The 10 Best Earbuds for Small Ears in 2020

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You can’t listen to music on loudspeakers when you’re in public. Even when you’re alone, sometimes you just don’t want to disturb your surroundings. In these cases, listening from earbuds is the best option.

That said, people with small ears know that this is typically easier said than done. Although earphones, headphones, and earbuds are starting to become more lightweight, more portable, and more affordable these days, it’s not always easy to find a pair that would fit small ears comfortably.

Most of the time, the ear-tips themselves are too large, which means they run the risk of falling out of your ears, especially if you’re using them during your exercise or workout sessions.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the best earbuds for small ears! To help you further, we’ve also included a list of earbuds you should get if you’ve got petite ears.

Factors to Consider in Good Earbuds for Small Ears

While earbuds, also known as in-ear earphones or headphones, have become a preferable choice for many people with small ears, there are still a few things you should keep in mind when deciding which pair is best for you.

Size and Fit

People with smaller ears tend to have a more difficult time finding the perfect earbuds. Obviously, if you’re looking for earbuds for small ears, the size or fit should be your top priority.

Size can even affect the sound quality that you hear through the buds. Earbuds with tips that make a good seal on your ears allow you to listen to the bass, highs, and mids much clearer.

Some people use their earbuds while exercising, while some use them on their public commute home. If you always have to move your head, earbuds can fall off your ears if they’re not securely fit. In addition to this, earbuds that poorly fit yours can hurt you after hours of use, especially if you have sensitive outer ears.

Sound Quality

One of the most important considerations when looking for earbuds is sound quality. Since earbuds’ primary purpose is to allow you to listen to music, you should be getting a pair that will satisfy all your listening preferences.

If you’re usually listening to band music or pop music, you’re better off with earbuds that amplify bass. Meanwhile, if you love watching TV shows, choose earbuds that emphasize vocals for clearer dialogues.

Ear Tips

For people with small ears, this is practically an essential extra feature. Many earphone manufacturers now offer multiple ear-tip sizes, but only a few offer XS ones. You should know which size fits you best, especially if you’re going to use it for long periods. Ear-tips that don’t form a good seal in your ear can affect not only your comfort, but also the sound quality and noise isolation.

Cables

Thanks to the latest developments in earphones, both wired and wireless earbuds are now available on the market at various price points.

The biggest difference between the two is the presence of a connecting wire to the device you’re listening on, like your phone. Since they don’t have this wire, wireless earbuds depend on Bluetooth to reproduce sound to the buds.

Depending on when, where, and how you usually use your earphones, it’s important to consider whether you want wired or wireless. If you want to know the most significant differences between wireless and wired earbuds, head over to our full buyer’s guide below.

Battery Life

If you don’t like untangling wires before using your earphones, you have to make do with wireless earbuds, and wireless earbuds depend on batteries to keep going. A pair of wireless earbuds without juice is useless.

The most critical consideration is how long you typically use your buds when you’re out and about. After all, it doesn’t really matter much if you’re only going to use them indoors.

If you only use your earbuds at home while you study, then you can likely get away with shorter battery life since you can charge anytime anyway. But if your daily commute takes hours and hours and you can’t go without music, you should look at options that have the best battery life.

Extra Features

There are also other extra features you might want to include when choosing the best earbuds for your small ears.

Noise Cancellation or Isolation

For instance, some earbuds have a noise isolation feature that can block out ambient sounds in noisy environments. On the other hand, some earphones have a noise cancellation feature, which entirely cancels out the background noise. We’ll discuss the differences between these two in more detail below.

Water and Dust Resistance

Another feature you may want to look at is the IPX rating, which measures how durable the product is against things like sweat, water, or dust. This is especially important if you’re going to use your earbuds to work out in the gym or go on a quick run outside.

Now that you know what to look for in ear buds for small ears, let’s jump into the best options on the market today.

Top 10 Best Earbuds for Small Ears 2020

1. Best Overall Earbuds: Back Bay Duet 50

Why we like it: The Back Bay Duet 50 is a sleek pair of earbuds with even-sleeker capabilities, like a long battery life and great sound quality, for way less than a hundred dollars.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Water Resistant: APX7
  • Best For: Convenience, Casual Use, Light Activity

The Back Bay Duet 50 is an excellently designed, premium pair of truly wireless earbuds that offers an amazing battery life and sound quality that is hard to beat.

