The 10 Best Earbuds for Small Ears 2023 — Audiophile ON (2024)

This article lists the best earbuds and earphones for small ears in 2023. It is designed to help people who have difficulty finding comfortable earphones.

Many readers contact us asking what the best earbuds for small ears are.

While the earphone market has grown massively in the past few years, earbuds sizes have also increased. Many manufacturers are switching to wireless or multi-driver designs, and the size is increasing due to putting more components inside the earbud housing.

This problem can severely limit many people’s options when choosing what earbuds and earphones to buy.

Most of the time, it comes down to individual trial and error when choosing comfortable earphones, and with fewer brick-and-mortar stores carrying good-sounding IEMs, we fear many people are missing out.

This list of the best earbuds and earphones for small ears is intended to give you a few options for wired and wireless devices that are a little smaller and easier to live with but, simultaneously don’t compromise on sound quality or other features.

Editor Picks: Favourite Earbuds for small Ears

Although this article lists the best earbuds for small ears, we want to provide you with our three favorite models if you don’t have time to read the complete list.

Best Earbuds for Small Ears Top 10


The Final Audio E3000 is among the smallest earbuds on our list, but they perform big. As a result, they have been one of our most highly recommended earphones to our readers since their release.

Despite the small size, these earphones deliver big when it comes to sound quality. They have a wide open, airy soundstage, amazing deep bass, and a smooth and detailed midrange. If I mentioned one of these headphones, which punches way above its weight in terms of price to performance, then these are all you will ever need.

For people with small ears, they are a godsend. The small barrel means that your outer ear's shape won’t obstruct them, and they can go straight to your canal. The E3000 also comes with the best Eartips in the game (Final E tips), so you should have no problem getting a secure fit once you put them in.

Audiophile On review of Final Audio E3000


The small barrel-like design makes fitting these earphones into small ears easy.

The Etymotic ER4XR is one of the best technical performing earphones for people with small ears and in general.

The Ety flagship recently got a redesign, and the ER4XR is the pick of the bunch. Unless you are into music production, please stay clear of the SE version, as it has a flatter frequency response, and many people will feel it lacks bass. The XR, however, is a better-sounding everyday tuning, and boy, are they detailed.

The ER4XR is very simple to fit in the ear thanks to the angled cable housing, and again, like most earphones on this list, they are a small-diameter barrel design.

Etymotic ER4SR Review


Many, including myself, consider the Etymotic ER2XR one of the best earphones ever made. It is a technical perfectionist tuned in line with many principles of what makes an audiophile earphone sound so good.

They are unembellished, neutral, and very detailed. Originally they were designed to be a cheaper alternative to the more expensive XR4 models. Still, Etymotic proved that they don’t know how to make a bad-sounding earphone because it is so detailed and accurate that you will think you are listening to something costing far more.

The size is about as small as it gets, with the simple barrel housing hosting a single balanced armature that keeps the diameter of the IEM to a minimum. This, combined with a long body, allows them to be placed deeply and securely in the smallest of ears.


If you liked the design of the Etymotic ER4 above but weren’t so keen on the price tag Etymotic has another option for you, The ER3SE and ER3XR.

They come in 2 different styles because they offer two different tunings.

The XR (short for extended response) has increased bass and an overall warmer sound. The SE (Studio Edition) is a more balanced and transparent sound suited best for professional monitoring.


The best-looking earbuds on the list have to be the Final Audio E5000. The big brother of the budget-friendly E3000 model we mentioned above. These are a way more premium experience and offer significant improvements in sound and design.

The E5000 has one of the smallest earphone housings we have ever seen, and the tubing is just slightly bigger than the armature itself.

These earphones will fit into any ear; when used with the right tips, they disappear. They can be worn with the cable up over the ear or easily straight down. They are one of only two earbuds on this list with detachable cables.

Something to note is that Final Audio has a lot of earphones in its F line, and the E line shares very similar desirable design traits for small ears. So you might want to play around for the one with the right sound tuning or the one that best suits your budget.


This year’s new Galaxy Buds Release from Samsung is 15% smaller, making them even better for small ears. The other good point is that they are one of the best-sounding, truly wireless earbuds we have ever tested.

The site has in no way limited the performance because Samsung crams a whole host of the latest technology into the earbuds, such as ANC noise cancelation and 360-degree audio, and has even increased the water resistance to a full IPX7 rating.

In terms of battery life, you should expect to get about 5 hours from a single charge and about 4 full charges from the included carry case.

They are available now in four color choices.


The Airpods Pro received their latest round of upgrades at the end of 2022 and further established them as the best earbuds to use if you have Apple devices.

The design is iconic, but what Apple did when introducing teardrop barrels that hang outside your ear was very clever and crucial to helping people get a good fit.

