Discomfort is the number-one problem bespectacled people complain about while using headphones. Whether you are a passionate music lover or a professional gamer, the chances are that you wear your headset quite a lot. If you also happen to have specs on at all times, you must be wondering how to wear headphones with glasses.
Trust me, that issue is something I can relate to. Not only do I love listening to music in my leisure time, but I am also an avid gamer. As you would expect, I use headphones on a daily basis. And ever since I started wearing glasses, I haven’t really been able to enjoy my hobbies the way I used to.
Personally, I experienced great discomfort when wearing glasses and headphones at the same time. They bothered me so much that I constantly needed to move them around. I felt itching, sweating, and even pain. Naturally, I had to get to the bottom of the problem.
First, I asked around to see what other glasses wearers thought. I am a firm believer in hearing things straight from the horse’s mouth. Next, I consulted Google. Needless to say, I learned a ton of tricks, and, frankly, some were more helpful than others.
In this article, I want to share the best tips that I was able to find, with hopes that they will come in handy for you. So without further ado, let’s get down to brass tacks and see how you can comfortably wear glasses with headphones.
Why We Feel Discomfort When Wearing Headphones with Glasses
When you first start wearing glasses, it is likely that you will feel a certain degree of discomfort and pain. Luckily, once you adjust them to fit the shape of your head, and you get used to wearing them, the problem will go away on its own. Yet, when you add headphones to the mix, you may be surprised to find that the problem is back.
With that in mind, you may experience the following:
- outer ear pain
The rub is that the headphones apply pressure to the arms of your glasses and cause them to burrow into the lateral parts of your head. As you move your head around, the temples will start chafing the skin behind your ears, which may, in turn, lead to itching and soreness in that area.
Also, the headset might be too tight for you. If the headphones squeeze you too hard, they will apply excess pressure to the cartilage of your ear. The auricle will press down on your frames, which will prevent normal blood flow and result in pain to the outer ear.
On top of that, overly tense headphones may have such a strong grip on your temporal bones that you get a headache. That is a major problem for headphone users in general, and it only gets worse when the stems of the glasses gouge into your scalp.
If that is the case with you, then you absolutely must dive into what follows.
How to Wear Headphones with Glasses
After thorough research on the topic, I found that taking the following steps helped me ease my discomfort:
- Stretching the headband
- Switching to over-ear headphones
- Taking a break
- Changing the temples
In addition, if you are a professional gamer or are just willing to invest a little bit more into your gadgets, you may try these bonus steps:
- Get an extra pair of specs
- Give neckband headphones a go
Step 1: Stretch the Headband
This seemed to me as an obvious solution since most of the troubles I’ve mentioned are brought about by firm headphones. If you stretch your headset to the right extent, it should fit you perfectly. That should get rid of any excess tension that was causing the chafing, ear lobe pain, and headaches.
To do it right, you need to know precisely how much wider you need your headband to be. If you overstretch it, it will be too loose for you and start falling down. Once you are set on how wide you need it to be, you can make a DIY stretcher out of books. You could also use a box of some kind, but books will enable you to make the DIY stretcher adjustable. All you need to do is pick up a couple of them and bind them together.
The binder should be slightly wider than your head. When you are happy with its width, put the headset on it as if it were your head. Keeping it there for a couple of hours should do the trick. If you need to loosen the clamping force of the headphones some more, add another book and repeat the process.
Pro tip: Use your blowdryer to warm up the headband a bit. That will make the plastic easier to bend. Alternatively, you could put it under a stream of warm water. But be careful not to soak up the ear cups!
Step 2: Switch to Over-Ear Headphones
This step is useful in many ways. Although at first, I wasn’t keen on the idea of changing my on-ear headphones, I must admit it helped a ton. On-ear headphones have smaller ear cups than over-ear ones, so the clamping pressure is distributed over a smaller surface. This type of headphones press directly on the cartilage and, hence, cause more pain.
On the other hand, over-ear headphones cover a larger area as they lay around your ears and not directly on them. Also, as a rule, they have thicker cushions which soften the pressure of the headband. That minimizes the discomfort significantly.
Added bonus ― as it turns out, over-ear headphones have better noise cancellation, so it’s a win-win situation!
Step 3: Take a Break
It may seem like a no-brainer, but do give your ears as much time off as possible. If you aren’t able to set them aside completely, at least try to switch ears every once in a while. You would still be able to use headphones on one ear while resting the other side.
Alternatively, you could give only your outer ear a break by briefly using in-ear headphones instead of your over-head ones. However, that may not be the best option for professional gamers as an in-ear set lets in more ambient noise and has lower sound quality.
Bonus tip: You could also try ditching your glasses and throwing on contact lenses. That way, there will be no temples rubbing against your head.
Step 4: Change the Temples
Luckily, modern glasses manufacturers are coming out with more and more frames that have changeable arms. If your current pair has the thick, library stems, you could easily switch them for thinner ones. That is sure to cause fewer aches and pains around your ears.
Alternatively, you could ask around whether the model of your frames supports rubber temples. They are extremely comfortable to wear and are designed specifically for people who are having problems of this type.
Step 5: Get an Extra Pair of Specs
In case your specs don’t have changeable arms, you could get another pair. It is a pricier option, but it may just be the perfect excuse to get that one frame you’ve been eyeing, right?
Step 6: Give Neckband Headphones a Go
If you’ve got money to spare, then you may as well try out a neckband headset. In addition to better access to controls, these headphones are also thought to cause minimal inconvenience to users. They are particularly handy for workouts and taking frequent, unexpected business calls.
All in all, trying to find a way to use your headphones alongside your specs might be quite a hassle. Yet, there is plenty you can do about it. You may try resting your ears for a while, adjusting the headband, or changing the arms of your glasses. Or you could treat yourself to new frames or a brand new headset. If your over-head headphones are a pain in the neck, maybe go for the neckband ones.
In the end, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the article and found a solution to this vexing problem. I’d love to hear what worked for you in the comments. Also, don’t forget to share the article with your friends ― it would mean a ton to me!