Having small, super cute ears is great. However, like every other unique or nice thing, it has its flipside too, especially when you are in the “earbuds universe”.
It usually starts with this – Why do these earbuds hurt my ears?
Those with the miraculously perfect “standard ears” never really have this problem. But for those of us with tiny ears, there’s usually a very short window of time – before you realize that seemingly perfect pairs are not really perfect. The earbuds start to poke, keep falling off, or cause pain until you finally decide, “maybe listening to music isn’t so important”.
Adding to the woes, not many earbud companies take the time and effort to design earbuds for small ears. They usually focus on the “one size fits all” concept that unfortunately doesn’t serve people with small ears.
If you have faced a similar issue where earphones never seem to fit comfortably or feel awkwardly large, you are at the right pitstop. In this article, my team and I have astutely evaluated various earbud options that are best in class and suited for your dainty small ears.
1. Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Plus – True Wireless Earbuds
Top Selling Point – Super stylish and amazing Aware2 feature
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ packs quite some features that make them stand-out in the crowd of earbuds. Whether it is 22 hours of solid performance or a quick one-step connect with Android and iOS devices, it ensures the user gets maximum out of this audio-rich treat.
It delivers loud and clear voices, thanks to the built-in dedicated microphones that pick your voice seamlessly. Adding to the bells and whistles, these buds have premium sound by AKG that delivers a dynamic range of sounds.
- 2 outer mics and 1 inner mic
- 3 size Eargel
- Wireless charging case
- 4 color variants – Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue
- Allows for up to 15 hours of talk time and 11 hours of music/ video streaming time
- Ambient Aware2 system allows controlling how much surrounding noise you want to hear
- Secure fit
- Isolates distracting noises
- One step connectivity to smart devices
- Exceptional sound accuracy, courtesy – woofer and tweeter available inside each tiny bud
- Seamless switch between noise cancellation and ambient sounds
- Fast charging – 3 minutes of charging gives you one hour of playtime
- Ideal for commute and workout sessions
- “Find” feature demands a lot of app permission controls, which might be not okay with privacy freaks
- Need to download the Galaxy wear app to get most of the benefits
2. Sony WI-XB400 Wireless Extra Bass in-Ear Headphones
Top Selling Point – Clutter-free and flawless listening experience for casual daily use
“Forget the world, and remember only music” is the tagline for these Sony in-ear headphones. And they do justice to its advertisement as well. The distinguishing feature of these magnetic earbuds is that they enhance all your low-end frequencies for exceptional bass quality.
These come with a mic and easy to operate buttons to play, stop or skip through tracks, and adjust the volume. The soft, flexible, and lightweight neckband is shaped for comfortable, all-day wearing.
- Bluetooth v5.0, neckband headset with mic for phone calls
- 12mm driver unit offers clear sound quality
- Magnetic housing for tangle-free listening
- In-Built Mic for Hands-free calling with HD voice
- Google Assistant for voice access to music, information, and more
- 2 classic color options – Black and Blue
- 15 hours battery life with quick charging (10 mins for 60 mins playback)
- Tangle-free cord for carrying/storage
- Ultra-lightweight portable headphones
- Simple touch activation
- Wireless and extra bass punchy sound
- Doesn’t advertise IP rating, so no waterproofing
- Durability might be impacted over time
- You might need to re-adjust the neckband once in a while
3. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
Top Selling Point – Strong performance with most effective noise cancellation
Bose is a fan favorite, so don’t be surprised there’s more than one on this list. The QuietComfort headphones have dual-mode functioning – Turn on noise-canceling to reduce surrounding distractions OR at the touch of a button, activate Aware mode to hear what’s happening around you.
It features their patented StayHear tips in varying sizes, plus an inline mic and remote to let you switch easily between calls and music on your phone.
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (built-in)
- Compatible with Apple, Android and Samsung devices
- 3 pairs StayHear + Tips (S, M, L)
- USB charging cable and clothing clip
- Carrying case
- Deep, lifelike, and digital quality sound from the Active EQ and TriPort technology
- Comfortable and secure fit, ideal for extended use
- Seamless switch between the noise-canceling focus mode and Aware mode
- Convenient control with all functions made available at your fingertips
- The most expensive choice on the list
- Noise cancellation might not be 100% effective
- The USB charging cable is not long enough
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4. Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Top Selling Point – Premium earbuds with the best companion app for custom EQ
Jaybird Vista true wireless headphones are highly efficient and ultra-compact, making them your best bet for getting adventure-ready audio. These buds claim to have pass repeated shock, vibration, drop & crush tests, classifying them as a very durable option among the hoard of other earbuds for petite ears.
