If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
No other gadget can compete with a pair of earbuds if you want to stream a good album or playlist when you’re on the move. But unlike wireless headphones, which can cover or sit on top of your ears, even the best wireless earbuds can often have trouble sitting perfectly in your ears. It’s a common problem, especially for people with smaller ear canals, who find themselves constantly adjusting their buds to stay put — and stay comfortable.
If you’re looking for the best earbuds for small ears, a number of audio brands are now offering everything from custom-fitting molds and extra included tip sizes, to smaller buds with comfort top of mind.
Here’s your guide to some of the best earbuds for small ears that you can buy online right now. Our picks include well-known brands like Bose, to smaller independent brands you should know as well.
What Are the Best Earbuds for Small Ears?
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the best earbuds for small ears. Here’s what you need to know.
Fit and Ear Tip Sizes: Fit is undoubtedly the most important thing when it comes to choosing the right-sized earbuds for you. The best earbuds for small ears should rest in your ears without falling out or feeling uncomfortable during or after use. But how are you supposed to know if a pair will work before you stick them in your ears? When researching this guide, we looked for earbuds that can be customized to fit your ear, as well as earbuds that come with a range of tip sizes to find the best fitting buds for you.
Keep in mind that the earbuds should rest normally in your ear canal — you shouldn’t have to push them in to make them fit. A good pair of earbuds for small ears should form a tight seal immediately after you place them in your ears. If you find yourself constantly adjusting the buds as you move, they’re likely too big for you. Try sizing down to a smaller ear tip.
Battery Life: Once you find the right size of earbuds you’re looking for, you’ll also want to make sure the buds have a decent battery life. All of the earbuds on our guide have hours of power when they’re fully charged, and some even come with a protective charging case that can give them an extra boost while they’re safely stowed away inside.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth earbuds are more common than ever, with stronger connectivity and easier pairing. Our favorite earbuds for small ears all are made with Bluetooth, so you can conveniently pair them with your smartphone and other Bluetooth-enabled gadgets and devices for music, work and to hear your videos when traveling.
1. Earin A-3 Earbuds
If you’re looking for some of the smallest earbuds around, you’ll want to check out Sweden-based company Earin’s A-3 earbuds.
According to Earin, the A-3 is the “world’s smallest earbud,” but you’d never know it judging by the massive sound pumping out of their 14.3mm speakers. They feature an open style, so you won’t be cycling through different tip sizes just to find a small-enough tip for your ears. We also like that you can use both of the earbuds in either ear. Earin says the true wireless buds are sweat-resistant in case you want to upgrade your workout buds before summertime.
An included aluminum case can recharge the buds for 30 total hours of use (or five hours for the buds on their own, in between charges). The slim, sleek design wins points for aesthetics too.
2. Ultimate Ears UE Fits
Ultimate Ears, which makes some of our favorite Bluetooth speakers, has made it possible for you to custom-fit your earbuds faster than it takes to brew coffee in the morning.
Here’s how it works: Once you pair the Bluetooth UE Fits to your phone, you put them in your ears and use the UE app to start the 60-second molding process. Next, the earbud tips change shape and form to your ears as you adjust them on the spot.
Each earphone has a 10mm built-in driver for what UE describes as a “full” sound when listening to your tunes, and you can also use the EQ in UE’s app to change your sound preferences. The company says you can also buy more tips in case another person wants to use them, too.
UE also made the Fits sweat-resistant, which adds another layer of stability. They last for eight hours or 20 total with their case, and are designed for use with assistants including Siri and Google Assistant.
Note: You can score the UE Fits for just $169 at the time of this writing, or get two pairs of just $160 each.
3. Apple AirPods Pro
Apple fans who want a pair of quality earbuds that produce noise-cancelling audio can find just that in the latest AirPods Pro. While they’re easy to pop in your ears for a Zoom meeting or when you’re working out, it’s now also easier to make sure they don’t fall out of your ears, too.
The best-selling earbuds don’t feature just a single size earbud design either. Instead, Apple offers three tips made of silicone that you can attach to the AirPods before putting them in your ears.
When you need to charge them, you can slide them back in the charging case, which delivers up to a full 24 hours of use.
4. Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Bose’s earbuds are a great option for anyone who loves listening to music wirelessly. But if you’re specifically shopping for the best earbuds for small ears, these include three different tips, so you should be able to find a size that works for you.
In addition to the variety of tips that come with the QuietComforts, the headphones also have small hooks that will help you secure the buds in your ears. The QuietComfort earbuds have a wide selection of noise-canceling settings, producing big and balanced sound that you might have a hard time finding in typical smaller earbuds.
They also work well for playing sports and for workouts — they have an IPX4 rating, so they’re still fully functional even when it’s raining outside, or when you’re drenched in sweat. They’ll also last up to 12 hours with their case, and you can also wirelessly power them up if you’re at home or at your office.
5. 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of comfy, noise cancelation earbuds. The 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini come with four ear tip sizes and feature a sleek lightweight design (only 3.7-grams each) that can be worn for hours with no discomfort — I wore mine throughout a workday to test this out.
The sound quality is pretty decent for a pair of mid-range buds — the brand uses SoundID technology for more personalized sound. The bass is where they truly shine with EDM tracks like Alok’s new single Side Effect sounding clear without distortion, even at max volumes. There are touch controls on the earbuds as well, which can be modified through the 1MORE Music app — I kept mine as the default play/pause settings.
Noise cancellation modes (there are three) can also be changed through touch control. I found the mild setting to be great for droning out voices and conversations around me, although the strong mode produced an audible hissing sound while no music was playing, which may or may not bother you, depending on how sensitive your ears are.
Other than that, there were no cons in the week I spent with these buds. Battery life was true to form running about five hours on a single charge — the wireless charging case holds another 20. Bluetooth pairing was seamless too, and I was able to get these buds up and running within a minute.