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Best earbuds for small ears

Tiny ears? Meet the earbuds that punch above their weight.
By

Published onFebruary 14, 2024

The Best
Sony LinkBuds S
MSRP: $198.00
8.1
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Positives
Noise canceling
Sound quality
Sealing the ears means isolation is possible
Comprehensive app
Negatives
Anonymous design
Under-emphasized highs
Design picks up dirt very easily
Best comfort
1MORE ComfoBuds Mini
MSRP: $99.00
7.9
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Positives
Small, portable, durable build
Very comfortable
Great noise canceling for price
Good sound with SoundID integration
Wireless charging
Negatives
Sound depends on listening mode
No custom EQ
Poor microphone quality
Best active noise cancelling
Anker Soundcore Space A40
MSRP: $99.99
7.9
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Positives
Noise canceling
Sound quality
Tons of EQ options
IPX4 water resistance
Bluetooth Multipoint
Bluetooth 5.2 with LDAC support
Negatives
Hinges on case are not secure
Microphone is just okay
Best neckband
Apple Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
MSRP: $49.00
6.8
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Positives
Price
Consistent connection strength
Intuitive controls
Earbuds snap together
Auto play/pause
Negatives
Sound quality
Microphone is not great
No official IP rating or sweat-resistance
Bang for your buck
JLab JBuds Mini
MSRP: $39.99
8.3
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Positives
Extremely portable
Price
IP55 rated
Good isolation
Good companion app
Negatives
Easily lost
May fall out of some ears

As people with small ears know all too well, finding the right pair of earbuds can be a surprisingly daunting task. Many earbuds designed with a one-size-fits-all approach often overlook the nuances of ear size, leading to earbuds that easily fall out, cause discomfort, or fail to provide a good seal. The struggle extends to finding the right size ear tips to complement both comfort and isolation. Worry not; we’ve rounded up the best earbuds for small ears to help you find the right-sized earbuds for you.

Editor’s note: this list was published on February 14, 2024, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

Best earbuds for most small ears: Sony Linkbuds S

A man sits outside wearing the Sony LinkBuds S
These earbuds look pretty anonymous when you’re wearing them.

The Sony LinkBuds S are a great choice for individuals with small ears due to their combination of lightweight, compact design and high-end audio features. The LinkBuds S features a half-in-ear design that isn’t too bulky and includes multiple ear tip sizes, ensuring a snug fit for even the smallest of ears. This attention to fit not only enhances comfort but also maximizes the effectiveness of the earbuds’ sound isolation.

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In terms of audio performance, the LinkBuds S does not disappoint. With Sony’s renowned sound quality and robust ANC, users can expect clear audio across a wide range of frequencies. Despite its under-emphasized highs, the overall sound profile can be adjusted with the app’s EQ settings, making the Sony LinkBuds S a versatile and high-performing option for those with small ears.

Sony LinkBuds SSony LinkBuds S
SG recommended
Sony LinkBuds S
Noise canceling • Effective isolation • Good sound quality
MSRP: $198.00
These earbuds pack high-quality sound with great ANC.
The Sony LinkBuds S earbuds bring solid noise canceling, a secure fit, and solid but not fantastic battery life.

Best sounding earbuds for small ears: 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini

1MORE ComfoBuds Mini next to Apple AirPods Pro earbud
The 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini is much smaller than competitors such as the Apple AirPods Pro.

The 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini has a small, portable, and durable build, which does not compromise on comfort or the inclusion of high-end features like wireless charging. Despite their diminutive size, the ComfoBuds Mini delivers impressive noise cancelation capabilities for their price range, alongside good sound quality enhanced through SoundID integration.

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The absence of a custom EQ and the poor microphone quality may deter some. Still, despite these issues, the ComfoBuds Mini’s strengths in comfort, sound quality, and ANC performance, combined with their affordability and additional features like IPX5 water resistance, position them as an attractive option for users with small ears looking for a discreet audio solution.

1MORE ComfoBuds Mini1MORE ComfoBuds Mini
1MORE ComfoBuds Mini
Small, portable, durable build • Very comfortable • Great noise canceling for price
MSRP: $99.00
Small, comfortable earbuds that don't sacrifice features
Perfect for anyone with small ears, 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini offer good sound quality, effective noise canceling, and wireless charging. They're also water resistance which makes them a safe pick for sweaty workouts.

