How To Wear Headphones with Glasses

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Do you have a hard time wearing headphones with glasses? It can be very frustrating when you’re trying to enjoy audio, but no matter what you do the headphone fit with your glasses doesn’t seem to match.

The wrong fit can damage your glasses if you aren’t careful and place pressure on the side of your head. It’s a good idea to carefully consider the headphone compatibility with your glasses beforehand so that you are not disappointed when the headphones arrive at your home.

In this buyer’s guide we will explain how to wear headphones with glasses so that you can enjoy long listening sessions in comfort. We will also suggest a few headphone models that are comfortable with most glasses.

Types of discomfort

Wearing headphones with glasses incorrectly can lead to discomfort. At first, it might seem like nothing serious but prolonged discomfort could lead to injury. You may experience headaches due to pressure felt at the temporal bone. It’s a result of a big clamping force, which is commonly found when the headphones are too tight. Furthermore, you may experience sore ear cartilages or auricular chondritis, which stems from prolonged use of glasses and headphones together.

The human head just like the fingerprint is unique and there is no one size fits all pair of headphones. Manufacturers aim to provide a comfortable wearing experience for the average head size. However, if you have a head that’s above average, then you may struggle to get a comfy fit – especially if the headphones don’t provide much adjustability.

The factors that affect comfort

Before you’re able to figure out the ideal glasses and headphone setup you need to understand the factors that play a role in headphone comfort. Here are the top contributing factors to be aware of:

Glasses design: glasses design determines compatibility with headphones. The glasses material type and thickness of the rims are the biggest points to note. Harder materials types and thicker rims lead to more pressure, which in turn means you’ll require more spacing above the earcups.

Headphone type: on-ear and over-ear are the headphone types that give individuals with glasses the most trouble. On-ear headphones are the most problematic because the earcups do not go over the ear. They place pressure on the contact point where the rims go over the ear.

Over-ear headphones provide plenty of space for the rims so you can comfortably slot them in between your ears and the top of the earcup. Therefore, if you have large rims over-ear headphones are a better choice. Some headphones are problematic to wear with glasses regardless of the head size or type of glasses.

Ear padding: an over-ear format does not mean that you cannot enjoy a comfortable fit with your glasses – it depends on the material type. The 4 common earpad material types are foam, leather, velour, and pleather. Pleather and leather are the hardest, which means they are the worst for glasses. Soft materials are better since it means less pressure is exerted on the contact points of where the rims touch the side of your head.

Clamping force: a good clamping force is required to achieve a snug fit so that the headphones don’t dislodge when moving your head. However, too much of a strong clamping force results in extra pressure placed on the ear cartilage and temporal bones.

How to reduce discomfort while wearing glasses

If you plan on regularly using glasses with headphones, then you must invest in thin frames. You’ll have a much easier time wearing headphones and you’ll find that you’ll be able to enjoy a wider selection of headphones in comfort. However, if you are not willing to invest in a new pair of glasses, then read on. There are other things you can do to reduce pain and discomfort.

The consensus online is that over-ear headphones are more comfortable than on-ear ones. That’s because the circumference of the over-ear format swallows your ear and the rims. If you have a choice between the two wearing styles, then it’s smart to choose the over-ear. You’ll experience less pressure on the ear cartilage and temporal bone.

Furthermore, thicker ear pads are better because you’ll feel less of a clamping force. It varies from one headphone to the next but the clamping force is something that you need to keep in mind when purchasing your next pair of headphones.

Unorthodox solutions

Have you tried everything mentioned so far, but still cannot get a comfortable fit? Then you can take advantage of 2 solutions that might just do the trick. The first method is to cut a gap in your headphones. It’s not recommended for everyone because you may damage the headphones and cause more damage than do good. However, if you are precise you can provide a convenient gap for the rims to slot in.

Another solution is to wear virtual reality frames. You will not feel discomfort or pressure again because they are light and ergonomically designed for use with headphones. However, you need to invest in another pair of glasses, which might be out of the question if you want to use the ones you already have.

Top headphones for glasses wearers

Here are a few notable headphones that provide a comfortable experience while wearing glasses.

  • Beyerdynamic Dt770 PRO: the ergonomic fit here is amazing, and the extra soft earcups means you’ll feel no pressure. The earcups are adjustable and there is plenty of space to play around with.
  • Samson SR850: the combination of the self-adjusting headband and large earcups means you’ll love wearing these with your glasses. It’s a budget offering that provides competitive audio quality.
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M30x: take a look at the product images and you’ll notice large earcups with extra-soft padding. They are ideal for glasses since the cushioning significantly reduces the clamping force. Furthermore, they provide exceptional audio quality that provides good value for money.
  • Sony-MDR1RNC: Sony understands how to manufacture ergonomic headphones and the MDR1RNC is an example of that. The large and comfortable earcups means those with glasses will not feel much pressure.
  • Sennheiser HD 600: Sennheiser is a premium pair of headphones with large oval earcups. The spacious design means those with glasses can enjoy long-lasting comfort with audiophile grade audio.


Implement the tips suggested in this guide and you’ll have an easier time wearing glasses with headphones. Consider buying one of the headphones mentioned above if you want to tilt the odds of success in your favor.

Headphone comfort with glasses must be taken seriously so that you do not develop ear damage. It’s not just about achieving a comfortable fit, but also ensure that you do no long term damage to your ears.