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Music can be a fantastic fitness motivator…unless your earbuds are constantly falling on the ground! Despite all the advances in Bluetooth technology, many joggers complain about their earbuds popping out at the most inopportune times. If you’re all too familiar with this Airpod annoyance, then you need to read the research we’ve done on keeping your earbuds in place.
The best way to prevent earbuds from slipping out is to insert them properly. First, place your earbuds on your ear canal and twist them into place. For an extra tight seal, pull your ear lobe down with your opposite hand and lightly push the earbud in with your index finger. This technique should add suction to your earbud, thus securing it in place.
Here are a few other tips to keep your earbuds stable while you’re running:
- Try different earbud brands in-person to find what works for your ear shape.
- Use an ear warmer or sweatband to keep your earbuds in place.
- Attach ear hooks over your earbuds.
- Experiment with ear wings or ear tips.
- Always buy earbuds that are sweat and water-resistant.
- Consider getting your ears checked for wax buildup.
Since everyone has different ear sizes, it may take a bit of experimentation to figure out what strategies work for you. However, if you try all of the tips listed below, we bet you’ll have an easier time keeping earbuds in place during your run.
How To Keep Your Earbuds In Place While Running – A Few Simple Strategies
Find The Right Shaped Buds For Your Ears
The science is in: our ear sizes are as unique as our fingerprints! Indeed, many of the world’s top scientists now believe our ears are so unique that they could be used for genetic identification. While this is excellent news for criminologists, it’s terrible for earbud-wearing joggers. Obviously, manufacturers have to make their earbuds in a one-size-fits-all fashion—even though nobody has an average ear size!
At this point, the only way to find a snug, Cinderella fit is to fork over a ton of cash for custom-designed earbuds. However, that doesn’t mean certain earbud brands won’t fit better than others. Indeed, now more companies are offering different sizes and accessories to accommodate everyone’s ear size.
The only way to figure out which earbuds are best for you is to try them on in-person. We know how tempting it is to order earbuds online, but please don’t skip this sizing step! Go to as many stores as you can and ask to try on whatever earbuds you’re interested in. Once you have the earbuds on your ears, jump around a few times to see how well they stay in place.
To learn more about how our ear size affects earbud fit, be sure to watch this popular YouTube video:
Be Sure Your Inserting Your Earbuds Properly
We know what you’re thinking, “What’s so complicated about putting an earbud in your ear?” Well, you’d be surprised how many joggers don’t take the time to wear their earbuds as the manufacturer recommends. Some people aren’t even aware that most earbuds have dedicated right and left sockets!
Although every company has different insertion instructions, you should always twist your earbuds into your ear canal a few times. Next, pull down on your earlobe with your opposite hand. Lastly, lightly press the earbud into the ear canal with your other hand’s index finger.
Note: you don’t want to jam your earbud into your ear socket. However, it would help if you got your earbud relatively close to the eardrum for stability and superior sound quality.
Try Ear Warmers Or Sweatbands
One of the sneakier ways to keep your earbuds in place is to wear a comfy ear warmer. While this trick will only work in the cold months, it’s a simple way to warm your ears and keep your earbuds stable.
If it’s too hot out for ear warmers, don’t sweat it. Instead, just grab a sweatband! OK, we know most sweatbands only cover your forehead, but there are a few brands that also cover your ears.
Get Hooked On Ear Hooks!
Ear hooks are popular accessories that literally hook around your outer ears. This simple design gives your earbuds extra stability to catch your earbuds even if they start popping out. Since ear hooks have become popular in the jogging community, you could find many designs compatible with various earbud brands.
Try Ear Wings Or Eartips On Your Earbuds
If ear hooks aren’t working for you, consider researching other earbud attachments like ear wings or ear tips. Unlike ear hooks, both of these accessories go inside your ears. Of these two, ear wings curve upwards to help your earbuds remain balanced.
By contrast, ear tips go deep inside the ear canal to keep your buds in place. While most of these models are made with silicone, there are a few memory foam products that could conform to your ears. In addition to keeping your earbuds in place, these ear tips should help cancel out external noise.
