How To Wear Glasses With Over-Ear Headphones

Headphones help people listen to music in various settings without necessarily disturbing others. This is a great way to continue enjoying your favorite tracks while on the bus or train, or while commuting through town.

Unfortunately, people who wear glasses often find that putting on a pair of headphones is not really as simple as it is for those who do not wear glasses at all.

The extra strain can quickly build up and lead to the development of several complications, ranging from sore ears all the way toward interfering headaches.

This, however, does not mean that it is completely impossible to wear a pair of headphones if you rely on glasses to read, watch movies, and perform other tasks that you will need to do while you are listening to your music.

With some creativity and by looking closely at the specs of both the glasses and the headphones that you will be using, it is definitely possible to significantly relieve the complications that you might be experiencing right now when you try to wear both at the same time.

If you’re in the market for new headphones, you can find the best headphones for people with glasses here.

In this guide, we are going to take a look at specific factors that should be taken into account when buying glasses, as well as when buying headphones, to ensure the two can be compatible with each other.

We will also consider why headaches and other complications sometimes occur when wearing both headphones and glasses, and we will consider a couple of useful tips that can make your experience more comfortable.

Quick Solutions You Can Try

I get it, you’re busy – you probably don’t want to read 1000 word article explaining why your ears hurt when you’re wearing headphones and glass. So, here are a few things you can try to improve your comfort:

1. Buy Thicker Earpads

Headphones will usually have an option to purchase additional earpads. They won’t cost very much (usually around $10) and can save you a ton of misery.

I’m not going to list every single headphone that has replaceable earpads so it’s up to you to search out your manufacturer’s website and see what they have for thicker ear pad options.

The thicker the better. Also, if possible, purchase velour earpads – they seem to have the best comfort when it comes to glasses.

If you can’t find thicker earpads you can always try earpad covers.

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While I can’t guarantee they will work, they may allow you to get the padding you need to be more comfortable.

2. Lift Up The Arms of the Glasses

This one makes you look a little funny, but it can be a great solution for people at home.

Essentially, you want to lift the arms of the glasses over the driver of the headphone. This means the headphone will sit directly on your ear while your glasses rests on the headphone.

If this sounds like a bit much you can always try other options such as bone conduction headphones – they’re becoming increasingly popular!

3. Stretch Out Your Headphones

I had a pair of headphones that I couldn’t wear for more than an hour. The only solution was to stretch out the headphone band.

I did this by progressively stretching out the headphones over large objects around the house. I started with a couch arm and progressively worked my way up until they were comfortable enough to wear.

You need to leave them stretching for at least a day (sometimes longer) to notice a difference.

Remember to do this slowly as there is risk of breaking the headband.

Why Do You Experience Pain When Wearing Glasses And Headphones Simultaneously?

There are different reasons why a person may experience pain symptoms when they wear headphones on their head while they also have glasses on simultaneously.

Additionally, it is also important to understand that discomfort, pain, and other complications may occur in different areas of the person’s head.

A common issue faced would be headaches. These headaches are most often caused by the pressure that is applied to the temporal bone – by both the headaches and the frame of the glasses at the same time.

Pain in the ear cartilage is also rather common, which is also caused by pressure, applied to the auricular chondritis during extended periods of wear – this goes for both the glasses and the headphones applying simultaneous pressure to the ear cartilage.

There are many common reasons why the pressure may be increased at certain points on a user’s head when they wear both of these accessories.

In many cases, the clamping force that the headphones exhibit in order to clamp onto the user’s head would be the primary cause of pressure applied to the head, leading to the headaches and other issues.

Additionally, the materials used in the construction of the headphone’s padding that sits on the user’s ear also has an impact on how much the clamping of the headphones will essentially affect the user. Softer and thicker material may help to reduce clamping, for example.

Furthermore, the type of headphones and the actual design of the glasses that a person wears both can have an additional effect on determining whether a particular pair up between headphones and glasses would ultimately lead to pain and other particular problems.

What To Look For In Headphones When Wearing Glasses?

First up, we will consider the type of headphones and the particular features – since many people who wear glasses will already have a pair of glasses, the next obvious step for them would be to consider the specific pair of headphones they would like to buy.

There are ways to assist in reducing the pain and other complications – by simply ensuring you buy a more appropriate option when it comes to selecting a pair of headphones.

The two most common types of headphones on the market today include on-ear headphones and over-ear headphones. On-ear headphones are often referred to as Supra-aural headphones, while over-ear headphones are sometimes called Circumaural headphones.

An over-ear headphone is often advised for people who are wearing glasses, but the pros and cons of both types need to be considered since over-ear headphones often yield a heavier weight than on-ear headphones.

Additionally, the clamping force of an over-ear headphone tends to be stronger as well. There are some simple solutions to the problem – for example, buying the right type of frame for your glasses or cutting a small line into the cushioning can help to provide adequate space for glasses without causing pressure.

Buying headphones that fit is also crucial. If you have a particularly small head you can find the best headphones for small heads here.

What To Look For In Glasses?

The overall design of a person’s glasses would ultimately have an impact on how much pressure is applied to their skull when they put on a pair of headphones.

There are thousands of different designs available for glass frames. To reduce the pressure, however, it might be best to opt for a pair of glasses with a thinner design – especially the arms of the glass that will actually get into contact with the headphones.

With a thinner design, it means there will be less material to be pushed toward the user’s skull, leading to a significant reduction in overall pressure that is applied to the ear cartilage and other areas of the head.

Furthermore, glass frames can be made from different types of material, and some of these material options would yield a reduction in pressure as well. The most common types of materials that are used include rubber, plastic, and metal.

This one also depends on the user’s particular preference. Metal options are sometimes considered a little invasive when the design is thick, for example.


People who wear glasses find that headaches and ear soreness are two particular issues that they constantly have to deal with after wearing a pair of headphones for some time.

This can be very unpleasant and even be disrupting to the person’s day-to-day life, but with some initial research and by understanding what factors lead to these complications, it is definitely possible to experience a relief of these complications, while still being able to wear glasses and listen to music through a pair of headphones at the same time.

About the author


My name is Glen. I've been in the audio world for over 15 years. I love reviewing audio equipment and solving audio related problems.