Many people with smaller ears don’t like earbuds or in ear monitor headphones because they either won’t stay in their ears, or are so tight they feel uncomfortable. Also, even if the earbuds stay in your ears under normal circumstances, they often fall out when you start running or exercising—a frustrating experience to say the least.
Unfortunately, companies do not market specific earbuds for smaller ears. Instead, they package their earbuds with different sized ear tips so that the earbuds fit almost everyone. After all, marketing to everyone means more sales than marketing just to people with smaller ears.
So what are people with smaller ears to do?
The good news is that there are many earbuds on the market today which are suited for people with smaller ears. These models are smaller, more lightweight, and come with additional eartips in smaller sizes.
Many headphone manufactures also offer models with eartips made of various materials, as well as additional features such as ear wings and ear hooks. If you have smaller ears and want to know how to choose the best earbud for your needs; please read on.
Things to Look For In an Earbud for Smaller Ears
Casing or Housing Size (Not to be confused with eartip size)
Earbuds with large driver casings are not a good choice for those with smaller ears. Even if you find a smaller eartip size, the size and weight of the driver casing will prevent you from obtaining a great fit. Also, larger sizes tend to be heavier, resulting in earbuds falling out of your ears.
In addition to larger casings, also avoid heavier materials. While metal may be more durable, a large and heavy metal casing probably won’t stay in your ears.
Instead, I recommend plastic earbuds with compact housings for those with smaller ears. These earbuds are small and lightweight, allowing you to then choose the perfect eartip size to complete your fit.
Many manufacturers today, from the most inexpensive to the most expensive, ship their earbuds with multiple eartips in various sizes. Unfortunately, most people just go with the eartips that come on the earbuds—which are usually medium sized—and never try a different size. Lots of companies also ship their earbuds with eartips made of different materials, the most common being memory foam and silicon based.
Try both in the smaller sizes and see which feels best to your ears. While headphones are something you want to put in your ears and go, taking the time to find the best fitting eartips will spare you a lot of frustration down the road.
Also, make sure to read the instructions on proper insertion of eartips. Eartips such as those made by Comply, insert into your ears and then expand to create a tight fit. These often work well for those with smaller ears, but try other types as well. The only correct answer is the one that works best for you. Also, make sure to read how to properly wear your earbuds, as not all are the same. Regardless of fit, your earbuds will never be comfortable if they are not worn in the correct way.
Also keep in mind that you can always buy aftermarket eartips as well, which come in numerous sizes and styles. As long as your earbud housing is small enough on its own, you will have no problem finding the right sized eartips for your ears.
Earbuds with additional features such as ear wings or ear hooks can often help people with smaller ears keep their earbuds in place. This is especially true when running or exercising. StayHear tips from Bose have special wings which help keep the earbuds in place, and Powerbeats 3 by Beats feature hooks that wrap around your ears to help keep the earbuds in place.
Similar designs can be found in inexpensive headphones from Treblab, Taotronics, and many others, while more expensive models from Sennheiser, Beats, Bose, and Sony also offer similar features.
Although ear wings and hooks can help you keep your earbuds in place, you still need to make sure you have a smaller headphone housing and smaller eartips as well. After all, even if the hook keeps the earbuds in place, proper fitting eartips give you the best sound and the most powerful bass response, while also increasing your wearing comfort.
Finally, Earbuds for Small Ears
Regardless of your desired style or budget, you can find smaller earbuds with lightweight housings, smaller eartips, and additional features such as ear wings and ear hooks in just about any style.
Whether you are looking for wireless or wired, high end or budget, noise cancelling or non-noise cancelling, following these tips will help you find the best earbuds for your smaller ears.