All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
We do not know of any Sharee'ah grounds for placing the hands on the ears or face while reciting the Quran. It is possible that the reciters of the Quran who do so do it out of habit and not as an act of worship. What counts is the rulings of the Sharee'ah, and not the actions of people. The ears were mentioned in connection with calling the athaan, not reciting the Quran. It is recommended that the muaththin (the person who calls to prayer) places his index finger in his ears when calling the athaan. Wahb ibn ‘Abdullaah, who was nicknamed Abu Juhayfah said, "I saw Bilaal calling the athaan and turning his face here and there, and his (index) fingers were in his ears." [At-Tirmithi]
Abu ‘Eesa (At-Tirmithi) wrote, "The report narrated on the authority of Abu Juhayfah is hasan saheeh (good or sound) and should be acted upon; scholars recommend that the muaththin places the index fingers inside his ears while calling the athaan. Some scholars held that it is also recommended while raising the Iqaamah (second call to prayer), and this view was held by Al-Awzaa‘i." [End of quote] The hadeeth was declared saheeh (sound) by Al-Albaani
Al-Bukhari allocated a chapter in his book Saheeh Al-Bukhari entitled, "...Bilaal used to put his two fingers in his ears, and Ibn 'Umar did not put his two fingers in his ears..."
Allaah knows best.