How you'll know
There’s no point trying to find the perfect fit if you won’t be able to tell when you’ve found it! A good fit is simple: it should significantly reduce background noise while staying comfortable.
There are a number of low-fi tests for a good fit:
- With your earbuds out, put your hand behind your head and run your thumb along your fingertips. Unless you have the smoothest, sleekest hands in the world, you should hear a soft scratchy, whisper-y sound. Now try again with your earbuds in – without anything playing. You shouldn’t hear anything.
- Play music and snap your fingers behind your head. You should hear the hard edge of the snap, and be able to tell where it is, but not the softer, rougher sound of contact between your fingers.
- Move your jaw around like you’ve just gone through a tunnel on a train, or landed a plane. If things aren’t clicking, move it more. This stretches and compresses your ear canals and – if the fit is too loose – should dislodge an earphone.
- Shake your head like you’re a muddy dog standing next to clean washing. Your buds should stay in. If you have any reason to believe that they won’t stay in, do this on a soft surface like a mattress or a sofa or a hot air balloon.
After you’ve tried all that, you should have a good idea whether or not you have a fit which is comfy and noise isolating. If you have followed all of these steps in public, prepare to explain yourself.
Try all the tips!
Your earbuds will likely come with the medium tips on. Sometimes you’ll find that, on first use, one ear feels a lot more secure than the other. This is because bodies are weird. And ears are super-weird. At this point, try all the tips provided; in most instances you’ll immediately fix the problem.
"Your Ears Might Be Different Sizes" is one of those facts that sounds stupid until you think about it – and then it’s just obvious. You may well be a large left and a small right, or vice-versa. That might change as you grow older. Or even – we kid you not – if it’s hot/cold outside.
Is it on right?
The shape of any true wireless earbud is designed to fit in a specific way: you’ll find it hard to get a seal if you’re wearing it at the incorrect angle. The stem of the earbud should run in parallel with your handsome and chiselled jawline. Nobody will judge you for checking yourself out in a mirror, window, or clean silverware to make sure.
We don’t want to go graphic detail here, but if an ear tip is suddenly starting to feel… bulkier… or you’re getting less sound through it… um, take it off and have a look. Without using a Shrek GIF, there can be quite a lot in there – and, yes, definitely enough to lower the volume or change the fit. The good news is that removing the ear tip and gently cleaning the silicone tip with a cloth or cotton bud and warm, soapy water should solve most of these problems. Clean the cloth afterwards.
It’s as simple as that! Check back soon for the next FAQ: how do I clean my earbuds?