How to Wear Headphones Correctly and Comfortably?

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Have you experienced pain while wearing headphones? Or do you have to keep readjusting your headphones in the middle of important tasks because they keep falling off your head?

There’s a chance you’re wearing your headphones incorrectly, leading to a bad audio experience and discomfort.

If you wear headphones regularly, it is essential to ensure you are wearing them correctly to avoid any long-term damage.

The good news is that with a few tips and tricks, you will be on your way to wearing your headphones comfortably. We will also provide a step-by-step guide on how to wear headphones of different styles as well as how to wear headphones comfortably in various situations, such as wearing glasses or while exercising.

Importance of Wearing Headphones Correctly

Importance of Wearing Headphones Correctly

While talking about how to wear headphones comfortably, let’s start by telling you what happens when you don’t wear your headphones correctly.

Wearing your headphones incorrectly leads to a bad audio experience and can cause headaches, pain, and discomfort. In some cases, it can also cause damage to your hearing.

Learning to wear your headphones correctly ensures you are comfortable the whole time you have them on. You get the best out of all the videos, movies, or songs you listen to.

Wearing them correctly also ensures you are taking proper care of them and using them as intended. This prevents damage and ensures you will be able to use them for a long time.

Benefits of Wearing Headphones Comfortably

Benefits of Wearing Headphones Comfortably

Here are some extra benefits of wearing headphones the right way:

  • Once you wear your headphones correctly, they stay in place, and you won’t have to keep adjusting them in the middle of tasks.
  • If you’re exercising or lifting weights, your hands are occupied. Wearing headphones correctly the first time ensures you won’t have to readjust them in the middle of your sets.
  • Wearing headphones correctly ensures you get the best audio and sound experience with everything you watch.

How to Properly Wear Different Types of Headphones

There are many different types of headphones, and they all come with a different process for wearing them. Let’s get into how to wear each individual kind of headphone properly.

How to wear your particular headphones might vary slightly depending on their model, build, and design, but this will give you a general idea of how you can go about it.

In-Ear Buds

In-Ear Buds
  • Identify the left and right sides of your earphones. They usually have a marking to help you differentiate the sides, such as “L” and “R.”
  • In-earbuds go inside your ear canal, so place them in line with your ear canals.
  • Slightly pull down your ear lobe and slowly push in the earbuds. Don’t apply too much pressure and force in your earbuds, as this will lead to an uncomfortable fit.
  • Release your ear lobe. Now a seal has been created that also offers passive noise isolation.


  • Identify the left and the right ear tips by looking at the “L” and “R” markings.
  • Earphones are supposed to be hooked onto the outside part of your ear rather than being inserted in. It should hang in the outer part of your ear.
  • Line them up and carefully hook them to your ear. Don’t push them in or apply too much pressure. Readjust till you’re able to find a good fit.

Headphones – On-Ear & Over the Ear

Headphones - On-Ear & Over the Ear
  • Identify which ear cup goes over which ear by the “L” and “R” markings given on them.
  • Loosen up your headband a little.
  • Place the headphones on your head and adjust the headband so the speaker housing is in line with your eardrums midway across your ears.
  • If you’re using over-the-ear headphones, the ear cups will go over your ears, so hold them apart till you can position them over your ears and then place them directly over. Make adjustments till necessary.

How to Wear Headphones Correctly for Different Use Cases?

Here is how to wear headphones comfortably in different scenarios.

1. With Glasses

With Glasses

All glass wearers know the pain of headphones getting in the way when they put on a pair of headphones. And if your headphones have a tight fit, this will only lead to headaches and overall discomfort.

 Here is a list of possible reasons your headphones might be hurting.

You’re Wearing the Wrong Glasses

There could be a chance that you are wearing glasses that aren’t your size. If your glasses fit poorly and aren’t your size, they’ll dig into your skin as soon as you press anything against them.

Consult your nearest optometrist to help you find the right glasses for you in the correct size.

Your Frames are too Thick

Thicker frames mean more pressure on your ears when you wear headphones over your glasses. Consider getting frames with thinner frames as they will lower the strain on your ears significantly.