Best noise canceling earbuds for small ears: Anker Soundcore Space A40

The Anker Soundcore Space A40's case open with the earbuds inside, resting on a person's hand.
Sam Smart / SoundGuys
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 is a great purchase if you’re looking for earbuds around $100.

The Anker Soundcore Space A40 earbuds offer an impressive combination of features for individuals with small ears at a budget-friendly price. These earbuds excel in noise cancelation, effectively blocking out external noise, especially in the lower end between 40-100Hz. The inclusion of 22 EQ presets within the Soundcore app covers a wide range of media and genres. The IPX4 water resistance rating and Bluetooth Multipoint support, along with Bluetooth 5.2 and LDAC codec support, further enhance the durability and connectivity.

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For just under $100, the Soundcore Space A40 is a versatile choice for a wide audience, including commuters, athletes, and anyone in need of a reliable pair of water-resistant earbuds. With a solid battery life and fast charging capability, the Soundcore Space A40 proves to be a compelling option for those prioritizing both performance and price.

Anker Soundcore Space A40Anker Soundcore Space A40
SG recommended
Anker Soundcore Space A40
Solid battery life • Bluetooth multipoint • ANC
MSRP: $99.99
Effective ANC and lot of EQ customization options
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 true wireless earbuds have great sound and noise canceling. They support Bluetooth multipoint and LDAC connection.

Best neckband earbuds for small ears: Apple Beats Flex

Beats Flex earbuds snapped together on top of a magazine.
The earbuds are slightly angled, which helps with fit.

The Beats Flex is an appealing choice for those seeking small earbuds that won’t easily get lost, and Apple’s ecosystem integration at a fraction of the cost of AirPods. The Beats Flex provides a consistent connection, intuitive controls, and the practical feature of magnetic earbuds that snap together, facilitating auto-play/pause functionality.

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The absence of an official IP rating may deter those looking for earbuds suitable for workouts. But the Beats Flex does support Bluetooth 5.0 and SBC and AAC codecs, even though it lacks aptX support. Apple’s W1 chip also allows for quick integration within the Apple ecosystem.

The combination of a lightweight design, ease of use, and sufficient battery life, complemented by the convenience of USB-C charging, positions the Beats Flex as a solid pair of inexpensive wireless earbuds for small ears.

Apple Beats Flex Wireless EarbudsApple Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
Apple Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
Consistent connection strength • Intuitive controls • Earbuds snap together
MSRP: $49.00
This headset offers a lot of the cool features that the AirPods do but at a cheaper price. While it lacks in sound quality and the microphone could be better, this is a solid pair of inexpensive wireless earbuds.

Best budget earbuds for small ears: JLab JBuds Mini

The JLab JBuds Mini live up to their name: they're extremely tiny.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
The JLab JBuds Mini live up to their name: they’re extremely tiny.

The JLab JBuds Mini earbuds stand out as an ideal solution for individuals with small ears, mainly due to their incredibly compact size. They also provide an array of ear tip sizes to help users find the right match for their unique ear shapes. If you find that almost all earbuds are too bulky or uncomfortable for your ears, these are the smallest ones we’ve ever tested, so they might be worth trying.

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Their design allows for easy attachment to a keychain, ensuring that these tiny earbuds are always within reach when carried around. This level of portability, combined with their IP55 rating, makes the JBuds Mini not just suitable for everyday use but also for active lifestyles. They also have intuitive touch controls and a decent app that allows for significant customization, from EQ settings to control schemes.

JLab JBuds MiniJLab JBuds Mini
SG recommended
JLab JBuds Mini
Extremely portable • Price • IP55 rated
MSRP: $39.99
The JLab JBuds Mini are a diminutive set of earbuds that you can attach to your keychain. However, they offer more features than you might expect for such an inexpensive pair of earbuds. If you're looking for cheap earbuds that can handle a workout, put these on your shortlist.

The best earbuds for small ears: Notable mentions

The Beats Studio Buds Plus earbuds rest in front of the open case on top of a black surface.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The Studio Buds Plus are as small as earbuds get.
  • Beats Studio Buds Plus ($169 at Amazon): These small earbuds also come with extra small ear tips to help fit shallower ears. They are a bit expensive but a good alternative to AirPods.
  • Bose QuietComfort Ultra ($299 at Amazon): These earbuds are pretty chunky, but they do have an ovoid-shaped nozzle that sits more firmly in your ears without putting too much pressure on sensitive ear canals.
  • Nothing Ear Stick ($64 at Amazon): If you don’t like ear tips, these buds don’t have them, and they are particularly small and lightweight, which can suit smaller ear shapes.
  • Skullcandy Dime 3 ($29.99 at Amazon): These earbuds are small and lightweight, portable, durable, and have a neutral sound that most people will enjoy.