Features

At first glance, you might think nothing of these tiny buds. But if you’re the kind of user who prioritizes battery life over anything, then the Duet 50’s whopping 40-hour battery life will definitely keep you happy. The buds itself can hold up to 8 hours of juice at a time, while the portable charging case houses four additional charges.

It doesn’t have noise cancellation capabilities, but it does have passive noise isolation. Once you find the right ear-tip fit for you, the buds should be able to drown out most other background noise. It comes in 5 different ear-tip sizes, so there should be something for your small ears. People with even tinier ears might want to check out the cheaper Duet 50 Slim variant, but keep in mind that this variant has a shorter battery life than the regular Duet 50.

The Duet 50 also has a lightweight, sweatproof build, allowing you to use it even as you sweat it out in the gym. It lets you control your music without using your phone, such as pausing and playing, skipping songs, and adjusting the volume. That said, it’s more prone to falling off than some other products on this list, so make sure that you use the right fit for you. If you’d rather spend more for fall-resistant buds that you can use for your workouts, take a look at Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds.

Overall Performance

The Duet 50’s sound quality is truly incredible, especially at this price point. Although the bass is strong and punchy and the highs are pretty crisp, it still sounds very natural and is a definite pleasure for the ears. Music also comes out noticeably louder than other earbuds, which is great for people who would like to use this on their daily commute. Lastly, the microphones are relatively higher quality compared to others on the same price bracket.

If you’re looking for a pair of truly wireless earbuds with a premium build, great sounds, and a long battery life, then you should definitely check out Back Bay Duet 50.

Pros
  • Impressive battery life
  • Reliable noise isolation
  • Durable, premium build
  • Secure carrying case
  • Great audio quality
Cons
  • Not fall resistant
  • Some connection hiccups

2. Best Budget Earbuds: TOZO T10

Why we like it: With completely wireless charging features and an ergonomic design for an active lifestyle, the Tozo T10 is a great budget pick for people with small ears.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Water Resistant: IPX8
  • Best For: Running, Sports

The Tozo T10 Wireless Earbuds is one of the best picks out there in terms of price. Its completely wireless technology makes it perfect for when you’re on the go, and the specially designed earpieces match well with the active lifestyle.

Features

The Tozo T10’s charging case may have a light, plastic build that makes it look cheap, but the actual earbuds are pretty slick. Users can get 3-4 hours of playback with these buds, enough for the average daily commute.

Users who are picky about their earbud sizes will be glad to know that the T10 comes with three sizes: small, medium, and large, as well as a wider ear-tip that can be used for better noise isolation. The earbud sizes tend to run on the small side, but that’s exactly what makes this pair perfect for small ears. Rest assured, there’s no worry of needing to look for wingtips or ear hooks to keep your buds from falling out your ears.

It also comes with an IPX8 rating, making it safe for use even during intense workouts. The active noise cancellation should also help with your focus, in case you need it.

Overall Performance

For the price point alone, the TOZO 10 is way ahead of the competition. It uses 8mm speaker drivers for clear, slightly boosted bass that still sounds natural. However, while music quality is acceptable, phone calls are a bit subpar, mainly due to the microphones.

With wireless, Bluetooth 5.0 compatible earbuds that not only offer great sound quality but also a sturdy waterproof rating of IPX8, the Tozo T10 is a great choice for both passive listening or for workout sessions.

Pros
  • Cheaper than similar earbuds
  • 8mm speaker driver for clear sounds
  • Clear, natural bass
  • Comfortable ergonomic build
  • Convenient true wireless charging feature
Cons
  • May fall from the ear if the fit isn’t right
  • Phone call sound quality is subpar
  • Does not pair well with equalizer devices

3. Best Premium Earbuds: Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds

Why we like it: The Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds is designed to be for everyday use – be it getting you through the commute with its handy case, or blasting your tunes while you’re pumping iron in the gym.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Water Resistant: IPX4
  • Best For: Gym, Running, Work Out Sessions

As the first truly wireless earphones from Bose, there’s a lot to be admired about the SoundSport. That said, prices run a bit high, but it’s worth it for its comfort and durability.

