The 13 Most Comfortable Earbuds You Can Wear All Day, Every Day

the most comfortable earbuds of 2022
Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

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We here at SPY hate being uncomfortable. There’s a reason we’re so knowledgeable about cozy slippers, joggers and the most comfortable sneakers. But don’t think that comfort starts and ends in the world of fashion for a second. Oh, no, dear reader, comfort applies to tech too, especially when searching for the most comfortable earbuds.

Often when shopping for a pair of cheap wireless earbuds, comfort and fit can get seriously overlooked. The way wireless earbuds sit in your ears is such a specific feeling that anything less than ideal can result in an annoying fit (at best) or downright pain (at worst). How do you find the balance between a comfortable fit and quality?

We spoke with tech YouTuber Juan Carlos Bagnell, who has spent countless years covering audio-related gadgets like true wireless earbuds on his website and YouTube channel. We asked him what to consider when looking for a pair of comfortable earbuds.

“Ears are funky. It seems simple to plop a driver in front of your ear canal, but fit and comfort often requires a little experimentation,” explained Bagnell.

Of course, it’s unrealistic to concretely determine that one specific pair has a more comfortable fit than another. That’s because, just like earbuds, our ears come in all different shapes. “Some buds have thicker and longer arms that go inside the ear canal; some are more shallow and thinner,” Bagnell replied in more detail. “That tip can be circular or oval. Earbuds can also have wings or loops that press against the outer ear to secure them.”

More often than not, finding the right fit doesn’t happen right away. But instead, it requires trying on a few before you find the right pair. “It takes a little trial and error, but finding the right fit earbud for you is a great feeling,” noted Bagnell. Given that he previously worked as a voice casting director, he certainly knows the feeling after using many pairs of headphones and earbuds over the years.

Luckily, most earbud brands pay very close attention to fit and feel, so it’s just a matter of doing the research and finding out which is best for your needs. To make it easier for you, we tested 13 of the most comfortable earbuds from brands such as Sony, Apple, Ultimate Ears and Jabra. We compared how comfortable these earbuds were relative to each other, as well as how securely they stayed in place while working out. Finally, we considered how long you could comfortably leave these in place before fatigue set it.

You can find our top picks — and more insight into our testing process — below.

  

1. JLab Epic Sport Air Earbuds

BEST OVERALL

JLab designed their Epic Sport Air earbuds for working out, but the over-ear loops help to provide a secure and comfortable fit whether you’re running in preparation for a marathon or just running to catch the train. When you combine that cozy feel with other great features like ANC, extended playback, and even a super low latency movie mode, the Epic Sport has a lot to offer at a fantastic price. Even though they aren’t the best-sounding earbuds for sale in 2022, we do think they’re the most comfortable, especially for athletes.

It didn’t matter what exercises we performed — burpees, lunges, push-ups, sprints — these earbuds stayed put. In our testing we found that these were equally comfortable to the UE Fits Earbuds, and considerably better than the Powerbeats Pro, which have a similar hook design.

Why They’re the Best: In terms of comfort, sound quality, price and design, the JLab Epic Sport Earbuds outperformed every other pair of wireless earbuds we tested. Wear them for up to three hours without any ear fatigue.

Read More: Best Waterproof Earbuds

jlab sport earbuds Courtesy of Jlab

  

2. Apple AirPods Pro

BEST FOR APPLE USERS

Whether it’s the AirPods’ relaxing open-ear design or the AirPods Pro’s snug fit, Apple’s collection of long-stem danglers are undeniably the most comfortable earbuds for any iDevice or MacBook owner. The sound ports are uniquely shaped to sit in the auricle and not press up against the ear, making either model easy to get accustomed to. While the second- and third-generation AirPods are also very comfortable, the AirPods Pro are even more so.

The AirPods Pro come with installed tips that make all the difference for fit, plus an Ear Tip Fit Test that accurately determines the best tips for use. (You can also purchase third-party tips and wings for regular AirPods). But what really makes the AirPods such a standout is their interconnectivity with Apple’s unbeatable ecosystem, delivering seamless usability through adaptive sound, instantaneous connectivity, and other cool features like “Hey Siri” voice activation.

Full Review: Apple AirPods Pro Are Still a Must-Have

apple airpods pro earbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

3. Ultimate Ears UE Fits Earbuds

CUSTOM FIT

How do you make sure your earbuds are genuinely comfortable? Get earbuds that are truly customized for you. The UE Fits employs patented Lightform technology that molds the tips to the contour of your ears for a tailored fit. How are the results? Surprisingly accurate.

