How To Wear Headphones Comfortably With Glasses

Headphones and glasses don’t need to be water and oil. Check out our guide on how to wear headphones comfortably with glasses.

Over ear headphones with black rim glasses

Do you ever find yourself having to choose between wearing your glasses or headphones because of the discomfort of wearing them together? You don’t have to suffer to enjoy the thrill of using headphones without sacrificing your sight.

It is possible to comfortably wear headphones and glasses together. There are several things you can do to help reduce the irritation around your ears. This includes using over-ear headphones with plenty of cushioning or picking the right frame for your glasses.

With many people using their digital devices, wearing headphones constantly has become pretty standard today. Most people look for comfortable ways to wear headphones with glasses because this combination is not the most pleasant all day round.

This article will give you tips on how to wear your headphones comfortably and correctly without having to ditch your glasses. 

Why Do Glasses Hurt With Headphones?

There are multiple complaints that people with glasses have when they wear over-ear headphones for hours, like headaches and pain. This pain can make watching a movie or listening to music a less enjoyable experience for you. Here are some of the common causes of discomfort while wearing headphones with glasses for long periods. 

Sore Ear Cartilage

When wearing headphones, there is a lot of pressure placed on your outer ear. This pressure can be harmful to your ears and cause swelling, redness, and pain. If your ear is already in pain, constant use of these headphones will only worsen the situation. 

This condition is known as Auricular Chondritis, where the ear cartilage is inflamed and sore. If you get to this stage, take a break from your headphones and let your ears rest up a bit. If it continues getting worse, consult a doctor.


Headaches are a common side effect of using headphones with glasses. If the headphones are too tight and have a strong clamping force, this will put a strain on your temporal bone. The pain caused by this compression usually starts a while after wearing your headphones.

Although the pain can be bearable, it can increase over time. With the additional pressure of glasses, these headaches can make you hate using headphones with your phone or laptop.

Related article – Can Earbuds Cause Headaches?

General Discomfort

Discomfort can also be due to the kind of headphones you wear. They might be too small for you or feature insufficient padding, which can cause pain on the top of your head.

The lack of headphone adjustability can also ruin using headphones with glasses that have thick frames. If your glasses have too thick frames, headphones that are too tight can also cause you discomfort.

Woman with ear pain

Tips To Wear Headphones Comfortably With Glasses

With the tips listed below, you can wear glasses with headphones with minimal pain and discomfort. 

Wear Your Headphones Correctly

It may sound simple, but not everyone wears their headphones how they should. Proper positioning also helps improve the sound quality of your headphones too. 

For on-ear headphones, make sure it rests nicely over the surface of your ears. With over-ear headphones, make sure the cup itself is completely encompassing your ears.

With glasses, just wiggle the headphones slightly so it rests in a nice position on top of your glasses and feels comfortable.

Change The Design Of Your Glasses

If you have already tried changing your headphones and you still experience discomfort, maybe you should change your glasses. The size of your frames could be too thick that they press against your head, causing pain. If you find thinner frames in the design you want, you can be comfortable while still looking stylish.

Use Contact Lenses

For those willing to ditch glasses altogether, you can use contact lenses to solve this problem. You no longer have to worry about the pain when you wear contacts with headphones. Make sure to consult your optician before switching to contact lenses. 

If you happen to find contact lenses uncomfortable, you can try out the additional tips below.

Use Headphones With Thicker Padding

You can try to get headphones with additional padding to reduce pain while using them for long periods. 

Padding materials include fabric, velour, and foam that are soft to the touch and feel good. The cushion type effect in these materials makes it easy to use with glasses for prolonged periods. Headphones with mesh fabric are also more breathable for an airier experience.

There are a few third-party ear pads that are fluffier and softer than the stock ear pads too.

Headphones Design And Clamping

With so many headphone manufacturers, there are quite a few headphone designs out on the market. When choosing over-ear headphones, you have to consider the clamping force they will exert on your skull. 

