Earbud headphones for small ears
June 2, 2020 11:40 AM   Subscribe

I have tiny ear canals and would like in-ear headphones that fit. Cheap (less than $20), replaceable, and small is the goal here, ideally with in-line microphone. Usually what happens is I buy a pair of earbuds, put on the smallest silicone tips, and they are still too big to even go into the ear canal. I'm in the SF Bay Area but trying on anything in person at a store before buying seems unlikely right now.

My most recent option was a pair of Panasonic RPTCM125A which were almost small enough. At least they went in and stayed in, even if they hurt a bit after a while. But I bought them in 2016, the current Amazon link seems to be full of fakes, and other listings (such as B&H) are actually for a different model number when you click through.
posted by danceswithlight to Technology (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really loathed in-ear-monitor style headphones until I got the right tips (which were extremely small, and came in this pack) I use them with a pair of Linsoul T2 headphones, and use a cable with microphone. This comes out pretty far beyond your $20 mark, but are high quality, and come with pretty small silicone tips.

Have you purchased additional sized silicone or foam tips than what come with the stock headphones? There are loads of manufacturers that sell new, smaller tips for in-ear-headphones and lots of them will fit on a wide swath of headphones. It may take some trial and error to find the right setup, but once you do, you can purchase the tips on their own without a pack usually.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:12 PM on June 2, 2020


The Bose headphones I have come with three sizes of ear tips, and you can buy replacements online. You could get the small-sized replacements before buying the headphones to make sure they fit.
posted by pinochiette at 12:17 PM on June 2, 2020


I have teeny-tiny ears and I have never been able to get standard earbuds to even come close to working for me. I have these that have ear hooks and they work really well, and the smallest tips fit in well enough (though i would not think they were solid or comfortable enough without the ear hooks).
posted by brainmouse at 12:22 PM on June 2, 2020


I have the Linsoul/Tin T2s recommended by furnace.heart and I have your same issue, danceswithlight. I can't get them to stay because they have huge/wide nozzles.

The IEMs I have that would fit are about $100, Shure SE215s, but they have very narrow nozzles that are great.
posted by Wilbefort at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2020


I got some very small, very cheap earbuds by looking up sleep earbuds. I got these and these, just because at those prices I couldn't imagine either would last very long. The sound probably isn't that good, but I just use them for audiobooks when I can't sleep, and they're fine for that. Earbuds marketed for sleeping are probably smaller than most others.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:46 PM on June 2, 2020


I finally found some teeny tiny ear bud tips on Amazon, and it's totally changed my life. (They are smaller than the smaller than the small that usually come with when they have three sizes in the package.) I can't link them now because the listing is gone, but if the small that's still too big is the in-the-package ones, there IS hope.
posted by stormyteal at 3:17 PM on June 2, 2020


Best answer: Fidue a31s - they are $29, so just a skootch over $20, but they basically got get any smaller. They are much smaller than the tin ear t2 (which I actually don't find that small, also the nozzles are large).
posted by smoke at 4:55 PM on June 2, 2020


Response by poster: The Fidue A31s are amazing! Definitely the smallest headphones I've ever used by a wide margin. They go in, stay in, and are actually comfortable for multiple hours at a time. The nozzle is so tiny that the 3 sizes of silicone tips are all smaller than the smallest silicone tips of a regular pair of headphones. The only place I could find them online was Penon Audio, who ships from China, and that worked fine (gave me a tracking number and arrived about 2.5 weeks later as promised). Thanks for the recommendation, smoke :)
posted by danceswithlight at 6:15 PM on August 3, 2020 [1 favorite]


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