How to Wear Over-the-Ear Headphones

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Updated November 18, 2022

The best headphones are useless if you don’t know how to wear them. This is especially true for the best over-ear headphones. Not wearing headphones correctly can lead to poor sound quality and even pain in some cases. Learning how to wear over-the-ear headphones is crucial to your ongoing comfort. So, keep reading to find out how you should be wearing your headphones to reduce the chance of adverse effects.


  • The first step in wearing your headphones is orienting them correctly. Each side should have an “L” or an “R” to tell you which way they face.
  • Next, you should always make the necessary adjustments to your headphones. This includes ensuring that the headband fits securely without pinching.
  • Finally, always position your headphones properly. This means ensuring they are centered on your head and not slipping around.

Wearing Your Over-the-Ear Headphones Properly

So, what are over-ear headphones? These fantastic devices consist of two ear pads connected by a band over your head. They come in both wired and wireless varieties, and there are tons of different models out there for you to look into. There are a few other things you should know, like how to clean over-ear headphones or how to measure over-the-ear headphones. Of course, you should also keep reading to learn how to wear your headphones properly.

Insider Tip

Investing in memory foam earpads might increase the price range, but it also dramatically increases comfort.

Face Them the Correct Way

The first step is ensuring that your headphones are facing the correct way. Each side should have an “L” or an “R” on it so that you know which ear they’re supposed to be resting on. If you don’t do this, they won’t create a proper seal with your ear, which affects audio quality. You’ll also find that they feel awkward and uncomfortable. So, ensure you’re always facing your pair of headphones in the correct direction.

Make the Necessary Adjustments

All types of headphones have different adjustments that can be made. The most comfortable headphones even have adjustable headbands so that you can make sure they fit your head perfectly. Figure out what parts of your headphones you can adjust, and make those adjustments accordingly. You can also learn how to make over-ear headphones more comfortable.

Position Them Properly

Finally, you must ensure you’re positioning your over-ear models correctly. The headband should be totally centered over your head. If you find that they’re slipping out of place, it might be time to adjust the headband so that they have a more secure fit. If you can’t find a comfortable position, it might be time to invest in the most comfortable earbuds.


Even the most comfortable headphones will feel awkward if they aren’t positioned correctly.

STAT: 37 percent of respondents in a 2017 survey said that they own two pairs of headphones. (source)

How to Wear Over-the-Ear Headphones FAQs

Can I listen to my headphones at maximum volume?

It’s not safe to do this. There’s a wider range of problems this can cause than you might think. You could even experience noise-induced hearing loss if you regularly listen to a high volume level.

Is it safe to wear headphones for extended periods of time?

It should be safe to do so, but you’ll want to invest in over-ear designs with a softer material, such as memory foam headband padding. This will increase your overall comfort level.

What should I look for in wireless over-ear designs?

You should keep a few features in mind while shopping for over-ear models. The first is a nice, long battery life, so you can enjoy listening to your favorite content for longer.

How can I block background noise?

Over-ear styles are best for ensuring ambient noise is kept to a minimum. You’ll also want headphones that offer active noise cancellation.
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