6 Ways to Keep Earbuds From Falling Out

Tips for keeping the buds in your ears

Wireless earbuds offer great freedom of movement for exercise and daily life, but they can also be challenging to keep in your ears. Here’s what you can do to keep the music going and keep those expensive earbuds where they belong.

Why Do My Earbuds Not Stay in My Ears?

Everyone’s ears are different, and most earbuds are built to a “standard” ear canal size. For most of us, this means they’ll fit most of the time.

Now keep in mind, earwax, temperature, and your ear’s particular structure can all affect fit. Combine that with rapid motion and sweat coming into your ear, and it can make it easy for earbuds to come loose.

How Do I Keep My Earbuds From Falling Out?

Some basic maintenance and care of your earbuds and ears should be enough to keep them in your ears. You also might want to consider aftermarket accessories.

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Clean Your Earbuds

Over time, cerumen (earwax), dirt, and grime will collect on your earbuds, making them harder to use. A quick clean of your earbuds will remove debris that keeps the plug from getting a firm grip.

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Try Floor Models For Fit

If possible, see if there are “demonstration” models available at the store so you can get a sense of fit. Ones that fit better from the start are more likely to stay in your ears.

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Check Your Earbuds For Markings And Instructions

All earbuds are designed to fit into your ears in a certain way, so experiment with the fit and check the exterior for signs of how you should wear them.

Look for "left" and "right" markings on your earbuds, and then rotate the earbud in your canal until it feels firmly seated. Some earbuds will have other clues as to how you should wear them. AirPods, for example, should sit in your ears so the "sticks" point at a 45-degree angle or so towards your mouth.

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Get A Firm Fit In Your Ear

Before placing your earbuds, pull up on your earlobe and insert the earbud, then let your earlobe go. Doing this will straighten out your ear canal when you put the earbud in and will help it seat itself.

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Keep Sweat Out Of Your Ear Canal

If you find that your earbuds are slipping during exercise, sweat may be entering your ear. Wear a sweatband around your head to absorb it and keep it out of your ears. In colder weather, a fleece ear protector can keep them seated and keep sweat out while letting body heat vent from the top of your head.

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Attach After-Market Accessories

There are multiple aftermarket accessories you can use for a better fit.

  • Replacement earplugs: These come in multiple materials, such as memory foam, for a custom fit that can block out noise. You can even get customized earplugs designed for your canal, and some earbuds will come with differently sized plugs to offer a better fit.

  • Ear hooks: These soft rubber hooks attach to your earbud and then fit over the ear to help keep them in place. 

  • Ear wings: Similar to ear hooks, these attach to the earbud but place a soft rubber “stop” inside the ear.

  • Connecting cord: If the above irritate your ears, you can also get a connecting cable or chain made of rubber or metal that clips to each earbud and loops around your neck. Some will come with alligator clips to connect it to the back of your shirt, so a falling earbud doesn’t pull its friend down with it.

Remember that everyone's ears are different, so experiment with all of the above tips until you have the fit that's right for you.

  • How do I change my earbud tips?

    To change earbud tips, hold one of your earbuds, then firmly twist and pull off its current tip. Insert the earbud’s stick into the new tip and push it gently until it can’t go any further. Repeat to change the ear tip on the other earbud.

  • How do I wear wired earbuds?

    When wearing wired earbuds, make sure the cable isn't tangled and goes under some clothing for extra protection if possible. Transport the earbuds in a case, or wrap them around a device to avoid tangles.

  • How do I fix my earbuds?

    If your earbuds aren't working, check the Bluetooth connection or cable. If only one earbud works, check the side balance and equalizer settings. If your earbuds crackle, clean the device's audio jack.

  • What's the different between earphones vs. earbuds?

    The terms earbuds and earphones are used interchangeably. Technically, rather than sitting inside the ear canal, earbuds are meant to be held in place by the concha ridge at the center of your outer ear. Typically, earbuds don't usually have cushions, but some do.

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