How to Wear Earbuds

Updated On February 8, 2021
By Harry Singleton

In Guides

Picture this: you’ve chosen your favorite playlist, and you’ve got your workout all planned out. Then, when you go to turn on the music there’s a problem – your earbuds just won’t stay in.

Using earbuds can seem like such a simple activity, and many of us do it every day. Whether you’re listening to music on your commute or in the gym, earbuds have become an essential part of our lives. Because of this, it can be even more frustrating when they won’t stay in our ears, or are uncomfortable to wear. No one wants to pause their music to adjust their earphones!

If you’re wondering how to wear your earbuds, or simply want a more comfortable fit, then our handy guide will help you towards the best listening experience possible. With detailed steps on inserting your earbuds, and tips on how to get the most comfortable fit, you’ll have all the information you need to wear your earphones correctly.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Wearing Earbuds Comfortably

Follow these steps to ensure you get the most comfortable and secure fit possible. Wearing your earbuds the right way will make a lot of difference!

1. Find What Fits You

Firstly, it’s very important that you find something that fits your ears well. Everyone’s ear canal is individual, so do your research to find out which pair will work well for you.

If you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to look for pair of earphones with soft, changeable caps. Silicone tips are the most common, and will be soft and pliable enough to fit most people well. They’re even comfortable enough for many people to lie on their side, or sleep with them in.

You can also try foam tips, which are more firm but excellent at reducing ambient noise. There are harder models too, and for some people this will be the most secure option. If you’re still unsure, you can always ask a friend or family member to try out their favorite styles and brands, which will allow you to discover the right ear buds for you.

Always remember that men generally have larger ear canals than women, and so they’ll need bigger models to achieve a snug fit. Ultimately, it will come down to your personal preferences, which is why something that allows you to customize your ear tips is usually the safest choice.

2. Check your Ears are Clean

Before you insert your earbuds, check that your ear canals are clean. Having an unclean ear will change the shape and size of your canal, and affect how well you hear sound.

You can easily check your ears using Q-Tips, which will be able to gently clean the inside walls. Make sure not to insert the Q-Tip too far inside, as it shouldn’t come too close to your eardrum.

Once everything is clean, you’ll have a much lower chance of your earbuds falling out as you move!

3. Inserting your Earbuds

To insert your buds the right way, put them into your ear canal and push them gently into place. For the most snug fit possible, twist them back and forth a couple of times.

Make sure you’re gentle when you insert your earphones, as being too harsh may irritate your ears.

4. Secure your Earbuds

Once your earbuds are placed in your ears, you’ll need to secure them correctly. Twisting them lightly can allow the ear tip to sit better in your canal, and gently pulling on your earlobes will create a better seal. As you pull on each lobe, push the earbud slightly farther inside so that they stay snug.

If you’re using earphones with wires, you can even use the cable to create a better fit! Simply loop the headphone wire up and around the back of your ears, and then put the buds in normally.

This way, the wire loop will act as a ‘hook’ or added layer of security, and will help your earphones stay in place for longer. If you do wear them this way, you may have to swap your earbuds to get the right fit. Simply put the left earbud in your right ear, and vice versa.

Ensuring your earphones are secured in each ear will allow them to transmit audio better, and will also reduce the risk of ambient sound disturbing you as you listen!

5. Enjoy Your Music!

Now your earbuds are properly in place, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite tracks stress-free! Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, or just listening at home, you’ll be able to move freely without worrying about losing an earbud!

Comfort is Key

Whether you’re a dedicated music enthusiast or love listening to podcasts, if you’re going to be using earbuds for a long period of time, you’ll need to stay comfortable.

Why do my earbuds hurt?