With the Jaybird app, you can customize EQ and even take your phone calls with this app. What’s more! They can even withstand tropical humidity, hurricane-force water, and desert sandstorms.
- 6 hours of audio on a full charge, plus 10 more in the charging case
- 5 mins of quick charge offer 1 hour of playtime
- Ultra-compact 6 mm in-Ear driver
- Three sizes of interchangeable ear gels
- IPX7 waterproof rating
- 3 color variants – Black, Nimbus Grey, and Planetary Green
- Great sound quality
- Fully waterproof and sweatproof, these buds can withstand any workout and weather conditions
- Supremely comfy fit that feels weightless in your ears
- Dedicated Jaybird app that lets you pump up the bass or play with treble
- Find my buds feature on the Jaybird app lets you easily detect their location, in case they go missing
- Compact charging case
- No option for previous track
- Phone call quality might vary and is inconsistent
5. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
Top Selling Point – True wireless buds with powerhouse bass and great battery
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 boasts of “Diamond Inspired Drivers”, that maintain the sound rigidity even when vibrating at high frequencies. Music is reproduced with a 15% larger frequency bandwidth for clear treble and 2× more bass.
These wireless earbuds promise premium sound and crystal clear calls. Not to forget the portable size and multiple ear tip sizes from XS to XL, making this product a sheer delight.
- Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity with ultra-lightweight, diamond-inspired sound
- 4 built-in microphones with cVc 8.0 uplink noise reduction technology
- Mono and stereo modes to choose one/two earbuds for playing music
- On-ear controls to play music or control calls, on-off power and activate voice assistants
- Charging case with 28 hours of power
- IPX5 waterproof rating and 18-month warranty
- Noise cancellation power makes it ideal for home offices or conference calls
- Soundcore app allows enhances the listening experience, with 22 EQ settings to choose from and to create personalized sound profile
- Confident and satisfying fit
- Impressive battery life to enjoy 7 hours of playtime on a single charge
- Sweat and water resistant
- Bit costly affair
- Doesn’t connect simultaneously with multiple devices
6. TOZO T10 Bluetooth 5.0
Top Selling Point – Great customer reviews and IPX8 super resistant to water
If you don’t want to second guess your choice and want something in the affordable price range, go with these TOZO earbuds. It features the most advanced Bluetooth available and can connect to any mobile phone.
TOZO uses a proprietary nano-coating to make their earbuds truly water-resistant and dare we say even washable. These silicone buds literally conform to your ear canal, and hence no worries about any discomfort. The wireless tech on this is beyond belief.
- 8 mm large size speaker driver, with drive area about 1.77 times than the average driver area
- The wireless charging case that can be used to charge headphones
- Bluetooth 5.0 works with all mobile phones
- Silicone ear tips that conform to ear canal shape
- Nano-coating water-resistant earbuds that are waterproof for 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
- TOZO T10 wireless earbuds can last for over 4 hours’ playtime from a single charge and 14 extra hours in the compact charging case
- Top-notch sound quality with nice highs and lows
- Affordable budget pick
- Suitable for sports and gym use owing to their water-resistant and sweat-resistant build
- No strings no-hassle – convenient wireless charging
- Ergonomic design for an active lifestyle
- Phone call quality is just alright, not great
- Some issues might crop up to pair with equalizer devices
- The sound may drop if a lot of movement is involved
7. Back Bay Duet 50
Top Selling Point – One of the coolest and best wireless workout earbuds
If we said these power buds pack 40 hours battery life, to last you for over a month of workouts, what are the chance you would drop everything and buy these? Quite high, we presume. Tuned in Back Bay’s Boston HQ, these buds deliver rich bass, relaxed mids, and crisp highs. Unlikely to get this sound anywhere else!
These sleek and versatile pair of earbuds come with Using APTx technology, to reproduce CD-quality sound. If you don’t mind throwing in a few extra bucks, you can also consider Duet 50 Pro which has an insane battery life of 130 hours.
- True Wireless (TWS) earbuds with Bluetooth 5.0
- Nano-coating creates IPX-5 rated sweat-proofing
- Protective charging case charges the earbuds for 40 hours of playtime
- 2 microphones for handsfree voice calls
- Wireless music controls for easy volume adjustment, skip songs, pause/play music, answer calls, or activate Siri/Google Voice Assistant
- Use both earbuds or just one
- Slim, lightweight, and portable design
- Can handle long runs and hikes in the rain and snow
- Voice is loud and clear during phone calls
- Super long battery life
- Good sound quality and noise isolation
- Premium design features for buds and case
- Some lags might be experienced in establishing a connection
- Not resistant to damages by fall
8. TOZO T6
Top Selling Point – An all-rounder that impresses with its long duration battery life
TOZO T6 offers a truly natural and authentic sound with powerful bass performance. It’s a pleasant coincidence that the charging case of these super buds shares a close resemblance with the Apple AirPods case.
