This article was originally published on Make the Sound Better. I have edited this content, updating the recommendations to be more relevant for 2023.
Earbuds are the go-to audio solution for day-to-day use for many people.
However, in this case, one size does not fit all, and many people can’t make some pairs of earbuds work well for their ears. This is often the case with people who have small ears.
I personally have large ears, and I seem to get a good fit with most, not all, earbuds, I just have to use the largest silicon tip. However for me, I can’t make the open-fit style earbuds work, I just don’t get a good seal, and they often feel too loose.
My partner, on the other hand, generally doesn’t like earbuds with silicon tips, and her preferred earbud is the Apple Airpods. One issue my partner has is that she has her tragus pierced, and I think the ring she has in place gets in the way of earbuds.
I know other people have a small concha and it is the outpart of the electronics that get in the way – the bulbous bit, if that makes sense.
Therefore, recommending an earbud that suits all small ears is difficult, but hopefully, this guide will point you in the right direction.
Best Earbuds For Small Ears Buying Guide
A couple of my recommendations are a bit left-field, but I am throwing these suggestions out there because they will work for some people and it depends on what issues you face with fit and what sort of sound quality you want.
1) Shokz Openrun Pro: Check Price On Amazon
I am starting off with a bit of a non-standard choice. If you struggle to get earbuds to fit in your ears, then why not try something that doesn’t go into your ear at all?
The Shokz Openrun Pro are bone conduction earbuds, and they sit just in front of your ears with the audio being transmitted through your cheekbones. They are perfect for anyone that enjoys outdoor fitness because they allow you to be environmentally aware.
I have received most of the Shokz earphones, including the Shokz Openrun Pro. These are the ones with the best audio quality, they won’t compete with a good pair of in-ear earbuds, bone conduction doesn’t sound as good, and the lack of a seal in your ear canal means you lose out on quite a bit of bass. But, these are the best-sounding bone-conduction earphones on the market. My partner regularly uses them for both running and going for a walk, and she is happy with them.
- You don’t have to worry about the fit
- IP55 resistant
- Keeps you aware of your environment
- No sound isolation
- Don’t sound as good as in-ear earbuds.
|SHOKZ OpenRun Pro, [England Athletics Recommended] Bone...||£109.95||Buy on Amazon|
2) Sony LinkBuds S: Check Price On Amazon
Best Earbuds For Small Ears
The Sony LinkBuds S are probably the best-fitting earbuds I have personally used. They are surprisingly small all around, but as you can see from the above photo, the eartips protrude quite far from the main body. I think this should make them OK for people with a smaller concha. They have four sizes of ear tip, which is good, but it would have been good if they had more.
Due to their smaller size, they are very light, so the earbuds should put as much pressure on your ears as other models and will be less likely to come loose.
They are also superb earbuds, one of the best pairs of earbuds I have used in the past year. I think they have a good balance of price and performance. They have a pleasant warm sound, you can tweak the sound with the EQ, and the ANC is superb too.
I am classing these as the best earbuds for small ears because they are the closest earbuds you will get to normal mainstream earbuds while fitting well in small ears.
- Lightweight design
- Small earbuds
- Superb sound
- If they had more ear tips it would have given a bit more flexibility with the fit.
|Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones -...||£119.00||Buy on Amazon|
3) Final E3000 in-Ear Headphones Check Price On Amazon
Wired earbuds may not be your first choice but they are worth considering if you struggle with fit. With wired earbuds, you avoid a lot of bulk in the earbuds themselves. This reduces the weight of the earbud in your ear and reduces the mass that sits in the concha.
The Final Audio E3000 is among the smallest earbuds you will find due to its small bore design. This also means that the outer part of the earbud shouldn’t cause any issues if you have a small concha, you just need to get a decent fit in your ear canal. They also come with some of the best eartips available for earbuds, so getting a good fit should be reasonable easy.
And, with these being wired earbuds with no fancy features, they are cheap too, at around £50.
- Tiny earbud design should work for most small ears
- Excellent eartips which will improve the fit and sound
- Wired design
|final E3000 In Ear Isolating Earphones - Stainless Steel||£49.99||Buy on Amazon|
4) Etymotic Research ER3XR: Check Price On Amazon
These were on the old recommendation list and I am keeping them there because it is a valid recommendation albeit one that a lot of people may struggle to get along with due to the intrusive fit.
