Why Won’t Earbuds Stay in My Ears and How to Get them to Fit

There are numerous reasons why earbuds won’t stay in your ears, such as the wrong size earpiece and the size of your ear canal. You can also try several different methods to get earbuds to fit correctly. 

This post will explore some reasons why earbuds won’t stay in your ears. I’ll also advise you on how to get earbuds to fit properly, so you don’t have to worry about them falling out. The goal is to help you use and enjoy your earbuds properly. 

Let’s jump in. 

Key Takeaways

  • There isn’t one single reason why your earbuds don’t stay in your ears, but some of the most common reasons include the wrong-sized earpieces related to the size of your ear canals, a buildup of earwax, and how the earbuds are designed. 
  • You should always try to find the proper-sized earbuds or earpieces to match your ear canal. This can help prevent them from falling out. 
  • You also might need to get a specific type or design of earbuds that are better suited for the shape of your ears. 
  • Even properly fitting earbuds can fall out sometimes, and there are no models that will stay in, no matter what. 

Why Won’t Earbuds Stay in Your Ears? 

If you use earbuds, you most likely have dealt with the issue of them falling out at some point. No matter what type of earbuds you use or the shape of your ears, this is common for most people. 

Let’s take a look at why this happens in this section. Understanding why earbuds won’t stay in your ears will help you figure out how to get them to fit properly. And a proper fit is essential for the ideal earbud experience. 

Reason #1 – Wrong Sized Earpieces for you Ear Canal

Almost all earbuds come with different-sized earpieces. These are the little rubber or silicone tips that you can easily interchange. The various sizes are to give you the proper-sized option to match the size of your ear canal. 

If you have the wrong-sized earpiece on your earbuds, they are likely to fall out. This is true whether you have an earpiece too large for your canal or too small. And it makes getting the proper size super important. 

Reason #2 – Dirty Ears

This might not sound pretty, but having your ears full of earwax is another reason your earbuds might fall out. This buildup can prevent your earbuds from sitting in place properly, and they will fall out upon movement. 

In the following section, I’ll tell you how to clean out your ears to get a better fit. But if your earbuds are falling out and you notice earwax on them frequently, this is likely the cause of your problem. 

Reason #3 – Earbuds are Wrong Shape for Your Anatomy

Everybody has a different body, and the distance between your jaw and ears or the shape of your face, in general, can cause your earbuds to fall out. This can be annoying because it’s one of the more challenging to figure out. 

But this might be your issue if you are dealing with your earbuds constantly falling out and have the right earpieces with clean ears. When your earbuds fall out without reason or just don’t seem to fit right, it could be an anatomy issue. 

Reason #4 – You are Active and Don’t Have Sport Earbuds

If your earbuds fall out while doing active movements like exercise or dance, you might not have sport-specific earbuds. These earbuds are designed to stay in place better when you move around a lot. 

Basic earbuds aren’t really designed with exercise and excessive movements in mind. If you are using this basic style of earbuds and experiencing issues with them falling out, this is likely the reason for it. 

How to Get Earbuds to Fit

Ok, now that we’ve looked at some of the main reasons why your earbuds won’t stay in your ears, it’s time to look at how you can get them to stay in. This section will provide solutions to all the reasons mentioned above. 

Fix #1 – Change Earpieces to Proper Size

This fix is easy; all you need to do is change the earpieces until you find the proper size. Pull the current earpieces off and exchange them for one of the others that your earbuds came with. 

You might need to experiment with several sizes to get the ideal fit. So don’t get rid of any of the earpieces supplied with your buds. Typically, you get a small, medium, and large option. 

If none of these do the trick, you might need to get different earpieces or earbuds that offer a few more sizes. 

Fix #2 – Clean Your Ears

Contrary to popular belief, using cotton swabs to clean your ears doesn’t always get out earwax. It can actually push it furth down into your ear canal, which will increase the issue you are dealing with in trying to get your earbuds to fit. 

Your ears are designed to clean themselves out, and earwax is part of this. Taking a warm bath can help loosen things up, and then you can use a cotton swab to remove some earwax. 

If you can’t seem to clean your ears on your own, you can have a professional like a doctor or ear specialist handle it. This might be the best way to clean your ears if they are really dirty. 

Fix #3 – Get Earbuds that Match Your Anatomy

If you struggle with getting your earbuds to fit because of how your ears or face are shaped, you need to get earbuds that match your anatomy. You might need to try out several different models in person to get the right fit. 

There isn’t one exact way to figure out which earbuds work best with the shape of your face, head, and ears. So trial and error is really the only way to figure things out. If you can’t try the earbuds on in person, make sure to keep the receipt so you can exchange them. 

Fix #4 – Get Athletic Earbuds

If you are an athlete or just like to work out often, you’ll most likely want to get athletic-style earbuds. These will help keep your earbuds in place, whether running, stretching, or playing a sport. 

There are many different types of athletic earbuds, and you should explore which works best for you. Some have a specially-designed earpiece that secures in your canal, and others have a wrap-around style that holds onto your ear. 

Athletic earbuds can be more expensive than standard earbuds. But in addition to a better fit, they also can be water-resistant and a little more durable, making them a better value in the long run as well. 

What Are the Best Wireless Earbuds for Small Ears?

Here are a few of our top recommendations, along with a quick review of each earbud.

1. JBL E25BT

These earbuds are comfortable and easy to wear. They also have a snug fit and are able to connect to two devices at once. If you enjoy going back and forth between a tablet, phone, and laptop, these create seamless functionality.

2. Jaybird Freedom F5

These special headphones have a unique shape that sits perfectly in every ear. That then creates a strong seal to provide excellent sound. While the Freedom’s 4-hour battery life isn’t the most impressive thing on Earth, the charging clip doubles that time.

3. Skullcandy Jib

It does not matter if you use headphones to run or just relax around the house, the Skullcandy Jib has something for everyone. Not only are the headphones comfortable, but their strong seal and unique shape are perfect for those with small ears. They fit well, are extremely portable, and have a fun look.

How to Choose Earbuds for Small Ears

Taking the following factors into account, your decision-making will be much easier.

Audio Quality

Of course, when it comes to headphones audio quality matters. You want earbuds that are able to handle all ranges of sound. That will give you the most options for when you want a quiet tune or when you want to rock out.

However, always pay special attention to how they handle loud noises. A good range is fine, but it doesn’t matter if your headphones crackle or break down when you turn up the volume. Balance is key here.


Headphones, regardless of shape or size, come in many different materials. Some are plastic, while others are wood or metal.

Always be aware of headphone weight. If you need something sturdy, heavy is the way to go. However, if you’re using your headphones while out on the go, a lighter is better.

This is a subtle difference, but it is an important one to track. Weight can impact durability as well.


Headphones only work as well as they fit. Getting a pair of earbuds that don’t quite mold to your shape reduces sound quality and creates discomfort as you move.

Even if you’re stationary, a poor fit can cause irritation. Always ensure your headphones sit within your ear canal in a way that promotes sound quality. That will also ensure they won’t slip or fall out as you walk.

Final Thoughts

If you are dealing with your earbuds not staying in place, run through all the reasons and fixes mentioned here to deal with the issue. Chances are one of these will help you find a secure fit that will stay in place regardless of what you’re doing.

Remember that no earbuds will stay in place forever. Even properly fitting ones can fall out if you are very active or they get pushed or tugged on. Make it a goal to find the best fit possible, and they won’t fall out as much.

Do you have any tips for getting earbuds to stay in a place that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments below.

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