Features

The specialized design of the SoundSport’s wingtipped buds may not appeal to everyone’s sense of style, but it does serve its function in securing the device to your small ears. Although the design is a little quirky in our opinion, it offers the wearer a comfortable fit that isn’t likely to slip even when you’re on an all-out sprint – an important feature especially if your ears are smaller than average.

In terms of battery life, the SoundSport can last about 5 hours on a single charge. The portable but sturdy charging case offers two more charges, or another 10 hours of playtime, which is fairly average at this price point.

Pairing is made easy with Bluetooth and NFC technology. Like other Bose products, the SoundSport is compatible with the Bose Connect app. This app allows users to set up personalized music settings for their earbuds, as well as to activate the Find My Buds feature in case their buds get lost.

It has an IPX4 rating, making it sweatproof and weather-proof. It also comes with a noise isolation feature that has minimal sound leakage, perfect if you don’t want anything getting in the way of your music.

Overall Performance

The SoundSport has an active EQ technology that can boost sounds to their optimal quality regardless of the volume. Audio typically comes out rich but balanced. The bass does sound a bit dull in quiet environments, though.

The Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds may be quite expensive, but with its great sound quality, impressive durability, and additional features not present in many other wireless earbuds, it’s certainly worth your every penny.

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Snug buds that can resist falls
  • Comfortable enough to wear even for hours
  • Extremely durable
  • Clear bass sounds
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Bad ambient noise filtering during calls
  • Unconventional wingtip design

4. Best Earbuds for Casual Use: Sony WI-XB400 Wireless Extra Bass

Why we like it: Comfortable, lightweight, undoubtedly classy, the Sony WI-XB400 is a solid choice for anyone who’s looking for the perfect blend of style and practicality.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Water Resistant: No
  • Best For: Passive Listening, Music, Casual Use

It’s compact, it’s versatile, and it looks cool as heck. If you want something that fits your small ears and also packs an extra punch of functionality–and some sweet bass–the Sony WI-XB400 Wireless Extra Bass Headphones may be perfect earbuds for you.

Features

Don’t let its size fool you–the Sony WI-XB400 is a perfectly portable pair of earbuds that boasts a whopping 15 hours of battery life.
Thanks to its USB-C charging cable, the WI-XB400 can go from 0% to 100% in just 3 hours. In fact, a 10-minute charge alone is enough to power up your buds for another 60 minutes–great news for those who always seem to be running out of juice.

In addition to this, it also offers hands-free functionality through Google Assistant. Along with its integrated microphone and active noise cancellation, this makes for a breezy, hands-free call experience.

That said, the WI-XB400 doesn’t have IPX certification, which means it’s not suitable for gym buffs, athletes, or pretty much anyone with an active lifestyle.

Overall Performance

Sound profile offers a wide range of punchy, deep, warm sound profiles that is crisp and clean enough to give the best voice to every genre – from pop, hip-hop, and modern rock, the WI-XB400 can take it all in stride.

While not as extraordinary as promised, its bass is rather impressive, able to enhance even low-frequencies. Add to that the reasonable price, the impressive battery life, and the sleek aesthetics, this pair of earbuds is a solid choice for everyday use.

Pros
  • Excellent battery life
  • Sound profiles are clean and crisp
  • Quick charging USB-C cables
  • Magnetic buds secure the device properly
  • Google Assistant compatible technology
Cons
  • Call quality is worse than advertised
  • The build does not inspire durability and quality
  • “Extra bass” not as adequate as advertised

5. Best Earbuds for Passive Listening: BeatsX Wireless

Why we like it: With top-notch fit, comfort, style, and audio quality, the BeatsX Wireless Earphones is truly a fine device to splurge a little on.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Water Resistant: No
  • Best For: Casual Use, Passive Listening

Beats carries a heavy name when it comes to its reputation as a reliable and high-quality audio device developer. Although the brand is better known for its on-ear and wired devices, the BeatsX Wireless Earphones certainly doesn’t lag behind its more popular siblings.

Features

It can last up to 8 hours on a single charge. Users who are always on the go will love its Fast Fuel feature, which allows the earphones to gain 2 hours of playback just by charging it for 5 minutes while the battery is low. Make sure to use a Lightning to USB-C cable if you want to charge it a bit faster.