Choose Headphones With Thicker Padding

Headphones with thinner padding exert more pressure on your ear cartilage, leading to discomfort with prolonged wear. Thicker padding acts as a buffer between your ears and the headphones and will cause less pressure, even with glasses in between.

2. With Long Hair

Wearing headphones will vary depending on how you like wearing your hair. 

If you like wearing your hair down, tucking it behind your ears and then putting your headphones over them like a headband can be a good option.

However, if your hair gets tangled and caught in headphone wires, it’s a good idea to tie them up. You can go for a ponytail if you prefer that. You can also go for a braid, which is even better as it will prevent your hair from getting tangled and the headaches that come with wearing your head in a tight ponytail.

3. With Hoodies

If you are in the middle of winter and have your hoodie’s hood up over your ears, then wearing your headphones over your hood for some added warmth is no issue. 

There will be a slight variation in the sound quality as the audio will get muffled through the fabric, but if you have no problems with that, go ahead.

 You can also wear them under your hood if you’re more comfortable. This might not work if your headphones are too big or your hood is small. 

4. Around the Neck

Around the Neck

Some people wear headphones around their necks in public, but not without good reason. Here are some reasons why it might be a good idea.

Putting your headphones in a bag or even their case will ensure the early breakdown of the headsets and their wires. Even if some headphones are foldable, overworking their hinges by keeping them folded will lead to problems in their electrical connections.

If you want to ensure the longevity of your headphones, then putting them around your neck is a good idea. This will ensure they remain in proper shape.

5. While Exercising

If you’re exercising with your headphones on, then it is best to do so with a pair of wireless headphones. If you prefer headphones, choose ones with a high clamping force and an IPX5 rating or above to ensure they don’t fall off and are sweat-resistant.

The type of headphones you should go for also depends on the kind of workout you’ll be doing.

People focusing on cardio, like running or jogging, will benefit from wearing in-ear buds that don’t get in the way and also aren’t bulky. 

Those focused on lifting, that requires less movement than cardio, can go for headphones. Over-the-ear headphones will be more comfortable compared to on-ear ones.

Tips for Comfortable Headphone Wear

Tips for Comfortable Headphone Wear

Here are some additional tips to ensure your headphones fit correctly and do not cause discomfort. 

1. Adjusting the Clamping Force

The more the clamping force, the more surrounding noise the headphones will block off, but this also means that you’ll feel discomfort or added headaches because of the force.

You can adjust the clamping force on your headphones, given they are flexible. This is recommended if your headphones have metal inside the headband. We wouldn’t recommend doing this if your headband is made of plastic.

You can stretch your headphones outwardly through the headband to loosen the clamping force. If you do this correctly, you’ll notice that the distance between the two ear speakers increases.

If you want to increase the clamping force, say you are going for a workout and want your headphones not to fall off, you can do that by bending them inwards. This will bring the speakers closer together.

2. Taking Breaks

Suppose you’ve readjusted your headphones to fit comfortably. In that case, you might still experience discomfort if you wear them for prolonged periods without breaks.

It is a good idea to take a break every hour by removing your headphones and giving your ears time to breathe.

3. Adjusting the Volume

Listening to high volumes has an adverse effect on your hearing. Listening at higher volumes also makes your headphones feel more uncomfortable.

If possible, try not to exceed 80% volume. Even when you do, ensure you only listen for a short period and return to normal volume.

4. Choosing the Right Type of Headphones

Some headphones are more comfortable than others, so choose wisely before buying something new. Over-the-ear headphones provide more comfort because of their large ear cups.

They cover your ears instead of pressing down on them like with in-ear headphones.

The opinion is varied with earphones, with some preferring in-ear buds with silicon tips and others preferring earphones with an entirely plastic body.

Experiment around with what feels most comfortable to you and choose accordingly.


It goes without saying how important it is to wear your headphones correctly and comfortably. If you wear your headphones correctly, you get a better audio experience, and you also get to protect your hearing and prolong your headphones’ life. It’s a win-win situation all around.

We hope we were able to help guide you on the importance of wearing headphones correctly and how to exactly wear them properly, along with additional use cases and tips.

We encourage you to try out different methods and also try out different headphone styles to see which one is better suited for you.