Always Go With Sweat-Resistant Earbuds
If you’re serious about running with earbuds, you can’t let sweat get in your way. The best way to keep your sweat from loosening your earbuds is to start with a brand that’s sweat-resistant. While you’re at it, check to see if your earbuds are water-resistant. Both of these technologies should keep your earbuds from slipping and sliding, especially if you run in an area that gets a lot of rain.
Are All Earbuds Sweatproof?
Not all earbuds are sweatproof. Please never assume a company’s earbuds will wick away moisture just because they show ads with sweaty athletes. You always need to do a bit of digging to find out whether your manufacturer uses sweatproof technology.
For instance, many people are shocked to learn that Apple’s iconic AirPods are not sweatproof or water-resistant. By contrast, the Apple AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant. Beats’ Powerbeats Pro is another popular sweat-resistant brand put out by Apple.
If you’d like to learn more about wearing earbuds while working out, we’d recommend reading through FitSeer’s blog on “Playing Sports with AirPods.” You might also be interested in our post explaining how sweat could ruin earbuds.
Ickiness Alert: Check For Ear Wax Buildup
Although earwax may look yucky, it’s a natural part of ear hygiene. Unfortunately for joggers, this slimy substance can make your earlobes incredibly slick, which could cause your earbuds to pop out of place.
But that doesn’t mean you should reach for your Q-tips and start yanking out wax! In fact, ear doctors strongly recommend against using Q-tips to clean your ear canals. Instead of getting rid of your earwax, Q-tips will push this wax back to your eardrum and may cause hearing issues.
If you suspect earwax may be contributing to your earbud problems, it’s best to speak with a certified doctor. Depending on your situation, your physician may clean your ears in-office or recommend an over-the-counter product like Debrox.
Whatever you do, please don’t take cleaning earwax into your own hands! Always speak with a specialist for personalized guidance.
What Are The Best Earbuds For Running? – A Few Considerations
Now that you know how to keep your earbuds in your ear, it’s time to choose which brand is right for you. Below, we’ll go over a few considerations to keep in mind while you search for the perfect fit.
Wired vs. Wireless Earbuds For Running – What’s The Better Choice?
On the surface, wireless earbuds seem to have all the advantages over wired models. However, there are a few reasons some joggers still cling to their old school wired earbuds. For starters, wired earbuds are way cheaper than wireless earbuds. Also, since wired earbuds are attached to your phone, it’s less likely you’ll lose them if they fall out of your ears.
On the downside, wired earbuds are less stable due to the constant tugging on the wire. Plus, since most new phones are designed for wireless headphones, you’ll probably have to invest in a 3.5 mm jack adapter.
All that being said, there are a few hacks you could use to make your wired earbuds more comfortable. For instance, many people wrap their wire around their ears like a DIY ear hook. You could also invest in an arm-band phone holder to give your wire some slack.
Bottom line: wired earbuds are a better choice for runners willing to sacrifice convenience for price. Wireless earbuds, however, offer optimal comfort and superior sound quality, but they cost a pretty penny.
What Are The Best Apple Earbuds For Running?
If you’re in the market for Apple earbuds, there are two great options for runners: AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro. Of these two, Powerbeats Pro often tops critics’ lists of the “Top Earbuds” due to their superior sound quality and sturdy build. Plus, since Powerbeats Pro buds have an ear hook attachment, they should stay in place during rigorous runs.
However, that doesn’t mean the AirPods Pro earbuds are “low quality.” Just like Powerbeats Pro, Airpods Pro buds are sweat and water-resistant, and most reviewers say they feel sturdier than the original AirPods.
Are Powerbeats Pro Good For Running?
Powerbeats Pro often ranks as the best earbuds brand for joggers. Although these earbuds are lightweight, they have a comfortable ear hook design that helps keep them in place. But there’s more to Powerbeats Pro than super stability. These water and sweat-resistant buds boast exceptional sound quality. Many reviewers also rave about Powerbeats Pro’s fast charging time and seamless smartphone integration.
