How to Know If Your AirPods Fit Your Ear


Apple’s AirPods are the epitome of aesthetics merged with functionality—and with 60 million sales in 2019, it’s clear that the world (including you) has taken a liking for the accessories. While buying a pair is typically a wise decision, there’s a risk that they might not fit your ears. To avoid such a disheartening and disappointing scenario, it’s best to know if your AirPods fit your ears early on. 

The 1st and 2nd generation AirPods has only one size. The tip is not removable or adjustable. It fits well with the majority of the population, but the only way to know is to test manually. AirPods Pro, however, has three sizes and comes with an ear tip fit test.

Read on for a comprehensive guide on how to know if your AirPods fit your ears, what to do if they don’t, and everything in between. 

What’s so Alluring About Apple AirPods?

Few wireless earphones in the market (if any) can hold a candle to Apple’s AirPods. Whether it’s the 1st generation (2016), the 2nd generation (2019), or the newer premium Pro version, AirPods boast of an impeccable build quality and an iconic design that’s hard to miss.

Such is the popularity of AirPods that they’ve been labeled as “nothing less than a cultural phenomenon” by Tim Cook, current CEO of the Cupertino-based tech giant (as reported by 9TO5Mac). In a way, Apple AirPods are a status symbol—and they more than warrant their reputation/popularity. 

Regardless of the generation of AirPods you’re planning to get, you’re not going to regret the buying decision. But you already know this – i.e., you wouldn’t be worrying about whether they’ll fit if you didn’t. 

How Tight Should the AirPods Fit?

Picture the following scenario…You’re yearning to rock and step out—brandishing a new Apple AirPods. A quick internet search and tons of positive customer reviews later, you decide to order a pair. But after opening your delivery and attempting to slip them into your ear, a gloomy dread replaces the ecstatic excitement as you realize they don’t fit.

Buying AirPods that don’t fit is a constant fear in most people—and an understandable source of concern. Thinks about it; what good is a $159 or $250 (Pro version) pair of AirPods if they don’t fit your ear? 

AirPods and AirPods Pro are the product of years of R&D (research and development) by some of the best experts in the industry. This means that they’re designed to be as fitting/comfortable as possible—but this isn’t possible for every ear anatomy on the planet. 

As a general rule of thumb, well-fitting AirPods should: 

  • Not Fall Out Easily: From the classic AirPods that sit outside your ear to the AirPods Pro that slot into your ear canal—a good fit means that they stay put, regardless of your level of activity. Some users claim that they’re too small and they tend to slip out of their ears. The issue is especially vexing for users who are always on the move.
  • Not Hurt Your Ears: Your AirPods should not cause ear pain or discomfort if they fit properly.
  • Function Properly: A good fit ensures you enjoy the best AirPods have to offer—whether it’s the noise cancellation feature or the decent bass sound.

Do AirPods Come in Different Ear Tips Sizes?

Yes and no – i.e. it depends with the version you’ve set your eyes on. 

  • AirPods (1st and 2nd Generation): With the 2016 and 2019 versions of the AirPods, Apple decided to go with a one-size-fits-all approach. They’re neither adjustable nor do they have removable tips. Although the approach works for an overwhelming majority of the population, there are a few people who don’t fall within this “all” category. 
  • AirPods Pro: Apple probably heard the cries of users who had trouble fitting AirPods in their ears by introducing removable silicone ear tips with 3 fit sizes—small, medium, and large. 

Tips to Give Your AirPods a Secure Fit

Worried that your AirPods might be too large or too small for your ear’s unique anatomy? Read on for tips to mitigate the risk of dropping your valuable AirPods in a bush on your morning run or hurting your ears.

The Ear Tip Fit Test – AirPods Pro

Did you know that there is a way to determine the AirPods Pro tip size that offers the best acoustic performance and seal for your ears? The method is known as the Ear Tip Fit Test—and it’s available with version 13.2 or later of iOS or iPadOs.

The Ear Tip Fit Test uses microphones in both AirPods Pro to compare the sound level from the speaker driver to that in the ear. It then uses an intuitive algorithm to determine if the AirPods fit your ear—or if you should adjust to a different tip size that offers a better seal.

And if this YouTube video by The Wall Street Journal is anything to go by, it works better than most competitors’.

Here’s how to know if AirPods Pro fit your ears:

  1. Connect your AirPods Pro to your iPad or iPhone.
  2. Insert both AirPods in your ears—using the tip size you find most comfortable.
  3. Open the settings apps—ensuring you’ve updated to iOS 13.2+.
  4. Under the Bluetooth setting, tap the “i” (information icon) next to your AirPods Pro.
  5. Open and run the Ear Tip Fit Test.
  6. Adjust your ear tip based on the recommendations. Green signifies a good seal, while yellow is sub-optimal.

If you have either the first or second-generation AirPods, you’re pretty much stuck with one size. There’s no way to know if your AirPods fit your ear unless you test them manually. 

Can You Get A Refund If the AirPods Don’t Fit?

The short answer is, YES—but there’s a catch. According to Apple’s official website, you can return your AirPods within 14 days of purchase/delivery. 

But this is only applicable if you bought your pair directly from Apple—and as long as you return them in the same condition you received them. If you have the 1st and 2nd generation AirPods and they don’t fit, you can try returning them for the Pro version.

What is the Takeaway?

Apple’s AirPods are a great accessory for several reasons—mainly revolving around their functionality, aesthetics, and prestige. But with their rather premium price tag, no one wants to run the risk of dropping them or foregoing their full acoustic power due to a loose fit.

If you want to know if your AirPods fit your ear, the Ear Tip Fit Test is a great start. But the test is only applicable for the AirPods Pro—owing to their removable and customizable ear tips. 

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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