Make sure you pick a design that allows you to adjust the clamps. This will allow you to increase the size and fit when you have a pair of spectacles on.

Woman wearing black glasses and black over ear headphones

Things To Consider With Headphones When Wearing Glasses


There are three types of headphones you can choose from in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headphones.

You’ll need to balance comfort and audio quality here. Clearly, the in-ear ones won’t impede your glasses, but audio quality is variable. Alternatively, if you are looking for good sound quality, the best option to go for is over-ear headphones.

You’ll also need to consider features like noise canceling and battery life (if you go wireless).

Related article – Best Headphones For Coding And Programming

Material Padding

With third-party types of padding available for headphones, you can easily choose the best one for you. You can either buy headphone padding or create your DIY padding at home! The headphones’ headband padding is also a great way to customize your headphones to your liking. Additional padding can also reduce the pressure on your skull.

Ear cup padding helps to cushion your ear and prevent hurting your ear cartilage. Some ear cup paddings have materials like mesh fabric that are breathable and durable. You can also choose leather padding or microfiber padding for the best comfort. Yes, this is quite a subjective topic!


If possible, try and check the design of your headphones in terms of comfort when paired with glasses. Some headphones feature adjustable and replaceable parts to make them more flexible to use. If your headphones are pressing tightly on your glasses, you can adjust them to be loose or change some features for more flexible alternatives. 

When it comes to the design, you should also consider the cord of the headphones. The last thing you want is them stuck to your glasses when you are in a hurry. It would help if you tried to avoid rubber cords because they easily tangle and damage.

Related article – Best Headsets For Glasses Wearers


All headphones today have a standard fit size, but this size won’t fit everyone because of the differences in each person’s ears! This fact shouldn’t stop you from getting the perfect headphones to use with glasses. 

Headphones now have flexible features like earcup rotation and headband adjustability for a more comfortable fit. This way, you can position these headphones in different ways according to the fit of your glasses. 

Man wearing sunglasses and red over ear headphones

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stop glasses from hurting Your ears when wearing headphones?

You can stop your headphones from hurting your ears by adjusting the headphones to be looser. Reducing the clamping pressure allows you to wear your glasses for extended periods with your headphones. You can also add padding material to your ear pads to reduce the pain and discomfort.

What ear pad material is the most comfortable?

The most common material for headphone earpads is protein leather, also known as pleather. They are soft and comfortable, with good durability to last long. Materials like plastic usually crack after some time and don’t feel smooth.

You can also go for velour earpads that are primarily available in gamers’ headphones. They are popular because they are more breathable than leather. These pads feel soft and do not irritate the skin even after wearing them for hours. 

What type of glasses frames should I get?

If you want to avoid discomfort when using glasses with headphones, you should consider getting thinner frames. Glasses with slimmer frames are better because they reduce the surface area pressed against your scalp. These frames reduce the pressure on your temporal bone, making using them with headphones more comfortable.

Can you wear bone conduction headphones with glasses?

Yes, you can use bone conduction headphones with glasses. This is because they make contact with your cheekbones below where your glasses rest. Bone conduction headphones have fewer chances of causing ear pain or hearing issues than regular headphones when playing too loud.

The only downside is that the audio quality on these is not as good as standard over-ear headphones.

How can I improve the comfort of my headphones?

You can improve your headphone comfort by finding the right size headphones with adjustable capabilities. This way, even with different hairstyles and headgear, the headphones still fit. 

If you don’t plan on buying a new pair, you can add padding material to make your headphones more comfortable.

Interesting read – Are Headphones Bad For Your Hair?


If you constantly find wearing both headphones and glasses unpleasant because of pain, then it is time for a change. The type of headphones you choose should be comfortable and improve your listening experience whether you are gaming or watching videos.

Comfortable headphones are adjustable so that they don’t put too much pressure on your frames. The other way is that you change your glasses with thinner frames or contact lenses. With these tips, you can see and hear without discomfort!