When I first did this, it was purely out of curiosity. True wireless earbuds are a pretty new technology for consumer-grade products, so I didn’t know if anyone had actually tried to use them while engaging in active movement.
At the time, there were no other articles on this subject that I knew of because it’s an experience exclusive to true wireless earbuds at the moment. With one exception, every article about wireless earbuds says they’re not ideal for exercise. This isn’t surprising because any headphones plugged into a 3.5mm jack will be difficult to deal with when you’re being active. However, that’s just an inconvenience and these have nothing to do with wired/wireless earphones being good or bad for working out.
So I tried running with the earbuds in and it didn’t go well at all. They’re heavy, there’s no grip to hold them into your ears, they have no sweat resistance/waterproofing so they start slipping out immediately, and who knows what else is yet to be discovered. But one thing you can trust me on is that paying $80 for wireless earbuds only to have them fall out while being used actively makes you feel pretty ripped off.
That was my first thought when this problem cropped up. If not too intelligent, one might say these were “designed for exercise.” In reality though, true wireless earbuds are just a new piece of technology that happens to fit very poorly into the requirements for an active lifestyle.
Since I doubted anyone had already solved this problem, I decided to figure out a way of adding grip to the earbuds so they would stay put while being used actively. The hold of adhesive-backed silicone is very strong but not too durable, meaning after repeated removal and re-application it will give out on you. So that was my first challenge: how do I make something that’s reusable?
The materials are simple enough. Some hair ties work great because they’re made of stretchy silicon-rubber material with no seams or ridges which can cause discomfort or snag your earphone wire. Hair ties cut into small pieces are perfect because you only need a inches of stretchiness anyway.
As for the adhesive, regular double-sided tape does not work because it’s too thick and doesn’t stick to smooth plastic. I test various tapes until I found one that works perfectly. It’s thin enough to be mostly unnoticeable but strong enough to hold, has no ridges or seams, is totally transparent so you can’t see it on your earbuds, and comes off easily without leaving a residue when you’re ready for a change.
Some basic precautions need to be taken though: make sure everything is clean before applying this stuff – including yourself! The more dirt/oil there is on your skin/hair ties/earphone wires, the less likely they will stay in place.’ll also want some form of proof that the hold will last through the exercise. I applied this to my earbuds and ran about 5 miles (continuously) with them in, and they never slipped out once.
You’ll also need a pair of scissors and some kind of tweezers-like device for precise control over where you cut. As long as you have those things, I don’t think it should be too hard to put your own custom grips on these earphones so they won’t fall out or hurt your ears when being used actively or while sleeping. If anyone tries this out, share your results in the comments section below!
Thank you for reading! If you found this article helpful,