Etymotic Research has been making high-quality in-ear headphones for a good while, and the ER3XR is possibly their best choice for users with small ears who want a good fit from their earbuds.
They sound rather great, and have excellent noise isolation, even though they’re passive.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Etymotic Research ER3XR is the design. They’re made to be extremely lightweight and sit deep inside the ear canal.
This not only helps “point” the sound towards the right direction, but it also makes for a much more comfortable fit, and of course, sound isolation. And that sound isolation is better than almost anything else that isn’t ANC, which is a great thing in certain situations.
They do come with various tips, including triple flange, and foam tips, so you’ll find a good fit in any case.
Another thing we love is the removable cable. The earbuds come with MMCX connectors which allow you to quickly remove the cable and swap it out in case you damage it in any way.
Now to what most audio enthusiasts have been waiting for – the sound. The ER3XR does have somewhat flat sound, but the bass has a bit more oomph to it, which is something you’ll feel very well thanks to the great fit and isolation.
The midrange and highs are great, too, with good stereo separation and a decent sound stage. They’re overall a great choice if you won’t be using them for sports or working out because they don’t have any isolation and you may very well destroy them by doing so.
Oh, and you should be prepared to pay a pretty penny, but they’re very much worth it.
- Unparalleled sound isolation without ANC
- Great sound and wide soundstage
- Lightweight with a comfortable fit
- Somewhat expensive
- No water or dust resistance
|Etymotic Research ER2-XR Extended Response - In Ear Noise...||£87.97||Buy on Amazon|
5) Soundcore Sleep A10: Check Price On Amazon
The Soundcore Sleep A10 are another slightly off-beat choice. As the name suggests, they are designed to be used when you try and sleep. They are designed to be tiny which allows you to sleep on your side while wearing them.
Soundcore claims these are 70% smaller than other earbuds. My photos may not do them justice as I use the largest ear tip with mine, but they are tiny, especially when you compare them to the massive Liberty 3 Pro.
The tiny size does have some downsides. I thought they sounded a lot better than expected but they are not as good as the Sony LinkBuds S. Perhaps the biggest issue is that the battery life is not amazing, because they are so tiny.
Playtime in music mode is up to 6 hours at 50% volume. I personally didn’t have too much of a problem with them, but I think some people have had issues because they expect the earbuds to last a full night of sleep, and they often don’t.
- Smallest TWS earbuds don’t the market
- Sounds surprisingly good
- Battery life isn’t the best
|soundcore by Anker, Sleep A10 Bluetooth Earbuds -...||£79.99||Buy on Amazon|
6) Apple AirPods (2nd generation): Check Price On Amazon
I am listing the Apple AirPods because my partner swears by them. She has moved on to other earbuds that I already owned, but that’s mainly because she is too cheap to buy new Apple AirPods.
I personally believe that earbuds with silicon tips are the best option for the majority of people. However, people like my partner just don’t get along with them. I think this is likely to be a common problem with certain ear piercings like the tragus.
- The open-fit design will work well for some people with fit problems. Especially people with tragus piercings
- The design of these means the sound isolation and overall sound quality is not as good.
|Apple AirPods with wired Charging Case (2nd generation)||£99.00||Buy on Amazon|
Conclusion – Best Earbuds For Small Ears?
If you are in the market for a pair of earbuds for small ears, I would recommend that you go for the Sony LinkBuds S as they are the earbuds that have the best overall performance and have the design and features most people want from earbuds nowadays (TWS, ANC, decent battery, etc).
They are very small for TWS earbuds, so they should work well for most small ears, but you may have to consider the other suggestions if you have particularly difficult issues with getting a good fit.
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the creative mind behind Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking, to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
As a fitness fanatic who loves running and cycling, I also have a keen interest in fitness-related technology, and I take every opportunity to cover this niche on my blog. My diverse interests allow me to bring a unique perspective to tech blogging, merging lifestyle, fitness, and the latest tech trends.
In my academic pursuits, I earned a BSc in Information Systems Design from UCLAN, before advancing my learning with a Master’s Degree in Computing. This advanced study also included Cisco CCNA accreditation, further demonstrating my commitment to understanding and staying ahead of the technology curve.
I’m proud to share that Vuelio has consistently ranked Mighty Gadget as one of the top technology blogs in the UK. With my dedication to technology and drive to share my insights, I aim to continue providing my readers with engaging and informative content.
Last update on 2023-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API