Why Over-Ear Headphones Best for Hearing Health? (7 Reasons)

Have you ever wondered whether those sleek little earbuds you wear every day might actually be damaging your hearing in the long run? You should. Studies show over-ear headphones, the big cushy kind that cover your whole ear, are better for your hearing health. Here are seven reasons why over-ear headphones are the smarter choice if you want to keep rocking out well into your golden years.

Over-ear headphones offer several benefits for your hearing health over other options like earbuds. Here are 7 reasons why over-ear headphones are better for your ears:

1. They don’t sit inside your ear canal.

Earbuds rest right inside your ear canal, which can lead to irritation and damage over time. Over-ear headphones sit on the outer ear instead, avoiding prolonged contact with sensitive inner ear tissues. This helps prevent inflammation, trapped moisture buildup and other issues that can arise from earbuds.

2. They block out more ambient noise.

The cups of over-ear headphones surround your ears to seal out background noise. This allows you to listen at lower volumes since outside sounds are muffled. Listening at lower levels prevents long term hearing damage from loud music or audio.

3. They produce higher quality sound.

Over-ear headphones typically have larger drivers that can produce richer bass, crisper highs and an overall fuller range of sound. The spacious ear cups also give the sound more room to develop. Many audiophiles prefer over-ear headphones for their superior sound quality and audio experience.

4. They’re more comfortable for long listening sessions.

The padded cups and headband of over-ear headphones rest comfortably over your ears without irritating the sensitive ear canal. This makes them ideal for enjoying music, podcasts, audiobooks and more for extended periods without discomfort. In contrast, earbuds can become irritating over time and even painful for some.

Why Over-Ear Headphones Best for Hearing Health?

5. They last longer.

Over-ear headphones are typically more durable and long-lasting. The solid build and components stand up well to regular use and the occasional drop or snag. As a result, a good pair of over-ear headphones can provide many years of listening enjoyment if properly cared for. Earbuds tend to malfunction or fall apart more quickly.

6. They’re safer for activity or exercise.

The secure fit of over-ear headphones ensures they stay put during activity like walking, jogging or strength training. They won’t fall out or become dislodged like earbuds, which can be unsafe and damage your device. However, over-ear headphones may be too bulky and uncomfortable for some high-impact exercise.

7. They protect your hearing in loud environments.

The noise-blocking design of over-ear headphones shields your ears from loud noises that could potentially cause damage. This includes noises from machinery, construction sites, airports, and more. While they can’t eliminate extremely loud sounds, over-ear headphones do provide more hearing protection than earbuds.

Why Over-Ear Headphones Best for Hearing Health?

Absolutely. Over-ear headphones, also known as around-ear headphones, are much better for your hearing health compared to earbuds or on-ear headphones. Here are some benefits of Over ear headphones.


Unlike earbuds that come in multiple sizes, over-ear headphones fit comfortably on all head sizes and shapes. The adjustable headband and rotating ear cups provide a custom fit for any user.

Long-term wearing comfort

Over-ear headphones are designed for extended use without fatigue. They feel light on your head and the soft padding prevents soreness, even after hours of continuous listening.


Over-ear headphones are a safer choice for children than in-ear models. There’s no risk of small parts that could cause injury if left in the ear canal, and volume levels are easier to monitor and control.

Less ear irritation

The large, cushioned ear cups of over-ear headphones rest comfortably over your ears without touching sensitive ear tissue. This prevents skin irritation, itching and discomfort that can come from earbuds.

Why Over-Ear Headphones Best for Hearing Health?

Over-ear headphones, also known as around-ear headphones, are better for your hearing health compared to on-ear models for several reasons:

Comfort and Fit

Over-ear headphones typically have large, cushioned ear cups that fully enclose your ears. This provides a comfortable fit that doesn’t put pressure on your ears. On-ear headphones, on the other hand, have smaller pads that sit directly on your ears, which can become uncomfortable over time and may cause soreness.

Reduced Sound Leakage

The over-ear design creates a seal around your ears, blocking outside noise and preventing the sound from your headphones from leaking out. This allows you to listen at lower, safer volumes. On-ear headphones don’t block as much outside noise, so you may be tempted to turn up the volume to compensate, which isn’t good for your hearing.

Better Bass Response

Over-ear headphones generally provide better bass performance since they have larger drivers and the ear cups create a seal, allowing the bass frequencies to resonate. The sound from on-ear headphones tends to seem thin in comparison. Strong, boomy bass at high volumes can potentially damage your hearing over time.

Safer Listening Levels

Due to their noise isolation and full-range sound, over-ear headphones allow you to enjoy your audio at safer decibel levels. According to hearing health experts, the maximum volume level that is considered safe for long term listening is 85 decibels. Over-ear headphones make it easier to stay within that limit.

While over-ear headphones may be bulkier, the benefits to your hearing health and overall listening experience make them worth the investment.

So next time you’re in the market for new headphones, do your ears a favor and opt for over-ear headphones. Your hearing is worth protecting, and over-ear headphones are the best way to do that while still enjoying your music.

You’ll get premium sound quality, comfort, and most importantly, peace of mind that you’re not doing any damage by blasting music directly into your ear canals for hours on end. Take it from us, your future self with healthy hearing will thank you for making the right choice.

Over-ear headphones are absolutely the way to go if you want the best experience that won’t cost you your hearing down the line.

Using over-ear headphones for a few hours a day should be fine for most people and pose no long-term hearing damage. However, extended use at high volumes over a long period of time could potentially cause issues. As a rule of thumb, keep the volume at 60-75% of the maximum level. Also, give your ears breaks by removing the headphones for 15-30 minutes every couple of hours. Be on alert for any ringing in your ears or muffled hearing, which can indicate the volume is too loud.

Over-ear headphones are less likely to cause earwax impaction compared to in-ear buds which can push earwax deeper into your ear. However, the snug fit and heat generated by over-ear headphones may cause increased earwax production in some people. It’s a good idea to periodically check your ears for any blockages and see your doctor if earwax removal is needed. Using ear drops to soften wax and an ear irrigation kit can help prevent buildup.

It is not recommended to sleep with any headphones on for safety and health reasons.

No, noise-canceling technology itself does not damage hearing. However, the same precautions regarding volume levels and duration of use apply.

The snug fit of over-ear headphones can lead to increased warmth around the ears due to trapped body heat and less airflow. Models with breathable, well-padded ear cups and lighter weight materials may be more comfortable for long term wear.

Author at Budsera
Bilal Naeem is the Tech Gadgets Reviewer and Author of Budsera.com, He was born in Pakistan and has lived most of his life in Lahore. He loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. You can visit his site https://budsera.com. (Get the earbuds Habit!)
Bilal Naeem

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