Ultimate Guides On How To Reduce Ear Pain From Headphones

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There are many reasons you may feel discomfort, even pain when wearing headphones: the device does not fit well, puts a lot of pressure on the ears; wearing time is too long; high volume level; and more.

Fortunately, for each cause, you have different solutions. If you are interested in how to reduce ear pain from headphones, do not ignore any information below. 

This article will cover helpful methods that help reduce injury and improve the comfort you have always been looking for.

How To Reduce Ear Pain From Headphones? 

As mentioned, there are many causes of discomfort and pain when wearing headphones. 

For each problem, you will have a different solution. Here are some of the most common expressions of distress, along with methods to help minimize the discomfort that you can refer to.

Too tight headphones

Too tight size

Too tight size 

In fact, it will be challenging for you to find a device that fits your head perfectly. Therefore, it is pretty understandable that a too-tight headset is one of the common causes of pain, mainly when you use the device for a long time.

The fastest way to solve this problem is to stretch the device, creating more space to reduce pressure on the ear.

This method is relatively easy to do. You need to follow some simple steps below:

  • First, prepare a sturdy enough item. Some familiar things you can use can be stacks of books, boxes, etc.,
  • Next, pull the two ear cups away from each other. The block between the two ear cups is an item you have prepared before.
  • Then all you need to do is wait about 24-48 hours. If your headband is thick, you may have to wait longer.

If you still can’t find the fit you need, you can repeat the steps above. You need to pay attention to traction because applying a large force often can cause equipment damage.

Headphone heart the ears cover

The ear cover

The ear cover 

In addition to stretching the size of the device, there are many other methods for you to enjoy music with your favorite device, specifically:

Check for a suitable fit.

Checking the fit is one of the first and most essential steps in shopping for headphones.

You need to try the device yourself instead of choosing to buy it online because of the fit. The satisfaction of the experience is often more sensory. 

Only direct testing can determine whether this product fits well enough to keep you ready to wear for hours on end.

Take adjustability

Finding a product that perfectly fits your head size can be challenging. Understanding this shortcoming, manufacturers have overcome it by adding quite a few adjustable parts, allowing you to personalize your device.

Some parts can be for a more comfortable experience, such as earcup rotation headband adjustment.

You can also replace some parts such as pads, sliders, headband cushions, etc. Replacement parts tailored to your needs will make you more comfortable than ever.

Rewear your headphones

Sometimes the problem is not with the manufacturer’s size, but with the way you wear the device. The mistake of most users is to think that all audio products are worn the same way.

Some manufacturers bring products with a unique way of wearing. In this case, wearing the wrong way can affect the device’s durability and degrade the overall sound quality, even hurting your hearing.

Hurt the Top of Head

Hurt the Top of Head

Hurt the Top of Head 

There are many causes of pain on the top of the head when wearing headphones. For example, a low clamping force inadvertently leads to an increased impact force on the top of the head. 

Or the problem can also come from the headband padding: not thick enough padding can lead to uneven pressure on the top of the head, leading to unwanted pain.

Luckily, here are a few simple steps that will help you put an end to this phenomenon:

Tighten the headphones

If the cause is low clamping force, tightening the device will be the simplest and most effective solution.

To do this, first, you need to prepare a sturdy enough object to fix your headset. You should choose items whose width is narrower than your head size.

  • Once the prep is complete, it’s time to pull the ear cups apart then place the object you identified earlier in the middle.
  • Next, wrap the wire around the device and fix it. Better yet, it would help if you used elastic bands for elasticity.
  • Similar to stretching the headset, you also have to wait for at least 24 hours when shrinking. 
  • After this time, if you are still not getting the results you want, you can repeat the steps above. You need to be careful when pulling the two ear cups apart to avoid breaking or causing unnecessary damage.

Upgrade padding

If the problem is in the headband, the fastest way to solve it is to upgrade the padding with existing products.

  • The first and most crucial step is to find a good replacement mattress. There are quite a few criteria for you to evaluate, but you can’t help but care about the size and fit of the pad with the device and yourself. In addition, you also need to pay attention to the material, durability, color, and design style.
  • Once you’ve made your selection, you can replace the headband cushion yourself. 
  • The installation process will not take you too much time, especially when most mattress models today come with a zipper.

Hurt The Ear Cartilage

Hurt The Cartilage

Hurt The Cartilage 

Ear cartilage damage when wearing headphones is an incident no one wants. In reality, if your ear cushions are shallow and lack support, you are more likely to face damage.

To fix the problem and minimize discomfort and injury, adding more padding is the simplest and most effective way you can do it.

