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Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by Rifthy

It’s a dream come true for me to hear music, podcasts, and play video games without getting a headache from headphones.

It is the most fortunate of people to be able to wear headphones for a long time without feeling anything.

What is your take on this?

Why is it so difficult to listen to music for as long as you want?

Read this article to find out what the answer is.

Does Wearing Headphones Cause Headaches?

Yes, Sadly, headphones can give people headaches. Even though there is no medical proof that pain exists, everyone feels it.

Headaches from headphone

There are a lot of reasons why we get headaches. Imagine how your ears would feel if you wore earphones for a very long time. That would probably cause headaches.

In addition, you can also suffer pain if you wear ill-fitting earbuds, even for a few minutes.

Here are the reasons for headaches, which will be detailed.

The Reasons Behind Headphone Headaches

In general, headphone headaches are caused by excessive use as well as the shape and size of the gadget.

1. Wearing headphones that are too tight

Due to their inappropriate clamping force, over-ear headphones and on-ear headphones can sometimes cause headaches.

You will be able to feel it after a few minutes of wearing it.

The straps can be stretched out if they are too tight. Continually wearing that thing without paying attention to the pain will lead to headaches.

2. Using a headphone that is not suited to your ears

Ear shapes are also unique to each person, just as fingerprints are. Thus, the manufacturer designed their headphones around the size of an average ear and head.

The average size, however, is expected to not fit everyone. Therefore, if you insist on wearing unfitted headphones, you will experience headaches over your ears.

Headphone headaches are sometimes caused by manufacturing faults like faulty ear cups. 

3. Shallow Ear Cup Padding

Having padding on the ear cups is essential for creating a safe distance between the ear and the mechanism. Poorly made headphones might put pressure on your ears.

The experience is both uncomfortable and painful.

Furthermore, it sometimes causes skin irritation.

This next point highlights a common mistake that even I made until a few years ago.

4. Improper ear tips

You can find ear tips in sizes such as small, medium, and large. Your choice should depend on how large or small your ears are.

Noise cancellation properties and sound quality are negatively impacted by the wrong ear tips. Besides, if you forcefully place the earbuds in your ears, it will cause pain.

My experience is well acquainted with this fact because I have always used the larger ear tips with horrible results.

Despite our efforts to highlight some problems with headphones, some of our actions may also contribute to headaches

5. Excessively wearing headphones

Wearing headphones for prolonged periods is the most common cause of headphones headaches. Any earphone, however high-end, will cause discomfort if you use it almost constantly throughout the day.

6. Pumping up the volume

The tendency to turn up the volume above the safe level is something we do quite often.

We are even annoyed when we see the warning message. People often rant online about this.

However, volume is one of the main causes of headaches associated with headphones. It is not only possible to develop headaches from listening to loud music, but it is also possible to damage your hearing.

A quality Headpone can enhance your traveling experience without increasing the volume and damaging your ear, we have checked some of the best noise cancelling headphones for airplanes, these won’t need high volume to make your travel enjoyable

7. Using glasses with headphones that don’t fit

While choosing headphones, you need to take special care if you wear glasses.

We discussed reasons for headphones-induced headaches to this point. You might now wonder how to resolve them.

Do you stop using the device to resolve the problem? No, you do not have to. 

Let me share some solutions to headaches caused by headphones.

How To Avoid Headaches From Headphones?

A lot of headsets cause headaches when they are used excessively, as well as when they are faulty in manufacturing.

Do not fear if you are frequent traveller who uses Headphones excessively we have covered Airplane-friendly noise cancelling headphones that will not cause headphones for a good time.

We will explain each problem in the following points.

1. Don’t wear earphones for long periods of time

You can prevent the most common type of headphone headache if you stop wearing your earphone for a longer period of time.

Music addicts may find it difficult to deal with these changes. To cope, try following the 60/60 rule while wearing headphones.

Play music on headphones at max 60% volume for 60 minutes at most.

2. Never wear headphones unless you’re listening to music

Many people wear headphones even though they don’t listen to anything all day long.

Those who fall prey to this habit should try to overcome it. This not only makes you social but also spares you from compression headaches.

Research shows that half of the people wear headphones regularly only to avoid conversation with others.

3. Set Your Headphone to Your Convenience

Most headphones offer some degree of adjustment. You can alter the default stripe settings to suit the shape of your head and make it larger or smaller.

Alternatively, if you get a headache with earbuds but not headphones, you should try other ear tips.

4. Avoid excessive volume changes

A few minutes of listening to high-volume music do not have that much impact. However, if you listen for an extended period of time, it may cause headaches.

Try keeping the volume within the safe range at this point.

If you follow all safety measures, but still can’t adjust your headphone after trying all possible options?

In this situation, there is no other course of action than to proceed to the next point.

5. Experiment with other headphone models to find what works best for you

Since structural characteristics differ from person to person, a certain pair of headphones cannot be worn by everyone. When all the above options have been exhausted, if a headphone still does not work for you, you should consider switching to something else.

Make sure you try different headphones to find the one that’s most comfortable for you.

Consider purchasing special glasses-specific headphones if you wear glasses.

Now you might ask, how can you tell if a headphone will give you headaches or not? Are you going to buy random headphones and then test them out for compatibility?

When shopping for a headphone, you should keep the following in mind. The following points will help you choose the right model.

What To Look For To Find A Comfortable Headphone That Will Not Create Headache?

If you plan to buy a headphone, be sure to check out the clamping force rate, adjustability, and weight. I will explain each of these points.

1. Headphone Weight

It’s always best to choose light headphones so your head won’t feel extra weighted. We recommend headphones that weigh around 0.6 lbs

2. Clamping Force

It is very important to consider the clamping force when choosing a headphone. There are tricks you can use to extend or tighten the default clamping force.

To be honest, I think you should check before you buy a headphone

3. Headphone Ear Cup Size

Individual ear shapes are unique to every individual. This means that no ear cup will fit everyone. Make sure you look at the ear cup size before making a purchase.

4. Ear-Tip For In-Ear Earphones

The same applies for ear tips. Not all will suit you. Make sure the earbuds you purchase come with different ear tips.

Be aware that some earphone manufacturers don’t offer additional ear tips. Choose earphones with a variety of eartips.

Try these ear tips with your earbuds if your favorite brand doesn’t offer them.

5. Adjusting Options

An adjustable headphone gives you the option to tailor it to your preferences. Opt for headphones that offer extra customization options.

Final Thoughts

Headaches caused by headphones are becoming more and more common nowadays. In spite of the fact that it isn’t a fatal illness, ignoring it may cause other diseases.

The article ends with a few possible solutions to the headphones headache and the reasons why they occur.

So try out those solutions, and hopefully, you will not experience headaches anymore.

You can check out our articles on the best headphones you can buy for your money here


  1. Good article but I think you guys got a typo, in Headphone weight you said you recommend 60 lbs headphones. 60 pounds?? uh…

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