The Search For Comfortable In-Ear Headphones
A lot of people can’t stand the feel of earphones. Others don’t mind them but find that the fit isn’t right causing earphones to fall out or not sit properly in the ear. The standard one-size-only of the silicone eartips are a source of irritation for many people but the thought of moving to a on-ear or over-ear headphone is too inconvenient. Well there are a few possibilities out there in the in-ear headphone market that could have you jumping for joy. Let’s take a look at a few.
Silicone Eartips in Multiple Sizes
Headphone companies have started to hear the cry for help from the section of the population that have issues with their earphones being too big or too small. A lot of these companies have started packaging their in-ear headphones with eartips in multiple sizes. Companies like Sennheiser, Westone, Audio Technica, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Jays and Shure are now packaging their earphones with silicone eartips in several sizes. This is definitely a reasonable option for many people who simply find the fit of their earphones. In most cases, a look at the specifications of the earphones you’re interested in will reveal what sizes are in the package. And spare eartips are typically available to order separately as well.
In addition to the traditional silicone eartips, many of the same manufacturers mentioned before also provide foam eartips in different sizes. Foam eartips can be immensely more comfortable than silicone. With foam tips, you’ll get a more tolerable in-ear fit. Once inserted into the ear canal, the foam will conform to the inside of the ear creating a custom fit and securely sealing out most outside noise.
For some people the only solution to irritating or ill-fitting earphone inserts is inner-ear headphones. They’re not as good at sealing out the outside ambient noise but they will definitely do the trick if it’s all you can tolerate. As you would expect, inner-ear headphones typically sit just inside the ear without going into the ear canal and are usually made of a hard, durable plastic instead of using the silicone or foam inserts. Yurbuds and Bose have a selection of inner-ear headphones that work well. Sennheiser also makes an earphone called the PMX 686i which is a sport earphone for active applications. Audio Technica also makes a model called the ATH-CHX7iS that fits in the inner-ear that also directs the sound into the ear canal.
Anything custom is going to be a bit more expensive but well worth it if you can afford it. Companies like Westone and Etymotic specialize in this kind of custom monitor. Typically an audiologist will measure your inner ear with extreme precision and with those measurements they create a perfectly molded in-ear monitor.
Whatever your budget or preferences are, there are definitely options for a comfortable in-ear headphone that fits well and doesn’t irritate without having to switch to an on-ear or over-ear headphone. From sized silicone and foam eartips to inner-ear headphones and custom in-ear monitors there’s choices for anyone willing to seek out the most comfortable and affordable option.