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How to Keep Your Earbuds From Falling Out – 4 Useful Tips

There is no doubt that earbuds are more convenient than headphones when it comes to being portable and inconspicuous. With advancements in technology, the sound quality can also be more closely compared to a full set of headphones too.

The one area that most people have issues with when it comes to earbuds is a comfortable fit that won’t fall out. Especially those with active lifestyles that enjoy activities like sports and gym sessions.

I have taken a look at the easiest and most effective solutions to this issue, so you can wear your earbuds with more confidence. So, let’s find out How to Keep Your Earbuds From Falling Out…


Identifying the Issues

Identifying the Issues

The first step in identifying why your earbuds keep falling out is to understand the difference between products. Earbuds are worn on the outer ear, facing the ear canal, but are not inserted inside. They are usually constructed from plastic.

IEMs (In-ear Monitors) are inserted directly inside the ear canal. You can usually tell by the different-sized and replaceable ear tips, usually constructed from a soft silicone material. The good news is, I have covered solutions for both types of products.

Why do they fall out?

Some people can wear earbuds and IEMs without any issues, but for others, they just never seem to stay in place. There are a few reasons why this is the case, and I will cover the most common issues why each person has a different experience.

It will be more common for earbuds to fall out than IEMs. Due to the one-size-fits-all approach that is necessary. Although IEMs will have more options available for sizes, this still doesn’t always suit everyone. But, in general, IEMs are more secure than earbuds.

You are special and unique…

Did you know that each person’s ear is even more unique than their fingerprint? Unless each product is individually customized to each person, it is almost impossible to provide a perfect fit for everyone.

Because taking a mold of an ear before making a headphone would be impractical and costly, we end up with the situation we currently face. If the ear is too big, it won’t have anything to grip. Too small, and it can’t be inserted correctly. These are just some reasons why earbuds don’t fit perfectly.

Feeling slick…

A very important aspect in creating both earbuds and IEMs is that they must be comfortable and not cause any irritation. For this to be possible, both the plastic on an earbud and silicone on an IEM needs to be incredibly smooth.

When earwax and/or sweat begins to accumulate in the ear, smooth surfaces then become very slippery. Naturally, when a smooth surface is against a slippery surface, it will cause it to slide out without much effort at all.

Wax buildup…

Human ears naturally produce earwax as a self-cleaning mechanism. Wearing earbuds or IEMs for extended periods can cause an excessive buildup of wax. This is because the ears are unable to clean themselves effectively. Can earwax make earbuds fall out? Without a doubt.

Earwax is slippery and will easily cause your earbuds or IEMs to slide out. If a major buildup has occurred, then it could also block your devices from being inserted correctly. Either way, in this situation, even slight movements can cause your device to fall out.

Ear vs. jaw position…

Just like how every ear is unique, so is the position of the ear in relation to their jaw. When performing everyday actions, such as chewing, talking, or yawning, this can affect movements around the ears.

There is a joint in front of each ear called the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joints), which connects your jaw to the skull. The closer your ear is to your jaw, the more likely it is that any movement will dislodge your earbud or IEMs.

How to Wear Earbuds and IEMs Correctly

How to Wear Earbuds and IEMs Correctly

The issue could be as simple as you are unaware of how to wear your earbuds or IEMs correctly. One instance that many people are unaware of is that most manufacturers have designed their products to fit the left and right ear specifically.

Wearing the product in the incorrect ear could be the reason that they keep falling out. Some products also have their own special design that is meant to prevent these issues from happening. If not worn correctly, it could have the opposite result.

Fit for purpose…

There are many different earbud and IEM designs available for a wide range of purposes. Not every product is designed to withstand rigorous activities, such as skateboarding, running, or dancing.

When purchasing your headphones, ensuring that they are designed for any activities, you wish to perform is highly advised. Most brands offer a range that can be used for either general or active uses.

For active lifestyles, we recommend the following products:

MPOW Flame Lite in Ear Bluetooth Earbuds – Affordable IEMs for Active Lifestyles

With an in-ear design, along with secure-fit ear hooks, these IEMs will stay in place no matter what activity you are performing. With Bluetooth 5.0 technology and an IPX7 waterproof rating, you can enjoy wireless audio almost anywhere.

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 3200 Bluetooth Earbuds – Mid-ranged IEMs for Active Lifestyles

Ideal for an active lifestyle, these IEMs from Plantronics offer a comfortable yet secure fit by making use of silicone ear hooks. With a wireless distance of up to 98 feet (30 meters), you can keep your smartphone safely nearby instead of in your pocket.

Bose Sport Earbuds – Premium IEMs for Active Lifestyles

For those that appreciate high-quality sound, and want to feel like the performer is right beside you, choose the Bose Sport IEMs. Using their StayHear technology, there are three different tips included for a comfortable yet secure fit.

Why is a Good Fit Important?

