How to Get Your In-Ear Headphones to Fit Properly (Solved)

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It can be very annoying when your brand new earphones refuse to sit correctly against your ears.

You’re probably familiar with going through the struggle of your earbuds falling out every time you go for a run.

Fixing your earphones makes it extremely difficult to get your workout done. And it’s a whole other story when you’re trying to attend a virtual meeting while your earphones keep falling out.

If you’ve faced similar problems with your in-ear headphones, you’ve come to the right place.

Are you sick of having your earphones fall out every 5 seconds?

Do you want in on the secrets of how to make headphones fit better? Here you’ll finally have the solution once and for all.

Earbud fit

Types of Headphones

Before you get ahead of yourself, you should look at the major types of headphones you can come across. It’s always a great idea to be familiar with all your options. You could find something that fits your needs a lot better.

Let’s quickly go over the different kinds of earphones you can see on the market.

Over-ear Headphones

The ultimate comfort and best noise cancellation is something over-ear headphones are best known for. They’re rather big, and you can use them at home or work.

Most gamers prefer over-ear headphones for the best gaming experience.

When it comes to comfort and performance, over-ear headphones win the race every time.

However, the only catch is that they’re pretty big, and some high-end brands have heavier products. This is because they use the best quality material for manufacturing.

So they’re not your best bet while traveling. They’re also not the most portable gadgets. They’re usually wired.

So, there’s limited mobility. But if you get your hands on an IR model, that’s a whole different story.

On-ear Headphones

On-ear headphones are the middle ground between over-ear headphones and in-ear headphones. Their noise cancellation strategy is pretty similar to over-ear headphones.

That is, they create a seal on your ear to give optimal isolation.

The unique features of on-ear headphones have more to do with their travel-friendly design. They’re relatively smaller than over-ear headphones, and a lot of these models are foldable. So they’ll fit snugly in your backpack.

You do need to watch out for pressure, though. The best approach you could take is, choose a model with a sturdy shell. That way, your headphones have a lower risk of sustaining damage.

The only thing users typically complain about is comfort. Since these sit directly on your ears, sweating and soreness of the ears is a common problem.

However, they’re still a decent purchase if you weigh in all the pros and cons.

In-ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are something you’ll see all over the streets these days, whether it’s at your gym, work, or at the mall.

Most people these days don’t leave the house without wearing their wireless earphones. Even when there’s no music playing, people still pop their earphones in to cancel out unwanted noise.

In-ear headphones sit inside steady in your ear canal.

They create a seal, and that’s where their noise-cancellation comes from. They’re the best for on-the-go use. They’re straightforward to carry around, but they’re also very easy to lose.

And when it comes to a proper fit, well, that’s a whole other debate.

Due to their small size, you don’t get the most range you usually would. It’s missing the highs and lows of over-ear or on-ear headphones. But the sound quality is still pretty decent.

However, there’s not much you can do to differentiate between the sound quality of different in-ear headphones. You could get a cheap knock-off over an online store or get yourself a pair from a high-end brand and not notice much of a difference between the sound quality.

Types of In-ear Headphones

Now that you’re more aware of how different types of headphones work, you should also look at the types of in-ear headphones. This will help you identify the exact issue you might be facing with the fit of your headphones.

Besides, this is where the answer to how to make headphones fit better lies.

Earbud Fitting

Nowadays, a common misconception comes with the term earbuds. People tend to use earbuds to refer to all in-ear headphones. But the reality is very different.

When we look at the fit of in-ear headphones, there are two different types.

For earbud fitting, there are no ear tips or nozzles at the ends. The lack of these nozzles is why your earbuds will sit on top of your ear canal rather than inside it.

In-ear Canal Phones/In-ear Monitors (IEMs)

The in-ear canal phones feature the infamous nozzles/ear tips. They enter your ear canal and form a tight seal. This seal is where most of your music’s bass and sound quality comes from.

The nozzles of IEMs are free size; that is, they’re supposed to fit all ear types. They’ll give you a concert-like feel without taking up too much space in your luggage.

All the Fuss About a Good Fit

Before we get started, you probably want to know why you need an excellent in-ear headphone fit to begin with.

Well, there’s a lot of ways the fit of your earbuds affects your music experience. Here are a few to start with.


The problem with using in-ear headphones is the soreness of the ears. If you’ve tried wearing in-ear headphones for far too long, your ears will eventually become sore.

Plus, the inconvenience of adjusting your headphones every 5 minutes is a different kind of pain. Many people stop using headphones just because they’ll have to keep fixing them. I get it.

The degree of discomfort and soreness is something you can quickly fix by getting yourself a pair that fits your ear just right.

