Small person with small ears need small in-ear earphones.
November 9, 2016 12:33 PM   Subscribe

I am very small; my ears are very small. I want earphones, preferably sound-reducing in-ears, that actually fit in my ear for use at work. I do care about sound quality. I like the idea of sound-reduction so I don't turn my volume up to potentially damaging levels in order to hear my music over the noise in my open-concept office. On- and over-ear cause terrible headaches, often within 30 minutes of use (I blame my thick glasses arms and tiny head, which sometimes has the headband floating above my head on the smallest setting). Any recommendations?
posted by flibbertigibbet to Shopping (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Folr what's its worth, my dead pair of Shures never did quite fit right and would slowly slide out of my ear.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:34 PM on November 9, 2016

I would try UrbanEars Medis (recommended to me by another MeFite). They have three different ear tip sizes. The design makes it so that the earbud stays in your ear and they're extremely comfortable. I don't know if I have small ears but every other ear bud falls out!
posted by radioamy at 12:38 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have super small ears and ear canals and the somewhat fancier earbuds with various size options for the silicone inserts seem to work better. I'm currently using these, and of the 4 or 5 sizes offered, the smallest work for me super comfortably. And the sound quality is great. I have the ts 01.1 but I believe all of their earbuds come with that range of insert sizes.
posted by rachaelfaith at 1:04 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Bose in-ear noise-cancelling headphones are really great, and I think they come with a set of adaptors of different sizes. You might look for a showroom -- I think I tried them on in an airport before committing, so if you really have problems with fit, that would be a way to go. Good sound, excellent cancellation, and comfortable for a long time...
posted by acm at 1:18 PM on November 9, 2016

What's your budget? The fidue A31s are tiny, very cheap for the sound quality, and reasonably durable.
posted by smoke at 3:03 PM on November 9, 2016

If you're willing to invest a bit, custom ear molds are super worth it. They're probably $150 and require a trip to the audiologist, but they last forever. You can use them with an in-ear earphone of your choice (Shure, Etymotic, etc), but you need to know which earphone you want to use them with when you get them.

They are really comfortable, will stay in, and offer a ton of passive noise isolation (~40 dB), so they allow you to listen at very safe levels.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:09 PM on November 9, 2016

My nephew's ears were bigger than mine when he was five months old. I have Jaybird X2's and both the silicone and Comply foam tips fit my ears. Much to my surprise, I use the medium size silicone tips. Very good at blocking external noise.
posted by good lorneing at 5:55 PM on November 9, 2016

My Westones are the only ones that have ever fit my tiny ears. They don't have sound reduction, but the fit is amazing and they block out everything really well.
posted by Xany at 8:27 PM on November 9, 2016

What about these kid-size in-ear earphones? I have been using Etymotics for several years (albeit the full-size mc5 model). They totally block out outside noise and sound great. The kids' model appears smaller and cheaper than the full-size models, but comes in the same unassuming, un-kiddy colors.
posted by a sourceless light at 6:10 AM on November 10, 2016

I used to have similar problems as a glasses-wearer myself, but found that earbuds made my ears hurt. Over the years I've ended up using the kind of headphones with the band that goes behind your neck instead of over your head, but searching around some of them are labeled "on-ear", so perhaps this was one of the things you have already ruled out?
posted by inconstant at 7:21 AM on November 10, 2016

Another small-eared person recommending the Bose in-ear earphones. They're expensive: but they're the only in-ear ones I've found that actually stay in my ears, the noise-cancelling works well against the drone of a train or plane engine, and the sound isolation does a great job against voices and other less cancellable sounds. If I'm listening to music through them at a comfortable volume on the train, my seatmate can't hear a thing (no leakage), and if I don't keep looking up from my book to check, the conductor can be standing right next to me asking for my ticket and I won't notice.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:25 PM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

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