Headache From Headphones: Reasons & Solutions

It’s no secret that headphones can cause a headache. In fact, they are one of the most common causes of headaches, especially among young people.

But what many people don’t know is why headphones cause headaches and how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

There are many different reasons why your headphones might be giving you a headache. It could be due to the wrong size, poor fitting, or simply poor sound quality.

However, don’t worry there are many ways to ease the frustrating problem of uncomfortable headphones and we listed them down for you!

So let’s get started!

Does Wearing Headphones Cause Headaches?

The answer to the question does wearing headphones causes headaches is both Yes and No. It all depends on how you use them. If you use headphones for long hours during the day or if you use them for listening to loud music, then there are high chance that you might get a headache.

On the other hand, if you use headphones for a shorter duration and at a moderate volume, then there are lesser chances of you getting a headache.

So it all comes down to how you use your headphones. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why wearing headphones might cause headaches.

The Reasons Behind Headphone Headache

As I mentioned above, there can be various reasons like the size of headphones, poor fitting, loud music, etc. which can cause headaches. Let’s take a look at each of these reasons in detail:

Headphones Are Too Tight

If you wearing over-ear and on-ear headphones, then it is very important to make sure that they are not too tight. If the headphones are too tight, then they can put a strong clamping force on your head which can lead to headaches.

This is the force that keeps your headphones in place when you’re working out. Bose, Apple, and Beats among other brands utilize this clamping force to keep the headphones snug in your ears.

As we know too much of everything is bad, and the same goes for the clamping force of headphones. If it’s too much, it can lead to headaches.

However according to some medical studies when wearing headphones that are too tight can also lead to other problems like pressure on the nerves, ear pain, and even dizziness.

How do you know if your Headphones are too tight?

A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you can fit two fingers comfortably between the headphone band and your head. If you can’t, then the headphones are too tight and you need to adjust them.

What to do if Your Headphones are Too Tight?

If you find that your headphones are too tight, then the first thing you need to do is to Stretch them out.

You can do this by following the steps below:

  • Find a thing that is roughly not the same width as your headphone band like a book or a box of anything.
  • Now, slowly and gently peel away both earcups of the headphones and place the book or box in between them.
  • Now, close the headphone band so that it goes over the book or box. Make sure that the book or box is in the middle of the headphone band.
  • Let your headphones sit like this for 24 to 30 hours.
  • After 24 to 30 hours have passed, take out the book or box and check if the headphones are still too tight. If they are, then you can repeat the process again.

Keep in mind that you need to be very careful while stretching out the headphone band. If you stretch it too much, then it can lead to irreversible damage.

Headphones Hurt My Ears

One way to ensure that you have a quality product is by looking at its reviews and ratings. But when it comes to Comfort and fit these reviews may not be so accurate

Some people have complained that the particular model is very comfy, while others may find it unpleasant.

So why is that? Let find out

People have Different Ear Sizes:

The human ear is of different sizes, and so are the headphones. Most companies design headphones, keeping the average ear size in mind. But that doesn’t mean they would fit everyone perfectly.

A person whose ear and head are much different than the average size may find it difficult to get a comfortable fit when he or she uses the one-size-fits headphones.

What should someone with this type of personality do? Here are some ideas to assist.

Look for the Right Fit:

The most important thing to do is to figure out what type of headphones would fit you the best. You must test headphones personally before you can choose which one to purchase.

It’s not a very good idea to browse online since it differs for everyone. You must visit the shops and examine their fit, comfort, and other characteristics that help you to wear them for longer periods of time.

Look For Headphones With Adjustability

Most companies design headphones with different kinds of adjustability. which helps to get the best and most comfortable fit. Below I’m mentioning some of the adjustability options that you should look for while purchasing headphones

  1. Earcup rotation – The first thing you have to do is to make sure that the headphone earcups can rotate in all directions. This will be very helpful as it lets you position the cups perfectly around your ears.
  2. Headband adjustment – You should also check if the headband of the headphones is adjustable or not. The headband adjustability allows you to place the headphones precisely on your head so that they put pressure evenly around your head.
  3. Weight distribution and clamping force these factors are also very important. The headphones that are too loose or too tight can cause pain in your head and ears. So, you must make sure that the headphone has perfect weight distribution and enough clamping force so that it’s neither loose nor too tight
  4. Replaceable parts –  Nowadays, many headphones come with replaceable ear cups, sliders, headbands, and headband padding. This is a great option as it let you change the parts that are causing discomfort.

Wear Headphones Properly

The most common reason for a headphone headache is not wearing them correctly. As a result, you should know how to wear headphones without causing discomfort.

First of all, you have to make sure that the headphone is not too tight. Second, you have to take a break after every 30-60 minutes of using headphones. And lastly, you have to use comfortable earpads.

If you wear headphones correctly, then you can prevent headphone headaches.

Headphones Hurt the Top of My Head

If you experience discomfort or pain at the top of your head, then it’s most likely due to the headphone’s headband padding and Low clamping force.

Headband padding –  Most of the headphones come with a headband that has some kind of padding. This is to provide extra comfort while wearing the headphones. But sometimes, the padding can be too thick or too thin which can cause discomfort.

Low clamping force –  The headphones that have a low clamping force can also cause pain at the top of your head. This is because the headphones are not tight enough and as a result, they move around a lot while you wear them.

To fix this issue, you can try to replace the headband padding with a thinner one or you can try to increase the clamping force by adjusting the headband.

Using Glasses With Unfitted Headphones

Wearing glasses with headphones can be a bit tricky. This is because the ear cups of the headphones can press against the arms of your glasses and as a result, it can cause discomfort and you can experience headaches.

The best way to avoid this issue is to find headphones that have a good fit. You can also try to adjust the headband so that the ear cups sit higher on your head. And lastly, you can try to find headphones with soft ear cups.

Turning Up Volume

According to Medical research, loud noise exposure is one of the most common causes of headaches. And headphones can produce very loud noise. So, it’s very important to use headphones at a safe volume level.

Not only it can cause headaches, but it can also cause hearing loss. To avoid this, you should use headphones at a safe volume level. You can also try to find headphones with noise-canceling features.

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Headphones can cause a headache for many reasons, but most commonly it is due to the wrong size, poor fitting, or simply poor sound quality.

However, there are many ways to ease the frustrating problem of uncomfortable headphones. By following our tips, you can prevent headaches from occurring in the first place!


Why do headphones cause headaches?

Headphones can cause headaches due to a variety of reasons. They can exert pressure on your head if they are too tight, which can lead to discomfort and eventually a headache. Listening to loud music for extended periods can also cause ear fatigue and result in a headache.

Can the wrong size of ear cups cause headaches?

 Yes, if the ear cups of your headphones do not fit properly in your ear canal, it can lead to ear soreness and headaches.

Can creating an air vacuum within your ear cause headaches? 

Yes, headphones can create an air vacuum within your ear, which puts pressure on the inside of your ear and can lead to headaches.

Can long periods of listening to loud music through headphones cause headaches?

Yes, listening to loud music through headphones for an extended period of time can produce a pounding headache.