How To Keep Ears Cool With Headphones


One of the great things about headphones is that they do an excellent job keeping your ears warm during the winter. However, it can become quite unpleasant when the sun comes out or when they start to heat up. So how do you keep your ears cool with headphones? We’ve found a few ways to fix them!

There are a few ways to keep your ears cool with headphones. You can solve the problem by ensuring that you’re wearing headphones that fit you. You can also replace the headphones’ earpads with more absorbent material. If these fail, consider finding a more suitable pair of headphones.

Because we wear our headphones for hours on end, a bit of sweating is unavoidable, but keeping your ears cool is essential not only for your comfort but also for your ears’ health. So, what can you do to ensure that your ears stay cool while you’re wearing them?

How To Keep Your Ears Cool With Headphones

If you’ve had trouble with headphones getting too hot while you wear them, several basic fixes can help overcome a few common issues.

Check The Fit

The first and most obvious reason your headphones may feel a bit too hot is that they don’t fit your ears properly.

Headphones with a strong clamping force are particularly susceptible to this but also bear in mind that those with less clamping force may slip off easily. You need to find the perfect balance for you, and it’s the first thing you need to consider when buying a new pair of headphones.

Stretching headphones with sun in the backdrop

Replace Earpads

Headphone earpads are made out of a variety of materials. Still, most commonly, they use leather or pleather, which are far less breathable than materials such as velour and other plush, soft fabrics like velvet.

If your headphones have leather/pleather earpads, they contribute to how much your ears sweat. So you’ll want to find some breathable material for your ear pads. Velvet and velour are the most popular choices but can be somewhat pricey.

Adjust Room Temperature

Everybody’s body is different. While your headphones have nothing to do with your genetic makeup, you can reduce your body’s sweat by adjusting the room temperature. To the extent that you can!

The higher the external temperature, the more sweat your body produces to keep cool.

So, the simple solution is to turn down the heat on your thermostat or air conditioning. A cool environment would reduce your body’s propensity to sweat, giving you a far more comfortable experience.

Buy New Headphones

Unfortunately, in some cases, you just have a pair of headphones that aren’t ideal. They don’t fit properly, are made out of the wrong material, or simply do not suit the environment you’re using them in.

If there’s just too much wrong with your current pair of headphones, you might be better off just buying a whole new set of headphones with breathable materials that fit you perfectly.

 A good pair of headphones is priceless for anyone who sweats easily, so don’t hold back if you find that perfect pair and spare no expense.

Woman having a coffee with headphones on

Why Your Ears Sweat When Wearing Headphones

Now that you know how to keep your ears cool, it’s helpful to understand why your ears are getting hot and sweating in the first place.

Often, it’s the clamping of the headphones. When exerted on your ears, it contributes towards the amount of blood (and therefore body heat) in your ears. More heat, more sweat! The harder that clamping effect is, the more your ears will sweat. You need to either adjust your headphones or buy a pair that fits your head better.

At other times, it’s the material that your headphones are made out of. Anything like leather that’s not breathable is making you sweat. This not only applies to the earpads but the headband as well.

In exceptional cases, the headphones aren’t the problem… you are. You might be prone to excessive sweating if you have medical conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, you can’t change this, but you can do whatever you can to mitigate your sweating. For example, drinking a lot of water. Always keep a glass of water on hand while using your headphones, so that your body doesn’t have to sweat to stay hydrated.

Related article – Is Cold Weather Bad For Wireless Headphones?

Woman sweating with headphones after the gym

5 Quick Fixes For Uncomfortable Headphones

There are some problems outside of sweating that make wearing your headphones uncomfortable. So, if you’re struggling with something else, here are a few tips to understand the problem and how to fix it.

  1. Hot Ears

The majority of the issues you face with sweating boils down to your ears getting hot. Your ears get hot due to a bad fit, non-breathable earpad material, warm environments, and your body’s propensity to sweat.

Fix this by replacing your ear pads with velour (or fake velour) earpads. Sometimes you may struggle to find a perfect match for your specific model, but there are plenty of third-party manufacturers that are bound to make replacement pads that will fit your headphones’ size.

  1. Not-So-Protective Headband

High-quality headphones are often packed with generous amounts of memory foam, while others are made of cheap, thin plastic fabrics. If you feel your headphones’ headband pressing up against your skull, your headphones will need an upgrade.

There are several inexpensive, universal foaming snap-on cushioning add-ons that will provide you with the extra cushioning you need. Unfortunately, the cheap ones are pretty bulky and aren’t exactly fashionable.

  1. Uncomfortable Glasses

If you wear glasses, there’s no doubt you’ve come across that feeling of your frames being crushed into the side of your head by your headphone’s clamping force. Regardless of how soft your earpads are!

One extreme solution is to take a small knife and cut a path that’s the same shape as your glasses’ frame out of your earpads. It feels a bit risky, so you probably shouldn’t give it a try if you don’t have a steady hand. However, some feel that it’s the only real solution to the problem besides switching over to a pair of earbuds instead. 

If you don’t want to go that extreme, read our guide on How To Wear Headphones Comfortably With Glasses

  1. Hard Clamping

Sometimes the clamping force on your headphones is just too strong. You want your headphones to stay on your head while you’re moving around, so you’re naturally inclined to get them to grasp as tightly to your head as possible. You may even only feel pain over time after prolonged use, but the solution is simple.

Stretch them out. Most headphones are adjustable, but the headphones have been constricted to a point where adjusting them either doesn’t work or just makes them slide off of your head entirely.

Get an object that’s roughly the same width as your head and put your headphones over them, adjusted as tightly as possible. Leave them there for a few days until the positioning of the headphones and padding have been corrected. Now, when you pull them over your head, they shouldn’t hurt or slide off.

  1. Drivers Pressing Against Your Ears?

The last common problem is when the cups for your ear pads are too shallow. What this means is you can feel the speakers inside the headphones pressing up against your ears. Sometimes this is just down to bad design, or it could be that your cushioning needs to be replaced.

Another solution is to deepen the cups of your ear pads to make them more comfortable. You can add padding or foam (cotton balls may be a good place to start) under the earpads. However, this may alter the sound quality, so it may be the case that you’re going to have to replace the headphones. Try different types of padding to take note of the different sounds that they produce.

Woman with headphones on facing the window

Final Thoughts

We spend so much time wearing our headphones these days that it only makes sense that you want to get the best out of your experience and, therefore, maximum comfort. 

Keeping your ears cool is a critical part of that, and there are plenty of reasons why your headphones will make your earshot. But there’s a solution for every problem, and now you have those very solutions!

Jayden Smith

Hi, I am Jayden. I have a strong interest in the latest hearing electronics including headphones, earbuds, headsets and speakers. I love to research and write information about them on a part-time basis sharing some tips for beginners looking for the perfect device.

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