Earbud vs Earphone

Earbud vs Earphone Comparison (key differences)

Maybe you’ve heard people use the words earbuds and earphones interchangeably, but they’re actually two different things. There are several differences between earbuds and earphones. The best option for you depends on your own needs and preferences. In this earbud vs earphone comparison, I’ll talk about the differences between earbuds and earphones.

Let’s start with a side-by-side earbud vs earphone comparison chart.

Earbud vs Earphone Comparison Chart

Earbuds are one size fits all. You may find they aren’t a good fit. They’re likely to fall out if you wear them to exercise.Earphones come in different shapes and sizes. You can find tips that perfectly fit your ears. You won’t have to worry about instability or the earphones falling out when you exercise.
Earbuds tend to be reasonably comfortable. If the shape of your ears isn’t a good fit, you could experience some issues. Wearing them long-term is also uncomfortable.High-quality earphones can be incredibly comfortable, especially if they’re fit to your ears properly. Some earphones even have memory foam tips, which you can consider if you want the utmost comfort.
Earbuds range from very inexpensive to relatively expensive, depending on the model you choose.Earphones are more expensive than earbuds. The exact price depends on the brand, model, and features.
The sound quality depends on the earbud quality. Earbuds allow more outside noise than earphones since they sit at the opening of the ear. Earphones, especially expensive models, block out ambient noise. They have outstanding sound quality.

Now let’s take a closer look at both earphones and earbuds to dig into the specifics.

What are Earphones?

Don’t get mixed up between headphones and earphones. The earphones we’re talking about here actually go into your ear.

What are Earphones? - Difference Between Earphones and Earbuds

In fact, they’re a bit like earbuds, but they reach past the concha, or where the ear canal meets the outer ear. A silicone tip is attached to each of the earphones.

Why Choose Earphones?

Earphones are better able to block outside noise, and they’re available in noise isolating varieties. This type of earphone specifically lowers outside noise so you won’t have to put the volume as loud.

Earphones are available with tips in different sizes, making it easier to find a comfortable fit for your own ears.

Comparing Earbuds vs Earphones

There are different cushioning (tips) options available, including silicone, rubber, and memory foam. The tips come in different sizes, too. Make sure you get the correct size.

Earphones are portable and great to use when exercising. You will have to remember to clean your earphones regularly, following the instructions that will be provided in the product’s user guide.

One of the features of earphones that make them so comfortable is the fact that they come with special cushions. It’s these cushions that make the fit adjustable.

Earphone cushions are made from rubber, silicone, or even memory foam.

Potential Drawbacks

Some people hate the feeling of inserting earphones into their ear canal, no matter how perfectly fitted they may be. This is something to keep in mind if you think this could be a problem for you.

Are Earphones Expensive?

Remember that earphones are more expensive, and custom-fitted earphones can be cost-prohibitive. Earphones are also more difficult to clean than earbuds.

Remember how important it is to keep your earphones clean, especially as they’re going further into your ear canal. Make sure you get rid of all the dirt, oils, and earwax that accumulate.

Wearing your earphones too much can lead to ear canal damage and hearing problems. Many people find that after wearing their earphones for a long period, they suffer an itching or soreness inside the ear.

The best thing you can do to make this less likely for you is to get earphones that are properly fitted to your ears and that have high-quality cushioned tips.

If you want the best possible experience, go to an audiologist to arrange for earphones to be custom-fitted. Regular cleaning of your earphones is also important for avoiding irritation or infection.

In Short: Why Choose Earphones over Earbuds

Earphones provide much better sound quality, especially when it comes to bass and volume.

What are Earbuds?

Usually made of plastic, earbuds don’t extend past your concha and rest on the outside of the ear canal.

What are Earbuds? - Difference Between Earbuds and Earphones

You’ll hear more noise from your surroundings. They might be a better choice if you need to be able to hear what is going on around you at all times.

How Earbuds Come Up Short

Each model of earbuds only comes in one size, meaning that the earbuds you buy might not be a perfect fit for your ears. As a result, they tend to keep falling out.

There are some new types of earbuds on the market now that have hooks that go around the ears to keep them in place. With earbuds, you don’t get cushions because the buds stay outside your ear canal.

Earbuds don’t have the same quality of sound in terms of bass and volume as earphones do.

Remember to keep your earbuds clean, removing any dirt, earwax, and oils. This is important in order to avoid potential irritation and infection. Remove the plastic covers of the buds and clean them. After that, you can put them back on.

Final Thoughts on Earbuds and Earphones

As we’ve seen here, whether you settle on earbuds or earphones should depend on your own individual preferences and needs. It’s best to research the different brands and options that are available to you, especially if you plan on investing in more expensive models.

Learn even more about personal listening options in my AirPods vs headphones comparison article.

Best of luck and happy listening!