Our reviewer said the buds fit to form around his ear canal and ensured day-long comfort without any slippage. The warming sensation that occurred during the molding process was harmless. Furthermore, the tight seal created by the newly shaped tips passively blocked out noise at the same level as some mid-range noise-canceling earbuds. For the UE Fits to achieve this without the use of algorithms is impressive. Let us not forget Ultimate Ears’ reputation for boomy sound either (have you heard their bass-blasting Boom speakers?), which remains punchy and warm and can be customized via the companion app.

most comfortable earbuds Courtesy of Ultimate Ears

  

4. Sony WF-1000XM4 Earbuds

BEST HIGH-END

We reviewed the Sony WF-1000XM4, and part of what makes it so unique are the memory foam-like ear tips that not only feel like pillows resting on the canal but also shape to your ear the longer you wear these buds. The revamped design also has a lot to do with the buds’ high comfort levels; ditching the WF-1000XM3’s elongated form for a more traditional oval shape was the more practical choice. Another part of comfort is the listening experience and the WF-1000XM4 doesn’t disappoint with immersive, hi-res sound and active noise cancellation (ANC) that rivals most over-ear headphones.

In terms of comfort, these earbuds are on par with Apple AirPods Pro. The XM4s rest pleasantly on the ears and barely apply pressure to the concha, allowing you to wear them for long stretches throughout the day. Sony’s pre-installed foam tips are also clutch for establishing a tight grip around the ear. The Optimal Earbud Tips test is as reliable as Apple’s version and determines the best fit for your ear shape.

Full Review: Are Sony’s New WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds Worth It?

Sony-WF-1000XM4 Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

5. Sony LinkBuds

BEST OPEN EAR DESIGN

Sony’s latest wireless earbuds are undeniably intriguing. The donut shape looks odd at first glance, but the design is intended to provide you with a better sense of your surroundings. In other words, the LinkBuds let in ambient noise to increase your environmental awareness without compromising audio quality. Since there is no sound port, the flat speaker unit on the front projects spacious, well-rounded sound to your ears. Additionally, we appreciated how one section of the earbuds sat on the outside of the ear and the tiny silicone Arcs (that’s what Sony calls their wings) provided decent grip control to prevent slippage.

At a mere 0.14 ounces, these are easily the lightest earbuds we’ve ever tested, which also makes them some of the most comfortable earbuds available in 2022. There were moments when we completely forgot they were on the ears.

sony linkbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

6. Beats Fit Pro

BEST AIRPODS ALTERNATIVE

AirPods are cool, especially the AirPods Pro with its awesome 3D-sounding capabilities (Spatial Audio is no joke). However, you would be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring Apple’s other major wireless offering: the Beats Studio Fit. This sportier alternative stuffs nearly all the AirPods Pro’s special features and longer battery life into a micro design that can only be described as the Studio Buds with wing tips. What you get are superb-sounding earbuds that play nicely with any Apple or Android device and remain put on your ears when engaged in lateral-heavy workouts.

Comfort has also been improved compared to the Powerbeats Pro with the cavity and wing tips being gentler on skin and reducing soreness around the concha. Despite the popular Powerbeats Pro providing a more secure fit (that earhook design is everything), the Fit Pro’s ergonomic design is much more pleasant on the ears. The tiny oval shape molds nicely to the concha and doesn’t apply unwanted pressure.

beats fit pro on bed Alex Bracetti | SPY.com
  

7. Jabra Elite Active 75t

BEST FOR EXERCISE

Jabra’s most critically acclaimed true wireless release is the perfect workout companion in terms of comfort and sound performance. The silicone EarGels seal the canal and absorb residual moisture to minimize slippage during exercises. Jabra designed these buds to be 22% smaller than their predecessor and extremely light (0.2 ounces), so you’ll forget you’re even wearing them in the first place. The warm sound profile will rev up your engine before a 5K run. In addition, the tiny charging case won’t weigh you down when hitting the road.

Now that the Jabra Elite 85t earbuds are out, why have we rated these older earbuds more highly? Their supremely comfortable fit and sweat resistance put them over the top. Jabra’s EarGels form a tight seal, which keeps out sweat and prevents slippage. There have been days when we’ve worn these buds for several hours straight and not felt any soreness until about the 6-hour mark. Our only complaint is that the button design does interfere with comfort since it requires pushing the buds further into the ear.

