Just about every mobile device these days is either packaged with a set of earbud-style headphones or is meant to be used with them. As tinier versions of regular headphone models, most earbud models still work by channeling sounds to ear openings. A few can even be repurposed as a dual microphone-headphone unit to enable hands-free use with most smartphones. In this article, we list the best earbuds for small ears that are for sale today.
Earbud-type headphone models have become increasingly popular in the last ten years or so. Most are available in a diverse number of forms and color themes, and it would seem that finding out what’s best would be simple to do. For the majority of listeners this would be so, but if you have smaller ears than average it could be a problem. It’s something of a disadvantage for them to shop around for earphones which fit well, so we have here a feature guide plus some options for you to consider.
To this end, we’ve combed the webs and asked around to figure out the best features of a good earphone that are adapted for smaller-sized ears or perhaps children. We looked for those which have acceptable audio quality, adapt to fit most anyone, and won’t distract you much from enjoying your sounds. We’ve gathered a shortlist of various models which we think are worthy of a try by those looking for big-sounding headphones to fit their “small” needs.
The list below are valid as of today and represents the best earbuds for small ears you can buy right now.
|Earbuds||Rating||Frequency response (min)||Frequency response (max)|
|Sennheiser Momentum M2||9.2/10||16Hz||22000Hz|
|Westone W30 Triple-Driver||9.6/10||20Hz||18000Hz|
|JVC HAFX32B Marshmallows||8.8/10||8Hz||20000Hz|
|Etymotic Research HF5||8.2/10||20Hz||15000Hz|
|Moshi Audio Mythro||9.5/10||15Hz||20000Hz|
Choosing Headphones for Small Ears
Earbuds for 4-year-olds and older. Children’s ears are obviously smaller, so most adult versions rarely fit them well. Models designed for kids normally come with smaller earpieces which can better fit their tinier ear openings. Sadly, most parents or their kids would choose a regular model based on its snazzy style and sound without considering these equally important aspects.
Over-Ear headphones for kids. This variation of common over-the-ear headphone is placed over the ear’s center instead of into the outer canal. As each speaker directly faces each ear and yet is offset by a tiny distance, they neither block the ear’s opening nor fully impede external sound sources. These types can offer a safer operation to children and the elderly for they can remain more aware of their surroundings. Persons’ voices or alarm tones or the rush of oncoming cars and other critical environmental sounds can still be heard to some extent. These models are also more likely to fit comfortably since their ties or loops which go over the pinnae are more likely to suit a bigger variety of users.
In-Ear models for kids. These tinier types tend to come in a wider variety of trendy designs and colors than regular full-sized headphones, and many feature designer motifs and themes and gem-like finishes. Some makes are focused on units offering a certain “feel”, such as Skullcandy’s trademark models. The brand is known for its singular style, and tips and pads can be readily found for its various models.
Fitting In-ear Headphones
The fact is, the finest in-ear model can wear and sound badly if it doesn’t properly seat atop the concha of your ear (the interior valley around the canal) as well as fit into the canal’s opening. Here are some guidelines on finding a proper-fitting earphone model.
Size to fit. Finding one which is suitable to the size and shape of your ear is a matter of trying each and going through its selection of earpieces if any is included. Bear in mind that your ears may be sized differently from each other. Thus having two or more earpiece sizes or adjustable tips to separately try on each ear is usually a good idea, so keep a lookout for such sets.
Insert the earpiece firmly. For best fit, you’ll need to seal off your ear’s outer opening with the bulk of the earpiece while you’re playing music. Just pressing it into the opening may not be enough in this case. You can gently pry the outer edges of your ear (the pinnae) and then firmly slide the earpiece into a deeper position. You should be hearing less noise leaking in from the outside if you’ve emplaced it correctly, and your favorite tracks may present richer mids and deeper bass as well.
