How to Prep Headphones to Not Hurt and Crush Your Ears?

Not sure of any music lover or sports person, whether professional or for leisure, who has never heard and or used headphones. Any regular headphone user will testify of its benefits, from privacy to enjoy good quality music.

However, like any other electronic device, headphones also have shortcomings, especially if you fail to use them properly.

Sizing is yet another aspect to be taken into consideration. Some folks might think problems resulting from headphones are only due to misuse of volume.

There are other structural features headphones possess that can cause hurt to your ears. The headphones pads and drivers can clamp too hard against your ear, causing serious pain. 

But this should not scare you from using headphones because we will give you some techniques, including some “do it yourself” that you can apply to stop your headphones from hurting you and improve your comfort of using the device.

How to make headphones not hurt your ears.

In the ensuing paragraphs, we will identify each structural part causing the discomfort and how to solve it.

Your ears (pinnae) might hurt because your headphones are too tight.

The clamping force or pressure exerted on your ears might be too good for you. Although a great clamping force is an advantage to keeping your headphones in place, they can become just uncomfortable for your liking.

So what do you do to solve this problem? The first thing is assuming your head is a square, measure the radius (distance between your two ears), and stretch out your headphones to about the same radius.

This is how you go about it.

Look for some hard and stable object as wide as you’re the measurement you made before. It could be books stacked together or a box.

Then carefully stretch out the cups of your headphones and fit them over the stacked books or box and leave them there for one to two days, depending on the thickness and stiffness of your headphones bands.

Note. If, after the process above, your headphones still feel tight, repeat the procedure or get a wider box and do the whole process all over again. 

The second reason your ears may hurt is that you fail to wear your headphones properly.

If you wear your headphones so that they fit wrongfully over your ears, your ears will get hurt in due time. The simple solution to this is to properly wear your headphones, ensuring that no part of your ear is in distress.

Thirdly, check out headphones’ flexible options if your ears get hurt when you wear headphones.

Manufacturers now include adjusting features in headphones that one can use to achieve maximum comfort. Some of these features include:

  • Rotatable ear cups. You can conveniently rotate the ear cups until you feel maximum comfort with this feature. Users, therefore, have room to adjust the headphones to their unique needs.
  • Adjustable headbands. This option allows users to increase or reduce the length of the headbands. Adjusting the headbands can go a long way to reducing the stress that inappropriate headband length puts on your ears.
  • Replaceable features. There are some parts of our headphones (headband, headband padding, ear cups, and sliders) that you can easily customize according to your preference. So if any replaceable part helps fix the issue, you may want to invest in them.

For example, the ear cup paddings your earphones have might not be the proper size for your ear. If this is the problem, you have to replace them. Earcup paddings play a vital role when it comes to comfort.

To choose a new pair of paddings, order from the manufacturers, check out the right shape and size, and the best material.

 Ordering from the manufacturers is to ensure that the paddings you order are compatible with your headphones. However, if your manufacturer doesn’t sell ear paddings, you can go in for third-party offers.

Secondly, with your headphone model in mind, pick ear cup paddings whose shape and size are compatible with your current headphones.

Ear cups are of different materials, and these materials are of different qualities, durability, and breathability.

Earcups made from leather, microfiber, or velour are usually the best to go in for.

Each headphone model has a different way of replacing ear cup paddings.

Your headphones cause your ears to get too hot

The problem here is the clamping force discussed above and the headphone’s breathability. This shows that your headphones have a good seal.

Though good sealing is advantageous in noise cancellation and aiding in good sound quality, you still need an air supply to your ears.

Going for velvet material can be good advice.

Itchy ears

Many headphones users experience itchy ears whenever they wear headphones. Itchy ears could be due to ear infections, wax build-up, or allergies.

Tight ear cups usually trigger wax build-up, multiplication of bacteria, and the development of rashes due to the introduction of foreign bodies such as headphones or hearing aids.

The straightforward way to solve the problem is to make you clean your headphones properly, avoid exchanging headphones, and check out for allergies.

Some headphones are made of rubber and plastics, and this material can be the cause of some allergies. Take note of your headphones’ material and try out another different material.

If the problem persists, you may have to avoid using headphones at all.


With the problems we have mentioned above, manufacturers have tried to solve by studying the various ear shapes and sizes and coming up with “fit-all-size” headphones.

Yet it will surprise you to hear that ears are just as unique as fingerprints. Therefore, there are no headphones that can fit all ear sizes.

Secondly, your ears may hurt not because your headphones didn’t get the proper preparation but because you might have been wearing them for an extended period.

The solution to this is to put away your headphones and let your ears rest and breath.

And finally, we admit that it is difficult to find the ideal size of headphones that offer some comfort level.

But with the right understanding and approach, we can make choices that cut down on the level of hurt we experience.

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