True wireless earbuds are all the rage these days, but it can be frustrating to buy a pair that seems perfect on paper but doesn’t fit comfortably in your ears. Whether the ear tips are too large or small for your ears, or your exercise routine constantly shakes them out, even the best wireless earbuds can feel like a letdown. But don’t worry — there are a few things you can do to get a better fit and enjoy your headphones as if they were made for your ears.
How to get the best fit for your true wireless earbuds Try different ear tips
Even before the true wireless days, most earbuds came packaged with a few sets of spare ear tips in different sizes. Outside of precise millimetric measurements, there’s no universal sizing standard in place to guarantee that, say, the smallest tips in a set will always be your best bet, but it’s worth spending a few minutes after you unbox your new earbuds trying the various sizes included.
Comfort is the top priority in most cases; too small an ear tip will mean a loose fit in your ear that you’ll need to constantly adjust, while an oversized ear tip can cause unwanted pressure and discomfort with prolonged use. Finding the right fit can also ensure the best audio experience, particularly with active noise-canceling earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM3 or Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, where a proper seal can keep ambient noise around you from creeping in.
It’s also worth experimenting with different ear tip materials. In most cases, your ear buds will come with silicone tips, which are both versatile and relatively comfortable, but there are plenty of other materials like foam and rubber. Each has its own set of pros and cons as far as comfort goes, but keep in mind that straying from the stock ear tips can also affect the frequency response of your earbuds.
How to get the best fit for your true wireless earbuds Winged tips are great for exercise
Particularly for active lifestyles, winged tips are a great addition to your earbuds that can keep them from falling out of your ears. Some true wireless earbuds, like the Jaybird Vistas, come with winged tips integrated into the hardware, allowing them to lock into your ear canals and minimize the risk of slipping out while you’re running, jumping, or otherwise exercising.
If your earbuds don’t include them, don’t worry. There are plenty of third-party options to choose from that can give you the same worry-free experience. You might need to do some research to find winged tips that fit your particular earbuds; Bose’s Stayhear tips are a popular option for the company’s own headphones, but could affect the in-ear fit on other models. Of course, you’ll also have the added hassle of removing the winged tips whenever you put your earbuds back into their charging case.
How to get the best fit for your true wireless earbuds When all else fails, try different earbuds
Changing out your ear tips can make a world of a difference, but it doesn’t fix the rest of the design if your earbuds just don’t work with your ears. When you’ve exhausted your options with different ear tips and materials, it may be time to throw in the towel and try something different. After all, there are plenty of true wireless fish in the sea, right?
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of your retailer’s return policy and try again with a different set of earbuds that will hopefully be a better fit. Before you send off the first pair, though, try to determine exactly what it is about them that makes them incompatible with your ears to avoid making the same mistake again. Try for a new set with a different shape or even different materials, if you can — though you’ll find that most earbuds come in the same hard plastic.
Our favorite true wireless earbuds
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
- $170 at Amazon
- $170 at Best Buy
- $170 at B&H
These are the beans you’re looking for
These bean-shaped earbuds have outstanding sound quality and comfort, and are among the rare few true wireless earbuds to offer noise canceling.
Best sound quality
Jabra Elite 75t
- $150 at Amazon
- $150 at Best Buy
Sound packs a punch well above its price point
The Elite 75t have excellent sound quality, battery life, and hardware controls, and they’re even water resistant, protecting them from rain and sweat.