How to Put Headphones On

Updated: Jul 5, 2023 6:10 PM
How to Put Headphones On
Difficulty Easy
Steps 5
Time Required 1 minute
Tools Needed

If you haven’t used earphones in the past, you may not know how to put headphones on properly for listening to content or talking on the phone. The best headphones provide comfort during your listening experience by adding padding around wired or wireless headphones’ earcups.


  • You will need to look for a small letter R and L above each earcup to determine how to put the headphones on.
  • Over-ear headphones have foam or cloth pads that wrap around your ear, increasing comfort for many audiophiles.
  • On-ear headphones rest on top of your ears, and they may cause undue pressure on the tips or lobes of your ears.

To put these earphones on, you will need only your favorite pair of headphones. In addition, some headphones have removable earcups, so you might need to know how to put earpads on headphones as well. Keep reading to learn how to wear your headphones properly.

How to Use Headphones

Putting over-ear and on-ear models on your head is highly similar, and they do not usually come in multiple sizes. The primary difference is how the earpad sits over your ear. If you need glasses for reading, you may need them to locate the letters on the inside of the band.

Insider Tip

You can find the letters for left and right on the inside band of headphones or under the earbuds for earbuds or in-ear models.

On earbuds, you’ll find the R and L on the underside of each one. These devices simply sit in your ear, and they do not have a band that fits over your head. You may also be interested in learning how to set up headphones on Realtek HD audio manager.

On-Ear Headphones

  1. Locate the letters on the inside of the headphone’s headband. These letters indicate which side of your head on which the earcups go. There should be an L for left on one side and an R for right on the other.
  2. Pull the ears far enough apart to slide them onto your head. Don’t pull too hard, or the headband will get stretched out or may break. More expensive products have sturdier bands than cheaper ones.
  3. Position the earpads on top of your ears. You should be able to find a comfortable position. Some on-ear headphones put pressure on your ear, so they can be uncomfortable if not worn correctly.
  4. Adjust the band to fit your head. If you feel pressure on the top of your head, you can extend the headband so that it sits raised above your head a bit. Otherwise, you may need to press the top of the headband down if it’s sitting too high.
  5. Position the headband in the middle of your head. It is likely already in this place because of the earpads locations, but double-check to be safe.
  6. Enjoy your wired headphones or wireless headphones.

Over-Ear Headphones

  1. Find the letters L and R inside the headphone’s headband. The L goes on the left side of your head and the R on the right.
  2. Slide the headphones apart slightly to pull them over your head. Remember to mind the headband, and don’t overextend it.
  3. Situate the earpads around your ears. They should not put pressure on your ears at all. However, they push against the sides of your heads instead, so they can be hard to wear with glasses or earrings.
  4. Raise or lower the headphone’s headband to fit your head. These parts are typically extendable because headphones are made to fit a wide range of people.
  5. Ensure the headband is in the middle of your head. Sometimes, you need to push it forward or backward to avoid pressure on the top of your head or the angle of the earcups.


Do not try to over-stretch the band of your headphones because you may damage the band or break it.


What happens if you use headphones too much?

Using headphones too much can lead to hearing issues, but you can mitigate this effect by lowering your device’s volume and taking breaks while listening.

Can you sleep with headphones on?

Yes. You can sleep with headphones on, but it is not recommended as it can reduce the lifespan of your headphones. Additionally, you might find the headphones uncomfortable if you sleep on your side.

How do wireless headphones work?

A wireless headphone device connects to your device through Bluetooth or a USB dongle, eliminating the need for a cable while powered on.

STAT: On-ear headphones have cups that are somewhat smaller than over-ear headphones, and they do not always provide a proper seal for noise-canceling technology, though Sennheiser headphones adjust the level of this seal. (source)

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