Orbital vs Conch Piercing: What’s the Difference?

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A rushed glance at someone’s fully pierced ear, and you may mistake an orbital piercing for a conch piercing, especially if it’s an outer conch piercing with a ring. However, there are apparent differences between the two piercings, enough for you to choose to get one against the other.

Like with any other piercing, you will consider the pain level, healing time, and price, among others. So, let’s look at orbital vs conch piercing and compare them on all fronts. 

What is an orbital piercing?

An orbital piercing comprises two perforations connected with one piece of jewelry. It’s similar to an industrial piercing with two piercings connected to a barbell. 

There are different types of orbital piercings characterized by their placement on the ear. For instance, an orbital piercing on the helix is called a “helix orbital piercing.” 

orbital piercing


What is the conch piercing?

A conch piercing is a cartilage piercing located in the conch area of the ear. There are two types of conch piercings; an outer conch piercing is closer to the curved cartilage of your ear, while an inner conch piercing is in the middle part of the conch, close to the location of a daith piercing. 

Conch piercing


What’s the difference between an orbital vs conch piercing? 

An orbital piercing is a double piercing connected by one hoop, and it can either be in the lobe or ear cartilage, while a conch piercing is a cartilage piercing located in the conch area of your ear.

Orbital piercing - Orbital vs Conch Piercing: What’s the Difference?
Orbital piercing


Conch piercing
Conch piercing


Orbital piercing vs conch compared

The table below shows a clear comparison between both piercings.

CharacteristicsOrbital PiercingConch Piercing
Type of piercingLobe or cartilageCartilage
LocationLobe or ear cartilageConch
Pain level46
Healing time8 to 10 weeks6 to 9 months
Combination preferencesLobe, helixTragus, helix, lobe

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some of your questions about orbital or conch piercing.

Can you wear AirPods with a conch piercing?

You can wear AirPods with your conch piercing when it’s fully healed. However, avoid using earphones and headsets on a freshly pierced conch as they may irritate it. 

What are the benefits of a conch piercing?

There are claims that a conch piercing helps with chronic pain, muscle relaxation, and anxiety. However, there’s no scientific evidence to back up these claims. 

How bad does an orbital piercing hurt?

Orbital piercings don’t hurt as much as other types of ear piercings, especially when done on the lobe. Also, the cartilage in the helix is thinner than in other places, making it less painful. People typically rate it a 4.5-5.0 on the pain scale, but the pain is relative. 

Is a hoop or stud better for a conch piercing? 

For new conch piercings, studs are better because they allow for less movement, aiding healing. Also, when your piercing is healed, a hoop is a more stylish option for an outer conch piercing, while an inner conch piercing can only be styled with a stud.

Get the right ear piercing

The orbital vs conch piercing discussion is one you must have before deciding to get either one. They share a few similarities being ear piercings, but there are notable differences. However, if you’re still undecided on which one to get, you can get both at the same time, called the orbital conch piercing.

The orbital conch piercing is a cartilage piercing with two holes in the outer conch area, connected by a hoop. It will take as much time to heal as other cartilage piercings. However, it’s uncommon, so you’ll enjoy a unique look.

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