The Science Behind Earbuds Falling Out

Earbuds were first patented in 1891. It won’t be until several decades later that earbuds would grow into mainstream prominence. And for good reason. They provide perfectly clear sound, block out external noise, and are super portable.

But there’s just one small problem associated with earbuds – they tend to fall off at the slightest jostle. This is obviously a deal-breaker for most people since you can’t sit motionless forever. And you don’t want to have to constantly jam the earbuds in there, it can get annoying and a bit painful after a while.

A large number of people are acutely familiar with this problem, but they’ve mostly kept their struggles to themselves. Until now.

A quick search on Google for “can’t wear earbuds” shows a stunning 5.25 million results. This is an indication that a large minority of people are trying to find a solution to their earbud conundrums.

The problem with earbuds is that companies design them as a one-size-fits-all product. The human ear, however, doesn’t work that way. Researchers call this the “Earbud Cartilage Deficiency Syndrome” (ECDS). People with smaller ears or bigger ears will find that most earbuds simply don’t fit. The size and shape of our ear is as unique to us as our fingerprints. So adopting standard designs doesn’t do a good job.

The problem is that the market is inundated with two main types of designs for earbuds:

  1. “on-ear” earbuds like Apple’s EarPod earbuds that hang in the crevices of your ear-folds like a traditional bud
  2. “in-ear” earbuds with a squishy tip that forms a nice seal with the walls of your ear canal.

Both types have their pros and cons – but they tend to suffer from the same problems.

Believe it or not but there is a proper method of fitting earbuds into your ears. You don’t just randomly jam it in there and hope for a secure fit. Here are two fail-safe methods:

Method 1 (for in-ear earbuds)

  • Place the tips of the earbuds in your ears and push them a little.
  • For the right ear, use your left hand to hold your right earlobe in position.
  • Pull the earlobe downwards to increase the size of your ear canal.
  • Use your right index finger to gently push the tip into your ear. Careful not to shove the earbud all the way in, just far enough to create a tight seal.
  • Let go of your earlobe.
  • Now do the same with your other ear.

Method 2 (an extreme solution for wired earbuds)

If you’re not a big fan of wireless earbuds and their wired counterparts, don’t fret. There’s a solution for you too. First, use method 1 to place the earbud into your ear. Then, loop the earbud wire around your ear so they don’t fall out easily. You may find a bit uncomfortable to use but at least your earbuds won’t fall off from the constant push and pull of the wire.

It does look a bit unflattering, especially when you’re going out in public. But we believe that’s a reasonable tradeoff for stability and peace of mind.

Earbuds Falling Out During Winter

There’s a theory that is doing rounds on the internet – earbuds falling out when the temperatures drop.
Quartz even did a story on this. They did some interviews and found an interesting explanation for why earbuds fall out when its cold.

As the body’s internal temperature plummets during winter, our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat. As a result, the skin covering our ear’s cartilage shrinks, making the ear canal slightly smaller and pushing the earbud out.

Up until recently, there wasn’t much you could do to keep your earbuds in if this happened to you. But a slew of companies have risen to the challenge with products that work for all shapes and sizes. Below are 3 solutions that you should definitely try out.

i) Earclips

EARBUDi offers a flexible earclip that snaps to iPhone earbuds and secure them in place by fitting around your ear.

You can find these on Amazon for £10 a pop.

ii) Earbud Covers

EarSkinz provides a soft plastic cover that stabilizes Apple EarPods by allowing them to conform to your ear. The result is a snug fit that doesn’t fall out.

You can find these on Amazon for less than £10.

iii) Breathable Memory Earbud Foams

A third option is to opt for memory foam tips that fit over your earbuds. Foam ear tips conform to fit your ear canal for snug, tight fit. The breathable memory foam also offers top-notch noise isolation which you’ll come to appreciate whenever you go out in public. We found the foam earphone tips from Comply to be most suited for this mission.

They come in various sizes so your ear won’t be left behind.

The best part is that they’re breathable, which prevents heat buildup which is common with so many earbuds.

Click here to check out the breathable earphone tip. 

Earbuds with Built-In Earhooks (our recommendation)

Apple’s Powerbeats Pro was designed for the exact purpose of keeping earbuds in your ear while you’re working out. They feature comfortable hooks that wrap around your ears without causing pain. While this sounds good on paper, the earbuds cost nearly £200 or more, depending on where you live.

If you’re not ready to shell out the big bucks on Apple’ Powerbeats Pro, you could try more affordable alternatives like the Ironman Inspire Earbuds by Yurbuds They usually fall in the price ranges of £35 to £45, which is definitely far cry from the Powerbeats Pro. Despite the low price tag, Yurbuds used a large audio drive that provides a crystal clear sound that will impress most audiophiles. The treble isn’t as quiet as it should be, but it’s nothing that would take away from your music listening experience.

Click here to check them out on Amazon

Wrapping Up

If you experience problems with earbuds falling out, there are solutions at hand. They’re surprisingly effective and really affordable. Make sure to try them out before dumping earbuds completely for those bulky over-ear headphones.

Blog Article Written By Rishi Sawhney – Headphone’s geek!

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