Music can be incredibly motivating when you’re out running. A good song can help you push through when you’re feeling fatigued. Audiobooks and podcasts can help distract you during long runs.
All ears are different, though. Just as some of us have smaller feet, or smaller waists, or smaller heads, we can also have smaller ears. Earbuds designed for the average ear, then, might not fit you well. Incorrect sizing is often the problem when earbuds are painful or keep falling out. If you struggle to find earbuds that fit, you may need to look at the best running earbuds for small ears to find something that fits.
Our top earbud choice for small ears is the Samsung Galaxy Buds+. They last up to 11 hours on one charge, can be controlled by your phone or watch, and have Ambient Aware function so you’re still aware of the world around you while wearing them.
Here is the full list of the best earbuds we could find for small ears.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
1. Samsung Galaxy Buds+
These little earbuds are stylish and come in 5 different colors. You’ll get a case with your purchase, which serves the dual purpose of protecting your earbuds when you’re not wearing them and charging them at the same time (just 3 minutes of charging gives you one hour of playback).
The sound quality is impressive, and we appreciate the Ambient Aware 2 function that, when activated, allows you to hear the noise of the world around you so that you don’t miss announcements or become oblivious to dangers on the road.
If you are running on a treadmill or somewhere that you know you’re safe, you can switch this function off. When you do, you have true noise-canceling so you can run in your own little bubble.
You can control the earbuds using your phone, but if you’re in the middle of a run you can also control them via your Galaxy smartwatch, which is a very convenient feature.
The only thing that isn’t the best on these earbuds is how waterproof they are (or aren’t). They have an IPX rating of 2, which is the absolute minimum expected of wireless earbuds. They will be able to withstand sweaty ears, but you most likely won’t be able to go running in the rain or wash your earbuds under running water.
- Ambient Aware 2
- Up to 11 hours of music playback time on a single charge
- Can be controlled by a smartwatch, cellphone or Alexa
- Secure fit
- An IPX Rating 2 may not be enough protection against sweat or if you’re caught out in the rain
2. Jaybird Vista
Jaybird Vistas are extremely light, at 0.7 ounces. When it comes to comfort, you won’t even remember you’re wearing them. But you’ll be getting full-spectrum sound right in your ears.
The zero-lag stereo sound is of great quality and you can customize your EQ completely in the Jaybird app. Another app feature that comes in very handy is the Find My Buds function, which helps when you’ve misplaced your set.
In addition to their sound, they’re incredibly durable, with an IPX7 rating. This means they can survive being completely submerged in water for an extended period of time, so you can be out in any weather with these on.
They are sweatproof, drop-proof, shock-proof and crush-proof. Whatever kind of adventure you like, these can be your loyal companion.
You’ll get three different sizes of interchangeable earbuds with this set, so no matter the size of your ears, you’ll find a suitable and comfortable fit.
- IPX 7 Rating
- Dynamic and balanced sound
- Fast Bluetooth connection
- Jaybird app allows custom equalizer
- The music automatically pauses when the earbud is removed from your ear
Best Sound Quality
3. Bose SoundSport Wireless
Bose are known for their amazing sound quality, and these little earbuds don’t disappoint. We’ve chosen them as our best sound quality earbuds.
The secure Bluetooth connection is important for consistent sound quality, and Bose has updated the firmware on these to deliver even better performance when it comes to audio/video synchronization.
They even have an integrated microphone, so you can receive calls, although you’ll only hear the audio in one ear.
A charge of 2 hours will give you up to 5 hours of uninterrupted music. If you need more, you can place them in the charging case (which holds up to 10 hours of charge) for a quick boost.
They feature an IPX4 rating, which means they are sweat- and splash-resistant. You can go running in a light drizzle with these, but heavier rain could damage them.
You can get them in plain black, or your choice of three different colors and patterns. Whatever you choose, they come with three different tips (small, medium and large) so you can get the perfect fit for your ear.
- Earbuds are sweat and weather-resistant
- Features “Find My Buds”
- Clear and crisp sound
- Secure Bluetooth connectivity
- Some people may find that they can’t hear enough ambient noise around them
Top Earbuds with App
4. Jabra Elite 75t
Most earbuds come with a phone app, but Jabra is the best brand we’ve found for customizing and controlling what you hear using their application, Jabra Sound+.
