Need Headphone Help

I have freakishly tiny ears and pretty much whenever I move my jaw, normal in-ear SONY headphones get ejected. On an average 45 minute commute, this might happen 10-20 times; it’s frakking annoying. Prior to the SONY’s, I had JVC “Marshmallow” in-ear headphones with the same problem (I thought the SONY’s were smaller, but it made no difference, they were not smaller enough). As for standard iPod earbuds - it’s a non-starter; they don’t just fall out, they can’t go in at all. Finally, I can’t put anything over my ear, like those “hook” headphones. I wear glasses daily and they take up every inch of real estate on my tiny freak ears – there’s just no room.

So, I got a pair of Sennheiser runner’s headphones which have an extra prong that wedges them into your ear. I used the teeniest sizers they provided. Okay, they stay in!.. but A)they hurt and B)they aren’t noise-isolating, and I commute by subway, so even at the loudest setting, ambient noise drowns them out and I have to start and stop my iPod, which is annoying when Ira Glass is in the middle of saying something wry.

It is important to note that I am NOT NOT NOT a connoisseur of headphone quality. It is not AT ALL important that the headphones be of top quality, soundwise. 90% of my listening is podcasts and pop music. If they stay in and I can hear them, they are leaps above anything else I’ve tried.

So who can recommend noise-isolating headphones, that actually stay in tiny freak ears? Dopers, whaddaya got?

I can highly recommend Shure earbuds. Be sure you get the kind where the wires go over your ears, not the crappy kind like Apple gives you with the iPod where they just hang out of your ears. This will reduce the chance that the weight of the wire will pull them out when you turn your head, etc. Shure also gives you like 9 different types of ear inserts to use, so you should be able to find one that fits your ear without a problem. I have 2 pairs (the older 210s and some newer 310s) and I love them both.

I also hear a lot of good things about Jaybird products, and am waiting on the new BB4B BlueBuds to be released. They were a huge hit at CES this year and look perfect for use during my favorite activities (hiking, bowling, jogging, etc.) I should have them next month (I prepaid at so I’ll try and remember to post about them either here or on my blog.

Unfortunately, I cannot put anything over my ears, because of my glasses. And standard in-ear noise isolating headphones are physically ejected by pressure from my jaw, from the inside, not by the cord tugging on them, unless they come in a specially tiny size. I clench my teeth all the time.

Also, I am not spending $300 on headphones, period. There is no chance I can appreciate or even distinguish between levels of sound quality in headphones. I’m just a neanderthal like that.

I got some Koss Custom Fit Noise Isolating Earbuds with volume control, model #KE29BZ (BZ is for bronze color), off of Woot, very inexpensive. They have 3 different sizes of inserts included, and one of them is too small for my daughter with teeny-tiny ears. I can’t find a picture online that shows the 3 different sizes included, but it might work for you, and you can find them pretty cheap online. My daughters haven’t complained about the sound quality, which they will if the sound isn’t good.

eh, I just went with the old school dorky over the head earphones. I’ve seen some types that are wired inside a winter cap too. I imagine they sit on the ear not in.

hat with earphones or build your own

Or, a headband with built-in earphones. I covet these.

I have tiny ears, too, and I’ve had good luck with the Jensen Headshox earphones. I use the smallest cover and they seem to stick in further than most (which is probably killing my hearing, but they stay in!). Plus, they’re super cheap.

Sony makes a decent noise-canceling headphone for less than $100.

Skull Candy’s earbuds (about $17) come with seriously tiny cushions. My only problem is that, because I’m fairly hard on them, the cushions pop off and get lost after a couple-three months.

Have you heard of Comply Foam Tips? They’re replacement earbud tips made out of the same type of foam that they use for earplugs. You know, the kind that you roll up in your fingers and then it expands in your ear canal–those earplugs. Anyway, they have replacement tips made for (it looks like) all the major makes of in-ear phones, including your Marshmallows.

Intriguing. I usually can’t seem to squash those foam earplugs tiny enough to get them in my ear, but its worth thinking about.

Thanks all for your suggestions! Still open to more, if you got 'em.

From the comments there:

Seconding the Skull Candy earphones. I have a pair and they’re just great. I’m not normally an earbud person - I hated them the first time I tried them, hated the constant falling out, hated the feel - but the Skull Candy ones are nice. The cheapies that **metronome **mentioned come with three soft rubber cushions you can choose from. I use the smallest and they fit well.