Two things happen when you type the question ‘how to make Beats headphones more comfortable’ into Google.
Firstly, you’ll realise that you’re not the only person asking the question. A lot of forum users are saying the same thing: that Beats headphones (the Solo3 wireless in particular) are uncomfortable and in some cases are actually painful to wear. Secondly, you’re going to be told A LOT that you shouldn’t have bought Beats headphones in the first place. Forum users seem to take great pleasure in that one.
One poster commented:
" I got some wireless beats studios for my birthday, and I noticed that after wearing them for a while, my ears turn red. Anybody else experienced this?"
The first response he got simply said:
“Your ears have good taste and are showing their embarrassment.”
Beats don’t have a particularly good reputation amongst audiophiles. Whether they deserve such ridicule isn’t really the point here. If you’re asking the question: how do I make Beats headphones more comfortable, then you’re expecting a better answer than the ones telling you to throw them out and buy another brand.
Why are Beats Headphones Uncomfortable?
Many of the complaints about how uncomfortable Beats are stem from its ‘clamping effect’. The clamp refers to how hard a headphone presses against the head. Every on-ear or over-ear headphone will have some degree of clamping. If they didn’t, then they’d slide right off your head. The clamp is what keeps them in place but when there’s too much pressure on the ears it can feel as if your head is caught in a vice.
It’s always a good idea to try headphones on before you buy them. You can gauge where the pressure points are (where the headphone makes contact with the ears and head) and check that they’re equal.
There’ll be a number of factors that play into this: whether the headphone is on-ear or over-ear, how big your head is, how big your ears are, how much padding there is on the cushions and the material they’re made from.
It’ll also depend on how long you’ve been wearing them, too. New headphones will take some time to adapt to your head.
You could assume that a lot of the hate for Beats comes from the snobbery of other headphone users: the ones who wouldn’t dream of going wireless, who listen to music on vinyl, who hear every note, every octave and who’s home set-up looks like a cross between Abbey Road and the USS Enterprise. Surprisingly, whilst audiophiles probably aren’t going to be the biggest fans of Beats headphones much of the criticism, and many of the poor reviews, actually come from Apple’s website — from their own customers.
Clamping is a big issue. People write that the headphones are giving them a headache, that it’s making their ears go red and that they’re too tight to wear even after a few minutes of wear.
Of course, a lot of people are entirely happy and satisfied with their Beats headphones. They love them and (presumably) find them very comfortable to wear. What the reviews and online comments suggest, however, is that before you buy a pair of headphones — any headphones, really — you should try them on first or at the very least consider if the size of your ears, the shape of your face, the depth of the cushioning, the width of the headband or the strength of the clamp might make them uncomfortable once they’re on your head.
How to Make Beats More Comfortable
Can You Return Them?
It’s worth saying that if you genuinely can’t get on with your headphones, then it might be worth trying to get a refund or an exchange for another model. This isn’t always possible but it’s worth a try. Beats are not cheap headphones to buy, and you don’t want a pair of $250 redundant cans sitting in a cupboard. Before you take them back, however, try to ascertain why they weren’t comfortable: was it ear cups, the clamping, the bass levels or the headband? And was it a specific pressure on the ear? Knowing what NOT to look for in a headphone will give you a headstart on your next pair. We’d certainly recommend that you take a look at the Bose QuietComfort range — whatever you think of Bose and sound quality, you have to agree that their headphones are — generally speaking — comfortable AF.
Are They Too New?
If they’re brand-new, then it might take some time before they’re fully broken in and comfortable. Think of them a little like shoes: you need to mould them to your specific shape and size. Sometimes a little perseverance is all it takes until they fit comfortably.
Give Your Beats a LITTLE stretch
You can also stretch them out, too. We’d definitely recommend a slow and steady approach here as Beats headphones are primarily made of plastic which isn’t as flexible as other materials. Force them too much and they’ll snap, but a careful stretch might be all that they need. Find something that’s about as wide as your head and put the headphones on them. This might be a few books, a box or even a mannequin head if you happen to have one lying around — we won’t ask.
Are You Wearing Your Beats in the Cold Weather?
Ears can get super cold in the winter weather. The second our temperature begins to drop, the brain reduces blood flow to the extremities and redirects it to our vital organs. The result is that our ears, fingers and nose can get very cold. Beats headphones are pretty hardy, and they do offer some protection, but synthetic leather alone won’t keep your ears warm and that can lead to ear pain and discomfort. Adding earmuffs to your headphones is really simple, and they’ll help keep your ears toasty warm. Made from hypoallergenic, thermal grade super soft material, EarSnugz™ fit all Beats headphones and come in four subtle colours.
They can also help reduce any general feelings of discomfort by providing a teddy bear soft buffer between the headphone cushion and your ear.
Add Padding to the Headband of Your Beats Headphones
Some third-party companies will offer padding that attaches to the underside of the headphone’s headband. A cursory search on Amazon should provide you with a few options, but they don’t always look too pretty and chances are if you’ve bought a pair of Beats headphones, then you probably give a shit about what you look like wearing them. Say what you like about Beats, they’re a good looking headphone and it’d be a shame to mess that up. Popular Science ran an article on their website in May 2018 that looked at making headphones more comfortable and one of their suggestions was a kind of DIY job on the headband. It’s explained here and could be a way of adding some extra comfort to a hard headband.
Are You Working Out in Your Beats Headphones?
If you’re wearing your Beats headphones in the gym, then one reason they might be uncomfortable is that they’re damp with sweat. Moisture sitting between the cushion and your face isn’t pretty and it isn’t pleasant. It can wreck your headphones, too. There’s an easy fix: add a pair of sweat proof headphone covers to the cushions.
What do you think of Beats headphones and how comfortable are they really? Drop us a message in the comment box below.