The app is comprehensive and allows you to tweak the EQ any way that suits you. It even has different presets for boosting the bass or treble, smoothing the sound out, or listening to speech.
You can also switch the HearThrough function on or off in the app, depending on where you are and what’s going on around you at the time. This will allow you to get either a more noiseless experience, or to be able to hear background noise around you if you need to.
You’ll also be able to use the Find My Jabra feature if you misplace your earbuds. The earbuds are compatible with Google, Siri and Alexa, and you can make and receive calls with good-quality sound on both ends.
These buds have an IP57 rating, which means they’re resistant to both dust and water.
- HearThrough mode
- Ergonomic and secure fit
- No audio dropouts
- Will get about 7.5 hours of playtime
- The pods don’t come with wireless charging capabilities
Best for Phone Calls
5. Anker SoundBuds Slim Wireless Workout Headphones
These earbuds aren’t completely wireless, as they have a wire that connects the two, although it’s still more convenient than a fully wired set.
This does create an advantage in terms of phone call quality, as the microphone is mounted in a more convenient position on the wire. This is why the Ankers are chosen as the best for phone calls.
The sound quality is crisp and clear, which is great for both calling and listening to your tunes while working out. They’re also very comfortable, with a soft ear hook to keep them in place, as well as a silicon ear wing and tip.
You can listen for up to 18 hours on a charge, and if you forget to charge them before a run, just 10 minutes while you’re getting your shoes on will power them through your run.
They have an IPX7 rating, so they’re able to withstand rain, sweat, and a rinse under running water.
- IPX7 waterproof
- Large ear hook, silicon ear wing and ear tip
- Long-lasting battery
- High-resolution sound with noise-canceling technology
- If they fall out of range of the device, they won’t automatically reconnect
Top Bone Conduction
6. AfterShokz Aeropex
Bone conduction headphones are a really good alternative if your ears are too small to comfortably fit any size earbud inside them.
Bone conduction works by delivering audio through the cheekbones instead of the ear canals. It might sound strange, but it works!
This means you don’t have anything inside your ears. These sit just in front of your ears, so they’re very comfortable and fit almost anybody. The clear advantage of bone conducting earphones is that you can hear what’s going on around you. There is nothing in your ears to block ambient sound, so you are safer and more aware of your environment.
Other things that we like about these earphones are the magnetic charging cables that offer 8 hours of listening in just a 2-hour charge, the IP67 rating, which means they can withstand being completely submerged in water (although they don’t recommend swimming with them), and the fact that they weigh less than an ounce.
- IP67 Rated
- Snug fit
- Uses bone-conducting technology
- Some may find the sound quality to be low
Best for iPhone and Apple Watch
7. Apple AirPods
If you’re an Apple user, the Apple AirPods are the earbuds you need. An automatic-on function and auto-connection to your device make them super easy to use, and they work easily with Siri.
These earbuds don’t fit quite so snugly into the ear. Instead, they rest inside the ear, which can be more comfortable. But but may fall out more easily if you’re doing vigorous exercise like trail running.
If you run with another Apple fan who also has AirPods, you can share music between the two so you can listen to the same song at the same time.
You can also choose between a wireless charging case or a wired one. It makes a difference in terms of convenience, but is also a difference in price. Whichever one you choose, the case holds enough power for up to 24 hours of listening time.
- Comes with a transparency mode
- Automatically connects to device
- Faster wireless connection
- Great sound
- They don’t make ear tips for this specific model
8. JLab JBuds Air Sport
Running earbuds don’t have to break the bank. These earbuds are our best value option, and they do the job very effectively.
They’re incredibly durable for their price, with an IP66 rating that makes them sweat-proof, rain-proof, and dust-proof so you can go hiking, trail running, or even caving with these. When you’re done with your adventure, you can even keep them on safely while you shower.
The ear hooks are designed in a way to fit any size ears, even small ones, so they won’t bounce out of your ears while you’re moving. You can also swap the gel tips for their Cloud Foam tips for added comfort.
