Skip to main content

HeadphonesAddict is user supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

How to Keep Earbuds from Falling Out

Last updated: 1 year ago
5 min read

Earbuds falling out is incredibly annoying. If you wear earbuds while exercising, then you know how it feels.

How to keep earbuds from falling out guide
Table of Contents

    Apart from frustration, you can also lose your in-ear headphones in the process.

    True wireless earbuds like Apple’s AirPods are popular but don’t have a cable to keep them connected. If your earbuds fall out, you could lose them forever.

    In this guide, we explore DIY tips and products you can buy to make sure your headphones stay snugly within your ear canal.

    DIY Tips to Keep Earbuds from Falling Out

    If you’re not in the market for new products, these ar the DIY tips on how to keep earbuds from falling out.

    Make Sure They’re in the Right Ears

    This seems incredibly basic, but the best models and even wireless earbuds under $100 are designed to go in specific ears. They should have L and R markings, so you know which is which. If you are using them wrong, they could be more likely to fall out.

    Most earbuds are designed to go in a certain way. This should be obvious from the design. Apple’s EarPods and AirPods have the smaller “tail” section pointing downward.

    Try the Accessories That Came with Your Earbuds

    Jaybird X4 accessories

    A lot of people ignore the multiple ear tips and other accessories that come in a box. Pretty much all of the best workout headphones come with plenty of them to ensure the best fit.

    The reason for more than one pair of eartips is to help you get the best fit. People have ears in all different shapes and sizes.

    Some of the best Bluetooth earbuds come with 5 or 6 different sizes of ear tips to make the right fit easy. The only exception are classic earbuds.

    Wrap the Cable (carefully) Around Your Ears

    See the first image on the page. This only works with wired types of headphones.

    With wired earbuds, you can use your ears to keep them stable. By wrapping over the top of your ears as explained in this post, you can give a little more stability.

    Some models require this style of fit otherwise, they just fall out.

    Move the Device Closer

    If you are listening on wired headphones, one of the main reasons they may fall out of your ears is the device tugging on the wire.

    A heavy phone or iPod could cause your earbuds to fall out while you run or walk. If this is the case, try moving the device to an armband so they are closer to your ears.

    Don’t Use Cotton Swabs to Clean Ears

    Cotton swabs bad for ear health

    Sounds like medical advice, I know.

    Earwax can build up if you use cotton swabs, and you can be more susceptible to ear conditions such as swimmer’s ear. The wax can make it very uncomfortable to wear in-ear headphones and push wax up against the eardrum.

    You might hear ear syringing is a more viable alternative, but that’s not true. Some warm water and soap in a bath is safer.

    Why Earbuds Fall Out

    To fix the problem, you need to understand why earbuds fall out.

    It can be down to poor design (some earbuds aren’t very stable), but sometimes it is due to one of the reasons below.

    • Pressure on the cable. Pressure can be caused by a device that the earbuds are plugged into, or just from the cable not being long enough.
    • Eartips not fitting. A lot of people with an unusual ear size have issues. There are usually multiple tips included when you buy a pair of earbuds. If they don’t fit in the ear canal nicely, they fall out. Too big or too small tips often result in this problem.
    • Rigorous exercise. If you are involved in rigorous activities, then you might need specifically sturdy and stable earbuds.
    • Incorrect use. If you put your in-ear earphones in the wrong way or don’t use them as intended, they could be prone to falling out.

    Keep in mind: It doesn’t matter how much money you pay. The best Bluetooth earbuds and the best wireless earbuds under $50 have the same problems.

    Proper Way to Insert Earbuds

    With all of these tips in mind, it’s time to explain the proper way to insert earbuds.

    Firstly, if you are using wired earbuds, make sure there is plenty of slack on the wire and that it is not too tight and therefore pulling on the earbuds. Also, check which buds are marked for the left and right ears.

    Refer to package or guide pictures to see if your in-ear headphones are designed to be worn in a certain way.

    Some have a design that has a top and a bottom. For instance, Apple’s headphones, which we’ve already discussed, have a design that has a clear top and bottom. The sound-producing, earphone section should go on top.

    Push the earbuds firmly into your ears. This bit can be tricky to get right. Your earbuds should sit firmly, but not feel too tight or uncomfortable. They should fit inside the ear canal safely, but not too far towards the eardrum.

    The buds should block out ambient noise, but not loud sounds like an alarm.

    Once you’ve inserted, do a little test. Shake your head and try running briefly up and down some stairs.

    This checks the fit and whether they’ll stay in place during exercise. If the earbuds don’t fit, it could be time to experiment with some of the other ear tips.

    Best Accessories to Keep Earbuds from Falling Out

    If you’ve tried everything above to keep earbuds from falling out and they’re still not staying put, you might need other accessories. Some activities call for specific models.

    You might need earbuds for running or specific sports headphones to stay in place during a rigorous workout. Alternatively, if your ears are unusually small you might need to look for earbuds that fit small ears.

    Some circumstances call for a totally new set of headphones. However, there are aftermarket products available to use with existing headphones.

    What specific earbud accessories are available?

    Ear Hooks

    Some earbuds are sold with hooks that go around the ear. These are usually a piece of silicone with a degree of malleability that means it can shape to your ear. You can also buy ear hooks separately as an aftermarket product.

    A lot of ear hooks are designed to be generic but don’t fit all ear buds. The best aftermarket ear hooks are usually made for the Apple EarPods and AirPods.

    Lots of people already have these headphones but they don’t have a specific way to stay firmly in the ear. Aftermarket ear hooks are the answer.

    Ear Wings

    Ear wings and ear hooks
    Ear wings sit in the ear lobe while ear hooks go behind and over ears.

    Ear wings are similar to hooks, except they sit within the ear. A lot of people mistake these for ear hooks.

    There are a lot of earbuds being made with a wing design. These fit within the inside of the ear and keep the earbuds firmly in place, as opposed to hooking around the outside of the ear.

    You can get wings as an aftermarket accessory. Like hooks, a lot of them are made for Apple earbuds and will struggle to fit certain generic headphones.

    Ear Tips

    A pair of memory foam ear tips
    Memory-foam ear tips provide superior comfort and fit.

    To stop your issues with earbuds falling out could be as simple as buying better ear tips. Foam are better than silicone tips.

    The best are memory-foam eartips. The most popular brand come from Comply.

    Just make sure you buy tips that are compatible with your in-ear earphones.

    Memory-foam tips improve the security of the fit as well as passive noise isolation. Foam eartips are also great at blocking ambient noise.

    Still, keep in mind, some aftermarket products are a hit and miss. They aren’t always made with the specific headphones you’re using in mind. Use product reviews to help establish if they’re a good option for you.