Super light-weight and hassle-free listening, make these budget buds a pitch-perfect mate. Not to mention, the ergonomic design with gel flexible silicone ear caps to ensure unparallel in-ear comfort.
- Bluetooth 5.0 for the wireless connection. TOZO T6 Support HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
- Provides in-call stereo sound
- Nano coated, IPX8 waterproofing
- 6 color variants – Black, White, Blue, Green, Champagne and Rose Gold
- 6 mm large size speaker drivers
- TOZO T6 wireless earbuds can last for over 6 hours’ playtime from a single charge and 24 extra hours in the compact charging case.
- Wireless charging case
- High-quality stable sound
- Water and sweat resistant
- Convenient wireless charging
- Budget price pick
- 6 hours of playback and 24 extra hours in the compact charging case
- Bass sound may feel lacking sometimes
- Customized EQ not available as there is no companion app for these buds
9. Aftershokz Trekz Air – Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
Top Selling Point – Bone Conduction Technology that lets you enjoy without anything in/over/on your ears
Aftershokz Trekz Air Bone-conduction headphones work through a unique process, unlike other headphones. They rely on technology that transmits sound through your cheekbones to the bones in your ear. Sounds intriguing and fun, isn’t it?
They’ve always been used in military and sports environments, but recently became popular amongst small-eared folks, like you and me, due to their non-intrusive nature. If you’re not a big fan of in-ear headphones, this Aftershokz Trekz should be an automatic buy for you.
- Premium pitch+ expands frequency band and enhances bass response
- Proprietary leaks layer technology reduces leakage sound by 70 percent
- Titanium fit assures secure fitting and solid bone conduction contact
- Ip55 sweat-resistant repelling rain and sweat due to watertight structure design and nano-chemical coating
- Bluetooth 4.2 compatible with any Bluetooth enabled devices
- 6 hours playback time, for both music and call
- 4 color variants – Blue, Green, Canyon Red, and Grey
- Your ears are open and free, allowing you to hear the music and the world around you at the same time
- You can run, walk, drive and cycle safer
- Dual noise-canceling microphone enhances speech
- Intuitive Audrey say voice prompt
- Perfect for users with hearing issues, as it bypasses the ear canals
- Snug fit and lightweight
- Premium price – heavy on pocket
- For some users, they might not be loud enough
10. SoundPEATS Q30 HD Bluetooth Magnetic Earphones
Top Selling Point – Amazing value for money and quality that stands tall with other bigger brands
Now you can enjoy your favorite sports without worrying about dripping sweat. Built for an active lifestyle, these sweat-resistant SoundPeats fill every tick box of a good all-rounder earphone for small ears.
The battery performance is stellar with plush sound quality, which is awesome for earphones priced below $30. With APTX HD codec and 10MM upgraded drivers, SoundPEATS Q30 HD delivers stunning melody to you.
- Latest Bluetooth 5.0, no latency
- Powerful 10mm driver with high-end chipset QCC3034
- Advanced codec APTX HD for superior sound quality
- Built-in Magnets to clasp the earbuds together
- IPX6 rated – waterproof and sweatproof
- Play Time: Up to 13 hours and Charging Time: About 1.5 hours
- In-line mic and volume control buttons
- Earbuds come with customizable accessories, 3 pairs normal earbuds tips and with 2 additional size of XL,XS to secure fit for all customers
- 12 months hassle-free warranty
- Impressive battery lasting 13 hours
- Resistant to sweat, light rain and accidental splash
- Secure fit design that makes the buds stay put on ears
- Silicone materials and ergonomic ear hooks make them comfortable for whole day use
- Convenient button control, perfect for answering calls or listening
- Good budget earphones with decent sound
- It May not be loud enough for avid audiophiles
- The cord is short which might be a problem for certain users
- Durability is okay and not great
11. JLab Audio JBuds Air – True Wireless Earbuds
Top Selling Point – Worthy ear buddies for on-the-go moments coupled with incredible sound and innovative design
From the house of award-winning designers of personal audio devices, JLab Audio’s JBuds Air supports the modern lifestyle that is energetic and laidback at the same time. Perfect for workouts, gym and traveling, these earphones sit nicely on small ears offering that hard-to-find fit.
JLab hit a home run with this set of buds by marrying the price and quality together. They are light on ears with a comfortable fit.
