Can Noise Cancelling Headphones Cause Tinnitus

As the popularity of noise cancelling headphones continues to rise, concerns about their potential impact on hearing health, specifically tinnitus, have emerged. Tinnitus is a condition characterized by a perception of ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears. In this article, we will address the question: Can noise cancelling headphones cause tinnitus? By examining the scientific evidence and providing practical advice, we aim to separate fact from fiction.

Can Noise Cancelling Headphones Cause Tinnitus solution :

Understanding Noise Cancelling Technology:

Before discussing the potential link between noise cancelling headphones and tinnitus, it’s important to understand how these headphones work. Noise cancelling technology uses microphones to detect ambient sounds and produces an inverse sound wave to cancel out the external noise. This allows users to enjoy their audio at lower volumes, without the need to raise the volume to mask background noise.

Potential Benefits for Tinnitus:

Contrary to popular belief, noise cancelling headphones can actually provide benefits for individuals with tinnitus. By reducing background noise, they create a more serene listening environment, making it easier for those with tinnitus to focus on their audio content without the need for excessive volume. This can potentially alleviate some of the stress and discomfort associated with tinnitus.

Importance of Volume Control:

While noise cancelling headphones themselves are not known to directly cause tinnitus, it’s crucial to understand the role of volume control in hearing health. Excessive and prolonged exposure to loud sounds, whether through headphones or other sources, can lead to hearing damage and potentially exacerbate existing tinnitus symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to practice responsible volume control and avoid listening at high volumes for extended periods.

Choosing the Right Headphones:

When selecting noise cancelling headphones, it’s important to consider their sound quality, comfort, and safety features. Look for headphones with a good reputation for sound reproduction accuracy and consider models with built-in volume limiters to prevent accidental exposure to high volumes. Additionally, choosing over-ear headphones instead of in-ear options can help minimize the risk of tinnitus-related discomfort caused by prolonged pressure on the ear canal.

Balanced Listening Habits:

Maintaining balanced listening habits is crucial for preserving hearing health, whether using noise cancelling headphones or any other audio device. Give your ears regular breaks, avoid prolonged exposure to loud sounds, and adhere to recommended volume levels. Practicing moderation and being mindful of your listening habits can significantly reduce the risk of tinnitus and other hearing-related issues.


Contrary to common misconceptions, noise cancelling headphones are not known to cause tinnitus. In fact, they can provide benefits by reducing background noise and enabling more comfortable listening experiences for individuals with tinnitus. However, it is important to exercise responsible volume control, choose headphones with safety features, and maintain balanced listening habits to protect your hearing health. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of noise cancelling technology while minimizing the risk of tinnitus or other hearing-related concerns.