How to Wear Wired Earbuds

Get a comfortable fit that stays put

What to Know

  • Always use earbud tips that fit your ears, and make sure to clean buds briefly before use.
  • Make sure the cable isn't tangled and goes under some clothing, if possible, for extra protection.
  • Transport earbuds in a case or safely wrapped around a device to avoid tangles.

This article explains how to wear wired earbuds, keep them from falling out, and transport them safely and securely.

How Are Wired Earbuds Supposed to Be Worn?

This may sound like a simple question, but there's actually more nuance to it than you might expect.

The simple fact of the matter is that, depending on your particular earbud's design and the shape of your ear, there's no guarantee an earbud will be a perfect fit for you no matter what you do, so oftentimes, there is no right or wrong when it comes to how you should wear an earbud. However, there are good practices to keep in mind.

  1. If your earbuds have a variety of differently-sized earbud tips, try the different sizes out to find the tip that's best suited to your ear.

    Silicone earbud tips in a variety of sizes.


  2. Before using a pair of earbuds or even connecting them to a device, make sure they're completely untangled. Even a small knot can cause them to fall out of your ears or even impact audio quality.

  3. No need for compressed air, but do blow on the port on the device you're connecting your earbuds to as well as your earbuds themselves to quickly dislodge any debris that might have gotten stuck first.

  4. Keep the device your earbuds are connected to as close to your ears as is comfortable to make sure you don't accidentally pull them out while moving around.

How Do I Keep My Earbuds From Falling Out?

There isn't an exact science to keeping your earbuds snugly in your ears, but there are steps you can take to keep falling out to a minimum.

  1. Make sure your earbuds fit your ears. Many earbuds come with differently-sized tips for different ear shapes. The ideal fit is snug but not tight. Don't try to squash an earbud tip that's too big into your ear, because you could end up hurting yourself.

    Closeup on two people properly wearing wired earbuds.

    Runstudio / Getty Images

  2. Keep your cord untangled. If there are knots or loops in your cord, it can easily get stuck on something and rip your earbuds out when moving. To combat this, it's best to thread your untangled earbuds under a jacket or similar article of clothing to keep the wire(s) from getting caught.

  3. Keep your connected device close. For example, most use earbuds with a phone. Modern phones can have large screens and a decent weight to them, so if you're particularly tall, the weight of your phone in your pocket might pull your earbuds out. Consider keeping your phone in a higher pocket or holding it in this situation.

How Do You Carry Wired Headphones?

Carrying wired headphones like earbuds properly is a big part of keeping them untangled.

Wired earbuds with cable

Emilee Key / GettyImages

  1. Make sure to transport earbuds untangled in your pocket. If they're untangled and neatly wrapped up, there's less of a chance they'll get tangled in your pocket and less of a chance they'll get damaged if you have to untangle them.

  2. If you can, wrapping earbuds around a device like a phone (though not too tightly) and then putting the phone in your pocket is a good way to keep earbuds untangled.

  3. If you're lucky enough to have earbuds that come with a case, use the carrying case to transport them. It will both protect them as well as keep them from getting tangled.

More Earbud Tips

While these tips are intended for wired earbuds, many also apply to wireless earbuds or wired headphones. Regardless of your specific device, keeping cables untangled, getting the right fit, and regular cleaning are essential for any audio device.

  • How do I clean my wired earbuds?

    To clean earbuds, use an isopropyl alcohol solution diluted with distilled water. Dab a small amount on a clean cloth or cotton swab, then run it over the plastic and silicone surfaces. Don't forget to remove and thoroughly clean (inside and out) the silicone earbud tips.

  • How long do wired earbuds last?

    How long earbuds last depends on the quality, how often you use them, and how you take care of them. Cheap earbuds may stop working within six months, while higher-end devices can last up to five years.

  • How do I fix my wired earbuds?

    If your earbuds aren't working, unplug and reconnect them, then check the volume and power source. Check for frayed cords or broken plastic coating. You can repair the earbuds cable yourself if you have a soldering iron.

  • What are the best wired earbuds?

    The best wired earbuds include the Beats urBeats3 and the Shure SE215-CL. If you're constantly losing your headphones or putting them through the wash, consider the more budget-friendly 1MORE 1M301.

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