Do your earbuds hurt your ears? You’re not alone. Learn why your earbuds might hurt your ears and how you can find earbuds that are made for your earprint.
Plastic earbuds hurt. And earbuds with interchangeable plastic tips aren’t much better.
If you live in your off-the-shelf earbuds, then you know the uncomfortable sensation of sore cartilage mixed with the “cotton ball in your ear canal” feeling after a long day of commuting, working hard and working out.
Sure, blasting your favorite records all day might motivate you to finish that presentation early or do those extra reps, but it’s also damaging your hearing. Possibly forever.
In this article, we’ll explore the causes of ear pain from earbuds and explain how you can avoid these issues and protect your hearing.
Why Do Earbuds Hurt My Ears?
Off-the-shelf earbuds come in two varieties—molded plastic or rubber tip. Your ears are unique—one of nearly 8 billion sets around the world.
Here’s why earbuds hurt your ears:
1. Off-The-Shelf Earbuds Don’t Fit.
Those plastic earbuds that came in the box with your phone are like the glasses at 3D movies—uncomfortable, disposable, and to be honest—a little underwhelming. They’re designed with “one size fits all” in mind. Or, at best, small, medium and large. 8 billion people with ears, three earbud sizes. Yikes.
Earbuds that don’t fit properly hurt because they rest unevenly inside your ear canal. Even the kind with small, medium or large tips can trigger pressure points inside your ears, causing discomfort and fatigue.
Plus, all that wriggling around inside your ear creates friction, which can lead to itching, chafing or, in severe cases, even bleeding.
2. Why Do Earbuds Hurt My Ears? It’s The Midrange!
Then there’s the audio quality. Without a secure fit, sound escapes before it can reach your inner ear. That’s why there’s always that one person on the bus who’s unknowingly treating everyone to their playlist for the entire commute.
As a result of this escaping sound, non-custom earbuds rely on all sorts of tricks to compensate for their weak sound reproduction.
Cheap earbuds often boost the bass to make up for bass frequencies lost from the poor fit and, let’s face it, that works better for some styles of music more than others. Or they’ll boost mid-high frequencies to create the illusion of loudness. This works because our brains are trained to listen for sounds in that frequency range—famously, the human voice—but hearing too much of it causes ear fatigue.
That’s not to say, boosting frequencies can help improve the sound quality in certain situations, but wouldn’t you rather decide for yourself what frequencies sound good?
3. You Gotta Play ‘Em Loud.
It’s a loud world out there. What do you do when office chatter, plane engines and traffic noise threaten to kick out your jams? Turn ‘em up, of course. Before long, your ears are ringing like you just left the world’s longest Mötörhead concert.
Besides being uncomfortable to wear, ill-fitting plastic earbuds let outside sounds invade your listening space—breaking your concentration and sense of immersion. It doesn’t take long until your device’s volume is pushed to the max just to block out ambient noise.
Hearing damage occurs after only a few hours of exposure to sound levels above 85dBA. With earbuds, some phones can go as loud as 110dBA—just shy of Mötörhead levels, but still enough volume to permanently damage your hearing after only two minutes of exposure.
There has to be a better way to deal with ear pain and hearing loss from turning up uncomfortable earbuds. And there is.
We Wanted to Make the Most Comfortable Earbuds
We were tired of struggling to find earbuds that didn’t straight-up hurt, and that’s why we made UE FITS.
First, FITS prevent ear pain by offering a bespoke fit out of the box with self-molding tips that automatically adjust to your unique earprint. With their custom, secure fit, FITS avoid the poking, prodding and chafing of other earbuds. No pressure points, no pain.
Second, FITS’ customizable self-molding tips provide excellent passive noise isolation to reduce environmental sounds and keep volume levels under control without ear fatigue or hearing damage.
Finally, the included UE FITS app gives you the choice between several preset sound signatures—Bass Boost, Spoken Word, etc.—so you can customize the sound of your FITS for the type of content you enjoy, with the option to create your own unique settings.
Are you ready to experience all-day comfort? UE FITS has a perfect fit guarantee and a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy, so try them risk-free!