Ear tips come in 4 sizes, with a small size specifically for people with small ears. The Flex-Form cable is guaranteed tangle-free, portable, and comfortable enough to be worn the whole day. You can also control your earphones hands-free through Siri if you’re on iOS, using the RemoteTalk cable.

Overall Performance

The BeatsX is a trademark brand for audio devices, and the BeatsX Wireless does not disappoint in this sense. It has the same Beats-level sound quality, and music comes out clean and relatively clear, albeit this isn’t always the case, especially at higher volumes.

We can’t say the same about calls, though, as the microphone seems to be of lower quality than expected. In addition to this, the earbuds don’t seal sound out well, as ambient sounds can still be heard when listening to music on a lower volume.

All in all, BeatsX Wireless remains to be a pretty good choice of earbuds for small ears, thanks to its all-day comfort, convenient iOS integration, and very effective super-fast charging feature. The slightly subpar sound clarity, at least for this price point, may put you off, but the other aspects of the audio and the fit and comfort should more than make up for this minor gripe.

Pros
  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • Quick charge technology
  • Balanced sound signature
  • Great battery life
  • Pairs easily with either Android or iOS
Cons
  • Much more expensive than the competition
  • Audio output sometimes lacks clarity
  • The wiring may be unappealing for some

6. Best Earbuds for Musicians: MEE Audio M6 Pro

Why we like it: If you’re looking for an in-ear monitor with decent battery life, a great build, and a price below the hundred dollar mark, then the MEE M6 Pro is truly a great pick.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Water Resistant: IPX5
  • Best For: Music

The MEE Audio M6 Pro isn’t actually just any old earbuds — it’s an in-ear-monitor, also known as an IEM. For comparison, if your regular earbuds are run-of-the-mill restaurants, IEMs are gourmet restaurants. They offer better quality in certain, specific aspects, but the fit is going to be extremely important to deliver the most optimal qualities – and thus they might not be for everyone.

Features

The buds of the M6 Pro are very comfortable to wear, thanks to the comply foam build. The faceplate is also fully customizable with your own design.

It also comes with an additional microphone and cable, for those who prefer wired earbuds. Since it’s specifically catered towards musicians, the package even includes a stereo cable for connecting with electronic instruments. That said, do keep in mind that the included 2mm DC connectors may not be compatible with many electronics, so make sure to check beforehand.

Lastly, it has an IPX5 rating, which means you can sweat while wearing this without encountering any problems whatsoever.

Overall Performance

As an IEM, the M6 Pro has a fantastic sound quality. Although IEMs are typically designed to give users a ‘flat’ listening experience for the most accurate sound, the bass in the M6 Pro still sounds strong and punchy, albeit not as much as other regular earbuds, like the Sony WI-XB400.

Overall, with in-ear-monitors that offer the most accurate sound details, noise isolating features for your complete auditory focus, convenient electronic cables that are both detachable and replaceable, and a completely customizable faceplate, the MEE Audio M6 Pro is a musician-on-a-budget’s dream.

Pros
  • Affordable IEMs
  • Offers two different kinds of cables
  • Customizable faceplate
  • Quality sound signatures
  • IPX5 level waterproof certification
Cons
  • Not too big on bass
  • Circuitry may not appeal to some
  • Background detailing may be too bland

6. Best Earbuds for Active Lifestyles: Senso ActivBuds Bluetooth

Why we like it: Designed with an active lifestyle in mind, the Senso ActivBuds Bluetooth Headphones offer supreme comfort and great audio quality at a surprisingly affordable price.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Water Resistant: IPX7
  • Best For: Gym, Running, Working Out

The Senso ActivBuds Bluetooth Headphones are one of the best products that you can buy on a budget. Designed with comfort in mind even through your daily grind, these buds are guaranteed to stay in your small ears throughout the day.

Features

The ActivBuds boasts 8 hours of continuous usage on a single charge. Speaking of which, charging only takes about an hour and a half, despite using only a Micro-USB charger.

Users can choose between three different ear tip sizes: small, medium, and large. Designed with workouts and sports in mind, the package also comes with adjustable ear hooks to help prevent the buds from falling off your small ears. The fit is secure and the buds themselves are comfortable enough to be used all day.

