Running with music can make a huge difference.
A study by Brunel University found that listening to music while you run can increase endurance by 15%, which is massive when each mile counts!
But the headphones you wear can make or break for your running tunes, especially if you have small ears!
If you’ve tried to run with badly fitted headphones that constantly fall out, you’ll know how frustrating this can be.
However, there is good news for us small-eared folk!
There are plenty of headphones on the market now that are not only excellent for running, but excellent for fitting small ears too!
This article will explain some of the basics behind choosing the right pair of headphones and then review some of the best running headphones for small ears.
How to Choose the Right Headphones for Running
Like everything, there will be aspects of personal preference involved in which headphones you choose.
For some people, wireless is the only option they will consider while others will prefer corded.
Some people like over-ear designs while others don’t.
However, there are some things that are universally important, like some water resistance, sound quality, durability, and fit.
Different Sized Parts
This is the deal breaker for runners with small ears.
You’ll definitely want to make sure that the headphones come with different sized earbuds and, if they use them, different sized wing tips/ear wings.
It may take a bit of experimentation, but in general, most small earbuds should be compatible with even the smallest of ears.
It’s not really possible to try headphones before you buy them. But it’s important that they don’t fall out when you run.
All of the headphones on this list have been chosen with this primary feature in mind.
However, it’s important to realize that it is possible to wear your headphones wrong, especially if they have wing tips.
If wing tips are not positioned correctly in your ears, they can negatively impact sound quality, so it pays to read the instructions and experiment to make sure you’re doing it right!
Some water resistance is essential if you want a pair of headphones that will last you a while.
You will undoubtedly sweat, maybe run in the rain, and if you’re like me, often use your headphones to watch a movie when your ears are still wet from showering.
The wireless versus corded debate is partly preference based. But there are pros and cons to consider too.
- Are more expensive,
- need to be charged,
- have a limited battery,
- exposure you to more radio waves,
- often have slightly poorer sound quality that depends on the distance from the device, and,
- need to have a control panel which is something else that can break.
They don’t restrict your movement in any way and there will be no cords hanging in your way.
In contrast, corded headphones:
- Always provide consistent sound quality,
- don’t need to be charged and won’t run out of battery,
- don’t expose you to extra radio waves, and,
- are more affordable.
You’ll have to be careful about the cord which could snag and pull your earbuds out.
Most headphones these days have pretty amazing sound quality as far as untrained ears are concerned.
But if hearing all of the subtle nuances of your music is really important to you, you’ll want to choose a pair of headphones where sound quality is a priority, eg. the MEE Audio headphones below.
You’ll also want to decide whether you want to able to hear any background noise while you run or whether you want complete noise isolation.
If you’re looking for headphones that will be suited to other forms of exercise, don’t forget to check out our articles on the best headphones for gym workouts and the best headphones for CrossFit.
TOP 13 Best Running Headphones for Small Ears Reviewed 2019
AfterShokz Trekz Air Open-Ear Wireless Headphones
Review: These headphones use the most advanced technology on the market right now. Rather than sitting inside your ear canal, they rest just in front of your ear and send the sound waves through your cheekbones to your ears.
This means that your ears are still free to hear outside sounds such as traffic and other people which is a huge safety bonus for running.
As they sit in front of your ears rather than inside, they are comfortable for any sized ears.
The quality of the sound is excellent, they don’t fall out off when you run, and there are no annoying wires to worry about.
- Allows you to hear surrounding noise at the same time as your music.
- Other people can’t hear what you’re listening to despite not having earbuds.
- Extremely lightweight and comfortable for long periods of time.
- If you’re somewhere where you don’t want to hear background noise, like a plane, you can wear them with ear plugs and still hear your music!
- Vibrate a little when the volume is up or bass is heavy.
If you can afford the price tag, these are likely to be the best running headphones for small ears.
Review: These are a top quality, well designed set of headphones at an affordable price.
They are comfortable to run in, capable of withstanding rain and sweat, and have different sized parts to fit different sized ears.
- Built-in microphone allows for hands-free calling.
- Splash-proof design can handle light rain and sweat.
- The 4 different sized earbuds allow for really small ears.
- Great sound quality and very comfortable, lightweight design.
- Affordable and very good value for money.
- Some problems with the durability of the volume button, but this seems to be the only issue.
These are a reliable pair of sports-specific headphones and are easily some of the best running earbuds for small ears.
Sennheiser OCX 686G Headphones
Review: These headphones are a great choice for runners who like the over-ear hook design. The earbuds come in different sizes and cancel out background noise well.
They are some of the most secure, sweat-resistant sports headphones on the market.
The sound quality isn’t as top of the line as less sports specific headphones, but I don’t think you can get perfect sound when you’re running anyway.
- Earbuds effectively block out background noise.
- Different sized earbuds suit smaller ears.
- Voice activated controls.
- Ergonomic ear clips provide a secure fit that stays in place while you run.
- Sweat resistant.
- The fit isn’t great for everyone. Your might have to fiddle around to find a good fit.
If you can get the fit right, these headphones are ideal for runners with small ears, being secure, with good sound quality and hands-free controls.
MEE Audio M6 Pro 2nd Generation Earbuds
Review: These earbuds are actually designed for musicians due to their superior sound quality. Specifically, they are “designed for the stage, built for the road”.
But, they have a snug, secure fit and a sweat resistant design that makes them ideal for runners.
So, if you’re a musician and a runner, these may be the earbuds for you!
- Replaceable, detachable cables means durability is not an issue.
- Very good value for money.
- Comes with Comply memory foam ear tips and 6 different sized silicone earbuds.
- Incredible sound quality.
- Not everyone loves the over-ear design of the cable.
- They are perhaps a little too good at blocking out background noise which could be an issue for road runners.
