How To Wear In-ear Earbuds | Tips for a Comfortable Fit

You just purchased a pair of earbuds, but if they do not fit you well, you will never hear their best sound. Learning to properly wear in-ear earbuds will save you from ear pain, sound leakage, and poor bass response. Apart from that it may be a frustrating experience to wear earbuds that don’t fit properly as they will feel loose, may hang partly out of your ear canal or pop out of your ear completely.  Some of this has improved in recent years with better moldings and ergonomic fitting ear tips.  Many of the truly wireless earbuds that have been released on the market have perfected this to ensure that they fit comfortably and don’t fall out.

In order to enhance comfort and benefit from the external noise-blocking seal, you have to ensure that the earbuds are worn properly. If earbuds are worn correctly you won’t have to raise the volume, and sacrifice hearing, to enjoy your favorite music. Audiologists advise users to wear their in-ear headphones at a 90 degree angle to enable sound to travel directly into the eardrum.

Another way to get a good fitting earbuds is to replace the stock ear tips that come in the box with higher end memory foam or silicone ear tips that can be molded to fit your ear better and come in many styles and sizes for your individual ear shape and size.

Here are some tips on how to wear earbuds properly:

There are usually three ways to put on your in ear headphones:

  1. Over the ear with the cable hanging on your back. This way eliminates microphonics caused by a cable bouncing or rubbing on your clothes.
  2. Similar to the first method, but with the cable hanging forward. Often used when exercising to ensure a secure fit.
  3. The most used method: straight down.
Man wearing glasses and earbuds with traditional wire hanging straight down.

If you do not wear glasses, you can use methods 1 and 2. If you do wear glasses, avoid in-ear headphones that can only be worn via method 1 and 2 (over the ear) or you may want to consider a totally wireless pair like the Bose SoundSport Free which fit directly in your ear and fit snugly in your ear canal without using and wings, hangers or clips.

This leaves you totally free from wires or outer pieces that will get in the way, rub the wrong way or tangle in your glasses.  You can see the our full review of the Bose Soundsport Free here. 

If you look at the housing of the in-ear headphones, you will notice the letters “L” and “R” which indicate which ear the earbud should be worn on. Usually the treble tends to be more pronounced on the left side than the right.

How you wear your in-ear headphones also depends on the eartip and housing design. The majority of in-ear headphones tend to be inserted into the ear canal in various ways. You can even twist when inserting to create a better fit with less sound leakage.

When playing your music, make sure the sound is optimized. If the sound is not clear, you can pull, push, or twist them until you hear a positive difference. Do not push them too much into the ear canals, simply ensure that they are comfortable for you at all times.

How to make your earbuds sound better than ever

You get the best sound from your earbuds if you have a tight fit which ensures noise isolation and better bass. If the eartips included with your earbuds do not fit properly, check out replacement earbud tips to find the best pair of eartips for you. Memory foam tips have become fairly popular in recent years as they are more comfortable than many of the earbud tips that come with the package when you buy it. Comply earbud tips are the ones we like and recommend if you are looking for a more comfortable replacement for your earphones.

Little known fact: your left and right ear canal are not the same, you might need different sizes of earbud tips.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular in-ear headphones and how they are worn.

SONY IN-EAR HEADPHONES

The SONY XBA-BT75 earbuds are specifically designed for users who live an active lifestyle. They can be worn around the ear or simply in-ear.

Sony Balanced Armature Bluetooth Ver. 3.0+DEDR In-Ear Headphones with Hands-free Microphone | XBA-BT75
There are also Sony earphones with loops or clips. The adjustable soft loop is placed around the ear and can be tightened or loosened accordingly. The best thing about the design is that the earphones can never fall off. Just make sure that you handle them with care because in some cases the clips tend to crack.

BOSE IN-EAR HEADPHONES

Just a quick note for Bose earbuds owner since they have their own proprietary replacements that are slightly different. With Bose in-ear headphones, you have to place the “wing” in the correct position. Bose uses SecureStayHear ear tips, which give you a more secure fit suitable for running and other workouts. Bose earbuds tend to be higher priced, though, which could lead to problems if you damage them while exercising.

You may have noticed that listening to music in a room produces better sound than when outside in a spacious area. Consider your ear canal as a small room: if the in-ear headphones are worn nice and tight, the sound is good, as opposed to a loose fit. This shows the importance of wearing in-ear headphones properly. If worn correctly, in-ear earbuds will not fall out of your ears no matter how fast or hard you run. Hopefully this short article has helped give some useful tips on the type of cables and earbud tips available as well as some considerations for people with active lifestyles and people that wear glasses…or often wear sunglasses when they are out- since the old style of cables can be uncomfortable.

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