Why Won’t Earbuds Stay In My Ears? 7 (Common) Reasons

Do you earbuds constantly fall out of your ears while you're using them? Here, you'll find 7 reasons why earbuds fall out and what to do instead

Are you wondering, “Why won’t earbuds stay in my ears?” If yes, you’ve landed on the right page.

Wireless earbuds are a magical way to listen to music without any clutter. However, the most frustrating part is when they start falling, and having to constantly adjust them.

Most people tackle this situation by stuffing the earbuds deeper into the ear canals. But, it does more harm than anything good.

Hence, in this article, we’ve listed 7 reasons why earbuds won’t stay in your ears and a few solutions to tackle them.

Later, I’ve also listed a few alternatives before ditching your earbuds for good.

Why Won’t Earbuds Stay In My Ears?

The most common reason earbuds fall out of ears is because of choosing the wrong silicone ear tip size. The incorrect size leads to poor fit and is the primary reason why earbuds don’t stay in your ears for long.

We’ve explained this problem in detail below, plus a few other reasons that cause your earbuds to fall out.

7 Reasons Why Earbuds Don’t Stay in Your Ears

1. Incorrect Silicone Eartips

Silicone eartips are a critical factor that makes or breaks your earbuds’ listening experience.

Choosing the right size eartips is crucial for a comfortable and trouble-free experience.

silicone eartips of different sizes

Most earbuds come with a pair of small, medium, and large-size silicone eartips. Using incorrect silicone eartips causes the earbuds to constantly fall out of your ears.

Incorrect size leads to poor fit and doesn’t offer the correct seal required to keep the earbuds in place. Hence, I recommend trying all three eartips sizes and picking the one that suits you the best.

2. Poor Earbuds Design

While earbuds have become extremely lightweight; however, their design can be a deterrent.

Personally, I prefer stem-based earbuds like the AirPods Pro. However, another part of the population loves wearing teardrop-style earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM5.

Stem-based earbuds rest lightly over your ear cavity, whereas teardrop-style earbuds depend on the seal generated by the silicone ear tips.

Before purchasing, you must try out different types of earbuds style and pick the one that’s the most comfortable.

If you’ve already got one, you can return them. Later, research more and pick the one that suits your ears better.

3. Heavy Earbuds

As you know, wireless earbuds are lighter and more portable than any other form of audio-listening equipment.

However, the weight between different types of earbuds can vary for different reasons:

  • Bigger battery
  • Bigger drivers
  • Body size and materials
  • Multiple microphones
  • ANC features
  • …and more

The above reasons can make one earbud model feel heavier than the other. The heavier weight also leads to poor noise isolation and seal.

While brands have engineered numerous ways to make the earbuds feel lighter; however, a few extra grams can make the earbuds heavy.

4. Physical Activity

Earbuds are an excellent pick for active people. It helps keep their mind occupied with music or podcasts and makes exercising feel like a breeze.

However, depending on your physical activity level, it can disrupt the earbuds’ seal, make them loose, or worse, fall from your ears.

physical activity can cause earbuds to fall out of ears

Low-intensity physical activity like walking or gardening won’t make your earbuds fall out. However, if you do jogging, Pilates, Zumba, dancing, and similar activities, it surely makes the earbuds fall out.

Higher-intensity physical activity involves your whole body, which can affect the earbuds’ position inside the ear canal. That’s why sports-based earbuds come with ear hooks, fins, or wings to keep them in place.

5. Sweating

High-intensity physical activity leads to sweating, which affects the earbuds’ seal. Apart from this, sweating is one of the main reasons your earbuds won’t stay in your ears.

Sweating is common during summers and in tropical climates. Thus, simple things like walking to the grocery store, climbing stairs, or spicy food can make your body sweat.

sweating can make earbuds hard to stay in your ears

Our ear canals also have sweat glands, which release sweat and affect the tight seal provided by the silicone ear tips.

Also, the sweat from our heads and temples can drip into the ears and clog them.

To tackle this, keep a handkerchief or face towel handy. Clean your ears and earbuds regularly when you sweat. It offers better hygiene, reduces ear wax accumulation, and prevents earbuds from falling out constantly.

6. Eating

The chewing action while eating makes your jaw move and causes movement near your ear canal.

To test this, insert both middle fingers in your ear canals and make the chewing motion. You’ll notice movement near your ear canal.

That’s why many audio enthusiasts, including me, open their jaws while inserting earbuds in their ears because it offers a better fit.

