AirPods Pro Hurt My Ears: Possible Causes and Solutions

The original Airpods and their successive generations (2nd and 3rd) are notorious for their uncomfortable fit. This is mainly due to their standard plastic shell design that Apple claims to fit “nearly everyone.”

However, over the years, people with different ear profiles have found that the hard plastic exerts pressure on their cartilage and causes excruciating pain.

The company did try to address this issue with the release of the AirPods Pro. The new earbuds feature a softer silicone material that’s not as harsh on your ear cartilage. They also come with three different-sized ear tips so you can find a better fit.

Unfortunately, even with these design changes, some people are left unsatisfied. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry, there are still some things you can try.

In this post, we will discuss possible causes of why Airpods Pro is hurting your ears and some tips and tricks on how to fix the issue. We will also discuss some great alternatives to Airpods Pro, that might help you to alleviate the pain.

So, without further ado, let’s continue.

Why do Airpods Pro Hurt My Ears?

There are a few reasons why your AirPods Pro might be hurting your ears. There can be more than one reason for this issue, so read these possible causes carefully before you jump to a solution.

Airpods Pro might not Fit Your Ear Profile:

The Airpods Pro is designed to fit a wide variety of ear shapes and sizes. However, they might not fit everyone perfectly. If the ear tips are too small or too large for your ear canals, they might cause discomfort.

The wrong ear tip size can also cause poor sound quality and create a whistling noise. So, if you’re experiencing any pain, make sure to try out the different ear tip sizes (S, M, L) that come with the AirPods Pro.

The Airpods Pro is Inserted too Deep into your Ear Canals:

Earbuds need to be inserted into your ear canal in order to create a seal. This seal is important for two reasons; it helps to improve the sound quality and it prevents outside noise from coming in.

However, if the earbuds are inserted too deeply, they can cause pain and discomfort. Usually, the vibrations from the Airpods Pro being too close to your eardrum leads to headaches, earaches, and in the worst cases, ear infections.

So, make sure to adjust the ear tips until you find a comfortable fit.

You’re using the AirPods Pro for Extended Periods of Time:

Even if the Airpods Pro fits your ears perfectly, using them for extended periods of time can still cause pain and discomfort. This is because wearing any type of earbud for an extended period of time can put pressure on your ear cartilage and cause pain.

If you plan on using your AirPods Pro for long periods of time, make sure to take breaks in between. And, if possible, try to use them for shorter periods of time.

You have an Ear Infection:

If you’re experiencing pain in only one ear, it might be due to an ear infection. Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria or viruses and can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

If you think you might have an ear infection, we recommend that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the possible causes of why Airpods Pro might be hurting your ears, let’s move on to some tips and tricks on how to fix the issue.

How to Stop AirPods Pro From Hurting Your Ears:

Now that you are familiar with the possible causes of the pain, it’s time to move on to some solutions. There are a few things you can do to try and alleviate the pain caused by Airpods Pro.

Switch Ear Tips:

Make sure to try out the different ear tip sizes (S, M, L) that come with your AirPods Pro*. Usually, people with smaller ear canals prefer the small size while people with larger ear canals prefer the large size.

If none of the default ear tips matches your ear profile, you can invest in third-party ear tips. Third-party Eartips for AirPods Pro is usually available in more than 3 profiles, so there are good chances that you would find a good fit for yourself.

Though silicone ear tips are good, we recommend you buy soft foam ear tips to maximize your comfort. Also, you can buy extra padding or covers for your AirPods Pro.

*Airpods Pro comes with medium-sized Ear Tips. You will have to find the Small and Large Eartips separately from the website.

Balance good seal and comfort:

If the ear tips are inserted too deeply into your ear canals, they can cause pain. On the other hand, if they are not inserted deep enough, they might fall out or create a poor sound quality.

Try this Ear Tip Fit Test recommended by Apple:

  1. Start with the most appropriate Ear Tip that you think will suit your Ear Profile.
  2. Connect Airpods Pro to your iPhone and put it inside your ear.
  3. On your phone, open Settings-> Bluetooth-> Find info icon next to your Airpods Pro-> tap on the small ‘i’-> Tap Ear Tip Fit Test->Tap Continue->tap the play button.
  4. Your phone will ask you to make adjustments to get the best fit.

While inserting your Airpods Pro, slightly pull your earlobe and then insert each earbud inside your ears one by one. This will create a gentle seal between your ear and ear canal. In any circumstances, the ear tip must not sit inside the ear canal.

Take a Break From Airpods Pro:

Your ears are not used to having something inserted inside them for long periods of time, so it’s important to take breaks in between. If you are going to use your Airpods Pro for long periods of time, make sure to take a 5-10 minutes break after every hour.

Do a gentle massage of your earlobes and tragus (the small flap of cartilage in front of the ear canal) to increase blood circulation. This will help reduce pain and discomfort.

This will give your ears some time to relax and recuperate. And, if possible, try not to use your Airpods Pro for more than 4 hours a day.

Can AirPods Pro harm your hearing?

Given that your use of AirPods Pro will be in short bursts and within the Volume Limit, and they perfectly fit your ear profiles, it is highly unlikely that they will cause any permanent damage to your hearing.

However, if you use them for long periods of time or at high volumes, there is a possibility that they could cause some temporary hearing loss.

Also, if you have been feeling even a slight discomfort initially due to an ill-fitting ear tip, make sure to use the right one. A mismatching Ear tip can lead to serious pain in the ear canal, headaches, and in some cases ear infection.


If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort while using your Airpods Pro, don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are a few possible causes for this issue, but thankfully, there are also a few things you can do to fix it.

Make sure to try out the different ear tips that come with your Airpods Pro and invest in some third-party ear tips if needed. It’s also important to take breaks in between use and to massage your ears gently to increase blood circulation. If you’re still having issues, consult a doctor.

Airpods Pro will never harm you if you use them rightly and take 5-10 minutes breaks after every 90 minutes of usage.