- Upgraded Bluetooth 5.0 technology, no wire/band
- 3 custom EQ sound modes – Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost. Sound mode selection with just a tap or two with touch sensors
- Automatic connection of buds with each other once taken out of the case
- 6 hours of playtime in each earbud and 18 extra hours from the charging case
- Integrated cable for hassle-free charging
- IP55 rating for resistance against sweat and moisture
- The package comes with 1 set of cush fins, 3 sets of gel tips (S, M & L), and 2 years warranty
- Built-in microphone to activate Siri, Google Assistant, and other voice assistants, or take phone calls
- Immersive solid sound quality
- App free control of EQ modes to choose from just with tap of a finger
- Portable and easy to carry for on the go listening and talking sessions
- Indicative lights on the outside case, let you know how much juice is available before your next charge
- Compact and sturdy build
- Sweatproof and dust resistant
- The charging cable is somewhat oddly placed
- Voice calls are not that great with no noise cancellation and a rather weak mic
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Why do my Earbuds Hurt my Ears?
Those with the miraculously perfect “standard issue ears” never really have this problem. For those of us with tiny ears, there’s usually a very short window of time – when earbuds are a perfect fit – before the prodding and poking begin, and you finally decide, “maybe listening to music isn’t so important”.
But what gives? If earbuds have a one-size-fits-all design, why is it that they don’t actually fit everyone? The answer to this is quite long and complicated. It takes a very complicated design structure to hear the “ding” from an incoming text, and it so happens that not everyone has the same structure.
Unfortunately, not many earbud companies take the time to design earbuds for small ears. Most expect a 6 feet tall man and a 5 feet tall woman to wear the same earbuds, or that the 5 feet woman should shop from the kiddies sections (which has its own problems). Not to worry though, my team and I have scoured the internet and found a few choice earbuds manufacturers who specifically make earbuds for small ears. Let’s dig in!
Buying guide – How to select earbuds for Small ears
Okay agreed! Standard sized earbuds are not for you. That doesn’t mean your choices end or you will have to do with uncomfortable earbuds for life. The ocean is as vast as it appears to be. Only thing is, you need to have an eye for certain details that will ensure you get perfect fit earbuds without compromising on sound quality or looks/design.
Here are some quick considerations before you lay your hands on the most ideal pair of earbuds for small ears.
For obvious reasons, this is the one factor you’ll want to get right. Small eared folks used to be in the minority, but we spoke, and the companies listened, so now earbuds come in multiple sizes. The one thing you should be ensuring is that the one you end up with has at least 3 sizes, with at least one being small. Ear hooks are a really great way to get extra fitting. Either that or wrap-around designs.
Really good headphones take things up a notch and offer silicone ear tips rather than foam ones. These will literally conform to the size and shape of your ear while sealing every sound in. If you find earbuds with multiple silicone ear tips, grab them.
Note – There are a few companies with patented small ear canal designs that won’t need to include multiple ear tips. So be vigilant, you don’t want to miss great headphones by condemning all earbuds without multiple ear tips.
This is ideal because it provides a more immersive experience when your music is playing. Not every headphone has this feature though, so it’s always a bonus when you see it on one.
Don’t get too distracted by brand offers for different ear tips and earbuds. Remember you’re buying them primarily to listen to your favorite music, podcasts, audiobooks, or make calls. Most earbuds come with mid-range and maybe bass drivers. You have struck solid gold if you find one with at least 3 drivers.
Actually, this is more of a personal preference. If you want wireless, look for the latest Bluetooth technology (V 5.0). Wireless earbuds now come with rechargeable cases, find out how long the battery lasts, so you’ll know if it’s worth all your hard-earned money.
Wired earbuds come in different types and cables (some tangle-free), a lot of brands offer cable clips if they think their earbuds have the potential to get tangled.
Additional Tech – Bone technology that transmits sound waves via cheekbones to ears, is a lot for most people to handle, but it’s another level of wireless tech.
Some companies try their best, but it’s really difficult finding earbuds that will survive when immersed in water. The most you can hope for is “splash resistant”, meaning anything from sweat to a light drizzle. Nano coating is the most advanced water resistance right now, so if you’re always around water and need the extra insurance, lookout for it.
Companies have learned to listen to their customers, and have incorporated their feedback in their new designs. This means you don’t have to subject your small ears to the painful tyranny of large, uncomfortable earbuds.
There are enough and more options in the market for you to make your beautiful small ears smile ear to ear, literally!
We hope our “Best earbuds for small ears” guide was helpful and will serve as a quick reference.
Please let us know which earbuds you plan to buy or are currently using in the comments below.