These buds have noise suppression technology that allows users to listen to music without skips. It also has passive noise cancellation.

Overall Performance

For the price, there’s not much to complain about the Senso ActivBuds. With its ActivBuds technology, the buds are able to provide high-definition sound with fairly noticeable and even heavy-sounding bass. It’s also rather loud even at lower volumes, which, depending on your preferences, may be a pleasant surprise or a minor annoyance.

Sound clarity isn’t as good as other more expensive earbuds, but again, for this price, it’s certainly acceptable. In fact, muddy sounds are not the biggest gripe we have with this product–it’s when the audio lags while watching video clips or movies on our phone.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Excellent battery life for the price
  • IPX7 rating
  • Ergonomic design for efficiency of movement
  • Stable wireless connectivity across devices
Cons
  • Bass could be too heavy for some
  • Sometimes lags when watching movies on mobile

8. Best Earbuds Companion App: Jaybird X4 Wireless Sport

Why we like it: The Jaybird X4’s song may not be for all ears, but it’s certainly a great choice for small ears and active lifestyles.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Water Resistant: IPX7
  • Best For: Sports, Active Lifestyle

Specially made for those with active lifestyles, the Jaybird X4 Wireless Sport Headphones has a premium build with various options for those with petite ears.

Features

It can last up to 8 hours on a single charge, with a charge time of 2 hours. While it’s waterproof, that doesn’t mean you should take it swimming with you. It can, however, survive even if you drop it in 1-meter-high water for 30 minutes.

The Jaybird X4 offers different options for its fancy Thermo-reactive ear tips, which means more options for those with petite ears. It’s also possible to interchange the tips with other earbuds offered by Jaybird. To help you keep these buds in your ears better, it has the so-called Secure SportsFit+ technology, a fancy name for the wing-like ear hooks included in the package. You can try different combinations for the tips and wings and see which one fits you best.

It can also be connected to the official Jaybird mobile application, similar to Bose SoundSport Wireless Earbuds with Bose Connect. Users can customize their sound equalizer (EQ) settings and save them to the buds itself, as well as set up the “Find My Buds” feature that will keep track of your buds in case you lose them.

Overall Performance

The Jaybird X4 has a good sound quality. The default setting is ‘flat’ out of the box, but you can use the equalizer to adjust the sound settings to your preferences. Even on the flat setting though, the bass is noticeable but not muddy, and the highs are pretty good. Midrange sounds less appealing, but that’s likely because of the overemphasis on vocals.

Overall, these earbuds offer a good combo of quality sound, comfort, and security, with some room to improve in terms of connectivity and response time. But if you’re leading an active lifestyle and you’re looking for good earbuds in the $100 range, the Jaybird X4 is a solid choice.

Pros
  • Durable waterproof build
  • Audio is engaging enough
  • Fit is firm and secure
  • Custom EQ settings
  • Compatible with Jaybird app
Cons
  • Bluetooth connectivity can be unstable
  • Audio quality is imperfect
  • Remote has slow responding time

9. Best Microphone: SoundPEATS Q30 HD Bluetooth Earphones

Why we like it: The Soundpeats Q30 HD Bluetooth Earphones stands for amazing value, especially when compared to bigger brands of earphones like Sony, Bose, or Apple.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Water Resistant: IPX6
  • Best For: Active Lifestyles

The SoundPEATS Q30 HD can easily take it up there with the large-brand names with its sound quality, convenience, charging power and battery life, and customizable fits. It’s chock full of handy features and convenient controls that you can use to improve your listening experience. Sound quality is pretty great and it offers great overall value.

Features

Battery life, at this price range, is incredible. It can last anywhere from 8-13 hours on a single 1.5-hour charge, definitely enough for anyone who’s looking to get a full day out of their earbuds.

Ear tips come in 5 total sizes. There’s one pair each for small, medium, and large tips, as well as two bonus pairs of extra small and extra large tips. The three choices of ergonomic ear hooks can be used to further secure the buds and make sure that they don’t fall off.

The buds themselves are magnetic and can be clasped together when not in use. This is both a good thing and a bad thing though, as the magnets make the device noticeably weightier, something that can be disadvantageous when you’re out on a run or doing workouts.