The constant movement near your ear canal can hamper the silicone eartips and make them lose or fall out.

7. Ear Shape and Size

Earbuds manufacturing brands put a lot of money into R&D while developing their earbuds. They do it to ensure their earbuds have a universal fit and anyone can wear them.

However, in some rare cases, your ears might be the culprit.

our ears shape is unique to each person

Like our fingers, the anatomy of our ears is unique to each person. Thus, your ear canal size, outer ear (pinna), folds, and other things can make your ears not ideal for earbuds.

You can always experiment with numerous earbuds before coming to this conclusion. However, if they still keep falling out, you can use one with hooks or fins. Otherwise, you can use on-ear or over-ear headphones to listen to your music.

How to Stop Earbuds From Falling Out?

There are a few things you can do to stop earbuds from falling out. Here are four solutions that will help you keep earbuds in.

1. Change your Earbuds

Suppose the earbuds you’ve recently purchased are still eligible for return. In that case, return it and replace it with another earbud model, preferably one with a stem-based design.

On the other hand, suppose you haven’t purchased the earbuds yet or want to replace your older earbuds. In that case, visit your nearest Walmart or Best Buy store.

You can try different earbuds in a Walmart store and pick one that doesn’t fall from your ears.

2. Selecting the Right Eartip or Aftermarket Purchase

Earlier in the article, I mentioned that choosing an incorrect pair of eartips can make your earbuds fall out constantly.

In this case, I recommend trying all the silicone eartips within the package.

If none of them fit you well, it’s better to purchase aftermarket eartips.

You can choose between silicone eartips or memory foam-based eartips.

3. Using Earhooks or Wings

Many earbuds geared towards an active lifestyle come with ear hooks, wings, or fins to keep them in place and prevent them from falling.

custom earhooks for Apple Airpods Pro
aftermarket earhooks for Apple Airpods

The ear hooks lock onto your outer ear and provide a secure fit. It saves you the trouble of losing your earbuds while engrossed in exercising or other physical activity.

Again, the earhook style varies between earbuds; you’ll need to test them before picking one.

4. Custom Fitted Earbuds

Singers, guitarists, drummers, stage performers, etc., prefer custom-fitted earbuds because they wear them longer. These professionals desire earbuds that are an exact match to their ears.

The brands that make custom earbuds for audio professionals charge thousands of dollars for a pair.

Ultimate Ears Fits custom fitted earbuds
Ultimate Ears Fits

However, a few consumer-friendly options like Ultimate Ears Fits or Knockdown earbuds exist.

However, these custom-fit wireless earbuds cost over $200 each.

Other Alternatives to Earbuds

If you can’t make peace with wireless earbuds, it’s time to jump on the alternatives.

While the alternatives don’t offer the benefits of wireless earbuds, they’re still a great midway to listening to your music on the go.

1. On-ear or Over-the-ear Headphones

Audio brands are slowly phasing out on-ear and over-the-ear headphones because of wireless earbuds’ reliability and adoption.

However, in your case, you can find a good set of wireless on-ear headphones that offer similar battery life and are available at the same price.

As the name suggests, on-ear headphones sit on the outer ear, whereas over-the-ear headphones cover the entire ear.

In addition, on-ear headphones are lighter than over-the-ear headphones because of the smaller cup size and thinner headband.

2. Bone Conduction Technology

Bone Conduction technology works by vibrating the bones in your skull, which reaches your inner ear. You can learn more about it on Wikipedia.

bone conduction headphones in use
Bone Conduction headphones sit outside your ear canal

Shokz is the market leader in manufacturing bone-conduction headphones.

The headphones sit outside your ears but near the ear canal cavity. This way, you can listen to your music and hear your surroundings much better.

3. Open Ear Earbuds

Open Ear earbuds are a new style of earbuds that sit on the opening of your ear canal and are supported by an ear hook.

bose ultra open ear earbuds
Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

Regular earbuds offer a passive noise cancelation effect as the silicone eartips create a seal around the ear canal.

On the other hand, open ear earbuds are useful for someone who wants to be aware of their surroundings, and doesn’t want to block the ambient noise.

Open ear earbuds offer the same size advantage as typical wireless earbuds, albeit the noise isolation.


I hope this article helped you learn why earbuds won’t stay in your ears.

Apart from the reasons, I’ve also offered you solutions and alternatives so you won’t leave this page empty-handed.

Have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

Yash Lizz
Yash Lizz
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