It can be confirmed as above because although the earpads are not too special, they play a significant role in creating cushioning and providing a comfortable feeling. At the same time, a thick layer of padding can also overcome any problems related to cartilage, helping to minimize damage.

So, how can you find a perfect cushion that can solve the problem of ear cartilage damage? The answer comes from carefully considering the manufacturer, size, shape, and material.

In terms of manufacturers, ideally, you should choose products from the brand that provides the product. The accessories that the manufacturer brings will have the right size and design, providing perfect compatibility.

If you are looking for accessories from a third party, you will have to choose the size and shape carefully. Better yet, you need to look up the model and measurement of the product before making a final decision.

In addition to the above factors, the material also dramatically affects your user experience. Leather insoles provide maximum comfort. However, microfiber and velcro are also quite materials to consider when reasonably priced while providing the durability and breathability you are always looking for.

Inner Ear Hurts

Inner Ear Hurts

Inner Ear Hurts 

If your problem is not limited to the external firmware but has affected the inner ear, it’s time to seriously rethink the design and the way you wear the device.

The cause of this unpleasant experience is mainly:

  • You insert headphones or IEM deeper than allowed: Inserting too much foreign object into the ear, plus the frequency of vibration when playing the device’s music, can cause pain and damage the eardrum.
  • Incorrect ear tip size: In case the tip of the ear is too large for the ear canal, you will quickly notice a significant reduction in the quality of the received sound. If your device has noise cancellation capabilities, this feature may not be able to exert its full power in this case either.

More importantly, the size of the ear tip is too large, which will put unnecessary pressure on the inner ear, leading to pain and damage.

  • Wearing headphones for too long: Using headphones continuously for a long time is easy to affect cartilage, causing inner ear pain adversely.

After identifying some of the leading causes of pain, here are some methods you can apply to overcome the above discomfort:

Seek the perfect ear tips

Like any other accessory, material and size are the keys to a perfect ear tip.

On the market today, there are many models of ear tips made from silicone. The material above is not too bad when it’s flexible, not too uncomfortable, and at the same time has a low price.

However, the ideal ear tips are from memory foam because of this material’s comfort and safety.

Let the ears rest

Wearing headphones continuously for a long time is one of the leading causes of pain in the inner ear. Therefore, the simplest way to deal with this problem is to give your ears a rest.

Make The Ears Itch

Quite a few users complain about an itchy feeling when wearing the headset. 

If you are one of them, here is an explanation of the cause as well as a few fixes that you can quickly implement:

Main causes

Sometimes the main cause of itchy ears is not in the headphones, specifically:

  • Earwax buildup: Of course, headphones can’t affect how your body produces earwax. However, with the sealed design, after a long time of use, the device will accidentally block the source of air circulation, leading to earwax accumulation.
  • Ear infections: If the ear canal contains bacteria or simply earwax, wearing the device regularly for a long time will cause an ear infection. This problem is widespread among people who use earbuds.
  • Allergic reactions: Contact dermatitis is a term used to describe a rash when a foreign object is inside the ear.

As you have seen, quite a few causes lead to the above annoying problem. However, whatever the reason, you can put an end to the discomfort with a range of methods below:

Clean your headphones

Whether itching ear pain occurs or not, you should have a habit of keeping your headphones clean.

Keeping it clean won’t take much of your time because you need to form a habit of checking the earcups and removing debris wax accumulation (if any).

In addition, you can clean the headset periodically with a few actions such as:

  • First, remove the earmuffs, then use a soft brush to scrape the ear tips’ wire mesh gently. It will help remove debris and earwax accumulated for a long time.
  • Finally, it would help if you used a damp cloth containing alcohol or a disinfecting solution to leave it on for a while.

Avoid using earbuds mutually.

Some studies have shown that sharing earbuds can increase the total bacteria count 11 times. The number of bacteria increases, which means discomfort, itching, and infection will worsen.

To avoid introducing new bacteria and increasing the total number of bacteria, you should avoid sharing headphones, especially earbuds, with others.

When sharing is necessary, you should have a lid ready. This compact, disposable device will help you better protect yourself and your friends and loved ones from the effects of bacteria and dirt.

Check out allergies

Although not a very common phenomenon, allergic contact dermatitis is also one of the causes of itchy sensations when wearing headphones.

In this case, you need to determine which materials you are allergic to. You may not know it, but rubber – the standard material that makes up most headphones today – is the cause of itching, redness, or swelling.

