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Why do earbuds have a suction feeling?

Many people these days use earphones to listen to music. And most earphones give a suction feeling to the ears. Why do earbuds have a suction feeling? We will discuss it today.

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Why do earbuds have a suction feeling?

Earphones have evolved a lot and earphones no longer look and sound like what was available 10 years ago. There were no in-ears famous in the market. Just a normal pair of earphones. They don’t suck your eardrums while wearing them. Neither did they suppress the noise.

So, Why do earbuds have a suction feeling?

It is because there is a pressure difference between the in-ear and atmosphere. You see, in order to keep the noise away, there must be a tight seal between the ear tips and the in-ear canal. And to suppress further noise, most of the earbuds have no opening hole between the in and outside of the earbuds. Most of these earbuds and neckbands are not only uncomfortable but also has this suction issue.

And it is with this kind of earphones, this phenomenon occurs. When you press the earbuds inside the ear canal, it acts like a syringe. It pushes the air into the canal. Since the seal on the ear tips is tight with the canal, it compresses the air inside the canal. This makes the compressed air inside the canal comes out breaking the seal between the ear tips and the canal. Hence the excess pressure evens out. 

Now when you leave the earphone as it is and take your hands off it, the muscles of the ear make the earbuds push outside. However, the ear tips are designed in a way that air cannot go inside the canal to even out the pressure. The low-pressure zone occurs inside the ear canal. And this causes the suction feeling inside the ears.

Hence some of the earphones have a hole connecting the ear canal to the outside. Although it serves to equalize pressure outside and inside the ear canal, it does allow some of the noise to creep in. Hence, a noise-cancellation earphone with a hole is ideal. But, it also makes the earbuds less water resistant.

There are many other factors on how to buy a TWS earphone. You should consider researching on it to buy a comfortable pair of TWS earphones.


There is a disadvantage in using earbuds that induces a suction feeling inside your ears. That’s high volume and pressure.

With the suction on, the ear drum is already in a tense state. More volume or using a bigger driver only makes it worse. It sometimes increases the pressure during high-volume listening and it does have the potential to spoil your hearing ability.

Although you perceive there is an improvement in detail perception, it actually has a negative effect. You see, the eardrum is always in a neutral position and it vibrates based on the sound energy that hits it. Now with added pressure, it only makes some vibrations perceive differently and that makes the audio adulterated.

You can use the earbuds inserted slightly inside the ear canal. It will keep your eardrums safe by compromising on bass impact, sound quality, and noise isolation. But, it is the suggested way to go for such earbuds. You might feel that the earbuds don’t fit in one ear. But, you shouldn’t oppose it and shove the earbuds inside. If you wear it improperly, it will hurt your ears.

You can also do away with in-ear earphones at all and switch to on-the-head or over-the-head headphones. This not only saves your auditory system, but it also gives more impact to the songs.

Even better is using a loudspeaker to listen to music. But that is a different thing to deal with.


Now that you know why earbuds have a suction feeling, you also know how to negate it by purchasing noise-cancellation earbuds with holes or using the existing earbuds wisely as said in the above paragraph. We should be wise about what we use and how we use it. 

After all, technologies and innovations are to make our lives better and not worse. Don’t they?

Thanks for reading.

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