fit.
As earbuds falling out are usually due to poor placement and position, knowing how to do it the right way can prevent such and instead start enjoying listening to your favorite song or eBook.
6. Opt for earbuds with hooks
One of the best additions to earbuds you can take advantage of is the ear hooks. They are designed to give earbuds a secure fit and prevent them from falling out of the ears, making them an ideal solution for your small ears. All you need to do is wear it over your auricle (or pinna) and your earbuds will stay even if you move rigorously.
Though ear hooks are commonly sold together with sports earbuds, don’t fret as they have already become universal. As such, you can purchase them separately and use them nearly on almost all models of earbuds. Just make sure to test them first as ear hooks are available in various sizes and made out of different materials. That way, you know how they would feel and fit before finalizing your purchase.
7. Purchase an earbuds stabilizer
Not many people are aware of earbuds stabilizers. Yet, like ear hooks, they can be your best ally to make your earbuds fit better and provide them a great hold. An earbuds stabilizer is basically a smart cable management tool that works for both wired and wireless earbuds. It utilizes your ears’ ridge for added support. You can even combine ear hooks and earbuds stabilizers for maximum grip.
Though they may be another investment, the stability and lasting comfort that earbuds stabilizers provide are worth it. You can run, jog, go to the gym, or simply lounge around without having to worry about your earbuds falling off. As people who have standard-sized ears buy them for their perks, the more the people with small ears should be having them.
8. Place the ear tips firmly
Another trick you can do is seat the ear tips deeper in your ear canal. You’ll find some of the smallest earbuds on the market that are needed to be fitted in such a way as to keep them secure and prevent them from dropping. However, not most people prefer doing it this way as it’s not one of the healthiest things to do, especially if you’re accumulating lots of ways in your ears.
While it may seem odd, an excellent way to combat that is by avoiding using cotton swabs when cleaning your eyes. These tools aren’t as great as most deem as they push the earwax deeper and deeper in. Thus, making them harder to get swept out, clogging your ear, posing risks of infection, and resulting in hearing problems. Of course, it can also cause you issues when wearing earbuds as any wax buildup can prevent the earbuds from being positioned and placed firmly.
9. Skip the wires
Wired earbuds have their advantages, such as using analog signals for better sound quality, longer playtime, and fewer connectivity issues. However, they pose a huge problem for people with smaller ears. Apart from the annoying tangles, wires can actually be the reason why your earbuds are falling off. They may be physically pulling out the earbuds, especially if you’re moving, and they also have a considerable weight that’s adding to the equation. If you have smaller ears, ditching the wires can solve the issue.
If you can’t really skip the cables for your personal preferences, your best option is to wear the wires upwards. You can place the cables around the ears as additional support and maybe get an even better and more secure fit.
10. Buy from reliable brands
Experience matters a lot in the audio industry. If you want some extra assurance, it’s best to purchase from reliable brands. You can count on their legacy and expert knowledge in crafting the best earbuds for different types of people. They use all their learnings plus some new tricks to meet the needs of the people. Though their products may require you to spend some extra bucks, they have a good lineup of audio products to choose from, making the task of finding the right earbuds will be a whole lot easier.
11. Read reviews
Manufacturers can easily beef up their product descriptions. It’s their job to market their products after all. With that, it’s always great to see actual customers’ experiences regarding specific products. Spend some extra time reading the reviews and assessing what customers think about them. If the review page has a filter option, search for the keywords “small ears” as there may be buyers who have the same situation as yours and you can see how the products worked out for them.
Aside from customer reviews, you can also check out professional reviews. These are experts who have a deeper knowledge of what people expect from audio products. You can use their valuable insights in making a smart decision on which earbuds are perfect for you.
12. Try a custom fit
If all else fails, your best resort is getting custom-made earbuds. It’s the priciest option, but you can never go wrong as they’ll be made to 100% fit for you and nobody else. You can find many brands today that accept custom orders. Typically, it’s done by getting putty from the manufacturer to mold an impression of your ears. Afterward, you need to send back the impressions and a list of your special preferences, such as color choice and other added features, and you’ll receive your custom-made earbuds in a few weeks.
By having a custom fit, you no longer have to deal with generic, off-the-shelves earbuds that often feel downright awkward and uncomfortable. Plus, custom earbuds are usually made by the most reliable brands, so you can expect to still get the best quality backed up by years of warranty.
Other Things To Look Out For When Buying Earbuds for Small Ears
Just because you have small ears doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best earbuds for any of your desired activities. Aside from sizing, here are other things that you should look out for when buying earbuds for the most enjoyable experience:
Sound Quality: A perfectly-fit earbuds won’t mean anything if the sound quality isn’t phenomenal. Like how you deserve comfy earbuds, it’s only right that you get crystal-clear sound when listening to music or podcasts. Check if your earbuds produce a wide range of sounds from frequencies of 20Hz to 20000 Hz or the whole range of human hearing. Volume should also be sufficient enough, but should not stay pure and clear at all frequencies. Plus, opting for noise-canceling earbuds also helps to keep background noises like room ambiance or traffic from affecting the sound.
Battery Life: If you’re opting for wireless options, you’ll also want to ensure that the earbuds have decent battery life. It should last you hours of playtime when they’re fully charged. Some models even have a protective charging case, so that they can get that extra boost while inside.
Durability: Like with any product, you want one that would last. Remember that a higher price tag doesn’t always promise quality. Make sure to read the reviews to assess the durability and performance of the earbuds’ components.
Bluetooth Connectivity: For versatility, stronger connectivity, and easier pairing, go for Bluetooth earbuds. You can quickly and conveniently pair them with your smartphone, tablet, and other Bluetooth-capable devices and gadgets, allowing you to listen to music, work, or attend video meetings with better ease.
Added Features: Earbud models have unique features, but some essential features that you must look out for include the ability to trigger voice assistants, control music playback, change EQ presets, and use touch-based gestures.
Cost: Of course, one of the biggest factors to consider when buying any piece of gadget. For earbuds for small ears, the cost varies depending on the brand, model, construction, and added features. Decide how much you’re willing to spend for a pair so you can quickly narrow down your choices.
Having small ears can be troublesome if you wish to wear the best earbuds. Yet, it’s not a dead end as using tips increases your chances of finding the perfect earbuds or solution that will finally help you enjoy this gadget.
If one doesn’t work out, try a different route. You should just keep trying out and you’ll eventually get things to work. And, with the ceaseless advancement of technology and with many manufacturers starting to devote attention to the needs of the consumers, sooner or later it won’t be difficult finding earbuds that will fit like a glove.
You may also check out our Guide to Choosing Earbuds for more tips and recommendations.