Why Do the Over-Ear Headphones Cause Headaches?

Updated: Oct 26, 2022 6:36 PM
why do over the ear headphones cause headaches

Even the best headphones available can cause pain under the right conditions. So, while you might have the best over-ear headphones, you should still be proactive about preventing problems before they arise. If you’ve recently been wondering why do over-ear headphones cause headaches, then we’ve got your answer laid out below.


  • The first reason that your headphones might be causing headaches is that you’re wearing them for too long. Try wearing them for shorter periods of time.
  • Another reason why headaches might happen is that you need to loosen up the adjustable headband. The pressure from the headband can be enough to cause headaches.
  • Finally, you might just have uncomfortable headphones. In this case, it might be time to think about investing in a better-quality pair.

Why Over-the-Ear Headphones Cause Headaches

Over-ear headphones are highly popular for producing an incredible audio experience and blocking background noise. However, some people report that their headphones give them headaches. There are multiple reasons why you might experience a headphone headache. They include some of the following:

  • The headband is too tight
  • You have sensitivity to loud sounds
  • You’re wearing them for too long

Insider Tip

Some headphone manufacturers build models that have adjustable headbands.

These are just a few reasons out of many. However, there are ways to keep the pain at bay. Keep reading to find out how you can be proactive about headache prevention.

How to Prevent Headphone Headaches

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of protection. Instead of treating the inevitable headache when it comes around, you should learn how to prevent it from happening in the first place. Unless you have uncomfortable headphones, it’s probably happening for several reasons. There’s more information on that below.

Don’t Wear Them for an Extended Period

There are many reasons one might wear headphones for an extended period of time. For example, some people like to sleep with theirs. If you absolutely need them to sleep, try learning how to sleep with over-ear headphones the right way to help lessen the stress on your head. However, the best way to alleviate a headache from headphones is to wear them less.

Loosen Up Your Pair of Headphones

The quickest way to prevent a compression headache is to reduce the compression. You can do this by loosening the headband on adjustable headphones. However, this might make them a bit bulkier, so you may need a new storage case. On that note, you may want to learn how to carry headphones properly. Otherwise, you might need to learn how to fix headphone ear pads due to improper storage techniques.


Loud sounds can sometimes cause headaches, so keep your music volume reasonable.

Invest in Some Comfortable Headphones

Investing in a great pair of headphones will likely lead to less stress on your head. Higher-end models tend to be more comfortable and have better padding. On the plus side, better-quality headphones are also likely to have better sound quality. However, you might want to switch to wireless earbuds if you find over-ear models aren’t comfortable. If so, try comparing Bose Sport earbuds vs. Quietcomfort.

STAT: It was found that 10 percent of respondents had headaches multiple times a week in a February 2017 study. (source)

Why Do the Over-Ear Headphones Cause Headaches FAQs

Why should I clean my wireless earbuds?

The biggest reason to clean earbuds is that failing to do so can cause an ear infection due to built-up bacteria. You should clean them regularly to prevent this outcome.

Are wireless headphones worth the investment?

Generally speaking, wireless models are far superior to their wired counterparts. This is because you don’t have a wire that can get tangled or broken, and you have better freedom of movement.

What are noise-canceling headphones?

Noise-canceling headphones drown out ambient noises so that you can better focus on the content you’re listening to. They’re beneficial for anybody dealing with many loud noises in their environment.

Do earbud tips cause ear pain?

Most earbud users agree that their earbud tips barely feel like they’re there at all. However, this depends on whether you have correctly sized tips or not. You can purchase new ones if yours are uncomfortable.

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