It can often be hard for people with small ears to find a pair of earbuds that fit comfortably. Many in-ears have fairly large earbuds that cause pressure and push on different parts of the ear, causing fatigue and pain over time. Luckily, there are some ultra-slim in-ears with small enough earbuds that don't touch the outer parts of the ear canal.
We’ve tested over 230 earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds for small ears. If you’re looking for our top picks for other earbuds and in-ears, check out our recommendations for the overall best earbuds and in-ear headphones, the best truly wireless earbuds, and the best wireless earbuds and in-ears.
The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds for small ears that we've tested. These decently comfortable in-ears come with five differently-sized ear tips to help you get the best fit. They're also well-built and have an IPX5 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for it.
These headphones have an excited sound profile that's well-suited for genres like rock or pop. They deliver extra thump and boom while vocals and lead instruments are bright and sparkly. If you prefer a different sound, you can customize them to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. Although they don't have active noise cancelling, they can passively block out a good amount of ambient noise like office chatter. They also have over six hours of continuous battery life, and their carrying case holds roughly three additional charges.
Unfortunately, their integrated mic offers an only okay overall performance. Your voice sounds muffled and lacking in detail, and the mic struggles to separate speech from ambient noise around you. That said, these customizable headphones are very portable, thanks to their small design, and come with a few sets of ear tips, which are sure to please most users.
If you're looking for wireless earbuds that can be paired with up to two devices at a time, try the Jaybird Freedom F5 Wireless 2016. While they're not as well-built as the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless, the Jaybird support multi-device pairing, which is handy if you like to switch audio sources between your phone and laptop. These headphones have a comfortable fit and come with six differently-sized ear tips and four sets of stability fins. Out of the box, they have a somewhat neutral sound profile with a touch of extra bass to add boom to your mixes. That said, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app has a parametric EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound. Unfortunately, they last around four hours continuously and don't have any additional charges.
Consider the Anker if you're looking for better-built headphones with longer total battery life. However, if you want to keep your headphones connected to two different devices simultaneously, check out the Jaybird instead.
The Beats Flex Wireless are the best neckband earbuds for small ears that we've tested. These colorful headphones have a silicone and plastic neckband design, making them very flexible, so you can easily fit them into most pockets or bags. They also have small earbuds that are comfortable, lightweight, and come with four differently-sized ear tips.
They have a bass-heavy sound profile that delivers extra thump, boom, and punch to your mixes. They're also well-built, and even though they don't have any ear hooks or stability fins, they should stay put in your ears once you have achieved a good seal. Thanks to their W1 chip, you can seamlessly pair them with other Apple devices. They have roughly 11 hours of continuous playback time, which should be enough to get you through long days at the office.
Unfortunately, their companion app doesn't offer any extra features like an EQ or presets. They struggle to block out bass-heavy sounds like the rumble of bus or plane engines. However, they do a significantly better job of cutting down office chatter as well as the high-pitched hum of an AC unit.
The 1More Triple Driver are the best wired earbuds for small ears that we've tested. These lightweight headphones come with nine different pairs of ear tips, including three sets made of foam, so you can find the one that's the most comfortable for you. They also come with a stylized hard case to protect them when you're on the go.
They have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile with a bit of extra punch and boom, which fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop can enjoy. Their mid-range is still very neutral, so vocal-centric content like podcasts or audiobooks sound clear and accurate. If you need to take calls, their in-line mic does a good job recording your voice, although it struggles slightly in moderately noisy environments.
Unfortunately, they lack sound customization features. Since they don't have an ANC feature, they also do a mediocre job of passively blocking out ambient noise around you, which may be disappointing if you commute daily or work at a busy office. That said, these wired in-ears offer solid overall performance and are even among the best earbuds and in-ear headphones that we've tested.
If you're looking for more comfortable headphones, check out the Shure SE215. Unlike the 1More Triple Driver, they lack an in-line mic or controls, but the Shure are more comfortable and durable. Their earbuds have a fairly unique angled design that fits the contours of your ears better, and they come with nine different tips to help you find the best possible fit. Their audio cable is also detachable, so if something happens to it, you can easily replace it. That said, their sound reproduction is a bit muddy and cluttered, and they may not be the best choice for more vocal-centric content, as vocals sound thick and dark. Still, fans of EDM will like the extra kick in their bass range.
If you're looking for more comfortable and durable in-ears, consider the Shure. However, if you want to take calls on the go or prefer a more versatile sound profile, try the 1More.
The best budget earbuds for small ears that we've tested are the Samsung AKG Type-C. They have a comfortable design that shouldn't feel too fatiguing after long listening sessions. They're well-built, have a solid and durable design, and come with three sets of ear tips to help you find a suitable fit.
Instead of a typical 1/8" connector, they use a USB-C connector which allows you to connect them to newer smartphones and some computers. Thanks to this connection, they have low audio latency, so you can stream videos without worrying about syncing issues. They also have a fairly neutral sound profile suitable for lots of audio content, and fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop may especially enjoy their touch of extra boom.
Unfortunately, you can only use them with devices with a USB-C port, which some users may find limiting. They also lack sound customization features like an EQ and can fall out of your ears if you're using them during physical activity. That said, these simple headphones have a versatile sound profile at a wallet-friendly price, which is sure to please most users.
Jul 22, 2021: Swapped the Jaybird Freedom F5 Wireless 2016 with the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless as they now offer a better value to most users.
May 25, 2021: Replaced the JBL E25BT Wireless with the Samsung AKG Type-C, as the JBL can no longer be found in the budget price range. Also replaced the Beats urBeats Earphones with the 1More Triple Driver as the Beats are getting harder to find in stock. Replaced the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear/HD1 In-Ear Wireless with the Beats Flex Wireless as the Beats are more comfortable.
Mar 31, 2021: Removed the MEE audio M9B Wireless as they're no longer available and added the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 as a 'Truly Wireless Alternative'.
Feb 02, 2021: Replaced the JBL Live 200BT Wireless with the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear, as the JBL are no longer available. Minor updates to the text.
Dec 01, 2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds to buy for most people with small ears. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for earbuds and in-ears, sorted by their comfort score. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.