Secure on the move.: With earphones which regularly come loose and fall off when you’re running or in a workout, you can try looping its extended part that’s attached to the cable above and around your ears’ pinnae and to the back, so that it hangs loosely and comfortably behind your ear. Some in-ear models are meant to be oriented along a particular axis, so ensure that each earpiece goes to its respective side, whether left (L) or right (R).
In-Ear and Over-The-Ear Headphone Models
With more earbud-type headphones being sold, many buyers are discovering that models designed to fit smaller ears can be relatively scarce. No pair of earphones can comfortably fit every possible buyer, and the increase in dissatisfaction with many regular models is an indication of the trend.
Inserting an average-sized earpiece into smaller-than-average canals can become uncomfortable and even painful after some time. Since these won’t seat correctly, many tend to drop off when the user is running or is active at the gym, while external sounds can seep in due to incomplete sealing. It’s a good thing that many firms are now bringing out small-sized models to fit their needs.
The following models are among the better bud-type or in-ear headphones for small ears. We find these to be the best earbuds for small ears:
The brand is well-known for its richly-processed sound and these models are a good example of what they offer. These are tonally-balanced in-ear headphones which additionally offer a smart earpiece feature, their StayHear tips. These are designed to press against the ear’s concha and keep the earphone stably in place so that users can continue with their vigorous activities without worrying that these will readily fall off.
The product range offers separate music- or talk-specific versions, and the special tips come in small, medium, and large forms. The decently long 42-inch cable has an included clothing clip. Bose’s model has a comfortable fit and solid build that’s coupled with great audio quality, which has made these among the best available for those with small-sized ears. These are also the sensible choice for users who tend to be physically active while listening. All in all, the Bose SoundSport are some great earbuds for tiny ears.
These are appealing bud-type headphones which convey rich yet clear audio. We placed these among the very top contenders due to their ergonomic shapes and flexible forms which orient the stainless-steel sound channel along a 15-degree arc.
The standard packages come in either Android- or iOS-specific versions, and both include a set of four soft earpiece tips in XS, SM, M, and L sizing. A three-button remote is integrated into the standard-length cable. These earphones are among the better ones available for those with smaller-sized ears, so long as active users can get their earpieces to seat properly. Rest assured, the Sennheiser Momentum are great earbuds for tiny ears and they will deliver outstanding quality.
Dr. Dre’s audio designs are currently sold within Apple’s range of premium audio accessories. These are notable additions to the company’s extensive range of products and offer good audio quality in sturdy metal casings that are designed to reduce vibrating or external sounds from intruding into listening sessions. The flexible and streamlined 48-inch cable is generously long and resistant to tangles, while the presence of four adapter tips in various sizes has made these among the better ones available for people with smaller ears.
Shure SE215-K Sound-Isolating Earbuds
These models feature a distinctly small form that can be flexibly adapted to the interior shapes of most ears. By slipping over the ear’s center, the low-profile earpiece can seat comfortably. Its gold-plated connectors have quick-locking mechanisms which enable the earpieces to fully rotate inside the ear, while the satisfyingly long 64-inch detachable cord features sturdy Kevlar-reinforced jackets. The included adapter tips and sleeves come in S, M, and L sizing, and help to form effective seals. Shure’s sound-isolating sleeve technology does more than just further adapt the model to smaller ears, it also works to stop environmental noises from leaking in and music from leaking out, by forming effective seals with the flexible tips.
The “-K” suffix designates the product’s color variation, which in this case is black.
Westone W30 Triple-Driver Noise-Isolating Earbuds
The specialist company offers a very comfortable and sturdy earbud-style headphone for serious music listeners. It features distinct bass and mid- and high-range frameworks that deliver especially detailed and balanced sound, and bring an expansive feeling to powerful music which is so rare in this class. This by itself results in an astounding set of tiny headphones, but it’s the addition of five adapter tips which tailor its earpieces to provide comfort which makes it really worth considering for those willing to spend. This high-end earphone is certainly the premium choice which will satisfy those with small yet very discerning ears. Be forewarned though that it retails at a very high price to match its grand sound.