Your ears are incredibly sensitive and can easily suffer from irritation and discomfort. Finding a comfortable fit is important for not causing any damage to your body. Stopping your earbud or IEMs from falling out isn’t the only reason for finding a good fit.

There are some more great reasons why ensuring your earbuds or IEMs are the perfect fit for you. A comfortable and secure fit is important; however, there are more benefits that you might not be aware of.

Improved sound quality…

Having a product that fits your ears correctly can greatly improve the sound quality that you are hearing. By forming a tighter seal or being placed closer to your ear canal, can result in a crisper and clearer sound.

The other thing you will notice when fitted correctly, particularly with IEMs, is the increase in bass performance. A deeper and more punchy sound can be achieved when placed snugly against the ear due to a higher frequency range being possible.

Better noise isolation…

While this feature will only be found on IEMs, it is becoming more and more common, even on more affordable products. By using a microphone to detect ambient noise and neutralize it by playing a sound that cancels out the unwanted noise.

For this function to operate correctly, a tight seal is essential. The more snugly your IEMs fit within your ear canal, the less interference you will encounter from any unwanted external noise sources.

Methods to Prevent Your Earbuds or IEMs From Falling Out

Methods to Prevent

Now you should have a better understanding of How to Keep Your Earbuds From Falling Out. You might even already have solved your issue and are enjoying some tunes while reading this.

Keep reading, though, because I will now offer some tips to ensure that you can always enjoy a comfortable fit that won’t fall out from your ears.

Make sure you insert them correctly…

There is a method for how to insert earbuds correctly. The same methods apply to IEMs. Although they all might have slightly different wearing styles, following these steps will always provide successful results:

  • Be sure to identify the [L] and [R] markings on your earbuds or IEMs.
  • Prepare each device to be placed into the correct ear.
  • Tug lightly on your earlobe with the opposite hand when inserting the device.
  • Gently place the device into each ear, making small adjustments until comfortable.

Select the correct ear tips for IEMs…

You will most likely have received numerous tips along with your IEMs when you purchased them. The best thing to do is spend the time trying each tip to see which one fits you best. You will usually have small, medium, and large sizes.

Even if you used medium for a different set of IEMs, make sure to try all the sizes. You might find that medium is still the best for you. But you might also discover that for this particular device, the large or small fit more snug.

Stop using cotton tips…

The most common technique for cleaning your ears is to grab some cotton tips and spin them inside your ear cavity. This is highly discouraged by ear, nose, and throat specialists, as it can push wax deeper inside your ear canal.

If you wish to clean your ears, try this technique instead:

  • Place only two or three drops of baby oil inside your ear to soften the wax.
  • Add some warm water to a bulb syringe.
  • Gently squirt the warm water inside your ear canal.
  • Tilt your head to the side to allow both the water and wax to drain.
  • Use a cloth or towel to pat dry your ears.

Use a third-party product for a more secure fit…

If you have tried all the solutions suggested so far with no success, there are products available that can assist. Most are incredibly affordable, improving comfort, convenience, and sound quality.

Here are some products that I highly recommend…

Comply Sport Pro Sx-600 Memory Foam Earphone Tips with SweatGuard – Best Memory Foam Ear Tips

Consider this not only as a product to improve the fit but as an upgrade to your IEMs. Constructed from memory foam, you can be guaranteed a comfortable and secure fit as they mold to each ear, along with being resistant to sweat and wax.

HIeGI Quality Replacement Foam Pad Earbud Earpad – Best Foam Earbud Covers

Sometimes, the most simple solutions are the best. Simply adding a foam cover to your plastic earbuds can offer improved grip and a more secure fit. They also can prevent slipping from sweat and wax.

Universal Earbuds Earhooks 10-PACK Bluetooth Replacement Set – Best Universal Ear Hooks

These clear silicone ear hooks attach easily to your earbuds or IEMs and provide a more secure fit. Your device is held in place by wearing the hooks behind the ear, preventing them from falling out of your ears.

Looking for Great Earbuds?

Well, you are in luck. We have loads of high-quality earbuds, so check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Skullcandy Earbuds, the Best Earbuds for Running, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Wired Earbuds, and the Best True Wireless Earbuds you can buy in 2023.

Also, don’t miss our in-depth reviews of the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears, and the Best iPhone Earbuds currently available.

Finally, you might also be interested in our helpful guide for 3 Simple Tips to Keep Airpods From Falling Out.

How to Keep Your Earbuds From Falling Out – Final Thoughts

Due to the individual and unique nature of every person’s ear shape and jaw position, finding the perfect product can be challenging. That doesn’t mean you need to endure discomfort and poor audio quality.

By using one, or a combination of the techniques I have suggested here, you can now enjoy a greatly improved experience. Even if you discover that purchasing a third-party product is required, it is still better than purchasing an entirely new set of earbuds or IEMs.

I hope that you have found this guide useful and are now experiencing improved audio like never before.

Happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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