Overall Performance

The Q30 HD’s audio quality is rather clear and crisp, with some noticeably punchy bass. For a sub-$30 product, it’s surprising how much of a rich listening experience you can get with this.

For people with small ears, the custom fits on the Q30 HD are certainly an important consideration, especially for something marketed to keep one company in their most active pursuits. Should you manage to find the perfect fit, you’ll see that these buds are waiting right there for you with the best that it can offer.

Pros
  • Impressive 13-hour battery life
  • Sound quality is good for the price
  • Great microphone quality
  • Comfortable, ergonomic design
Cons
  • Not very durable
  • Heavy magnetic buds

10. Best Custom Fit Earbuds: Anker SoundBuds Slim Wireless

Why we like it: The Anker SoundBuds offers a lot more choices for someone on a budget to be able to customize the fit of the buds to their ear, which is a must to have especially for people with smaller ear sizes.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Water Resistant: IPX7
  • Best For: Passive Listening, Music, Casual Use

The Anker SoundBuds Slim Wireless Headphones is a simple pair of earbuds that is not heavy on the pocket, both literally and figuratively.

Features

If battery life is at the top of your list, you’re not going to regret getting the Anker SoundBuds Slim. A single charge can last you 7-10 hours of playtime, which is typically enough for a full day’s use.

Its best feature, however, is the personalized “Tailor Hold” function, which lets users tweak their earbud clips for the best fit. With four ear tip sizes and three in-ear hook sizes, it doesn’t really matter if you’ve got small ears, medium ears, or big ears–you’re bound to find something for you.

While it doesn’t offer active noise cancellation, it does offer noise isolation, which should be good enough for calls. It also comes with an IPX7 rating and magnetized earpieces for stress and hassle-free workout sessions.

Overall Performance

At this price point, the Anker Soundbuds Slim is a decent choice. However, the sound quality is subpar when compared to more high-end devices.

It packs enough bass to keep most people satisfied, but turn the music up louder and you’ll notice a few less than stellar things. For one, the bass is quite boomy at higher volumes. Two, the sound can be rather coarse to the ears, especially with the volume turned up high. Lowering down the volume could help improve the sound quality, but not everyone enjoys listening to music on low volumes.

As a whole, the SoundBuds Slim Bluetooth earphones are hard to beat for the price, as long as you’re not a stickler for sound quality. If you’d rather have better sound quality in exchange for a much shorter battery life, however, you should check out Tozo T10.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Build is solid and durable
  • Offers a varied array of features
  • Useful personalized fit
  • Magnetic clip for protection
Cons
  • Unstable Bluetooth connectivity
  • Subpar sound quality compared to the competition

Guide to Buying the Best Earbuds for Small Ears

woman wearing earbud

Before anything else, it’s always good to learn more about the things that you want to buy. When it comes to earphones, there are so many technical terminologies on the specifications listed on the packaging that it’s normal to be overwhelmed. Luckily, we have you covered with all the info you could need in this guide.

Headphones vs Earphones

A lot of people use the terms headphones and earphones interchangeably. While there’s nothing wrong with this, there is a slight difference between the two, which has something to do with how they’re worn.

Headphones typically refer to those that go on or over the ears. Earphones or earbuds, on the other hand, are inserted into the ear.

Headphones Pros and Cons

Headphones are more comfortable to wear than earbuds if they’re well-fitted. Over-ear models are particularly known for being comfortable. They’re well-padded and don’t apply pressure to your ear canals, so your ears won’t hurt even if you wear them for hours. Due to their design, headphones are also slightly better at noise cancellation or isolation than earphones. They can block out all ambient noise and ensure that you only hear what you want to hear.

That said, headphones are not as portable as earphones. Since headphones are relatively bulky, they can be more difficult to carry around, especially if they’re wired. Many models also tend to leak sound due to air vibration.

Earphones Pros and Cons

Unlike headphones, earphones and earbuds are much more portable because of their small size. They also make a better seal on your ears, which means better noise cancellation and noise isolation. Noise leakage is very minimal, as well.

While earphones can also be snug and comfortable, prolonged use can be stressful to your ear canal, especially if it doesn’t match your ear shape and size. It can also fall off your ears if it doesn’t fit correctly, which can be bothersome.