Get hot ears

Get hot ears

Get hot ears 

Many users today appreciate the noise-canceling feature when choosing headphones. And to bring an excellent noise-canceling device, manufacturers will select a sealed design.

Although the above design proves to be quite effective when noise cancellation, it causes a rather worrying problem: the device is not breathable enough. Especially in hot weather conditions, users may feel uncomfortable because the device heats up.

To solve this problem, of course, you need to improve the device’s ventilation, helping the Ear Cup breathability.

Regarding the earcup’s breathability, you can’t help but pay attention to two essential factors: material and clamping force.

In terms of materials, there are quite a few options currently on the market, along with a series of debates about which is the most suitable material. 

However, if only in terms of breathability, the fabric is the winner in this debate.

Compared to leather and a variety of other synthetic materials, fabrics, especially canvas, allow better air circulation. Besides, you also can’t complain about the sturdiness of this material.

You should also note that breathability and noise resistance will be inversely proportional. The more you demand comfort, the more you sacrifice sound immersion and noise cancellation.

As far as the clamping force is concerned, a too-tight product will cause unnecessary pressure and lose the ventilation you seek. 

Therefore, as a final piece of advice, you need to experiment with the products yourself to find the one that best fits your head size.

It makes the Glasses dig and hurt the ear.

Wearing headphones with people with eye problems is less comfortable than ever. Wearing both devices simultaneously can put pressure on the temporal bone, thereby causing the feeling of needing the frame, even painful discomfort.

To overcome the not-so-impressive experience above, here are some tips you should refer to:

  • Make sure the ear cups are large enough: This helps limit the impact on the frames while maintaining the best sound quality.
  • Moderate clamping force: When you wear glasses, it will be wrong if you add pressure on the sides by choosing a product with a large clamping force. Therefore, as mentioned many times, you need to experience the device yourself to select the product that best suits your personal feeling and requirements.
  • Switch to in-ear headphones instead of over-the-ear headphones: although there are some downsides, like the need for frequent cleaning, the sound isn’t too wide. But undeniably, the compact design of this product eliminates pressure on the temporal bone.

How To Pick The Suitable One?

How To Pick The Suitable One

How To Pick The Suitable One

If you choose for yourself a suitable product with the right size and comfortable design from the beginning, you will not experience unnecessary experiences.

Do you know how to choose the right product that delivers all the above experiences? Here are some notes you can refer to make the best choice.

Some Useful Tips:

Clamping force

Clamping force is quite an exciting parameter: you can thoroughly evaluate this parameter by measurement and specific quantities.

However, the measured numbers do not carry much value because each individual has different feelings about comfort. 

The subjectivity in assessing clamping force is not only stopping there but also reflected in the fact that each person has a different head shape and size.

Therefore, it is better to experience and evaluate the clamping force yourself before trusting any parameters announced by the manufacturer. 

A product with the superior clamping force will give you a comfortable fit, not too loose to affect the top of the head, nor too tight to affect the ear cartilage as well as the overall feeling of the experience.


In addition to clamping force, weight is also one of the critical factors affecting the pressure the headset puts on your head.

The higher the product’s weight, the greater the pressure created. For example, you may find a lighter product than 0.55 lbs and another that weighs more than 0.75 lbs. There is not much of a difference. But after a long period of use, you will probably appreciate the lighter-weight device.

That’s not to say you should stay away from lightweight devices. You can overcome the stress of weight loss with cushioning, support, and a design that distributes the weight evenly.

Ear cup

Size is the most critical issue when you consider the ear cup.

If you value comfort, ear cups that are not too shallow will meet your needs well. The above design will significantly improve stability and reduce rubbing between the driver and the headset.

If you use earbuds, IEM instead of earphones, you will need to pay attention to the ear tips.

In this case, the best advice for you is to prioritize accessories with the correct size. Too small or too big can cause you to face one of the problems that have appeared above.


Please customize some parts of the headset to best suit your head size and preferences.

If you also appreciate the above feature, do not forget to choose products that allow you to freely adjust the position of parts, such as headbands, ear cups.

Now, check this video for more tips to follow:


In fact, you can hardly find a headset model that completely fits your head size.

However, it doesn’t mean you always have to deal with the discomforts that a mismatch brings. You can refer to the tips above to answer the question on how to reduce ear pain from headphones and have a comfortable experience when entertaining and working with headphones.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the section below. We will actively respond as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

Last but not least, don’t forget to share this article with your relatives, friends or colleagues. Most likely, they are also facing the same problem.

Your every share will be the motivation for us to continue to work harder and create good content. Thank you for reading!


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