We have thoroughly researched the topic of “why do headphones give me a headache” and have come up with various causes and solutions, including individual ages and headphone connections, along with scientific evidence to support them.

Headphone-induced headaches prevention (science)

According to a study published in the journal Cephalalgia, headphones that produce loud sounds and pressure on the ear canal can cause headaches.

The study found that people who use headphones for extended periods are at a higher risk of developing headaches than those who do not.

Another study published in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health found that noise-canceling headphones can cause headaches and ear discomfort due to the pressure they create in the ear canal.

Why do headphones give me a headache: (Causes & Solutions)

Causes of Headache from Headphones:

Headphones have become a part of our daily routine, but they can sometimes cause headaches. Here are some of the common causes of headphone-induced headaches.

1. Overuse of headphones:

Listening to loud music for an extended period can cause ear fatigue and result in a headache. To avoid this, it is recommended to take regular breaks when using headphones.

2. Poor fitting headphones:

Wearing headphones that are too tight or loose can cause discomfort and lead to a headache. It is essential to use headphones that fit correctly and feel comfortable.

3. High-frequency sounds:

Certain frequencies can cause headaches in some people. It is advisable to use headphones that offer balanced sound quality and avoid high-pitched sounds.

4. Noise-cancelling headphones:

Although noise-cancelling headphones can provide a more immersive listening experience, they can also cause headaches due to the pressure exerted on the eardrums.

It is recommended to use noise-cancelling headphones in moderation.

5. Existing medical conditions:

People with conditions such as migraines, tension headaches, or ear infections may be more susceptible to headphone-induced headaches. In such cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

6. Age: 

Some individuals are more susceptible to headaches caused by headphones as they get older.

If you are experiencing frequent headaches while wearing headphones and are over the age of 40, consult a doctor.

7. Ear Infections:

 Wearing headphones can exacerbate ear infections and cause headaches. If you have an ear infection, avoid using headphones until it clears up.

Solutions to Prevent Headache from Headphones:

Now that we have looked at the causes, let’s explore the solutions to prevent headaches from headphones.

1. Take regular breaks:

It is essential to take regular breaks to give your ears a rest and prevent ear fatigue. Experts recommend taking a 5-minute break every hour of headphone use.

2. Use the right headphones:

Using headphones that fit correctly and feel comfortable can reduce the risk of headaches.

It is recommended to choose headphones with adjustable headbands and ear cups that fit snugly.

3. Use headphones with balanced sound:

Using headphones with balanced sound quality can help avoid high-pitched sounds that can cause headaches.

Experts recommend headphones with a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz.

4. Avoid excessive volume:

Listening to music at excessive volumes can cause ear fatigue and result in headaches. It is recommended to keep the volume below 85 decibels.

However, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America recommends 70 decibels.

5. Consult a doctor:

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or experience severe and frequent headaches, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Headphones and Headache:

Using wired or wireless headphones does not necessarily cause headaches.

However, certain types of wireless headphones that use Bluetooth technology may cause headaches due to electromagnetic radiation exposure.

 The radiation exposure from wireless headphones is minimal, but people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity may be more susceptible to headphone-induced headaches.

It is recommended to use wired headphones or headphones that use lower frequency technologies, such as Bluetooth 4.1 or lower, to reduce radiation exposure.


Headphones are a great way to enjoy music, but they can sometimes cause headaches. 

By taking regular breaks, using the right headphones, avoiding excessive volume, and consulting a doctor if necessary, you can prevent headphone-induced headache.

Oliver Dules
In the world of audio technology, there are individuals who not only understand the nuances of headphones and earbuds but also possess the expertise to solve a myriad of problems that users encounter. Oliver Dules is one such luminary in this field, armed with six years of valuable experience and a remarkable journey that has taken him through industry giants like JBL, Skullcandy, and Samsung. Oliver Dule's exceptional skills go beyond the realm of troubleshooting; he has also contributed to the design of headphones, and he currently holds a pivotal role at Samsung, where he continues to shape the future of audio technology.