Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.

The 5 Best Earbuds For Small Ears - Winter 2023 Reviews

Updated
Best Earbuds For Small Ears

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 280 earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best options for people with 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.


  1. Best Earbuds For Small Ears

    The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are the best earbuds for small ears we've tested. These high-end earbuds are the next generation of the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless, and unlike their predecessor, they come with four sets of ear tips instead of three, and the newest one is an extra small pair. While users still have trouble with the buds wiggling out of their ears, some in the community have swapped out the default silicone tips with foam tips. Foam can mold to your unique ear shape, improving the comfort, fit, and stability of the buds.

    These in-ears have an adaptive EQ, so their sound automatically adjusts to the unique shape of your ears. Their warm sound profile is well-suited for genres like pop and jazz, although they lack any built-in sound customization features to help you adjust them to your liking. They also have a noise cancelling (ANC) system and can block out an excellent amount of ambient sound, which is nice for commuting or working in a noisy office. With their ANC on, they last just shy of six hours continuously, but their carrying case has an additional four charges.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Earbuds For Small Ears

    If you're looking for high-power performance at a lower price point, it's worth considering the Sony Linkbuds S Truly Wireless. They have a lightweight design that doesn't put as much pressure on your ears as other in-ears from this manufacturer's lineup. They also don't fit very deeply and come with four sets of differently-sized ear tips to help you get the best fit. While they don't feel as well-built or premium as the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, they house a similarly powerful ANC system that can block out the low rumble of buses as well as ambient voices and the high-pitched hum of AC units.

    These buds have quite a few extra features that help them stand out from the crowd. Their warm sound profile can be finetuned to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They also support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them with your PC and smartphone simultaneously. They last over seven hours continuously, though their carrying case has over two extra charges to keep you supplied if you're in a pinch.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Earbuds For Small Ears

    The best Bluetooth earbuds for small ears in the mid-range are the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless. These well-built buds are small and come with five pairs of ear tips, making it easier to find the right fit. While they don't fit very deeply in the ear, they can cause a plunging feeling when putting them in. However, if that's not an issue for you, these buds have a lot of features that are uncommon at their price point. They have a high-powered adaptive ANC system that rivals the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless. Their continuous battery life with the ANC on is longer at over eight hours, and their carrying case holds an additional four charges.

    These in-ears have a warm sound profile that delivers some extra boom to genres. If you're looking for a different sound, you can adjust them to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They also support LDAC, which is nice if you want to listen to Hi-Res audio. Unfortunately, their integrated mic does a poor job of recording your voice clearly, which can be a deal breaker if you take a lot of calls.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Earbuds For Small Ears

    The best wireless earbuds for small ears at the budget level that we've tested are the Beats Flex Wireless. If you're looking for earbuds that won't empty your wallet, these neck cable headphones have a small bud design. They also don't have a very deep in-ear fit and come with five sets of ear tips. Even though they're not as customizable as our mid-range pick, their unique design comes in a couple of eye-catching colors, and they have a W1 chip for pairing with your Apple devices.

    Despite lacking stability fins or ear hooks to help them stay in place, they'll 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, even though they have a companion app, it offers extremely limited controls.

    See our review

  5. Best Open-Back Earbuds For Small Ears

    The Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds for small ears with an open-back design that we've tested. These well-built headphones are worth checking out if you have small ear canals. Since they have a one-size-fits-all design and lack ear tips, they don't have a deep in-ear fit. While they've been replaced by the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) Truly Wireless, their earbud shape is also a little smaller than their successor. Their comfort can depend on your ear shape, though. They also don't block out almost any background noise, which can be frustrating if you work in a noisy office. However, if this isn't a deal-breaker for you, it's worth considering these buds as a lightweight alternative to the in-ear headphones on this list.

    They have a fairly well-balanced sound profile but lack a lot of low-bass, so mixes sound a bit hollow without adequate thump and rumble. Vocal-centric content like podcasts or classical music sounds present and bright. Like other Apple headphones, they have an H1 chip for seamless pairing with devices in your Apple ecosystem. They also have just over four hours of continuous battery life, and while that may not be enough to get you through a full day without a recharge, their carrying case supplies five extra charges.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Beats Studio Buds True Wireless : The Beats Studio Buds True Wireless are pretty small buds with a comfortable fit. However, they don't offer nearly the same level of customization as the Sony Linkbuds S Truly Wireless, and their continuous battery life is worse. See our review
  • Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless: The Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless are a viable alternative to the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless and have a more stable in-ear fit but don't support multi-device pairing and have a shorter continuous battery life. See our review
  • Shure SE215: The Shure SE215 are wired in-ear monitors, meaning you won't find any of the same features as wireless headphones like the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless. They have a comfortable fit and come with several ear tip sizes. See our review
  • Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless: The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless are a more customizable alternative to the Beats Flex Wireless, as their companion app supplies a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking. They're not as comfortable and have shorter continuous battery life. See our review
  • Sony WI-C310 Wireless: The Sony WI-C310 Wireless are a solid choice if you're looking for cheap in-ears, but they donโ€™t have many tip options or feel sturdy as the Beats Flex Wireless. They're otherwise decent, especially with their excellent 17-hour battery life. See our review
  • Skullcandy Jib Wireless: The Skullcandy Jib Wireless are cheap headphones with very small earbuds. They provide decent value for their price but have a very bass-heavy sound and are less durable-feeling than the Beats Flex Wireless. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 04, 2023: We've overhauled this article to better align it with user expectations. We've removed the following headphones: The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless, Beats Studio Buds True Wireless, and Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless. We've added the following headphones: The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless, and the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless.

  2. Aug 22, 2022: We've overhauled this article to deliver earbuds that are more suitable for small ears. We've added the Beats Studio Buds since they have a compact design and the Apple AirPods (2nd gen) if you're looking to avoid ear tips altogether. We've also removed the 1More Triple Driver and Samsung AKG Type-C as well as cleaned up Notable Mentions by removing out-of-date picks.

  3. May 06, 2022: Moved the Shure SE 215 to Notable Mentions. Also added the MOONDROP Aria to Notable Mentions.

  4. Mar 07, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.

  5. Jan 06, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock. There were no changes to recommendations.

All Reviews

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.

Recommended Articles

Discussions