What you should know about small earbuds?

Comfort and fit

The most crucial aspect of earbuds for small ears is the fit. Earbuds that are too large can cause discomfort or fall out easily, which is why many brands include multiple sizes of ear tips. Look for earbuds that offer a variety of ear tip sizes, especially in extra small, or those specifically designed with small ears in mind.

If your preferred earbuds do not include ear tips small enough for your ears, don’t worry. There’s a wide range of third-party ear tips available that can accommodate smaller ear canals. These options come in various materials, such as silicone, foam, and hybrid designs.

Sound quality

Small earbuds do not necessarily mean compromised sound quality. With technology nowadays, compact earbuds can deliver rich, clear sound. Pay attention to drivers, frequency response, and any available EQ settings that can help tailor the sound to your liking.

Durability and water resistance

Whether you lead an active lifestyle or simply want your earbuds to last, durability is key. Look for earbuds with a solid build and, if necessary, water or sweat resistance indicated by an IP rating. This is especially important for workout earbuds.

Connectivity and features

Consider whether you want wired or wireless earbuds. Wireless models offer convenience and freedom of movement but require charging. Also, consider additional features like noise cancelation, touch controls, and compatibility with your devices.

How we test earbuds for small ears

Loop Experience Plus earplug in the ear of a B&K5128 test head.
All objective testing is carried out using our B&K5128 acoustic test head.

Our testing process for earbuds, especially those suited for small ears, is thorough and comprehensive, ensuring we cover all aspects, from sound quality to isolation. We employ a variety of tests, including objective measurements and real-world usage scenarios, to evaluate how well each pair of earbuds performs.

We use standardized equipment to measure frequency response, isolation, and microphone quality. Additionally, our reviewers spend extensive time with each pair of earbuds, assessing fit, comfort, and how secure they feel during various activities.

How we choose the best earbuds for small ears

Our selection process for the best earbuds for small ears involves analyzing both our test results and team collaboration. We consider the overall performance, focusing on sound quality, comfort, and the earbuds’ ability to stay secure in smaller ears. We also take into account the value offered by each pair, looking for earbuds that provide the best combination of features and quality for their price.

At SoundGuys, we strive to include options that cater to a variety of needs and preferences, whether you’re looking for the best sound, the most comfortable fit, or the most durable earbuds for active use. Our goal is to help you find earbuds that not only fit well but also enhance your listening experience.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

Edgar Cervantes / SoundGuys

SoundGuys is committed to providing accurate, unbiased reviews and advice on audio products. Our team consists of seasoned audio professionals and enthusiasts who bring their expertise and passion to every review. We adhere to strict ethical guidelines, ensuring our content is never influenced by manufacturers or external pressures.

Our reviews are based on comprehensive testing and analysis, with a focus on helping consumers make informed decisions. We aim to cover a wide range of products, from the latest releases to tried-and-true favorites, to serve the diverse needs of our readers.

Frequently asked questions

Earbuds that come with multiple ear tip sizes, including extra small options, and have an ergonomic design are usually the most comfortable for small ears. Models from brands like JLab, Sony, and 1MORE often cater well to small ears with their inclusive sizing and comfortable fit.

Yes, some manufacturers specifically design earbuds to accommodate tiny ears, offering extra small ear tips and slim profiles that ensure a better fit and comfort.

To ensure earbuds stay in small ears, use the smallest ear tips provided, consider earbuds with wing tips for additional stability, and make sure the earbud is inserted correctly into the ear canal for a snug fit.

This could be due to differences in ear canal sizes between your ears, improper fit, or the earbud design not being suited to your ear shape. Try using a different size ear tip for each ear, or look for earbuds with customizable fitting options.

If your earbuds are too big, look for third-party ear tips in smaller sizes that can provide a better fit. Some brands offer foam tips, which can compress and expand to fit ear canals more comfortably.

Most earbuds come with different size ear tips to accommodate various ear canal sizes. However, the earbuds themselves are generally one size, with the fit being adjustable through the selection of ear tips.

AirPods and AirPods Pro have a one-size-fits-most design, which may not suit everyone’s ears. For the AirPods Pro, trying different sizes of silicone tips can help. If they still don’t fit, you may need to consider alternative earbuds designed for smaller ears or use accessories designed to improve fit and comfort.