If sound quality is your main priority, these are the headphones for you.
Monster iSport Intensity In–Ear Headphones
Review: These headphones are well designed for runners.
They are water resistant so will handle running in the rain, they don’t fall out when you tug on them accidentally and they allow you to maintain a bit of contact with your surroundings, not blocking out noise completely.
- Swivelling OmniTip for increased comfort come in multiple sizes.
- Excellent sound quality while still being able to hear background noise.
- Voice control.
- Not cordless, no Bluetooth options.
These are a great pair of headphones if you run on the road and need to be able to hear traffic. They are definitely some of the best running earbuds for small ears 2019.
Jaybird X4 Wireless Sport Headphones
Review: These are easily some of the best bluetooth earbuds for small ears. The X4s are upgraded from the X3s, now being more sport specific with secure fitting wing tips, increased waterproofing and a cable cinch for a more customized fit around your head.
- IPX7 waterproof rating.
- 8 hours of battery life.
- Secure fit to cope with running.
- Can be reversed to suit left or right handed runners, with the left handed option having the wire over the ear. Left and right wing tips are removable so can be switched.
- Comes with both silicone earbuds and a Comply foam option so you can choose the amount of noise isolation you require.
- Some users have had problems getting them to hold their charge.
These are top of the line headphones with a secure fit and excellent waterproofing that you can rely on for running.
Anker SoundBuds Slim Wireless Headphones
Review: These wireless Bluetooth headphones are ideal for runners with small ears coming with multiple sizes in both earbuds and wing tips.
They deliver comparable sound quality, fit and comfort compared to much more expensive models.
- 4 different sized earbuds and 3 wing tips.
- Wireless with 7 hours of battery life.
- IPX5 water resistant rating against sweat and rain.
- Very affordable and amazing quality for the money.
- The earbuds have magnets so you can clasp them together around your neck when not in use.
- The control piece hangs under the right ear and may swing a bit when you run.
Headphones like these make you wonder why you need to spend $100+ for comparable performance.
They are comfortable and provide good sound quality.
Senso Bluetooth Headphones
Review: These are some of the most popular Bluetooth headphones on the market right now. They are very affordable, with excellent sound quality, and they fit securely in small ears for running.
- Extremely affordable.
- Flexible ear hooks are designed to fit any ear size and shape.
- Up to 8 hours battery life.
- 3 sizes of ear tips included.
- IPX7 waterproof rating.
- May not be comfortable for really long periods of time but definitely comfortable enough for any length run.
These are another set of headphones that make you wonder how the more expensive models can justify their price tag.
They don’t have the best sound quality in the world, but if you just want beats to run to, you can’t really go wrong with these.
Samsung U Flex Bluetooth Headphones
Review: These are top of the line headphones but with a mid-range price which makes them a very good choice.
They have a flexible neckband design with wires that reach up to your ears from the band which you will either love or hate.
But the sound quality is solid in these headphones and the lightweight design is comfortable and doesn’t move around when you run.
- 3 sizes of earbuds, 2x standard and 1x stabilizing.
- 8 hours of battery life.
- Excellent sounds and call quality.
- Earbuds connect via magnets when not in use.
These are a good value set of wireless headphones, sized suitably for small ears and comfortable enough to run in.
Skullcandy Method In-Ear Sweat Resistant Earbuds
Review: These earbuds are an ideal choice if you’re not keen on wireless designs and appreciate the simplicity of a wingless ear bud.
So long as you don’t yank really hard on the cord, they stay in place just as well as any of the other headphones on this list and provide great sound quality.
- Sticky gel technology earbuds stay in place when sweaty.
- Sweat resistant design.
- Corded design so don’t have to worry about battery life or Bluetooth connectivity.
- Comes with different sized earbuds.
- The cord has a clip to keep it out of the way when exercising.
- Microphone is not particularly good quality.
These are a good value set of headphones that are a good choice for small ears as you won’t have to worry about any fancy ear hooks not sitting quite right.
Urbanears Hellas On-Ear Active Headphones
Review: For those who prefer the traditional style headphones, the Urbanears Hellas are lightweight and designed to stay in place while you work out making them perfect for running.
Ear size doesn’t really have any effect on the fit of these headphones so they’re ideal for people with small ears.
- Wireless with a 14 hour battery life.
- Lightweight and designed to stay in place when you run.
- Swipe interface on one ear allows you to control settings without a remote.
- Removable head band and cushions absorb sweat and are machine washable.
- Not water resistant so not really suited to running in the rain.
Impressively lightweight and secure fitting, these are the best running headphones for small ears if you’re not a fan of earbuds.
Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds
Review: These are true wireless headphones, being wireless from each other as well, not just from your phone.
They are designed to stay securely in place regardless of the activity and are well suited to running.
- Earbuds come in multiple sizes.
- Built in Alexa and voice command.
- 5 hours of battery time.
- Sweat resistant.
If you really don’t want to be dealing with wires of any kind, these are the best wireless earbuds for small ears.
Bose SoundSport In-Ear Heaphones
Review: Similar to the Monster iSports above but with a much higher price tag, these corded headphones are designed to be comfortable, stay secure while running, and deliver top quality audio while still letting you hear enough ambient noise to stay safe.
- They don’t completely block out ambient noise so safe for road running.
- Comes with 3 different sized wing tips and earbuds.
- Excellent sound quality.
- Sweat and weather resistant.
- Stay secure in your ears while running.
- Some durability issues.
- A little pricey for what you get.
These headphones are some of the best on the market in terms of sound quality, but their durability and overall performance perhaps don’t quite justify their high price tag.
That concludes this list of the best running headphones for small ears.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that you now feel inspired to go for a run with some cool beats to keep you motivated – I do!
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