AirPods keep falling out and how to keep (practical tips)

Image credit: Unsplash

Without a pair of AirPods, or any other wireless earbuds, you aren’t hip. At least that’s the trending culture in the tech world. And AirPods are sure handy, they are lightweight, comfortable, and most importantly, truly wireless and portable. 

However, the one common downside of them is not-so-secure fit. In fact, the biggest complaint about Apple AirPods in specific is they fall out from the ears. 

GIF credit: Wall Street Journal YouTube 

Why do AirPods fall out of ears? 

The reason AirPods, especially 1st gen AirPods, keep falling out from the ears has got to do with their design itself. Similar to wired Apple EarPods, Apple AirPods rest on the outer ear canal and do not insert inside. 

Image credit: Samma3a

This design is not the best in terms of ensuring the most secure fit as the outer ear canal changes shape as we move our jaw. To test this, place your index and middle finger in one of your sideburns, near to the ear. Open and close your jaw repeatedly and you’ll feel the jaw joint flex. 

GIF credit: Corporis YouTube

As a result, your AirPods or AirPods Pro may fall from your ears simply when you are munching on your favorite food. 

GIF credit: Wall Street Journal YouTube

Specific types of body/head exertion can be one of the major contributing factors causing AirPods to fall out from the ear, especially during working out. 1st gen AirPods typically tend to fall out when running, sprinting, and skipping. 

Source: Reddit

During running and sprinting, the body moves diagonally and in up and down motion which has the potential to displace AirPods from the tragus and anti-tragus of the ears. 

Image credit: Corporis YouTube

Here’s how the body moves diagonally and in up and down motion: 

Source: Physiopedia

GIF credit: Samuel Hamner Vimeo

Due to the diagonal and up and down exertion of the body during running, sprinting, skipping, and jumping jacks, there is a possibility that one or both AirPods can fall out. 

GIF credit: Corporis YouTube

In a blog post by marathon runner and founder of A Foodie Stays Fit blog, Teri, Apple AirPods failed to stay intact on the ears during running tests. 

Source: A Foodie Stays Fit

How do 1st gen AirPods and AirPods Pro hold up against other earbuds?

Do AirPods have worse ear fit as compared to other wireless earbuds? To analyze this, Wall Street Journal tested the ear fit of regular AirPods, AirPods Pro, Amazon Echo Buds, and Samsung Galaxy Buds with mechanical bull riding at slow, medium, and fast speeds 

Image credit: Wall Street Journal YouTube 

GIF credit: Wall Street Journal YouTube 

The regular AirPods fell from one ear one time during all three test speeds. Samsung Galaxy Buds didn’t fall during all three tests. Surprisingly, Apple AirPods Pro also stayed in all the time during all three test speeds. Amazon Echo Buds performed the worst as it fell out during both times the bull rider fell. Watch the entire test and result analysis here

No two ear sizes and shapes are the same

Ear shapes and sizes have been recognized to be as unique as fingerprints. In fact, according to a research paper, ear biometrics are so unique that they have a vast scope for working in a similar way as fingerprint biometrics. 

Source: ePrints Soton

The uniqueness of ear sizes and shapes leads to the possibility that the one-size-fits-all design of 1st gen Apple AirPods may be loose-fitting for many but not for everybody. To back this hypothesis, we have compiled several ear fit tests performed by tech YouTubers. The results are quite astonishing as the AirPods didn’t fall out from the ears in several tests. 

In these two workout/exercise tests, AirPods didn’t fall out from the ears. 

Source: MobileReviewsEh 

Source: iupdate 

How to keep AirPods from falling out: simple inexpensive fixes

If your pair of AirPods do not fit in your ears as securely as you want them to, there are several easy fixes you can try. Check out some of these simple DIY fixes and easy solutions that third-party brands offer: 

1. DIY tape grip 

If you want to keep your pair of AirPods from falling out of your ear in the most secure and inexpensive way possible, try this simple hack. Use a hole punch to punch out small dots of waterproof grip tape. Stick the tape dots onto the areas of your AirPods you feel are loose in your ears. 

