Popular opinion: Any task worth doing is done better with some background music. But what if you’re streaming some tunes and those earbuds just don’t fit well?
Many products on the market have larger in-ear design styles which can cause an improper fit and discomfort. Ear pain and feelings of discomfort also result from these larger in-ear pieces pressing on parts of the ear and/or the ear canal during wear. (And, I know this feeling all too well: My ear canals are on the smaller side, and I often remove earbuds after an hour or two of use due to discomfort. So, I’m personally invested in finding new and comfy earbuds, too!)
Which means, you might be wearing earbuds that aren’t the right size for your ears. If your ears are on the smaller side, mainstream-sized devices are probably uncomfortable to wear.
And, if you’ve been suffering with poor fitting earbuds, you might already have some concerns. Can ill-fitting devices actually hurt your ears? According to Soundly’s lead audiologist, Dr. Amy Sarow, if a person has much much smaller than average ear size, sound from the earbuds will be louder than a wearer with average or large size ears.
“Physics causes the sound in a smaller space to sound louder than if the sound is played in a larger space,” says Dr. Amy. “Wearing the wrong size earbuds can cause discomfort, such as sore or tender skin when pressure creates friction on the skin.” Essentially, when you’re wearing properly sized buds, you’re automatically listening to sound at a safer listening volume.
So, how can you solve this predicament? It’s time to tap a pair of earbuds for small ears. With proper fitting earbuds, you’ll make ear pain and fatigue disappear.
Even with earbuds at the right size, your ears are still vulnerable to damage. “Regular earbuds do not protect your ears and while noise canceling earbuds can block out some ambient noise, they do not protect hearing from loud sounds in the environment, even when muted,” says Dr. Amy. Which means that you’ll still need to engage with safe listening levels (aka, below 80 decibels and 60-70% maximum volume).
How can I find a snug and comfy fit with my earbuds?
Finding a good and snug fit isn’t hard and it’s easy to do. “The correct ear tip should feel comfortably snug and stay in place with typical head movements,” says Dr. Amy. “If the ear tip moves or slides around easily or if it presses uncomfortably, choose a different size.”
What should I look for in earbuds for small ears?
- Swappable Ear tips
- Connection type
- Battery life
Fit is the foundation of an enjoyable—and comfortable—listening experience. To start, well-fitting earbuds should sit in the ear without moving, falling out, or causing discomfort during or after use. The best earbuds for small ear canals usually have multiple ear tips that easily swap out.
In this guide, we looked at earbuds that have various ear tip sizes, so if you’re often moving earbuds in or around for a more secure fit, you’ll want to size down in the ear tips for a snugger fit.
Once you get the right fit, you shouldn’t be readjusting them continuously with use or pushing them in to keep the fit snug.
Ok, time to talk products.
Cue, ultra-thin earbuds that can fit seamlessly in your ears. Scroll on to see our top five picks for ultra comfy earbuds for small ears. 👇