Can Earbuds Damage Your Ears? Or Cause Hearing Loss? – Answered

Can Earbuds Damage Your Ears & cause hearing loss

Almost everybody from time to time use earbuds, for some others it is most of their time, but not all understand the damage that could result to their ears using earbuds or at least how to use it the right way to prevent any damages.

So, can earbuds damage your ears? the direct answer is Yes, you may ask how? I will tell you, it is all related to the audio volume levels (loudness) of the music you are listening to via your earbuds or headphones in general.

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Can Earplugs Cause Hearing Loss?

Generally speaking, other instruments that produce high sound volumes such as chainsaws or motorcycles would damage your hearing especially if you got exposed to it for a period of time, with regards to your headphones, it is even worse, because you are putting a concentrated sound volume directly into your ears, in other words, just like adding a fuel to the fire.

Dr. Danielle Inverso says, A PhD & AuD at Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery:

“Chainsaws and motorcycle engines create about 100 decibels of sound. That much sound can start to damage a person’s ears after less than half an hour. An MP3 player at 70% of its top volume is about 85 decibels.”

So as you can see, using earbuds or any type of headphones is really critical, the damages that could result in your ears are permanent, noise-induced hearing loss by using earbuds usually takes a while cause it happens gradually, and unfortunately a lot of people don’t know they have a problem in their hearing until it’s too late.

Can Earbuds Cause Ringing Ears?

Definitely Yes, one of the main causes behind having ringing ears or tinnitus is listening to or exposing your hearing to loud sounds or music for a period of time, such as those at music concerts, cinemas or sporting events, and above all of that using earbuds with loud volume levels can cause ear ringing.

Ear ringing or tinnitus symptoms are signs of hearing loss, many people are having different definitions for what they feel in their hearings, so let’s summarize those definitions up to “signs of hearing loss caused by earbuds” are:

  • ringing, buzzing or roaring in your ears after hearing a loud noise.
  • muffling, distortion of sounds.

So, as a logical advice if you experience any of the signs mentioned above better to consult your doctor immediately because those symptoms are non-recoverable and should be stopped from getting worse.

Can Wear Earplugs Cause Vertigo?

I have researched the entire internet for whether using earbuds for a long time with loud volume causes vertigo or not, and I couldn’t find a clearer answer than this, there is no substantiation for having vertigo caused by heavy usage of earbuds.

Using Earbuds the Right Way To Prevent Hear Loss

Although using earbuds and headphones with high audio volume levels for a period of time could damage your hearing or lead to complete hearing loss, there is also some good news for you since you visited this page seeking some clear answers.

There are certain ways to use your earbuds and headphones I call it the “Right Way” which yet provide you the entertainment you are looking for but with 100% prevention of getting any hearing issues, so check the below 6 tips how to reduce risks of hearing loss listening to your music.

6 Tips Reducing Risks Of Hearing Loss Using Earbuds

TIP 1 – Moderation

Using your earbuds with moderation in terms of how long do you use them with moderate audio volume levels will 100% prevent you from facing hearing issues.

If you are wondering how to define the word “moderate” in terms of using earbuds, simply follow the below:

  1. Limit the amount of time you spend using your earbuds in your ears to maximum 60 minutes continuously.
  2. Setting the audio volume level at no more than 60% of the maximum volume of your media player while listening to music or playing a movie or a video game.
NOTE: Another way to find out if your earbuds are at a safe volume, ask people sitting near you whether they can hear your music. If they do, then you need to turn your volume down until they don’t.

TIP 2 – Using Headphones Instead Of Earbuds

Using earbuds on a regular basis is much harmful than using headphones, the reason is that the earbuds are types of in-ear headphones which you insert into your ear canal, by doing so the sound will be more concentrated to your hearing thus the side effects of listening to music in this way logically is more negatively impacting your hearing.

wireless or wired headphones

Instead of that, using a good pair of an on-ear headphone with a good noise cancellation should give you the possibility to reduce the media player volume level of your favorite music, since they help block out other noises, you don’t need to turn up the volume of your music as loud to hear it well.

NOTE: Having the sound source in your ear canal can increase it’s sound’s volume by 6 to 9 decibels.

But you should remember that using headphones instead of earbuds doesn’t make you fully protected against hearing issues, especially when you are listening to music in a high volume.

NOTE: While we are cycling or jogging we use to listen to music by our earbuds, we do that because we enjoy our way or this gives us the motivation to the training but you should be aware that this increases your chances of making an accident, because this makes you unaware of what’s going on around you, in other words, you will be isolated from the world around you. That’s why it is better to reduce the music loudness while using our earbuds.

TIP 3 – Listening To Music In A Fairly Quiet Environment

This is a better solution to protect our ears and hearing if we use our earphones mostly in quiet environments like our home or rooms makes it easy for us to reduce the sound volume.

TIP 4 – Use Retro Headphones

This is also an option to consider when it comes to using headphones, you could try retro headphones instead of the modern earbuds, there is a reason they are making a comeback nowadays, those old-school headphones usually are on-ear headphones type which provides fairly high volume, unlike the earbuds types, Sometimes old-school is better.

TIP 5 – Use External Speakers Instead Of Headphones

external speakers

Using external speakers either Bluetooth or classic ones are much safer than using earbuds, in this case, you will be ensured that you are enjoying your time listening to your music but keeping your hearing safe, there are plenty of external speakers models and product to choose from.

And of course, I am referring to the personal external speaker not the ones in a club or concerts.

TIP 6 – Using Ear Plugs When Attending Loud Environments

This is the best tip I could advise you with, to protect your ears and hearing for a long-term, while attending a movie in a theatrical environment or a live musical concerts where the loudness of the speakers are at their maximum, I know it is very enjoyable to listen to music in high volume but for the sake of protecting your hearing for the rest of your life versus enjoying a 2 hour concert.

Using ear plugs in such circumstances will protect your hearing and add a convenient experience to your joyfulness attending those concerts or movies ..etc with moderate loudness of the heard sounds.


Earbuds and headphones exist because we love music, so protecting your hearing is a must in order to continue appreciating your favorite music, that’s why we need to understand the risks of earbuds and headphones, in general, to take steps further to the safe side.

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Firas Sameer

This is me Firas Sameer the one behind “How To Fix Headphones” wearing my Beats headphone, I like listening to music a lot but since I had some issues with my headphone jack and I had to replace it my self, I decided to create this website and help you guys with headphone hacks all the way I am learning new ones and other stuff which helps you fix your own.

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