Image credit: Macrumors forum

If the punch hole trick doesn’t work for you, you can cut small strips of the waterproof tape and stick them to your AirPods as per your preference. 

Image credit: Macrumors forum 

2. In-ear AirPods tip covers – check them out here

If you prefer the look and feel of in-ear earbuds but currently own a pair of regular AirPods, you can transform your regular pair into in-ear models with these in-ear covers. Not only do these covers ensure a better seal for a more secure fit but also improve noise isolation. 

3. Silicone AirPods skin – check it out here

These silicone AirPods skin from EarSkinz increase the overall diameter of the earbuds to offer a more secure fit both on the ears and keep AirPods from falling out of ears. According to the brand, these AirPods skins also improve audio quality by projecting the audio waves precisely on the ear canal. 

4. Detachable neckband for regular AirPods and AirPods Pro – check it out here

You can transform your AirPods or AirPods Pro into neckband earbuds by simply using this detachable neckband strap. The strap helps you make sure that you don’t lose your AirPods even if they fall out from your ears. The best part? They attach both AirPods magnetically to ensure storing convenience. 

5. AirPods hooks – check them out here

One of the most simple and inexpensive tips on how to get AirPods to stay in the ears is to use in-ear grip covers. They take the secure ear fit a notch higher with a wraparound design. The best part about these AirPods hooks is they are detachable. 

Solutions for a secure ear fit that earbuds brands offer

Several brands have their own take on offering secure ear fit in their earbuds. Check out the different innovative approaches that brands have taken: 

1. Sony

Sony uses their proprietary tri-hold structure fit in most of their newer true wireless earbuds. This design uses the tragus, anti-tragus, and the anthelix of the ears to ensure a highly secure fit. 

Image credit: Sony 

Image credit: Sony YouTube

2. Bose 

Bose uses a combination of in-ear rubber tip and a wing that secures in the ridge of the ears in most of their sports true wireless earbuds. The in-ear tips also offer a great ear canal seal for the active noise cancellation feature to work perfectly. 

Image credit: Bose

3. JBL

Similar to Bose, JBL includes a wing ear tip design in their newer true wireless earbuds that secure in the ridge of the ears. Also, the in-ear tip works in conjunction to ensure a more secure and audio leak-proof fit. 

Image credit: JBL

4. Samsung

Samsung has taken a unique approach with their Galaxy Buds Live. The inner ear tips of the earbuds secure on the anthelix and anti-tragus of the ear. 

What’s most interesting is the overall bean-shaped form factor helps the earbuds insert into the tragus and intertragal notch of the ears.

Image credit: Samsung

Conclusion 

Reiterating the fact that regular AirPods intrinsically fit perfectly to some users while they fall out of the ears of many customers is a good way to wrap up this post. Depending on the size and shape of your outer ear, specifically your tragus, anti-tragus, and concha, Apple AirPods or other wireless earbuds may be a perfect fit for you. Or they may fit you loose and fall out of your ears when you’re working out or doing other physical activities. 

Therefore, it’s best to explore your options and try different earbud models. Check online brands that offer their earbuds for trial. Another option is to visit the physical store of earbud brands and try out different models in the store itself in order to make an informed decision. 

If you have already purchased Apple AirPods Pro or other in-ear wireless earbuds, make sure that you try the included extra ear tips of all sizes in order to find your best fit. 

Image credit: Brandon Butch YouTube

A great tip on how to wear AirPods correctly is to not settle with the ear fit test result that the AirPods app or apps of other earbuds show. Work your way around the ear fit-related idiosyncrasies of your earbuds in order to tweak them with the included extra ear tips or other third-party fixes the best way possible. 

Image credit: Brandon Butch YouTube

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