Can headphones cause headaches?

Headaches can have many causes, including stress and lack of sleep. While it is not very common, it is possible that wearing headphones can cause headaches.

Headphones can increase the amount of sound a person is exposed to and may even cause physical discomfort in some cases. This article will discuss the potential causes of headaches from headphones and provide tips on reducing the risk.

Headphones can cause headaches for several reasons:

1. Volume:

Listening to music at high volume through headphones can increase the risk of headaches due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds. This is especially true when listening to music with bass-heavy tracks, as the low frequencies can cause vibrations in your head, leading to headaches.

2. Physical discomfort:

Headphones that are uncomfortable or cause undue pressure on your head can lead to headaches. This could be due to poor construction, heavy materials, or an ill-fitting design.

It is essential to wear headphones that fit comfortably and securely, as this will reduce the risk of headaches.

3. Prolonged use:

Listening to music through headphones for an extended period of time can cause headaches due to the additional strain on your ears and head. This is especially true if you are already prone to headaches and migraines.

4. Brain fatigue:

Listening to music through headphones can be mentally taxing and cause headaches in some cases due to the need for intense concentration.

This type of headache is often referred to as “listener’s fatigue.” It is important to take breaks when listening to music through headphones to reduce the risk of this type of headache.

5. Electromagnetic interference:

Some headphones use electromagnetic fields to produce sound, which can cause headaches in some people who are sensitive to these frequencies.

Additionally, some headphones are made with metals, like copper and aluminum, which can create an electrical current when moved or worn close to the head. This can also lead to headaches in specific individuals.

6. Stress:

Wearing headphones can also stress the body more, leading to headaches. This headache is often caused by neck and shoulder tension, which the headphones’ weight can exacerbate.

Additionally, listening to loud music or other sounds through headphones can cause stress on the body, leading to headaches.

Headphones that don’t cause headaches?

Headphones designed to be comfortable and provide a good fit can help reduce the risk of headaches. Here is what kind of headphones don’t cause headaches:

1. Over-ear headphones.

Over-ear headphones fit over the ear and create a seal that helps to reduce sound leakage, making them less likely to cause headaches. These headphones are also usually more comfortable than earbuds.

Additionally, they frequently provide the sound of higher quality. Therefore, they are a good choice for those who avoid headaches from headphones.

However, it is essential to ensure that they fit properly and are adjusted correctly so that the pad does not put pressure on your ear. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure they are not too tight, as this can cause discomfort and headaches.

2. Wireless headphones.

Wireless headphones don’t have wires that can cause physical discomfort and are often adjustable, making them easier to fit properly. However, it is vital to ensure that the Bluetooth connection is secure and that there are no sound issues.

Even if the headphones fit well and have a secure connection, they can still cause headaches if worn for too long. The best way to prevent this is to take regular breaks while using them.

3. Noise-cancelling headphones.

Noise-cancellation headphones are designed to reduce ambient noise, which can help to reduce the amount of sound a person is exposed to.

This may also help reduce the risk of headaches from using headphones. However, it is important to note that these headphones can be quite expensive and may be better options for some.

Additionally, some people have reported that noise-cancelingheadphones cause headaches and make them feel uneasy due to the lack of sound.

4. Earplugs or earmuffs.

Earplugs or earmuffs may help to reduce sound levels and make headphones more comfortable, reducing the risk of headaches. However, it is essential to make sure that the earplugs or earmuffs are properly fitted and provide a seal that will block out sound.

If the seal is incomplete, sound can leak in, making it more difficult to enjoy music without experiencing discomfort. Additionally, it is important to adjust the headphones’ fit and ensure that they are not too tight around your head.

A properly fitted pair of headphones that are not too tight, combined with earplugs or earmuffs, can help reduce headaches while listening to music.

5. In-ear monitors.

In-ear monitors are designed to fit snugly in the ear and have a secure seal that can help reduce sound leakage. They are typically designed to provide better sound quality than traditional headphones and can help reduce the risk of headaches.

However, if not inserted correctly or at too high a volume, they can cause discomfort and lead to headaches.

Therefore, it is important to follow the instructions provided with your in-ear monitors to ensure that they are inserted correctly and the volume is set at a comfortable level. Wearing them for too long can also cause headaches due to the lack of air circulation in the ears.

6. Open-back headphones.

Open-back headphones are designed to provide a more open sound experience, allowing air to circulate and reducing the risk of headaches. However, they can also be quite expensive and may not be the best choice for those on a budget.

In addition, some people have reported that open-back headphones can cause headaches due to the lack of sound isolation.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that these headphones offer enough sound isolation so that the music does not become too loud or artificial. Additionally, some open-back headphones may not be suitable for noisy environments as they leak sound.

7. Bone conduction headphones.

Bone conduction headphones use vibrations to transmit sound to the inner ear, which helps reduce the risk of headaches. Athletes and those with hearing disabilities often use these headphones, but they can also be an excellent choice for someone prone to headaches.

They are generally more comfortable headphones than traditional headphones and provide clear sound with minimal leakage. However, they can be expensive and may be better choices for some. Additionally, as with any headphones, it is important to ensure that the volume is set at a comfortable level and not too loud.

Can Bluetooth headphones cause headaches?

Yes, Bluetooth headphones can cause headaches in some cases. For example, wearing headphones with a tight fit around the ears or those that are too loud can cause physical discomfort, leading to headaches.

In addition, Bluetooth headphones can produce electromagnetic frequencies that may interfere with the brain’s normal functioning. This interference can cause headaches as well.

Headphones with excessive bass frequencies can also cause discomfort and headaches. In addition, they can cause vibration in the ear, which can be uncomfortable and lead to headaches.

Can wireless headphones give you a headache?

Wireless headphones may be less likely to cause headaches than wired headphones. This is because they don’t require an external connection, so the sound waves aren’t disrupted as much.

However, wireless headphones may still cause headaches if the sound is too loud or the earpieces don’t fit properly.

Wireless headphones can give you a headache, especially if they are too tight or put too much pressure on your ears. When the headphones are too tight, they can cause discomfort, which may lead to headaches.

If you’re listening to your music while turning up the volume high, then this can also trigger a headache. Additionally, some people find that the Bluetooth connection from wireless headphones can cause headaches due to high-frequency electromagnetic waves.

What happens if you wear headphones every day?

If you wear headphones daily, it can damage your hearing over time. This is because the sound from the headphones is typically louder than in the natural environment.

The increased sound level can cause strain on your hearing system and may even lead to a decrease in hearing sensitivity, ear pain, or hearing loss. In some cases, it can also lead to headaches due to the strain on your auditory system.

Therefore, when listening to headphones for long periods of time, it is essential to take regular breaks, as this will help reduce the potential for headaches.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Headaches:

  • Wear comfortable, lightweight headphones: Make sure your headphone fit snugly but not too tightly. Avoid heavy, bulky designs that pressure your head or cause discomfort.
  • Listen at lower volumes: Listening to music at a comfortable volume can help reduce the risk of headaches due to loud noises.
  • Take breaks: Taking breaks from listening to music through headphones can help reduce the risk of headaches due to extended exposure or brain fatigue.


Headphones can be a great way to enjoy music, but they can also cause headaches in some people. To reduce the risk of headaches, it is important to wear comfortable, lightweight headphones and to listen to music at lower volumes.

Taking regular breaks while listening can also help reduce the risk of headaches. You must speak to your doctor if you experience frequent headaches while using headphones. They can help determine the cause of your headaches and offer advice on reducing your risk.

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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.

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