Is listening to Music through Headphones/Earphones Harmful?

Technology has made our lives easier but there are a lot of ill effects of science and technology as well. Technology is both an amazing thing and a curse at the same time. Today we are going to talk about one such technology that has no doubt made our lives fun and convenient but is also ruining our lives at the same time by raising health concerns.

Headphones and Earphones have made it simple to enjoy your favorite music on the go but they can have a lot of adverse effects on your health and on your organs.

These devices can cause permanent Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss. The damage they can cause depends on the volume on which they are used and the period of time for which they are used for. The safe zone here is up to 85dB. If you expose your ears to more than this limit for extended periods without any protection you will most likely suffer from hearing loss.

●    Listening on 95 dB will start to cause damage after four hours of exposure.

●    Listening on 100 dB will start to cause damage after two hours of exposure.

●    Listening on 105 dB will start to cause damage after one hour of exposure.

●    Listening on 110 dB will start to cause damage after thirty minutes of exposure.

●    Listening on 115 dB will start to cause damage after fifteen minutes of exposure.

●    Listening on 120 dB will start to damage almost immediately.

Let’s take a look at some of the adverse effects these earphones and headphones can have on our hearing organs and health.

1.    Hearing Loss:

All headphones are responsible for exposing your ears to sound waves of high decibel rating. This can cause some serious damage to your ears and also causes hearing loss which is permanent. To ensure that you avoid listening to music on a very high volume and take breaks between longer sessions so that your ears are not exposed to harmful waves for too long.

2.    Congestion of Air Passage:

Another trend in headset design is sleekness. These sleek earbuds require you to place them in your air canal which makes them a lot closer to your eardrum then headphones or other types of earphones. This blocks the passage of air in ear canal making your ears more prone to infection when these earbuds are used for longer period of time.

3.    Infections in your Ears:

Another thing to take care of is to never share your earphones or headphones with anyone. This can cause unwanted infections so if you ever decide to share them, make sure to sanitize them afterward before using them yourself. You may think of this as an antisocial activity but it’s for your own good.

4.    Numbness to your Ears:

Listening to music for a long period of time using earphones can cause numbness to your ears. You may also experience temporary hearing loss however if you ignore these symptoms you may experience permanent hearing loss as well.

5.    Ear Ache:

You may feel pain in your ear and adjoining body parts as well after long sessions of listening to music using earphones and headphones. This could be severe where earphones or headphones are not of comfortable material.

6.    Adverse Effects on your Brain:

Every headphone or earphone out there generates electromagnetic waves that are without question harmful for your ears and other organs especially your brain. Your ears are connected to your brain at the back end and any harm caused to the ears also affects your brain.

7.    Environmental threats due to being too carried away:

These Headphones and Earphones also cut you off from the outer world. Today’s technologies tend to cut you off from your environment. This no doubt enhances your listening experience cutting away all the distortions but also has a lot of consequences.

These consequences can vary from small loses to even big ones. In fact cases of accidents due to using earphones and headphones while driving and while on the road are increasing day by day. These noise-canceling earphones and headphones can also make you miss out on important conversations and information.

As you can see the damages or adverse effects are wide-ranging, however, there are some precautionary measures you can take to keep yourself safe while using earphones and headphones because no matter what they do form an important part of your daily busy life:

A.    Avoid listening to loud volumes:

In order to avoid hearing loss, avoid loud noises as much as you can. Noise is loud enough to damage your hearing if:

●    You feel Ringing in your ear or you experience muffled hearing afterward.

●    Your ears hurt.

●    You have to talk in loud voice to communicate with people.

●    You can’t hear what others are talking or saying to you.

Listening to music usually ranges from 100 to 110 dB on the frequency scale which is damaging to your hearing according to the scale provided above so make sure to listen on moderate levels only while using earphones or headphones.

This is around 60 percent of the volume of your device, for example, your smartphone also comes with features like sound limiters in their settings so make sure to use such features because they aim to keep you safe while using these devices in order to stay safe.

B.    Taking Break between longer sessions of listening:

Good music is such that it absorbs you into its world and sensation. This experience is bound to take your attention away from the time for which you are listening to music or using headphones or earphones.

So you should keep an eye on the time for which you have been using earphones and should take a break between long sessions of listening.

C.    Avoid Earphones while on the road and while driving:

Many countries have introduced laws and heavy fines for using earphones and smartphones while driving. It is also advised to avoid headphones or earphones use while on the road because this cuts you off from the outside environments making you more susceptible to accidents and may be to walk straight into a pole or a tree at least.

D.    Consider the comfort factor:

We all use headphones and earphones whether for entertainment or for convenience they offer. Their use is somewhat unavoidable in today’s world so it is better to give some consideration while picking one for your use. You should give attention to the comfort factor while picking up headphones or earphones.

They should have good padding in the earcups in case of headphones and they must be made up of comfortable soft and hygienic material in case of earphones. This is to avoid fatigue and ear-ache that you will develop if you use uncomfortable headphones for long spans.


Technological advancements are inevitable. They are no doubt for the betterment of mankind. However, the ills are always there but everything becomes harmful when used in an excess amount.

There is a safe level for using any giving technology and earphones and headphones are no different. Consider using standalone speakers, like bookshelf speakers, when at home instead of earphones. They are an essential part of your busy and frustrated life but care should be taken when using them. This is for your own good and of those you love the most because if something happens to you on the road or if you suffer from any hearing impairments it is not just you who will be affected.

Also look for a pair of earphones or headphones that is not harsh on the ears and is reasonably comfortable. Recommendations are not only to buy premium ones but at least look for decent material and padding so that your ears stay safe and easy.