Jabra-Elite-Active-75t, most comfortable earbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com
  

8. Apple AirPods 3

The newest generation of Apple’s AirPods were released in late 2021 (we’re hoping to see a new generation of AirPods Pro in late 2022), and the AirPods 3 are a more affordable alternative to the Pros that still offer excellent comfort and fit as well as stellar audio quality. While you miss out on ANC, these mid-range wireless earbuds otherwise have the same sound features as the AirPods Pro. The adaptive EQ improves sound quality by adjusting what you hear based on your environment. Spatial Audio is also impressive, and it does a good enough job of bringing 3D sound to select Apple Music tracks.

But how comfortable are they? The newest Apple earbuds definitely earn their spot among the most comfortable earbuds of 2022. The sound port is a bit more angled for seamless insertion into the canal. It also sits beautifully on your ears and doesn’t cause any discomfort. We got to wear the buds for 4-hour stretches before fatigue set in.

Read More: The Best AirPods Deals (Updated Weekly)

apple airpods 3 earbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com
  

9. Urbanista Stockholm Plus

BUDGET BUY

If you want something that resembles AirPods, and comfort is priority, then check out the Urbanista Stockholm Plus. It is half the price of Apple’s wireless earbuds, comes in more colors (Black, Rose Gold, Titanium, White), and replicates the classic open-ear design to a T. Discomfort was never an issue when worn for long stretches. You won’t experience any pressure buildup either since the buds aren’t placed in the canal. The only thing more satisfying is the bright soundstage that produces detailed mids and highs.

Comfort on the Stockholm Plus is as great as the AirPods 3. The sound port sits right on the concha and remains stable, though running with the buds will increase the risk of them falling out. They feel light on the ears and won’t weigh you down during walks either.

Read More: Our Favorite AirPods Alternatives

urbanista stockholm plus, most comfortable earbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com
    

10. Jabra Elite 85t Earbuds

ALSO CONSIDER

If this was a ranking of the best noise-canceling earbuds, Jabra’s new generation of earbuds would be at the top of the list. But if comfort is your overall priority, then they do leave something to be desired. Even so, these are phenomenal earbuds.

Of all the wireless earbuds makers, Jabra has been the most committed to developing a universal fit. They’ve even gone as far as scanning “62,000” ears and ran those results through an “advanced algorithmic simulator,” which is how they were able to cram such powerful hardware into the tiny flagship Elite 85t. The semi-open design with pressure relief vents helps minimize pressure build-up inside the ear, while the proprietary silicone EarGels keep the buds locked in place. Combine these features with long-lasting battery life, superior noise cancellation, and crystal-clear microphones for taking calls, and the Elite 85t is well worth your consideration.

Full Review: Jabra’s Elite 85t Wireless Earbuds

jabra elite 85t, most comfortable earbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

11. 1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds

MOST CUSTOMIZABLE 

In addition to the three drivers that power these great-sounding earbuds from 1MORE, they’re designed with a comfortable ergonomic fit to slide naturally into your ears. With nine different customized tips, there’s sure to be a fit that will work well with your ear shape to provide the best comfort around. The in-line remote makes it easy to navigate through your audio with the touch of a button. 1More’s soundstage should not be overlooked either since it gives music and movies a dynamic and lively presence.

Wired earbuds tend to offer the best comfort, so it is no surprise that the Triple Driver Earbuds do just the same. One would think the metal construction presses hard against the concha, but it doesn’t, thanks to the angled sound port. There were days when we felt fine wearing the model for long stretches of 4-6 hours. Eight sets of tips, three being foam memory tips, is a remarkable amount to have in the box. The foam tips are the way to go for elite comfort and fit, forming to the shape of your ear canals, producing a tight seal, and feeling like pillows pressed up against the skin.

1more triple driver, most comfortable earbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com

  

12. Sennheiser IE60 Headphones

ALTERNATIVE WIRED

Sennheiser is known best for their studio-quality audio and Bluetooth headsets, but they also make quality, super comfortable headphones. The wired IE60 reflects this ethos, thanks to a relaxing, cushion-fit design that establishes long-term comfort for hours on end. We particularly love the bundled tips and hooks, which wrap gently around the ear and hold the cable over your earlobes. Something to keep in mind if the standard feel of this model doesn’t quite work for you.

