You’re listening to your favorite jam, rocking out with your headphones in, when all of a sudden, you notice something, your head hurts! As much as you love the song, you need to remove your headphones because that headache won’t go away.

Here are some reasons why you might get a headache from headphones, along with tips on how to avoid it and what to do if it does happen again in the future.

Understanding how headphones work

When you put on a pair of headphones, you’re effectively blocking out the sound of the world around you. That’s because headphones aren’t designed to let any noise out – they’re meant to be used to cancel out noise from the outside.

While listening through your headphones, though, you can’t hear yourself, and that can cause pressure on your ears. That pressure can lead to pain in the ears and even headaches.

The ear canals that run from your eardrum to the opening of your ear are very small, around 3mm in diameter. Because of that, they have limited space inside them, so they need to be able to move and shift around.

Headphones, though, can cause the ear canals to be blocked, leading to pain in your ears as well as headaches.

How do Headphones Cause Headaches?

If you’re used to normal earrings, you might wonder why you get headaches from your headphones. But headphones are different than earrings, they put direct pressure on the bones in your head and on your skin.

If you wear them for too long, you can get a headache! The reason headphones can cause headaches is because of the pressure they put on your head and ears. Headphones are designed to fit in the ear canal, and they wrap around your head.

They usually apply pressure to your ears, jaw, and scalp. If you wear them for too long, they can cause headaches.

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Headache from Headphones – 9 Reasons

Ear Shape and Headphones

The shape of your ears can influence whether you get a headache from headphones. If your ears are on the larger side, you might be more likely to get a headache from your headphones because the headphones might apply more pressure on your case.

The Volume Is Too High

If the volume is too high, it could lead to a headache. This is especially true if you have a hearing impairment, you’re wearing really tight headphones, or there is bacteria or earwax in your ears.

However, even if you have normal hearing and headphones that fit, you can still get a headache if the volume is too high.

This can be due to the way sound travels from your headphones to your brain. Even if the sound is too loud, it will still travel through your bones and the fluids surrounding your brain.

Poor Quality Headphones Cause Headaches Too

If you’re using a pair of cheap, low-quality headphones with the shoddy build quality, they can cause headaches even if you’re not listening at a high volume. If the headphones don’t fit properly and are too tight, they can cause a headache too.

If your headphones are old, they may not provide the same support as a new pair of headphones would. As the headphones age, they may not provide the same level of support either.

Earwax, Bacteria, and Headphone Headaches

Ears are full of bacteria and earwax, and that is normal. But if the headphones are too moist, they can cause bacteria and earwax to build up. This can lead to irritation or even an infection in your ears. 

It’s possible that the headphones can cause a headache if there is too much earwax or bacteria in your ears. If you are wearing headphones that are too moist and don’t let your ears breathe, you may be more likely to get a headache.

Hearing Problems and Headaches

If your hearing is impaired, you might be more likely to get a headache from your headphones. This could be due to earwax buildup in your ears, but it could also be due to aging. If your hearing is impaired, you might turn the volume up too high while listening to music. 

This could lead to a headache, so it is important to turn the volume to a comfortable and safe level.

Ear Pressure and Buildup

Every pair of headphones is different, but many come with earbuds or earpieces that can be too large for some people. If you find that you’re getting ear pain or pressure when wearing your headphones, you may want to try a different pair. You may simply need a smaller earpiece or earbud. 

You may also notice ear pain or a buildup of pressure if you have earwax blocking your ear canals. If you have hearing difficulties, you may experience that ear pain as you put your earphones on. 

If you’re experiencing pain from headphones with hearing difficulties, you may want to get your ears cleaned out by a doctor or audiologist. Ear wax is common among all people, but especially those who have hearing difficulties.

The weight of the headphones

You know how your favorite pair of jeans just seem to feel more comfortable on certain days? It’s the same thing with headphones. 

If your headphones are just the right weight, you probably won’t experience ear pain or pressure from them. If they’re too heavy, though, they could cause you ear pain. 

If the headphones that you’re using are on the heavier side, you may want to try a lighter pair, especially if you’ve been experiencing ear pain. 

The material that the headphones are made out of can also play a role in their weight. If they’re made out of a heavier material, they may cause you ear pain if they’re too heavy.

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The Sound Quality of Your Headphones

Not all headphones are made the same, and the quality of your headphones can impact the level of pain you experience, as well as the level of sound that you’ll be able to hear. If your headphones are of lower quality, you may experience pain and pressure from them because they’re not blocking out external sound as well as they could. 

If you’re using lower-quality headphones, you may want to invest in a quality pair that provides a higher level of sound quality. 

You may also want to consider taking breaks from using your headphones to give your ears a break.

Your Environment, And What You’re Listening To

Your environment can also play a role in how much pain you experience from your headphones. If you’re in a loud environment, it can be hard to hear what you would if you weren’t wearing headphones. 

That can cause you to turn up your volume, which can lead to pain if your headphones are too loud. If you’re in a particularly loud environment, you may want to consider switching to earplugs to help block out external noise. 

If you’re in a quiet environment, you may want to turn up your volume to hear the audio better, which can cause more pressure in your ear canals.

Other Reasons Why Headphones Can Give You a Headache

If you’re stressed and don’t relax while listening to music, you might get a headache from your headphones. If you’re dehydrated or don’t eat well, your body may not function properly, which can lead to headaches. 

If you’re wearing your headphones too tightly, they can cause headaches. If you don’t give your ears enough room to breathe, they can also cause headaches.

How to Tell if You Have a Headache from Headphones?

If you’re getting consistent ear pain from your headphones, you may have a headache. If you’re experiencing pain and pressure in your ears, it’s a good idea to stop using your headphones. 

This is especially important if you have hearing difficulties. If you don’t have hearing difficulties and are still experiencing pain, you may want to get your ears checked out. 

If you’re experiencing consistent ear pain, it may be a sign of an ear infection. If your ears are hurting and you have a headache, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor or audiologist. They can help you properly treat your ears and the pain that you’re experiencing.

How to Stop Getting Headaches from Your Headphones?

If you are getting headaches from your headphones, it’s important to try to figure out what the problem is. Once you know what the problem is, you can try to solve it. Here are a few tips to help you stop getting headaches from your headphones. 

First, make sure your headphones fit. If they’re too tight or too loose, they can cause headaches. You should try and find a pair of headphones that fit your head properly. 

Next, try to keep your headphones clean. Wipe them down with a bit of cleaning spray from time to time to keep them fresh and bacteria-free. 

Drink more water and get plenty of rest. This can help your body function better and be less stressed.

How to Stop the Pain from Ear-Buzzing and Shocking Audio Sensations?

If you’re experiencing pain from your headphones, the first step is to turn the volume down. You may want to try switching to earplugs if you’re in a loud environment. You may also want to try switching to a different pair of headphones. If you’ve tried all of these solutions, you may want to get your ears checked out by a doctor or audiologist. Having your ears checked out can help you determine if there’s a buildup of earwax or other obstruction causing the pain.


Headphones are great, but they can also cause headaches. Make sure your headphones fit properly and that you’re not wearing them too tightly or for too long. If you’re using old headphones, it may be a good idea to get a new pair. Make sure your headphones are clean and that they fit your ears properly. If you follow these tips, you may be able to stop getting headaches from your headphones.

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