If you watch a lot of Twitch you may notice your favourite streamers wearing earbuds rather than a headset. If you’ve been gaming for a long time this might seem weird to you. I remember around 10 years ago when I got my first ever headset, the turtle beach X11s. A headset was such a big advantage over those who didn’t have one. So, why would these streamers be using earbuds instead of a headset?

Let’s jump in and take a look at the main reasons some streamers prefer earbuds.

Why Streamers Use Earbuds When Streaming

There are multiple reasons streamers will use earbuds over a headset. Let’s take a look at some of the main ones.


The main reason people wear earbuds instead of a headset is comfort. Full-time streamers are sometimes sitting at their desk for 8-12 hours a day. Sometimes even longer. If you have worn a headset for any length of time you may have realised it gets uncomfortable fast.

Personally, I wear glasses and the headset pressing against them can start to hurt after just a few hours of gaming. I imagine if I was regularly doing 12-hour sessions that pain would get really annoying. Earbuds would be a good solution if I planned to do long sessions.


Most earbuds that streamers use are wireless. This allows them to freely get up and move around their room. If you’re plugged in with a wired headset you don’t have the ability to quickly get up out of your seat. If you’re someone who is prone to raging while gaming you may end up pulling a lot of wires out of your computer. Ask me how I know. With wireless earbuds this isn’t an issue.

Noise Leakage

If you like to have your volume up loud you may get noise leakage from a headset. If you game or stream in a room with other people you may not want to bother them with noise leakage from your headset. When you use Earbuds you don’t have to worry about this as the sound is contained. When someone is wearing earbuds you won’t hear any sound even if sitting right beside them.

Budget Friendly

If you are a beginner streamer just getting started out you may not want to pump a lot of money into an expensive headset. Some of them can be 100s of dollars. Lot’s of people have a pair of earbuds lying around their house. They can pick these up and start using them right away without spending a ton of money.

Even if they don’t have earbuds already, it’s usually cheaper to pick up a pair of earbuds than it is to pick up a headset.

Built-In Microphone

A lot of earbuds have a microphone built-in. If you are going to stream on Twitch or Youtube it’s essential to communicate with your audience if you want to grow. It is much cheaper to use earbuds as a microphone and headset compared to purchasing a standalone microphone and headset. The quality is actually pretty good in some of these earbuds as well.

Sound Quality

Some earbuds can actually have just as good sound quality as a headset. If you prefer the in-ear experience over-the-ear with a headset, you can grab some really great earbuds. Some premium earbuds are miles ahead of a $20 pair you might pick up at the airport. If you have never experienced a good pair of earbuds you may be surprised by how good the sound quality can be.

Use One Earbud At A Time

Some people like to only have one earbud in while they are streaming. If they have multiple people in the room and want to chat with others while also being able to hear audio this is a great option. It’s much harder to listen to one ear cup on a headset without getting uncomfortable.

What Are The Negatives Of EarBuds?

While earbuds are a great alternative to over-ear headsets they do come with some downsides. Let’s take a look:

Noise Cancellation

The noise cancellation on earbuds is not as good as the noise cancelling on most headsets. If you live in a noisy environment and want to block outside noise, then you may be better off looking at a headset.

Comfort levels

While earbuds may be more comfortable for some people they may actually be less comfortable for others. Depending on the shape of your ears you may not like earbuds. For example, I love the apple AirPods but I have some friends who just can’t get them to stay in their ears. This really comes down to personal preference.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it. Streamers are usually wearing earbuds instead of a headset because it is more comfortable for them. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and what feels best for you. If you plan on streaming for long periods at a time make sure to choose something you can wear without discomfort.

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