Having painful or irritated ears from using earbuds can really affect your listening. No matter how good the sound quality is, you won’t be able to enjoy it if your ears are hurting. Here are a few main reasons why your earbuds might be painful, and advice on how to fix them:

  • Listener Fatigue: Your eardrums are constantly working hard to manage the volume inside your ear canal. Listener fatigue is where they become tired and start to cause you pain. The louder your audio volume, the harder your ear drums will have to work, so try listening at a lower volume or taking a short break from technology.
  • Dry Skin: If your skin is slightly drier, it’s more likely to store the static energy that builds up as you move around. If you’ve got a lot of static electricity buildup in your body, wearing an electrical device can cause strain and discomfort. Wearing clothes made of natural materials will reduce the amount of electricity stored in your body, so you’ll be able to listen pain free.
  • Heavy Headphones: Using anything heavy for a long period of time can cause your head to become irritated and sore. Always check the unit weight before you purchase a pair of earphones, to ensure it won’t be too heavy for long term listening.
  • Poorly Sized Headphones: Models that are too big, small, or tight for your ears will also cause discomfort after long term wear. Research different pairs before you make a buying decision, and ask friends and family to try out their earphones so that you can find what type is comfortable for you.

Tips for Ensuring your Earbuds Stay in Comfortably

If you’re still looking for a bit of extra security, here are our top 5 five suggestions for ensuring your pair of ear buds is comfortable all day long:

  1. Choose the Right Material: Avoid choosing things made of heavy materials, which will cause more strain over time. Looking for products with a range of cap sizes and sweat-proof nano-coatings is a great way to stop your earphones sliding out.
  2. Take your Time: If you’re in a rush, it might be tempting to just grab your earphones and go. However, taking the time to insert each ear bud the right way will ensure you have the right fit from the start, and will mean you won’t have to keep adjusting them as you go.
  3. Try Ear Fins: These silicone attachments easily slide onto your headphones, and can stop them moving around in your ear throughout the day. They also help make your devices more ergonomic, which is excellent if you want to wear them while playing sports.
  4. Use a Clothing Clip: If your headphone cord is prone to tugging your buds out of your ears, clothing clips are one great way to reduce this issue. They’re lightweight and easily attach to your clothes, so they won’t weigh you down when you’re at the gym or on the go.
  5. Use a Headband or Ear Warmer: This is especially useful if you want to wear your earbuds outside, or have Bluetooth wireless earbuds that you don’t want to lose. A soft headband or ear warmer will gently hold each ear bud inside your ear, and will keep you warm, too!


1. How to wear Apple earbuds:

The design of Apple earbuds requires skin contact in order to deliver the best quality of sound and ambient noise cancellation. The speakers also need to be positioned correctly inside your ears for the best effects.

To wear your Apple earbuds, simply insert each bud into your ear, and twist the handy stem to create a snug placement. Pull gently on your earlobe and push the headphones deeper into the ear canal for added security.

If you’re concerned about your buds changing position or getting lost, using an ear warmer or ear fins will provide extra protection and put your mind at ease.

2. How should my earbuds sit comfortably?

Ultimately, everyone is unique, and what feels the most comfortable will vary between each person. A good trick is to strike a balance between a comfortable fit and high definition sound, so that you make the most out of your headphones.

The speaker on each bud should have close proximity to your eardrum, so that it can deliver the best audio. Your earphones should feel snug and secure in your ears, but still be lightweight and not too tight. They shouldn’t be able to fall out of your ears as you move your head or jaw, but they shouldn’t be putting strain on your ear canal, either.

Always check the weight of each unit before you make a buying decision, as this will prevent the risk of choosing products that are too heavy for long term use.

3. How do I stop my earbuds from falling out?

Our handy guide above has more details, but there are a few tricks to stop your devices from falling out.

First, choose a pair that allows you to customize the size for the best fit possible. Next, take your time to insert your buds correctly, so you don’t have to keep adjusting them. Twist each bud to ensure it’s secure. Finally, you can use extra accessories for additional protection. An ear warmer, clip, or fins are all light weight and comfortable ways to hold your ear buds in the right place all day.