The major downside associated with Powerbeats Pro is its higher price tag. True, these buds will cost you extra bucks—however, few joggers regret the decision.
Are Jaybird Earbuds Waterproof?
Jaybird is another earbud company that has gained a lot of attention in the jogging community. Specifically, this company is well-known for its Vista earbuds (or Run XT). Awarded the Runner’s World Choice Award in 2019, these innovative earbuds have IPX7 waterproof and sweatproof technology. Jaybird also claims these earbuds have 16-hour battery life and a comfortable “sealing” design.
What Is HearThrough On Jabra Eardubs (And How To Activate It)?
If you have a pair of Jabra Earbuds, then you have the option of using innovative HearThrough technology. According to Jabra, when you turn this function on, you will hear surrounding noise.
To activate HearThrough technology, tap the central “multi-function” button on your right earbud two times. You could also reverse the HearThrough technology by double-clicking this button.
Can You Run With Over-Ear Headphones?
Although wireless earbuds are all the rage, that doesn’t mean over-ear headphones have gone extinct. In fact, many modern over-ear headphones are Bluetooth enabled, which means you won’t have to worry about a cord tugging your headphones off. Obviously, over-ear headphones don’t have a portability advantage. Also, some runners complain that these bulkier headphones pull forward while running.
On the positive side, over-ear headphones tend to have superior noise-canceling technology versus earbuds. This is fantastic news if you love to run in a busy gym. However, this feature could drown out your surrounding environment, which puts you at a greater risk of outdoor safety hazards.
Another pro for over-ear headphones is they’re safer on your eardrums. Since these earphones don’t go inside your ear canal, most ear doctors say they aren’t as harmful as listening to earbuds.
Bottom line: over-ear headphones are a better choice for people who love to run indoors. These headphones combine superior comfort with noise-canceling technology, which is fantastic in controlled environments. While you could use over-ear headphones for outdoor runs, they are a tad bulky, and they could be hazardous due to their superior noise-canceling technology.
Can You Run In Beats Headphones?
As mentioned above, over-ear headphones like Beats Studio 3 are OK for running. However, it’s best to use these headphones in a controlled, indoor environment rather than on long runs outdoors.
Since these Beats headphones aren’t waterproof, they could easily get damaged in rainy conditions. Plus, these headphones weren’t designed with joggers in mind. While Beats headphones could help with indoor workouts, they’re not the best choice for outdoor runs.
Is It Dangerous To Run With Headphones?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but listening to headphones can increase your risk of injury while running outdoors. ER doctors have noticed a significant increase in pedestrian accidents since earbuds have become more prevalent. This is especially the case in heavily industrialized areas. The only way to maximize your safety outdoors is to run without headphones. At a minimum, you should run with one ear open.
Please keep in mind that a few states now have bans on wearing headphones while driving, cycling, or running. It’s imperative you know your county’s headphone laws before you start jogging outdoors.
Should I Clean Earbuds After Running (And How)?
With all the sweat, dirt, and grime our earbuds are exposed to, it’s no wonder they need a good cleaning now and then. While you don’t need to clean your earbuds after every run, most fitness pros recommend giving them one cleaning per week.
The easiest way to clean your earbuds is to use a mix of warm water and a touch of mild dishwashing soap. Place a clean microfiber towel in this soapy mix and get those slimy earbuds sudsy! After your earbuds are clean, use another towel to dry them.
You could also use an isopropyl alcohol swap to disinfect your earbuds. Just be careful using this method, as it could damage your earbuds’ paint job.
If these simple methods aren’t working for you, there are plenty of earbud earwax removers online. You may want to keep a stash of these professional cleaners nearby for extra cleansing power.
Final Reminder: Start With The Right Earbuds For Max Stability
The main reason earbuds fall out has to do with your ear size. As mentioned above, we all have different ear shapes, which means no one brand will jive with everyone’s ears. While many of the above tips could help, you must start with an earbud brand that feels right for you.