Listening to music or a podcast is supposed to be a relaxing escape. If your headphones or earbuds are uncomfortable, that becomes a distraction and a nuisance. Whether you wear your earbuds at work, at the gym, or on your commute you want them to be comfortable to make your time better spent. In this article, I’ll go over tips, strategies, and add-ons that you can purchase, explaining exactly how to make earbuds more comfortable in your ears.
Let’s dive in!
Making Earbuds Fit Comfortably in Your Ears
If your earbuds are uncomfortable or are always falling out, it’s probably because they’re made as one-size-fits-all product. Take a look around – does everyone have identical ears? No. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and our ears are no different.
When the earbuds are too small to sit securely outside your ear canal, they will fall out easily. When they’re too big, the earbud can still fall out, and can cause you discomfort when in your ear. More accurately, it will pop out of the ear, as it can’t get in securely enough to stay in place.
While each model of earbud is made on a one-size-fits-all basis, it’s possible for you to find smaller earbuds if you do trial and error.
For example, the earbuds you have right now might be a bit on the big size, but you could try other brands and models that might be smaller. Getting different designs of earbuds can also be helpful. If you have trouble keeping your earbuds in your ear, think about getting a pair that have rubber or foam domes. This design goes a little further into the ear, potentially making it more secure without causing any pain or discomfort.
But let’s face it – we don’t all have the budget to just order a ton of earbuds until we get one that’s well suited to our ears.
Below I’ll share some suggestions to address some of the most common problems that cause discomfort or frustration when wearing earbuds, but here’s the short answer in case you’re in a hurry:
How to Make Earbuds More Comfortable (answered)
If your earbuds are uncomfortable, one of the best ways to make them more comfortable and improve the fit is to replace the covers or earbud tips. Most earbuds come with rubber covers or tips, and if you switch to foam you’ll often enjoy an improved (and more comfortable) fit. Searching online for “replacement foam tips” and your earbud manufacturer/model will provide some inexpensive options to try.
Now let’s dig a little deeper and explore some other reasons your earbuds may be uncomfortable (and how to address those).
Reasons Your Earbuds Fall Out
Wax build-up in your ears can also cause problems with your earbuds fitting properly.
To find out if this is the cause of the problem, take a look at your earbuds after wear and see if they have earwax on them. If so, you probably have a wax buildup in your ears. When there is too much wax in your ears, not only will you have problems with your earbuds not fitting properly, but wearing the earbuds could pack the wax deeper into your ear. This can eventually lead to hearing problems, or even ear infections.
Your earbuds falling out all the time could also be linked to the proximity of your jaw to your ears. If you find that your earbuds tend to fall out when you move your jaw, this could be the issue. It’s because the temporomandibular joint (joints on each side of the skull) is behind your ear.
When you talk or swallow, or even chew, the shape of your ear canal can change.
How to Put in Earbuds for a Comfortable Fit
Putting in your earbuds correctly can go a long way towards making them more comfortable. It will also make them less likely to fall out of your ears.
Here are the steps I suggest:
- Before you put in your earbuds, use your fingers to pull up the top of the first ear. This will help to properly open the ear.
- Put the earbud securely in the ear while it’s still open like this.
- After that, let go and allow your ear to relax.
It’s also important to check and see if your earbuds specify which earbud should go in the left ear and which in the right. This is a small thing, but it’s something a lot of people actually overlook, and not aligning the earbud with the correct ear can cause discomfort and a poor fit.
If there is an “L” on one earbud, that means it’s supposed to go in your left ear. The same with “R” and your right ear.
New Earbud Covers May Make them More Comfortable
If you find that your earbuds are falling out too easily, or if they cause you pain and discomfort when worn for extended periods, think about getting larger tips or covers.
There are certain earbuds that come with a selection of different tips sizes, so you could look into getting a pair of those.
If you already have earbuds that didn’t come with different sized tips, look into buying larger tips separately. They’re pretty cheap and you can find these easily by searching your earbud model on Amazon or other online retailers.
More Add-Ons for Keeping Your Earbuds in Place
One simple and easy way people use to keep their earbuds in place is to wear a tight hat or headband over their ears and earbuds.
Alternatively, you could buy an accessory specifically made to keep earbuds in place. These are usually clips that attach to each earbud, then go over and behind the ear. It holds your earbud to your ear securely to keep it from falling out, and may also help make your earbuds more comfortable (you won’t feel the need to jam them in your ear to keep them in place).
Making In-Ear Earphones More Comfortable
Many people find in-ear earphones or IEMs to be uncomfortable. But in many cases, it’s simply because they don’t have the correct size or they aren’t custom-made. That is why the first step is to make sure that you buy IEMs that are customized for your ears. You will also have to ensure that the tips fit your ears, as well.
For the utmost comfort with in-ear earphones, get them sized and fitted by a professional. You can go to an audiologist who will make impressions of your ears in order to determine the size at which your custom earphones should be made.
Sizing is extremely important with in-ear earphones, as being too tight or too loose can cause discomfort. It’s also essential that you use the correct method for placing in-ear earphones in your ears. Follow the instructions that you get with the product carefully to help make sure that you don’t experience discomfort.
When trying different tip sizes, it’s always better to start small. Depending on the size of your ear, it’s often possible to get a good seal with a smaller tip. Going too big may offer a secure fit, but could cause a lot of discomfort as well (which isn’t what you want).
If you have discomfort with your in-ear earphones, another step you can try is to use foam ear tips. Many earbuds and earphones come with rubber tips, and I personally find foam to be softer and more flexible than rubber, which makes it a lot more comfortable to wear for extended periods. I also find it helps my ears “breathe” a bit more.
Enjoy Your Music!
No matter which kind of personal listening equipment you use, always be mindful not to put the volume too loud. Doing so can cause hearing damage. And as we’ve seen here, there are many things you can do to help make your headphones, in-ear earphones, or earbuds more comfortable.
Usually you won’t have to run out to the store to buy new earbuds to improve comfort. Rather, you can search online and get some foam tips or covers of several different sizes to improve the fit and comfort.
Always keep your health and well-being in mind, and if your earbuds are painful or uncomfortable, stop wearing them until you find a fix.
You only get one set of ears, so take care of them!