It doesn’t matter whether you have bought the best headphones for music production or small in-ear headphones to listen to music, they should not cause you any discomfort. If you feel some kind of tension or even pain, it is likely that you are doing something incorrectly.

However, why is it so important to know how to wear headphones properly?

  • The sound reproduced by the headphones may be distorted if they are not worn as the manufacturer intended.
  • If the seal is not tight enough, you may hear sounds around you louder than the audio in your headphones. A too-tight seal may limit the breathability of the headphones.
  • The headphones may fall off your head and break completely if the fit is not properly adjusted.
  • An incorrect fit can be harmful to your ears. It may not only cause pain, but it may also impair hearing.

Many manufacturers don’t include guidelines on how to use the headphones, so it’s no wonder many people don’t know how to wear the headphones. Indeed, most models now include some sort of fit adjustment system, but if you find yourself constantly readjusting the fit, you must have put them on incorrectly.

To a greater extent, the right wearing technique is determined by the type and construction of the headphones. Our How to wear headphones guide will help you enjoy your music in the most comfortable way possible by providing simple explanations.

How to Wear Headphones Properly

Over-Ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones should be worn on the top of your head. They have big ear cups and plushy pads that should not just cover your ears but encompass them. They provide a high level of sound isolation, so it’s critical that they fit snugly over your ears.

Here’s how to wear over-ear headphones properly:

Step #1. Identify the left and right ear cups (they should be labeled as “R” and “L“).

Step #2. Put the headphones on your head. To eliminate excessive pressure, it’s important to correctly fit the headphones in accordance with your head size. Adjust the headband until you start to feel that they fit snugly on your head.

Step #3. Some models have movable ear cups, while others do not. So, if your model has movable ear cups, you can adjust the comfortable angle. If the ear cups are still, just put them on your ears.

Also, since such headphones have large cushions, you may need to remove your earrings since they may cause discomfort.

On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones resemble their over-ear analog. They have a headband and ear cups as well but are smaller in size. They sit on top of your ears but do not completely encircle them. This way, it’s recommended to choose the on-ear headphones that have ear cups that are roughly the same size as your ears.

Follow these steps to find out how to wear on-ear headphones in a proper way:

Step #1. Begin by determining the side of each ear cup.

Step #2. Slip your on-ear headphones over your head and adjust the clamping force of the headband for proper fit.

Step #3. Make sure that the ear cups cover your ears. Adjust their position if necessary.

In-Ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are a pair of tiny speakers that are designed to be inserted in the ear canal (thanks to that they have a good capability of blocking environmental noises). They should be able to sit securely inside your ear and form a tight seal.

Step #1. In-ear headphones are typically packaged with a variety of soft ear tips in various sizes (XS, S, M, and L). So, the first thing you should do is try them all on to see which one fits the most comfortably. If you can’t find the right pair, it’s best to buy memory foam tips or order custom-fit tips.

Step #2. Insert the tip of the headphone inside your ear hole. Some in-ear models come with ear hooks (almost all the models designed for sports feature such hooks) to provide a more reliable fit. They must sit behind your earlobe. After inserting the speaker, you should try adjusting each ear hook.

Step #3. Slowly insert it into the ear canal, but so that you do not feel discomfort. Put your earlobe down when doing so. The ear canal walls should enframe the speaker, creating a seal, to ensure proper audio quality.