Are Closed Back Earbuds Harmful to Your Ears ?

Due to their noise-canceling capabilities and capacity to confine sound inside the ear cups, closed-back headphones are becoming more and more well-liked among music lovers and audio professionals.

Many people do, nonetheless, ponder whether these headphones are harmful to their hearing.

This article goes over how much closed-back headphones are bad for your hearing, advice on how to use headphones safely.

Understanding Hearing Damage

It’s critical to comprehend how your ears function before learning how headphones affect using headphones affects your hearing.

The outside ear, middle ear, and inner ear are the three components of your ears. Sound waves go through the ear canal, vibrate the eardrum, and then cause a series of events in the middle ear.

The inner ear transforms the sound waves into electrical signals, which are then sent to the brain.

Factors Affecting Hearing Loss

Hearing damage can be caused by a number of factors, including age, genetics, medical conditions, and exposure to loud noises.

The latter is known as noise-induced hearing loss, and it can occur when you are exposed to sounds over 85 decibels (dB) for an extended period of time.

Prolonged exposure to loud noises can damage the hair cells in your inner ear, which can lead to permanent hearing loss.

How Headphones Can Cause Hearing Damage?

Headphones can be a major culprit of noise-induced hearing loss. This is because the volume of sound is directly transmitted into your ears.

The longer you listen and the louder the volume, the more damage you can do to your hearing.


When listening to music through headphones, it’s important to pay attention to the volume level.

The maximum safe volume for headphones is 85 dB for no more than 8 hours a day.

However, many people listen to music at much higher volumes, which can cause irreversible damage to your hearing.

Length of Exposure

The length of time you wear headphones can also impact your hearing. The longer you listen, the more damage you can do to your ears. It’s recommended that you take regular breaks to give your ears a rest.

Types of Headphones

There are two main types of headphones: closed-back and open-back. Closed-back headphones have a solid outer casing that prevents sound from escaping, while open-back headphones have an open design that allows sound to escape.

Closed-back headphones are generally better at noise-cancellation, while open-back headphones provide a more natural sound.


  • Better noise isolation
  • Enhanced bass response
  • More portable
  • Provides privacy
  • Can enhance immersion in audio content


  • Can compromise on sound quality
  • May cause heat and sweating
  • Limited soundstage
  • Can sometimes leak sound
  • Higher price point.

Read also:8 Best Closed Back Headphones Under $500 [2023]

Tips for Safe Headphone Use

While closed-back headphones can be a great choice for certain situations, it’s important to use them safely. Here are some tips to help you use your headphones safely:

  • Use volume control: Make sure to keep the volume at a safe level, no louder than 85 dB, and take breaks when listening to music for long periods of time.
  • Limit length of use: Try not to wear headphones for more than 2 hours at a time. Take frequent breaks and give your ears a rest.
  • Take breaks: Give your ears a break by taking a 5-10 minute break every hour when using headphones.
  • Use noise-canceling headphones: Noise-cancelling headphones can help reduce background noise, allowing you to listen to music at a lower volume.
  • Consider open-back headphones: Open-back headphones allow sound to escape and are generally considered to be less damaging to your hearing than closed-back headphones.


Closed-back headphones can be a great choice for music enthusiasts and audio professionals, but they can also be damaging to your hearing if used incorrectly.

It’s important to use volume control and take breaks when listening to music for extended periods of time.

open-back headphones can be a safer alternative to closed-back headphones. By following these tips, you can enjoy your music while keeping your ears safe.


Are closed-back headphones always bad for your ears?

No, closed-back headphones are not always bad for your ears. They can be used safely if proper precautions are taken.

What is the maximum safe volume for headphones?

The maximum safe volume for headphones is 85 dB for no more than 8 hours a day.

How long can you safely wear headphones?

It’s recommended that you do not wear headphones for more than 2 hours at a time and take frequent breaks.

What are some tips for safe headphone use?

Some tips for safe headphone use include using volume control, limiting the length of use, taking breaks, using noise-canceling headphones, and considering open-back headphones.

Can open-back headphones cause hearing damage?

While open-back headphones are generally considered to be less damaging to your hearing than closed-back headphones, they can still cause hearing damage if used incorrectly. It’s important to use them safely and with proper precautions.

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Krishanu Dhali is the founder of Headphoneidea and a passionate audio expert. Through in-depth reviews and comprehensive guides on the latest headphone models, he shares extensive knowledge with audiophiles and newcomers alike. His blog is a valuable resource for staying up-to-date on all things audio.