Bluetooth connection is fast and effective, using Bluetooth 5. You’ll be able to control your music and calls without even touching your phone, using just touch sensors on the earbuds themselves.
These earbuds don’t come with an app, but you can switch between three music modes and toggle your Be Aware Audio all without needing an app.
- IP66 sweat-proof and dust resistant
- Adjustable EQ and immersive sound
- Comes with ear hooks and ear tips
- Features “Be Aware Audio”
- Some may find that the Bluetooth connection disconnects every few minutes
Best High-End Earbuds
9. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Runners who are also sound junkies may be interested in these high-end earphones. The stereo sound is of premium quality, created by 7mm dynamic audio drivers right in your ears.
You can customize your controls and the built-in equalizer, and also choose between losing yourself in the music with the Active Noise Cancelling, or being more present using the Transparent Hearing mode.
You can control everything as you’re going, using touch pad technology on the actual earbuds. For even more control, download the Smart Control app.
The battery will allow you to play your tunes uninterrupted for up to 7 hours, and you can extend that to 28 hours using the charging case.
- Customizable controls
- Built-in equalizers
- Can switch between Active Noise Cancellation or Transparent hearing
- Comfortable and snug fit
- Some people may find these to be a bit pricey
Top Noise Cancellation
10. Sony WF-1000XM3
If you spend a lot of time on the treadmill, in the gym, or just live in a place where there’s not a lot of traffic and you’d like to escape and get lost in your music, these earbuds could be the right ones for you.
They employ industry-leading digital noise-canceling technology that creates a soundproof bubble around you while you’re listening.
These smart earbuds use adaptive sound control to switch to ambient sound mode when it senses that your activity could benefit from more awareness.
You’ll get three extra sets of tips when you buy these earphones, so you can find the right fit for you even if your ears are smaller than average.
It’s important to note that these earbuds are not waterproof, so be careful where and how you use them.
- Digital noise canceling
- Adaptive sound
- Alexa and Google Assistance integration
- These earbuds are not waterproof
Best Battery Life
11. Powerbeats Pro
With a battery life of up to 9 hours on full music-blasting power, plus an additional 24 hours with the charging case, these win first place for the best battery life.
A simple 5-minute charge will give you an impressive 1.5 hours of playback time if you run out of time to charge them before leaving the house.
It’s easy to adjust your settings directly on the earphones, with volume controls on one earbud and track skipping on the other. They’re also water and sweat-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about damage from moisture.
For small ears, the adjustable secure-fit ear hooks and choice of four different ear tip sizes make it easy to find the best and most comfortable fit for your ear size.
- Impressive battery life
- Adjustable and comfortable fit
- Features the Apple H1 headphone chip
- Share Audio feature
- Some people may find that it has limited noise isolation
What is the difference between earbuds and headphones?
Often you will hear the words “earbuds”, “earphones” and “headphones” used to describe the same product. But they actually don’t all mean the same thing.
Headphones usually cover the whole ear, and they often have a headband that sits over the user’s head or around the back of the head to hold them in position over the ears.
Earphones or earbuds refer to the type that is inserted into the ear canal. Sometimes the word “earphones” can be used to describe headphones, but “headphones” does not describe in-ear buds well at all because they have nothing to do with the head – they are all ears.
What are the benefits of earbuds?
Earbuds have some advantages over headphones, such as:
- They’re small and don’t get in your way.
- Most of them aren’t bulky.
- Wireless models don’t need to be plugged into phones.
- The sound quality is excellent.
- Most of them are well-priced.
- They’re stylish and look good.
Are earbuds dangerous?
Some people may be concerned about the amount of radiation in Bluetooth earbuds, but studies have found that the radiation in the earbuds is noticeably lower than the amount in phones.
None of the research so far has found any direct evidence suggesting that Bluetooth earphones could be dangerous, although it remains a controversial subject of study in science circles.
But from the lack of evidence, we can reasonably assume that earphones and earbuds that use Bluetooth pose no risk to our health.
In fact, using your Bluetooth earbuds is extra safe, because not only is the earbud set not giving off much radiation, but you can also leave your phone at more of a distance, so you aren’t being affected by the phone’s radiation so much either.