Can I Use Headphones With Tinnitus?


Short Answer:¬†Yes, you can use headphones with tinnitus, but it’s vital to be cautious. Keeping the volume at safe levels and taking regular breaks can help prevent exacerbating the condition. Always consult with an audiologist or medical professional for personalized advice.

Dear reader, if you’ve ever been haunted by that unending ringing, buzzing, or clicking in your ears, you understand the perplexing world of tinnitus.

As someone deeply entrenched in the universe of headphones and the unique auditory experiences they offer, I’ve often pondered how headphones impact conditions like tinnitus.

Having spoken to countless individuals with tinnitus, the question invariably arises: Can I still enjoy my beloved playlists? Let’s navigate this soundscape together and uncover the answers.

1. Tinnitus

Tinnitus isn’t just a single condition but a symptom often indicative of an underlying issue like hearing loss, ear injury, or even circulatory system disorders.

Fact: According to the American Tinnitus Association, over 50 million Americans experience some form of tinnitus, making it a common auditory concern.

Tinnitus is a condition that is caused by the excessive accumulation of wax in your middle ear. The sound that you hear is produced by the vibration of the eardrum and is transmitted to your brain.

Some people with tinnitus experience ringing in the ears at all times, whereas others only experience it when they are sleeping.

Sometimes, you can hear your heartbeat and other sounds that are usually masked. There are many treatments that can help you to reduce or eliminate tinnitus.

2. Headphones

While headphones aren’t a direct cause of tinnitus, they can contribute if used improperly:

  • Volume Hazards: Listening at high volumes can intensify tinnitus symptoms or even cause noise-induced hearing loss, a common tinnitus trigger.
  • Ear Pressure: In-ear headphones can sometimes exacerbate tinnitus by increasing ear canal pressure.

Tip: Opt for over-ear headphones, which distribute sound more evenly and reduce direct ear canal pressure.

3. The Safe Sound Threshold

Maintaining a safe listening volume is crucial, especially for tinnitus sufferers.

Fact: A general guideline for safe listening is the 60/60 rule: Listen at 60% of the maximum volume for no longer than 60 minutes at a time.

Quick Solution: Use headphones with volume-limiting features or apps that notify you when the sound exceeds safe levels.

4. Sound Therapy 

Interestingly, headphones can be therapeutic for tinnitus sufferers when used correctly. Sound therapy involves using external sounds to divert attention from tinnitus.

  • White Noise & Nature Sounds: These can mask tinnitus sounds and provide relief.
  • Tailored Sound Therapy: Some specialized apps and devices are designed specifically for tinnitus sufferers.

Tip: If exploring sound therapy, consult with an audiologist to tailor the experience to your specific needs.

5. The Balance Between Silence and Sound

For those with tinnitus, complete silence can sometimes amplify the condition. Gentle background music through headphones can be beneficial, creating a distraction and reducing the prominence of tinnitus sounds.

Tip: Explore genres like classical or acoustic, which are often soothing and less likely to aggravate tinnitus.


For the tinnitus-afflicted, headphones are both a potential risk and a tool for relief. It’s all about balance.

By understanding your personal auditory landscape and treading with caution, you can continue to find solace in sound. After all, music isn’t just about hearing; it’s about feeling and healing.

To all my readers, let your auditory journey be as harmonious as the melodies you adore. And always remember, when in doubt, seek expert guidance. Happy listening!


As an expert in headphones and earbuds, I have spent years diving deep into the world of audio technology. My passion for sound quality, design, and innovation has driven me to create this platform, where I can share my knowledge and help others in their quest for exceptional audio experiences.