Wired vs. Wireless

Before we discuss this section, keep in mind that just because a pair is wireless doesn’t mean that it has no wires whatsoever. Many wireless earbuds still have cables connecting them. However, others don’t, and most people commonly refer to these kinds of buds as “true wireless stereo” or TWS for short.

While the most apparent difference between wired and wireless earphones is the cable connecting it to the device, there are a few other differences that can affect your decision-making.

Wired Pros and Cons

Wired earphones are generally considered superior to wireless earphones due to their audio quality and price.

Wired earphones tend to sound better because they draw power directly from the device and don’t suffer from interference as much as wireless earphones do. Since most wired earphones don’t need to have batteries, charging cables, or a charging case, they’re also usually cheaper than their wireless counterparts.

If you want to go for wired earphones, you have to consider two additional things: the cable’s length and material. If the cable gets damaged, you won’t be able to use the earphones anymore. Many wired earphones now are made of tangle-free, flat cables to prevent this from happening.

Wireless Pros and Cons

Wireless earphones have only started becoming mainstream in the last few years, and their popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

After all, with wireless earphones, you can pop them in your ears, connect them to your device’s Bluetooth, and go on your way. Since they don’t have any cables, you can jog around the neighborhood, sweep the floor clean, or lift weights without worrying about the logistics of where to put the phone or music player that you’re listening on.

That said, there are two big downsides to wireless earphones. One, sound quality can be noticeably less than wired earphones, especially in busy areas with plenty of signal interference. Two, wireless earphones are only as good as their battery life. If they’re out of juice, they’re practically useless.

Noise Isolation vs. Noise Cancellation

With noise isolation, all ambient noises not produced by the earphones are muffled quiet in the background. This is done passively through the earphones’ ergonomic design, typically through the use of foam ear-tips to seal the ear canal and allow only sound from the earphones to get to your ears.

On the other hand, noise cancellation cancels out all unwanted sounds by neutralizing them. The built-in microphones detect noise signals and produce counter signals that are anti-noise to cancel them out. Thanks to this technology, even the noisiest surroundings are no match for these earphones.

Is There a Danger to Noise Cancellation?

While it’s not dangerous by itself, per se, cutting out background noise can be hazardous. In other words, using noise-canceling earphones or headphones can put you in dangerous situations. Not being able to hear what’s happening around you, like when you’re driving or crossing the road, can lead to disastrous accidents.

But if you’re wondering whether the technology can hurt your ears physically, then no, it cannot.

Extra Features

Here are a few other extra features that are commonly found in earphones and headphones.

Water and Dust Resistance

The IPX rating is used to measure a device’s safety against water and dust.

IPX ratings have four characters each. The first two letters are always IP, while the 3rd and 4th characters represent the waterproof rating and the dustproof rating, respectively.

The level of protection from water ranges from IPX0 as the lowest to IPX9 as the highest. For reference, IPX0 means the earphones are entirely vulnerable to water. IPX1 means water droplets or getting dripped with water for 10 minutes won’t harm the earphones, while IPX9 means the earphones are still protected even if they get accidentally submerged.

For dust, the range is between IP0X to IP6X. The higher the number, the smaller the particles it can seal out. IP0X means no protection whatsoever, IP4X means protection from particles as small as 1mm, while IP6X means completely dust-tight.

Together, these two make up the IPX rating. A pair of earphones with a rating of IP57 can resist particles smaller than 1mm (IP5X) and can withstand submersion for 30 minutes at 1-meter depth (IPX7).

Equalizers

Earbuds with features that allow custom equalizer settings tend to be preferable because it’s always cheaper to adjust the balance yourself than to rely on high-end buds to do that for you.

Not everyone cares about the bass and treble lines of the music they’re listening to, but in case you do, custom EQs are going to help you out big time. You can also use the EQ to listen to your music the exact way you want it to sound.

Soundstage

A good pair of earbuds can fool your brain into thinking that certain sounds come from a specific direction. This is the soundstage. It’s like knowing to look over your right shoulder when someone whispers in your right ear.

Controls

Modern earphones have convenient controls on them that allow you to listen to music more efficiently. Basic controls include increasing or decreasing volume, skipping a track, and even answering a phone call. More advanced ones even have smart features like voice assistance, gesture recognition, fitness tracking, detection to pause and play music.

Can Earphones Damage My Hearing?

