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Original poster
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
Twin Cities Minnesota

After the initial cleaning, I popped them into my ear and paired the Galaxy Buds Pro with my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. I tweaked a few settings and listened to a few of my favorite songs before placing the earbuds back into the charging case so I could get back to work. The initial audio test lasted about 15 - 20 minutes, and I came away impressed with the audio quality and the comfort of the earbuds — it all went downhill after that.

That same evening my ears were a little itchy, but I didn't think anything of it. Full disclaimer, I had never had any ear infection issues before, so I didn't know what symptoms to be aware of. I woke up the following day with wet ears and some crust on them — both gross and uncomfortable. I wasn't in any real pain, but I wasn't a fan of how my ears felt. I abstained from putting anything in my ears and took care of them to get the mess cleared up ASAP. After about a week, the drainage was gone — as were the crusty bits — and so was any inflammation.

Material choice issue, or something else, has anyone on here had this issue?

This is the first time I read an article and got the hee·bie-jee·bies reading an article. Me personally, I am allergic to long skin exposure to metals, so I know that body contact with objects can cause issues, but this sounds like a more critical issue.

I am hoping the pixel buds that are being sent to me don't cause me to have any type of reaction, but before this article, I never considered a set of buds or other in-ear accessories to cause some type of reaction for me.


Sep 11, 2014
No thank goodness, and as you know from the Pixel discussions I have autoimmune issues and currently have an eye inflamed shut due to that. I have contact dermatitis triggers I have to protect against, too.

As someone active in animal rescue for years, I've seen and treated enough dog and cat ears inflamed by yeast infections that I'm ridiculously fastidious with earbuds, because I want no part of that misery.

I don't ever use earbuds unless I've just cleaned my ears, as in actually washing and more importantly, thoroughly drying them. (I know not everyone on the go can do that. Being a SAHM has its advantages that way).

But I am the one who cleans all the tech and inspects for dirt or damage and replaces screen protectors. I've seen how nasty the kids once let their earbuds get. Once, one was so bad I said the hell with it and threw it out then had a detailed tech hygiene talk.

As I said, I have dealt a lot with animals with yeast infections of the ears. (They always get seen by the vet; I don't diagnose nor do home remedies because yeast infections are not to be trifled with).
Trapped moisture is the cause.

People who exercise and leave their sweat soaked earbuds in are likely to run into problems. It may be that some ear tips retain the moisture and yeast more readily than hard surfaces like older earbuds had. Feeling the tips on buds designed the last few years, I always worried they were a health disaster waiting to happen. They're sticky, they're designed to go deep into the ear and seal into the ear canal. Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that? :rolleyes:

Remove earbuds frequently to let them air out. Wipe them clean. Wipe the surface of your ear clean.

Go back to 1989 when earbuds stayed out of your ear canal and frankly sounded a hell of a lot better. The day I realized the ones that came with my circa 1988 Sony Walkman went permanently missing was a dark day of weeping in my home.


macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2002
Any time you put a tight fitting bud in you ear, it closes off the natural ventilation, traps what moisture there is in your ears, and raises the temp of the inner ear.
For many people this creates a witches cauldron brewing up infections.
I get this occasionally. At the smallest twinge, I switch to on ear headphones that allow a little more ventilation space. Even the on ears, though, can build up enough moisture to cases small problems


macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2017
Wigan UK
Unfortunately I've suffered itchy burning ears from both the Pro & the new Buds 2, Samsung refunded me on the Pro so I thought I'll give the Buds 2 a try, same problem after half an hour using them my ears would itch like hell for about 3 days afterwards, luckily I never suffered any infections from them & also got refunded on the Buds 2, I don't have dirty waxy ears or prone to ear infections.

I've had all the past Galaxy Buds & the Airpods Pro for that matter & none of these gave me any problem, I'm now currently using LG's Tone Free UFP8's which also isn't giving me any problems, which they shouldn't because i choose these due to having both built in UV sterilisation & non-toxic hypoallergenic silicone tips.

I also recently found out the new Beat's are also causing some people the exact same problem.


macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2015
maybe this is an allergic reaction to a specific allergen in the plastic that Samsung uses with these?


macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2017
Wigan UK
Could be or another suggestion is that it could be a coating they using to help protect from water & sweat.


May 27, 2021
This happens to me using both the AirPods Pro and the Beats Pro. Both of these earbuds cause me to get ear infections when I wear them. Its not exclusive to Samsung by any means as I know other people who have been affected by Apple’s Airpods Pro as well. I can only wear the regular AirPods now as a result of this.


macrumors 68030
Feb 23, 2016
The infectious ear from using the Galaxy Pro Buds or Buds 2 seems to be a real thing. I received a free pair of Galaxy Buds 2 with my Galaxy Tab S7+ during Samsungs Black Friday event last month. I used them sparingly prior to learning about this issue. I have not suffered from any of the following problems but I have used them for less than 30 mins total. The only problem i'm having is a slight distortion or noise in the left earbud at higher volume levels.

The poor chap from Android Central who wrote about this got hit hard with an ear infection which required medical attention and medication. He did say he got a full refund but was not reimbursed for his medical expenses as some others were rumored to get from Samsung. In the mean time there is supposedly a Class Action Lawsuit over this problem already in the works.

Since reading about this I may hold off from using them again.


macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2015
I did two things, and continue to after buying Buds 2 (two sets) and had a set of Pro - UV light box and alcohol wipes (daily, I play with cat constantly).
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