How to Wear Earbuds

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Updated September 29, 2022

If you are new to the world of personal audio gadgets, you may wonder how to wear earbuds. Some of the best headphones, after all, are earbuds, though these designs do take a bit of getting used to. So what should you consider when sizing out the best wireless earbuds and how to properly wear a pair? Keep reading to find out.


  • Wireless or wired earbuds are generally easy to wear but can be frustrating to get an exact fit.
  • Start by making sure you are putting the correct bud in each ear, looking at the markings on the exterior of the wireless earbud.
  • You should also try out different-sized traditional earbud tip sizes and clear out any earwax residing in your ear canals.

Are Earbuds Difficult to Wear?

They are not difficult to wear but learning how to fit earbuds can present a unique challenge to some people. There are many types of earbuds out there, and learning how to wear earbuds with wings, for instance, is different than learning how to wear traditional buds. Of course, no matter how you wear your favorite pair of earbuds, be sure to learn how to get water out of the earbuds in the case of an accident.

Insider Tip

Some people have uniquely-shaped ear canals and ear lobes that do not react well to any-size earbud tips.

How to Correctly Wear Earbuds

The main thing to remember when looking to correctly wear earbuds is that they should not only fit, but they should actually be comfortable. If you are finding that your earbuds are not comfortable or that they fall out often during use, then your fit may be off by a bit.

With that said, here are some tips to make sure you get the best fit with your earbuds.

Choose the Correct Ear

Earbuds are tiny and hard to distinguish from one another, but they do have appropriate ears. Wearing the wrong earbud in the wrong ear leads to a poor fit and plenty of accidental dropouts. Earbuds do include a marking of some kind to indicate which ear they belong inside, but these markings are often extremely tiny. To make things easier, you may want to mark up one of the ears with a black dot from a marker or pen. If you don’t want to scuff up your new earbuds, keep a magnifying glass or strong pair of glasses handy (seriously).

Learn About Tips

Earbuds ship with a variety of ear tips to suit different canal shapes. Spend some experimenting with these tips to find the right match for you. If none of the included tips seem right, purchase a third-party set with more size options.

STAT: If the size of the earbud tips does not match the size of your ear canals or the headphones are not properly worn on your ears, you may not obtain the proper performance of the headphones. (source)

Clear Out Earwax

Having earwax in your ear canals can interrupt the seal from the earbuds, so clear out the earwax via your preferred method before wearing some earbuds.

Wearing Earbuds FAQs

How do you keep your earbuds from falling out?

Wireless earbuds fall out when there is not a perfect seal or even a proper seal. One-size-fits-all earbuds are a bad idea here, so experiment with different tip sizes as you use your wireless devices.

What makes your earbuds fall out?

Wireless earbuds fall out for all kinds of reasons, though it is typically a mismatch between the ear canal and the wireless earbud. Excess earwax can also get in the way of a tight seal, causing the wireless earbuds to fall out.

How do you wear in-ear monitors?

In-ear monitors function similarly to wireless earbuds, though with advanced sound qualities and ambient sound conditions. These larger earbuds still include earbud tips, so perform the aforementioned steps to get a good fit.
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