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 240 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 Bluetooth 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 best neckband earbuds for small ears that we've tested are the Beats Flex Wireless. These well-built headphones have small earbuds and a flexible silicone and plastic design. Their in-ear fit isn't too deep, and they're comfortable once you find the right size in the selection of differently-sized ear tips.
Although they don't have stability fins or ear hooks to help them stay in place, they should be stable enough for workouts. Their bass-heavy sound profile brings extra thump, boom, and punch and makes them well-suited for bass-rich genres like EDM and hip-hop, although some listeners may find it overwhelming. They also have a reasonably long continuous battery life of roughly 11 hours.
Unfortunately, their companion app doesn't include any sound customization features, like an EQ or presets. The integrated mic has a mediocre overall performance too, so they may not be the best choice for taking phone calls, especially in noisy environments. That said, these brightly-colored earbuds offer decent versatility at a budget-friendly price.
The best wired earbuds for small ears that we've tested are the 1More Triple Driver. These headphones have metal earbuds and angled tips that don't fit too deeply in your ear. They come with nine different pairs of ear tips, including three made of foam instead of silicone, so you have plenty of options for finding the most comfortable fit for you.
They have a well-balanced sound profile that brings extra punch and boom to mixes, which fans of a bass-rich sound may like, although it may also sound a bit muddy to some. Their neutral mid-range ensures voice sound clear and accurate, so they're suitable for content like podcasts as well. Their in-line mic also has a good recording quality, and they feel decently sturdy overall.
Unfortunately, they don't have a companion app or any sound customization features, like an EQ or presets. Also, the cable feels thin where it connects to the earbuds. It feels a little less durable than the rest of the headphones and isn't detachable. Otherwise, they're a solid choice if you're looking for wired earbuds, and are even among the best earbuds and in-ear headphones that we've tested.
If you want earbuds with a more comfortable fit, you may prefer the Shure SE215. They have a simpler design than the 1More Triple Driver, since they don't have any controls or a microphone, but they're much more comfortable and well-built. The unusually shaped earbuds are angled to better fit the curve of your ear, and there are nine differently sized ear tips included so you can find the best fit for you. The audio cable feels durable, and it's detachable, so it can easily be replaced if it's damaged. Unfortunately, their sound profile isn't as well-balanced as the 1More's. Mixes sound a bit muddy and cluttered, and the treble response is underemphasized, so vocals are thick and dark. They may not be the best choice for content like podcasts, but fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM may appreciate their extra kick.
If you want the earbuds with a more neutral sound profile or that have a mic, try the 1More, but if comfort and build quality are more of a priority, consider the Shure instead.
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.
Sep 20, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are in stock. There were no changes to picks.
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.
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.