There’s a single phrase that strikes terror into the hearts of earbud users the world over—earbud fatigue. (Apologies for any discomfort caused by making you read that.) We’re all familiar with the feeling of being pulled away from our favorite music tracks by that nagging sensation of earache. This issue is even more impactful if you’re an athlete or musician who depends on your earbuds for practices and performances. Audio lovers who use in-ear headphones are always looking for products and strategies to stave off earache for as long as possible. But which of these supposed solutions delivers substantial results? Can anything resolve the ever-present “earbuds hurting ears” dilemma?
At Hearing Components, we don’t believe that your earbuds should dictate how long you’re permitted to immerse yourself in your audio. That’s why we developed Comply™ Foam tips, which leverage unique viscoelastic memory foam technology to improve the quality and longevity of your listening experiences. We’re also passionate about educating fellow audio enthusiasts on what causes earbud fatigue and how to prevent it. Read on to learn how you can put that incessant ear pain to bed for good.
What Causes Earbud Fatigue?
Before you can solve a problem, it’s critical to understand what’s causing it. In reality, there are quite a few aspects of earbud use that can cause painful feelings in your ears. Firstly, sealing your ear canal with an in-ear headphone actually creates an oscillating pressure chamber. This chamber boosts the amount of pressure in your ear, triggering the acoustic reflex (an involuntary muscle contraction in the middle ear that’s produced by high-intensity sound stimuli). In short, wearing earbuds for long stretches of time causes the tiny muscles in your ear to rapidly engage and disengage, resulting in pain and discomfort over time.
Earbud fatigue can also be caused by rough or ill-fitting earbud tips. Believe it or not, the typical silicone used to create earbud tips is too hard for your ears to endure for long. As you jam out with your in-ear headphones in, their tips will wear on your ears, eventually causing earache. That’s why many high-end earbud manufacturers are using foam tips (which are significantly softer than silicone) to provide more comfortable and long-lasting listening experiences for users. Earbud tips that are too big for your ears can also cause pain and discomfort, and these sensations usually flare up right when they’re put in.
Preventing Earbud Fatigue
Now that we have a grasp on what causes it, let’s discuss what we can do to eliminate earbud pain. In an overwhelming number of cases, earbud pain and fatigue stem from the size and quality of your earbud tips. The good news is that it’s very easy (and inexpensive) to swap out your current tips for new ones that enable longer listening sessions. Let’s delve a little deeper into how you can do this.
If you want your earbuds to fit comfortably and avoid ear pain, it’s essential to choose the right tip size. Even foam tips (which are designed to reshape themselves around your unique ear size) can feel uncomfortable if you pick a size that’s too large for you. We advise you to try on the eartips you’re considering before you buy when possible. Not only will this ensure that you like the product, but it’ll also make sure you select the right size from the onset. When in doubt, medium sizes are a good choice for most users. You can always move up or down a size if they feel too loose or snug. In any case, what you’re looking for is a snug, secure fit that doesn’t feel painful or uncomfortable.
As we mentioned earlier, traditional silicone can be pretty rough on our ears, causing earbud fatigue after an hour or so of use. That’s why we strongly encourage you to use foam tips. The advantage of foam products is that they’re flexible enough to reshape themselves to your ear canal as it reacts to movement and temperature changes, maintaining a solid, comfy fit. There are many different types of foam eartips, and some prioritize softness and preventing fatigue more highly than others. For example, our Comply™ Foam Comfort series products leverage a special spherical shape to mitigate the amount of pressure on your ear canal, effectively eliminating earbud fatigue entirely.
Stop Earbud Fatigue for Good With Hearing Components
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you’ll combat and eliminate earbud pain. But if you’d like additional advice or support in that battle, then don’t hesitate to call or message Hearing Components. Our team is committed to providing you with the best listening experiences possible, and we’d love to help you in any way we can. Also, feel free to reach out if you’re interested in learning more about us or our revolutionary Comply™ Foam eartips. We look forward to hearing from you soon!