Why Would a Gaming Headset Make Your Ears Hurt?

Updated: Feb 15, 2024 7:33 AM


If you find your headset leaves you in pain after a long gaming session and wondering why you’re not alone. There are a few answers as to why would a gaming headset make your ears hurt.

Key Takeaways_

  • You may just not have a comfortable headset, especially if it’s a low-end model. A comfortable headset will typically be pretty expensive.
  • Don’t try to overcome poor sound quality by overriding volume controls on your wired or wireless headsets. This can cause noise-induced hearing loss.
  • If you show signs of an allergy to your wired or wireless headsets, discontinue usage immediately to follow headphone safety guidelines.

Regardless of whether you have the best gaming headset available, gaming over a long period can cause stress to the mind and body. We’ll go over the biggest reasons you’re experiencing trouble with your over-ear headphones below.

Can I Wear a Pair of Headphones for Extended Periods?

You can wear comfortable headphones for longer periods than a regular pair of headphones. However, all headsets can cause pain after extensive hours of playtime.

So, why use a gaming headset at all if you can’t get endless hours of playtime? There are multiple reasons. For example, they provide fantastic spatial audio quality and help cancel out external noise.

If you’re having trouble with all the pairs of headphones you own, keep reading to find out why.

The Reasons Why Your Pair of Headphones Hurt

Everybody wants a perfect pair of comfortable headphones. However, this isn’t always possible. Comfortability depends significantly on the price range you’re able to afford.

STAT: Apple’s total net sales amounted to 365.82 billion U.S. dollars in their 2021 financial year. (source)

If your price range is on the lower end, you might get stuck with whichever over-ear headphones are easiest to afford. This isn’t a hopeless cause, however. There’s a wide range of concerns to keep an eye out for below.

You Just Have Uncomfortable Headphones

Sometimes you just have a pair of uncomfortable headphones. There are a wide range of options on the market has poor audio quality. This can also include headphones without a mic. Unfortunately, this is an indicator of a cheap build.

Moreover, if the set is very cheap, the earpads won’t be comfortable, and you’ll have to replace the earpads on your gaming headset. And, if you buy a cheap model, it’ll be hard to use a gaming headset if you have long hair.

insider tip

Apple AirPods Pro models are comfortable with huge benefits, like skipping the headphone jack and canceling out ambient sound.

A cheap build can quickly put pressure on ear cartilage and even cause signs of hearing loss to appear. Our article on “What is gaming headset clamp force?” is a great place to start asking questions.

You’re Listening at Maximum Volume

Noise-induced hearing loss is no joke. Keep an eye out for the signs of hearing loss, especially if you notice pain in your ear cartilage.


Poor audio connections can cause low sound quality and force you to max out volume to compensate, like a loose headphone jack.

Loud noises can cause noise-induced hearing loss. However, so can maxing out the volume on wired or wireless headsets with poor audio quality to drown out external noise. This will also cause pain.

There’s an Allergic Reaction Happening

If the pain in your ear cartilage is burning or tingling, it’s not from overcoming poor audio quality by overriding volume controls.

This is a sign of an allergy to the material used to make your wired or wireless headsets. While hearing is a huge component of headphone safety, watching for allergies is another.

Don’t ignore headphone safety guidelines. If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, discontinue using those wired or wireless headphones immediately.

If you want to begin comparing headsets, check out this article: headset vs gaming earbuds.

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