JVC HAFX32B Marshmallows
We think this pair of earbud-style headphones strikes the best balance of fit, comfort, audio quality, and value among the many listed here. The company has long been known for quality audio, so it’s likely that any model you pick would meet a minimum level of design and quality which would satisfy most users. But as with Bose’s and Sennheiser’s models, it’s the included foam adapter tips which customize its earpieces for good comfort, that may make this best budget earphone yet for listeners with small ears.
The earpiece tips of most other models are made of rubberized or silicone-based materials, which while soft retain their shape. JVC’s model employs dual sizes of memory-foam tips which readily conform to your ears’ interiors once worn. These can be easily carved down into smaller-sized forms for an even more customized feel. The material is comfortable to wear over time and isolates effectively against sound leakages.
Audio performance is also quite decent as befits the brand’s reputation. The range of rich bass and mid- and high-frequencies is nicely balanced and there’s little distortion even at higher levels. These earbud-style headphones deliver great comfort and accurate sound for the price, and we’d say these are the ones which buyers with modest budgets should first consider.
Etymotic Research HF5
It’s pretty easy to consider earbud-style headphones from a brand well-known for its acoustic research. The company’s technological edge enable them to design advanced models which combine function and comfort in new ways. Their new in-ear model the HF5 sounds great and offers options which everyone with small ears will appreciate.
This model is tonally-balanced and its sound offers the kind of musical detail one would expect of audio specialists although the lows tend to be emphasized to accommodate mass-market tastes. These earphones can convey the dynamic range of classical and jazz passages while delivering enough power for tracks with punchy bass and synthesized lows.
Various adapter tips are provided including a primary set of two pairs, one of which has multiple flanges to stabilize their earpieces with. The other pair has smaller but conventionally-rounded tips, while a third pair is tipped with squishy foam for a more customizable feel. The unique deal with Etymotic is its customization service, which provides for an expert impression to be made of each inner ear. These are then be sent to labs which generate casts to mold new tips to match each ear’s anatomy.
What makes reviewers believe that these are the best small-ear earphones overall, is the combination of the customizations for the in-ear tips along with the trim extended shapes of the comfortable earpieces. This is not an inexpensive set of in-ear headphones by any measure, but for the above-average price you pay you do get top-of-the-line performance and unrivaled fit and comfort.
Moshi Audio Mythro
These earbud-type headphones are solidly constructed and should hold up well. Audio quality is good for an affordable pair of earphones that are comfortable for smaller ears, and a handy little band organizes the cable when it’s not in use.
The inclusion of adapter tips in three sizes lets users customize the earpieces for better comfort. The rear part which seats in your outer ear is uniquely shaped and oriented for a snug fit. As a bonus, each earpiece is angled such that there’s no need to check each to see whether it’s the left or right one, as this can be done by feel alone. Due to its form the earpieces are less likely to come off while running or doing a workout, so this can be a cheaper if less demanding alternative to Bose’s finned models.
All in all, the Moshi Mythro earbuds are a very good pick if you are looking for good earbuds for small ears.
Those searching for decent earbud-style headphones can do a lot worse than try out the suggestions given here. Narrow your choices to models which meet your budget and then select for features which satisfy or intrigue you the most.
If you’ve found a model that wears so comfortably on your ear that you can hardly remember you have it on, then you’re off to a good start. Its tips wouldn’t be too large to make you feel like you’re being pinched, or too tiny and loose in your ear as to drop out. That’s why it’s best to choose a size and shape that seats securely on your ear’s outer opening and doesn’t readily come off as you move around.
We think the JVC HAFX32B should fit the needs and desires of the average user at a price that’s still affordable. Although if you could stretch it, you might justify paying somewhat more for Etymotic’s in-ears just for the customizable comfort alone. Bose’s stabilized earpieces would likely be the least frustrating good headphones for use by physically active and serious listeners.