Noise-canceling headphones have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they offer a way to block out unwanted noise and enjoy a more peaceful listening experience. However, there have been some concerns about the safety of noise-canceling headphones, particularly regarding their potential to damage hearing.
Do noise-canceling headphones damage hearing?
The short answer is no; noise-canceling headphones do not damage hearing. They can help to protect hearing by reducing exposure to loud noise. Noise-canceling headphones create a “counter-noise” that eliminates unwanted noise. This means that you don’t have to turn up the volume of your headphones as high to block out the noise, which can help to prevent hearing damage.
What are the potential side effects of noise-canceling headphones?
While noise-canceling headphones are generally safe, some potential side effects have been reported. These side effects include:
- Headaches: Some people have reported getting headaches after using noise-canceling headphones. This is likely due to the headphones’ pressure on the head. However, this pressure is not any worse than standard headphones.
- Dizziness: Some people have also reported feeling dizzy after using noise-canceling headphones. This is probably because of the change in pressure the headphones create in the ear canal.
- Ear pressure: Some people have reported feeling ear pressure after using noise-canceling headphones. This is likely due to how the headphones seal around the ears.
Are there any other risks?
In addition to the potential side effects mentioned above, a few other risks have been associated with noise-canceling headphones. These include:
- Increased risk of accidents: If you use noise-canceling headphones while driving or doing other activities that require you to be aware of your surroundings, you may be at an increased risk of accidents. This is because the headphones can make it difficult to hear important sounds, such as car horns or sirens.
- Isolation: Noise-cancelling headphones can create a sense of isolation, which can harm your mental health. You must be aware of the potential consequences if you use noise-canceling headphones to avoid social interaction.
How to use noise-canceling headphones safely
To use these headphones safely, it’s essential to follow these tips:
- Turn up the volume only a little. The louder the volume, the more likely you are to damage your hearing. Your audio output device may have a warning if you turn the volume up too high, do not exceed this limit to protect your hearing and avoid hearing loss or tinnitus. If your audio device has no limiter or warning on the volume, be careful not to turn the device louder than is comfortable. If you think your audio is too loud, it likely is so err on the side of caution,
- Take breaks. Don’t wear noise-canceling headphones for long periods without taking a break. When your are exposed to loud soudns for too long it can result in overstimulation that causes fatigue and tempary loss of sensation in your ear. This is called listener fatigue.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Using noise-canceling headphones while driving or doing other activities requiring you to be aware of your surroundings is dangerous. In most parts of the world, wearing headphones while driving or operating heavy machinery is illegal. So not only is it dangerous, but it could also mean an expensive ticket. Take off your headphones when in any situation when you need to be aware of your surroundings. Better safe than sorry!
- Be mindful of your mental health. You must be aware of the potential consequences of using noise-canceling headphones to avoid social interaction. Feeling secluded can be necessary at times to find peace. However, completely detaching from reality too often can have adverse effects for some people, so make sure you’re using your noise-canceling headphones in a way that is safe!
Noise-canceling headphones are generally safe, but some potential side effects have been reported. It’s essential to use them safely by following the tips above. If you experience side effects like headaches or dizziness, stop using them and consult a doctor. To see the top affordable noise-canceling headphones on the market today, check out our article The Best Affordable Noise Canceling Headphones.