Why Do Over-the-Ear Headphones Hurt?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated November 9, 2022

Even the best headphones can cause problems for listeners. This is true even of the best over-ear headphones. Figuring out why your over-ear models are causing you pain is crucial, especially since no audio experience should be cut short due to head or ear pain. If you’ve been wondering why do over-the-ear headphones hurt, then keep reading to find out the most common reasons why.

Insider Tip

You can increase your level of comfort by adjusting your headphone headband.

Why Over-Ear Headphones Hurt to Wear

There are few things worse than being in active pain, especially when using a pair of headphones. You’ll find several reasons why your over-ear headphones might hurt your head or ears. We’ll review a few of them below and explain how you can fix the problem.

You’re Wearing Them For Extended Periods

Almost all types of headphones can cause pain if you wear them for a prolonged period. This is just due to the general strain they put on your head and ears. If you need to wear them over a long period of time, try looking into how to make over-ear headphones more comfortable. There are things you can do to mitigate the pain you experience.

You’re Listening at a Loud Volume

Another culprit of ear pain is using an above-average volume level. This can even cause noise-induced hearing loss if you’re listening at maximum volume due to damage in your ear canal. To avoid this unfortunate result, always listen to your headphones at a moderate volume. This should help you avoid headaches and ear pain.


Uncomfortable headphones can cause headaches.

You’re Not Investing in Comfortable Headphones

Investing in comfortable headphones is crucial if you want a fully enjoyable listening experience. While they might cost you a little bit more upfront, they are well worth every penny for the results they offer. If you learn how to sleep with over-ear headphones, you’ll quickly figure out that they must be comfortable.

STAT: In 2016, 15.5 percent of all adults in the United States had severe headaches or migraines during the previous three months. (source)


What are noise-canceling headphones?

Noise-canceling headphones can cancel out ambient noise using some pretty amazing technology. They use a combination of speakers and microphones to make it happen.

Which type of headphones is best for the gym?

Noise-canceling headphones are a good choice if you go to a noisy gym with lots of loud noise. Also, consider investing in wireless earbuds because of their convenience.

How can I make my headphones more comfortable?

There are a few things you can do to make headphones more comfortable. First, ensure you invest in a pair with great headphone cushions and an adjustable headband.

Why is headband padding so important?

The clamping pressure exerted on your head by your headphone headband can cause headaches and general soreness. Having padding between your head and the band can help alleviate this.
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