Noise Cancellation

The tighter the seal your headphones make with your ear canal, the better noise cancellation you’ll get. Since outside noise will now face a physical barrier, it’s vital that this barrier doesn’t have gaps.

If your in-ear headphones don’t fit properly in your ear, then the chances are that even active noise cancellations won’t be of much help to you either.

Sound Quality

When you wear earphones, you’re essentially setting up a private concert. And what’s a private concert without good sound quality?

A snug fit gives you great bass and an immersive listening experience. It would be sad if you missed out on the beat drop because of a lousy headphone fit.

Why Do Your Headphones Keep Falling Off?

Ear Size and Shape

The human race has been blessed with more versatility than most species. This means all our bodies are different, and therefore, all ears are different.

While most in-ear headphones manufacturers capitalize on a one-size-fits-all approach, it might not be the best way to go.

If you have smaller ears, a standard headphone size will make the nozzle pop right out.

On the other hand, if you have bigger ears, your headphones will slip out.

But it’s safe to say that the standard nozzle sizing approach works well for most people.

Space Between Jaw and Ears

Here’s a short anatomy lesson. Your jaw meets your skull via the temporomandibular joints (TMJ).

These joints are right in front of your ears. Every little movement of your jaw, talking, chewing, etc., makes these joints move. And so, your ear canal will also vibrate.

The closer your TMJs are to your ears, your ear canals will experience more vibration. The likelihood of in-ear headphones rises when your jaw is closer to your ears because of your face shape.

Bad Positioning

It might not come as a surprise, but people are just not wearing their headphones in the correct position a lot of the time.

Before putting on your earphones, observe them to see if there is an L or R symbol. This is an indicator of the ear in which each headphone is supposed to fit.

Some earphones also have unique shapes where a corner might be projected.

You should carefully try them on and check them to see where you’re comfortable.

Physical Activity

Not all headphones are designed to accompany you to the gym or a jog. With all the skipping and running involved, not all earphones will be able to hold on.

My advice, look for headphones that are designed to be used during physical activity. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.

How to make headphones fit better?

Now that we know why a good headphone fit matters, the question still stands, how to make headphones fit better?

There are many different approaches you could take for this problem.

The first step, however, is to identify why your earphones aren’t fitting correctly. Have a look at the previous section and work out the problem with your headphones. That way, you’ll know where to start.

After you’re done figuring out the issues you’re facing, here’s a list of the possible fixes you could try out.

Fixing the Position

Sometimes a simple fix to the ill-fit of your headphones is repositioning.

Take out your headphones and take your time to see if you’re putting them on correctly.

Here’s how to properly put your earphones on depending on the type you use.

The Correct Way to Put on Earbuds

Earbuds are supposed to sit on top of the ear canal. That is, they’ll be resting on the outer ear. Follow these steps to get the best earbud fit.

  1. Look for the L and R markings labeled on your earbuds.
  2. Place the earbuds in the correct ear, L for left and R for right.
  3. Make other necessary adjustments for the best comfort.

The Correct Way to Put on IEMs

IEMs sit inside the ear canal, and therefore you should be paying a little more attention here. You don’t want to injure yourself, nor would you like an uncomfortable fit.

  1. Identify the L and R marking on each IEMs and place the ear tips in the correct ear.
  2. Gently tug at your earlobe and press the nozzles inside.
  3. Use slight movements to adjust the IEMs to your ears, and you’re good to go.

Find The Right Nozzle/Eartip

Most IEMs have free-size tips, but you might find some extra accessories with your IEMs. If the standard ear tip doesn’t fit your ears properly, try going for a smaller or larger size.

You can also look online for ear tips made of memory foam. Memory foam will help contort the ear tips to your ear shapes for a more comfortable and tighter fit.

Remove Earwax

Sometimes the earwax that builds up blocks your ear canal.

This leaves very little room for the IEMs to fit correctly. This problem becomes even worse for people who habitually use Q-tips.

You might not realize it, but Q-tips push the earwax further down your ear canal. So at the end of the day, you’re only making it worse.

The best fix would be to get your ears cleaned by an ENT specialist. You could also do it at home by first softening the earwax with baby oil and then rinsing it off.

Try Ear Warmers

Ear Warmers are great for the winters. But another thing they’re good at is holding your earbuds in place. You could run, jog, or jump rope without worrying, with one of these holding your goods in place.

This hack works best if you get yourself ear warmers that have a comfortable fit.

Earphone Sport Grips

Earphone sport grips are accessories you can buy online. These are usually made of silicone. These wings loop around your ear and hold your earphones securely in place.


Trying to fit your headphones right is a bit of a hurdle. But with all the instructions we’ve laid out, you have your answer to how to make your headphones fit better

The best approach would be to identify what’s exactly off about the fit of your gadget and working your way up from there.

Good luck!

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