By moving the antenna and battery to the outside of your ear, there is less space used by the earbuds housing which has to go in it. This makes them very comfortable and easy to get into tight spaces, they are comfortable, and whatever your thoughts are on the design, there is no denying they are one of the most ergonomically friendly options on the market.

This new generation model comes with enhanced noise cancelation, longer battery life, and a speaker in the case that helps you locate the earbuds if you misplace them.


The Tozo NC2 is a scarily similar design to the Apple Airpods 2nd generation, but they cost almost 80% less. Of course, you shouldn’t expect Apple performance levels or features, but we have tested and reviewed the NC2, and it’s almost impossible to criticize this small yet powerful earbud.

Despite its size, it packs a punch in the sound department with big bass thumps and pleasing mid-tuning. It is energetic and fun to use, but those rods housing all the internal components other than the drivers are sleek and diminutive in size.

Battery life comes in at 4 hours and 30 mins, and the carry case is good for at least three charges. The earphones are not waterproof but are water resistant and feature decent noise-canceling for this price point which was a lifesaver on short flights.


The Shokz Openrun Pro is a pair of bone conduction earphones. I have written a whole article about what bone conduction headphones are and how they work, which you can read here. The short version is that bone conduction works by transmitting sound through the bones in your skull, which are then transferred to sound via the small bone that rattles your eardrum.

It has its uses in sports and even in the military, where spatial awareness is essential. Still, they have also become popular with people who have small ears or generally find earbuds uncomfortable—more portable than full-size headphones and not as intrusive as in-ear models.

Aftershokz is the standard for this tech, and the Air model is the best of the lot, with IPX water resistance and Bluetooth included for an excellent price.

10. Reader’s Choice

In 2023 we want to hear from you and take your feedback onboard to find suggestions for earphones we may have overlooked from this list.

Get in touch via our socials linked above and let us know what earphones you have used with small ears and we can get them in to review and the best model will be featured here in the number 10 slot.

I think working together with recommendations from our readers will be the best way to help others benefit from their experience and improve everyone’s listening experience in the long run.

Buyers Guide For people with small ears

What to consider when buying small earbuds?

The most important thing when buying a new set of earphones is whether they will be comfortable. Of course, it would help if you had them fit well and not cause pain. All the models we list below are suitable options for people with small ears.

However, there are other things you should consider when buying in-ear headphones, and we want to cover them before we start listing models quickly.

Wireless vs. Wired earbuds

Thanks to Apple removing the headphone jack on iPhones a few years ago and other manufacturers following suit, many people are moving to wireless earbuds. You should probably consider what will suit you best and how you will use them. Do you want to charge your earbuds daily, or do you want to plug and play?

Alternatives to earphones

The easy thing to tell people who find discomfort when using earbuds is to use an alternative, such as headphones or a clip-on. However, earphones have many benefits, such as portability and isolating oneself from one environment.

I kept this in mind when we compiled this list, and we only include earphones that are competitive with larger models in price and sound quality.

Realistically, if we can find you earphones that fit, there are still many high-quality options for you; you have to know where to look. I sincerely hope we, in some way, can improve your ability to enjoy your music.

However, if you can't get earbuds to work with your smaller ears, consider looking at our list of the most comfortable headphones as an alternative.

Build Quality

Just because you buy small earbuds doesn’t mean you will want to sacrifice build quality.

For many people, buying a new set of earbuds represents a significant investment, and you will want them to last many years.

Earbuds are, of course, used when people are on the go or for sports; as a result, they can take quite a beating over their lifetime.

We suggest looking for good warranties, metal housings, and detachable cables to extend the life of your new headphones.

How Much should I pay?

I will assume that the people reading this have different budget requirements.

Some will want nothing more than a good set of cheap earphones, but others might be willing to pay a lot more in the search for better sound quality.

The good news is that many options are listed below and cover almost any budget. Even the cheapest small earbuds on this list sound great.

can I still get good Sound Quality?

Sound quality matters to many people, but others don’t understand when audiophiles rant about frequency graphs and charts.

Many who have found this list via Google will not be audiophiles (or even know what that term means). With that in mind, I will not speak too much about technicalities and frequency graphs in this article. Instead, I will discuss the tuning and then talk about what music they work well with.

Readers who want a more intensive breakdown of each earphone's sound performance can read our corresponding reviews where available.

Rest assured that the earphones I selected for this top 10 list have all had a lot of consideration put into them. They are all incredible performers for the price. Many tech websites put together fake lists to get you to click and buy, but here at Audiophile On, I want to show people there are options for a higher level of listening, whatever the price or size of the earbuds.

The 10 Best Earbuds for Small Ears 2023 — Audiophile ON (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated:

Views: 6441

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.