Short answer: no. Long answer: possibly, but only when used too long, too often.

Prolonged usage of earphones is never advisable, especially on high volumes. Although hearing loss comes with age, excessive close range noise can speed this up. Note that if you can’t hear a normal conversation about a meter away from you without noise cancellation on, then the volume of whatever you’re listening to is likely too loud.

Tips for Finding the Best Earbuds for You

To make sure you find the best earbuds for you specifically, keep these tips in mind.

1. Know Your Priorities

Now that you know which factors to consider when you’re buying new earbuds, the first thing you should do is to figure out which one is most important to you.

Does battery life matter more to you? You should pick something like Back Bay Duet 50. Are you someone who loses things all the time and would benefit from a companion app? Jaybird X4 and Bose SoundSport are two great options.

In addition to this, you should also consider the size and price of the earbuds. Size is definitely crucial for your small ears since it contributes to your comfortable use. SoundPEATS Q30 HD has extra small tips that will benefit your small ears. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend on the earphones is another important consideration, so if you’re on a budget, you should check out Tozo T10 or Anker SoundBuds Slim.

2. Check Your Devices

If you’re planning to buy wireless earphones, you should check if your mobile phone, laptop computer, and other devices have working Bluetooth connections. If you’re going to buy a wired one, you should check all your devices’ earphones jack to see if it matches the earbuds’ specs. You wouldn’t want to purchase earphones with a 3.5mm jack if your device can only take in 2.5mm.

3. Test With Your Ears

At the end of the day, the most foolproof way to find the best earbuds for you is still to test with your ears. Trying them out will help you see if they fit perfectly in your ears and won’t fall off. You can also test the sound quality produced by the buds to see if it’s up to your liking.

Explaining Earphone Specifications

Knowing what terms like frequency range, sensitivity, equalizer, and impedance mean can help you better understand how earbuds work.

1. Acoustic System

The acoustic system refers to the design of an earphone. A closed acoustic system blocks out all noise to and from the outside, so you only hear what you’re playing. On the other hand, an open acoustic system allows sound to leak out, which lets other people listen to what you hear and vice versa.

2. Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to the frequency range an earphones cover. A wide range between the minimum and maximum values is considered good. Also, higher values generally are better because it means the system can produce richer sounds.

3. Impedance

Impedance refers to the earphone circuit’s resistance to the electric signal. Ideally, less than 25 Ohms of impedance is preferred since less impedance means more electric signal gets through, and more sound levels are produced. However, if your device has built-in amplifiers, high impedance earphones with over 35 Ohms are ideal.

4. Magnet Type

Magnets in your earbuds help make the sound. The most common types you’ll find nowadays are Neodymium or Ferrite. However, in the grand scheme of things, the magnet type used to manufacture the circuit doesn’t really matter. That’s because the system was designed to make the most of whatever magnet was used anyway.

5. Sensitivity

Sensitivity refers to how loud the sounds will come out of the earbuds. This is measured in dB/mW, or the sound in decibels (dB) per one milliwatt (mW) of an electric signal. The typical earphone sensitivity values hover around 80-110 dB/mW.

6. Diaphragm

The diaphragm refers to the thin membrane inside the earphone that vibrates and produces sound. Diaphragms come in many shapes, like a dome, cone, and horn. Although it’s interesting, it doesn’t necessarily affect the performance of the product.

7. Wireless Technology

Wireless earphones utilize different technologies to transmit the audio from the device to the earpieces.

The most commonly used technology is Bluetooth. Although the sound produced is not the best compared to the other wireless technologies, it’s a very secure technology that works within a 10-meter radius from the paired Bluetooth-enabled device.

The second option is Near-Field Communication or NFC. Just tap another NFC-enabled device, and buds will get paired immediately.

The third and last option is Radio Frequency (RF), which covers a much larger area and produces better sound quality than Bluetooth. This technology comes with a transmitter in the earphones into which you plug the audio device.

Find Your Perfect Earbuds for Small Ears

As much as mobile phones are becoming more personal identity items nowadays, its accompanying accessories like the earphones are also becoming a more staple technological need.

If you want to fully immerse yourself when listening to music on the go or watching drama series without disturbing others or for some other reason, then you should definitely get one of these earbuds for your small ears.