Can Noise-Canceling Headphones Damage Hearing?

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Can Noise Canceling Headphones Harm Your Ears Or Hearing?

Can you damage your hearing by wearing noise-canceling headphones? The headphones themselves do not pose any risk to your hearing. In fact, wearing noise-canceling headphones may even provide a few benefits. However, playing music at high volumes may cause hearing damage and other health problems.

Noise-Canceling Headphones Do Not Emit Radiation

One of the concerns with noise-canceling headphones is that the low-frequency noises produced by the headphones may increase the risk of cancer.

This is the same concern that people often have with cell phones. However, unlike cell phones, these headphones do not emit any radiation.

The low-frequency sounds created by the headphones are also completely safe. While studies indicate that regular exposure to low-level noises may increase stress levels, the anti-noise produced by noise-canceling headphones does not pose the same problem.

The headphones themselves do not create a health risk for hearing loss. There is no risk of cancer and the ambient noise generated by the headphones does not increase stress levels or any other health risk.

Our Top 3 Noise Canceling Headphone Picks

Noise-Canceling Headphones Help Block Low-Level Noises

Noise-canceling headphones are equipped with a tiny microphone. This microphone picks up the sounds in your environment and then produces an opposing soundwave to counter these sounds. The sound wave created by the headphones is a low-frequency sound that continually plays to help eliminate unwanted noises.

Besides helping to block low-level sounds in your immediate environment, noise-canceling headphones can also help eliminate loud noises. Sudden exposure to loud sounds can increase heart rates and stress levels. By wearing these headphones, you may even avoid potential hearing damage.

The static noise produced by noise-canceling headphones help block background noise. However, when playing music at lower volumes, some people may notice this static noise, which can be a little irritating.

If you are concerned about this additional noise while listening to music, you should take the time to compare the best headphones. Reading a noise-canceling headphone buyer’s guide will provide more insight to help you find a pair of headphones that do not impact the sound quality.

Image of two women wearing noise cancelling headphones at the beachLoud Noises from Any Headphones Can Cause Hearing Damage

While the noise-canceling headphones do not present any health risks, listening to loud music through any headphones can increase the risk of hearing damage. However, when you wear these headphones, you may not need to play your music as loud.

One of the main reasons for turning up the volume of your music is to hear the music over other noises. When the noise-canceling headphones block these noises, there is less need to blast the music at unhealthy levels.

According to health experts, you can listen to sounds reaching 85 decibels for up to eight hours without a significant risk of hearing damage. However, 100 decibels of sound can damage your hearing in just 15 minutes. A typical conversation produces 60 decibels while a passing truck or snow blower will produce about 85 decibels.

With any headphones, even noise-canceling headphones, it is easy to exceed the 85-decibel threshold. To reduce the risk of hearing damage, your music should be no louder than a toilet flushing or a vacuum cleaner.

Audiologists also recommend that you avoid listening to loud music for a prolonged period. While the risk of significant hearing damage when listening to music at 85 decibels for several minutes is minimal, the risk increases the longer you listen to the music. You should give your ears a break every 20 to 30 minutes by turning off the music and taking off the headphones.


Noise-canceling headphones help to block noises by emitting a low-frequency sound. There is naturally a concern that this low-frequency sound may cause hearing damage when the headphones are worn regularly. However, there is no indication that this poses any health risks. There is also no risk of radiation.

Wearing noise-canceling headphones may provide a few benefits. By wearing these headphones, music listeners can listen to their favorite songs without having to turn up the volume to block other noises. They can listen at a comfortable level due to the noise-canceling features. Wearing these headphones may also help prevent constant low-level noise in your environment, reducing the health risks associated with continuous exposure to low-level sounds.

Overall, noise-canceling headphones are entirely safe and may even help prevent a few potential health risks.


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Duke Taber is the owner of 3 successful websites and is now taking his skill as a writer and using it to help non-profit organizations and leaders around the world.