Sennheiser IE60 Headphone Courtesy of Amazon

  

13. Nothing Ear (1)

BEST VALUE

Comfort shouldn’t have to come at a premium and it took the new kid on the true wireless block to show us. Nothing’s $99 wireless earbuds are an inexpensive triumph and one of the most comfortable cheap wireless earbuds we’ve tested yet. These buds offer plenty of performance in a cool see-through design. The wide sound port makes for a snug fit when propped on the ear, plus the multiple oval tips that come in the box accommodate listeners with different ear shapes. We used the buds sporadically throughout the day for several hours and barely experienced any fatigue. Effective ANC, Bluetooth 5.2 with strong connectivity, and rich audio powered by 11.6mm drivers round out this affordable gem.

For cheap earbuds, the sound signature is balanced and pure, allowing us to hear every instrument in orchestral recordings and every vocal in harmonic tracks. We also found that the touch controls are highly responsive to tap gestures, ensuring commands are executed as intended.

nothing ear 1, most comfortable wireless earbuds Alex Bracetti | SPY.com
  

Also Consider: Sony XM4 Noise-Cancelling Headphones

BEST HEADPHONES

It took Sony four tries, but they finally created the masterpiece they set out to make when venturing into the noise-canceling audio space. The WF-1000XM4 (Mark Series 4) packages exceptional ANC and sound into a fancy design without compromising fit or comfort. Premium materials like aluminum and sturdy plastic don’t weigh down the headphones and the plush padding rests soothingly on both the head and ears. Sony even made the earpad cutouts wider to allow for more ventilation. 

So if you prefer headphones to earbuds, this is the one pair we’d most highly recommend for comfort.

Sony XM4 headphones, best Christmas gifts Courtesy of Amazon
  

Most Comfortable Earbuds Accessories

Do you already own a pair of earbuds featured in this guide? That doesn’t mean you can’t make your existing earbuds even more comfortable. Check out the accessories below to improve the fit on your earbuds and ensure ultimate comfort.

Comply Foam Tips

BEST EARTIPS OVERALL

These memory foam tips are becoming more popular with every big true-wireless release. Comply solves the three primary problems with earbuds – comfort, fit, and sound quality – all of which are advanced when plugging these tips into the nozzle of your favorite buds. Viscoelastic memory foam conforms to the shape of your canal and is 30 times softer than silicone tips. So, you can see why the company sells a pair for every top-performing model out there.

comply foam tips on sony earbuds Courtesy of Amazon
  

Luckvan Ear Hook Cover Tips

BEST AIRPODS ADD-ON

Not everyone may like the one size fits all design of the AirPods, which is why users can complement them with silicone tips for that just-right fit. Luckvan’s silicone ear tips go over the AirPods to ensure that they snuggly fit without having that feeling of being irritating over time.

Luckvan 2 Pairs AirPods 3 Ear Hook Cover Grip Tips Courtesy of Amazon

  

How We Tested the Most Comfortable Earbuds of 2022

For this guide, we recruited two of our most experienced product reviewers to handle the testing — Alex Bracetti and William Goodman. Together, they tested every single pair of earbuds and headphones that appear in this guide, which went through a rigorous testing process to earn their spot among the most comfortable earbuds.

All 13 of the earbuds we selected were tested for a minimum of two weeks, and the top options were tested for up to several months before we rendered a final verdict. In addition to evaluating the overall sound quality, noise-cancellation (if applicable) and battery life, we also tested how securely they fit during exercise. We wanted to know if the earbuds advertised as sports-friendly really lived up to that promise, so we tried them out while doing common exercises like jogging and push-ups.

When testing wireless earbuds, we rate each product according to a set of criteria. Since this guide is mostly focused on comfort, overall comfort, fit and fatigue were by far the most important factors in our final ranking. For this review, we considered the following metrics: battery life, noise-cancellation, water and sweat resistance, sound quality, connectivity, ease of controls, design aesthetic, and comfort.

We gave each of these earbuds a score for each of these criteria, with comfort weighted the most heavily (it made up about half of the overall score).

We’ll continue to update the article as we test and review new wireless earbuds, so keep checking back to see what new products make the cut in the future.

most comfortable earbuds of 2022 A selection of the wireless earbuds tested for this review. Alex Bracetti | SPY.com
  

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