If you’re like me and wear glasses, then you’re aware of how hard it is to get comfortable equipment that sits well alongside them. And if you’re someone who regularly wears headphones too, then you know how much they can press your glasses onto your face after a few hours.
But there are ways to minimize the discomfort, through adjustment and choosing the right equipment for you. In this article, we’ll be looking at the best headphones for people with glasses.
How to choose the best headphones if you wear glasses
Not including earbuds/in-ear headphones, there are two types of headphones that can interest glasses-wearers, the supra-aural and the circum-aural. Although that sounds super scientific, it’s likely you’ve used both types in the past without ever knowing these names.
Which to choose: supra-aural, or circum-aural?
The supra-auriculars (on the ear headphones)
Supra-auricular headphones have ear cups that are flat and rest directly on the ear without completely enclosing it. They’re usually smaller and lighter than circum-auricular headphones.
They have good insulation while still letting you hear (faintly) what’s going on around you. So, if you ever want to sneak up on a conversation and discover secrets like Varys’ birds; wearing these would be a good way of looking like you’re not paying attention.
As for compatibility with glasses, it of course depends on the model, but these are generally a comfortable and suitable option for glasses-wearers. The smaller size of the headphones and the fact the cushions don’t directly touch your temples means they don’t interfere with the legs of the glasses, allowing both to sit comfortably on your face.
The circumaural headphones(over ear headphones)
These are the most common type of headphones for gaming, listening to music and general use.
If you want to look like your part of James Bond’s behind-the-scenes team, these are the headphones you’d most likely wear.
The earpiece fits around the contour of your whole ear, with the cushion resting there rather than directly on your ear itself. This makes them the better insulated, more comfortable choice of headphone.
Unless, unfortunately, you wear glasses. They can be more awkward and cumbersome as the cushions press directly onto your temples. Not ideal when you have glasses also battling for face space.
Luckily, smarter humans have adapted circum-auricular headphones for people with glasses in the past few years. You can now purchase certain sets that minimize the pain caused by the cushion support pressing into your glasses.
Before deciding which to buy, though, do some more research into how circum-auriculars can benefit you. Generally speaking, these could be a riskier choice if you wear glasses.
Which to choose: Classic headset, or gaming?
Headsets are often marketed differently depending on your use. It can have significant implications in terms of style but also of functionalities.
- Play a lot of games? Choose the gaming headset.
- Use headphones for a bunch of other things? Choose the classic.
Okay, that might be simplifying it a bit too much. But like anything else, the most important thing to consider is your needs from the headset.
One of the best things about gaming headsets (apart from being able to hear Mr. X coming), is that they’re designed to be worn for hours without creating ear pain. With or without glasses.
But nowadays, classic headsets have improved and are also very comfortable to wear. So basically - it’s up to you. Do you want a headset with a good quality microphone to let everyone know where you are in COD? Or more discrete headphones that you can use out and about on the daily?
Whatever you choose though, no headset is magic. We all have different sized and shaped heads - and some much bigger than others - so while ergonomic and hot new designs can help, the problem isn’t entirely eliminated. Our recommendation is to actually try what fits better before buying. If not there is a chance that they probably will hurt after a few hours, particularly if you’re also wearing glasses.
Why not earbuds?
The technology for earbuds / in-ear headphones has evolved tremendously. As of right now no manufacturer will promise a completely pain-free experience if you’re using headphones for hours on end, whether its your ear or head that hurts. Unless, maybe, you’re dropping hundreds of dollars on Sony XM4’s, but even then, the earbuds could be more comfortable for a glasses wearer.
A high-end set of earbuds will work to reduce noise and include bluetooth that’s compatible with your smartphone, PC and certain consoles. So, whether you’re ringing your mum, or yelling at your friend on Battlefield, they do it (almost) all without compromising on comfort.
The best way to wear headphones for people with glasses
It’s not all the headphones responsibility to make you comfortable. You also need to look at your glasses design and see whether it fits with your headphone lifestyle.
If you have thick frames or a special shape, then no matter what the top companies offer, that extra comfort might just be missing.
But don’t worry, there are still ways you can improve and optimize your glasses and headphone set-up.
- Limit headband tension/clamping force: All headphones can be stretched and adjusted to fit the size of your head. But you can play with it and stretch it to limit the support of the ear cups on your ears. Just be careful not to overstretch!
- Choosing the right position: the stretch doesn’t work alone - the headphones need to be in the right position for maximum comfort. The best thing to do is literally just sit there and try different ways to see which is most comfortable. To the left, to the right, take it back now...
- Take pauses: If you’re wearing headphones while playing a game or looking at a screen you should be taking regular breaks anyway away from the blue light that’s hurting your eyes. But generally, if it starts to feel bulky and painful, just have a break. Get up, take them off, stretch your legs, go and see the sunlight for the first time in days...
- Change mounts: Like Arthur switches horses in Red Dead Redemption, you can change the mount of your headset - or replace the whole thing. Sometimes they’re just not right for you and investing in a new pair will be the best thing for you.
What glasses should I wear with my headphones?
So say its not the headphones fault and it’s actually your glasses that are causing all the issues. Maybe they just simply don’t suit the headphone design, or they’re too thick, or narrow, or the arms rest in a more unusual place on your head. Whatever the reason, it can be a pain.
Before forking out for new equipment though, consider what your glasses are used for and what features you’d like in a new or different pair.
- The thickness of the temple: Some glasses have thick temples that are uncomfortable to wear with a pair of headphones. Look for ones that have the thinnest branches but that you still find comfortable.
- Frames neither too tight or wide: Too much either way is no good. Too tight and the headset could weigh down heavily on them. Not tight enough, and the frame could get damaged whilst also putting pressure on your skin.
- Frames for games: Some brands (like us) have created specific gaming glasses to wear while using headphones. They’re anti-blue light and have been designed with the understanding that gamers often wear other equipment like headphones alongside them. This means they’re designed for maximum comfort - like our Gaming Revolution glasses, which are thin and have adjustable temples. Perfect for wearing with headphones.
The top 3 best headphones if you wear glasses
If you’ve read the tips above and are still stuck on what pair of headphones to invest in, check out our top 3 recommendations below.
The price of two sets are quite high, but it’s an investment, and worth it in the long-run. It’s cheaper than changing your headphones 12 times to find the pair that fit best.
1. Sony XM3 (WH) - The benchmark headphones for people who wear glasses
Since the XM3, Sony have actually released an updated version called the XM4. However, it’s a good deal more expensive than the XM3 for, we think, little improvement.
The XM3 is unquestionably one of the most comfortable models of headphone for people who wear glasses.
It remains a top-of-the-line product in several areas including audio quality, high-performance noise cancellation, finishes and comfort.
Personally, as a glasses wearer and Sony XM3 user, we recommend them as they’ve been worn for 100s of hours (I play a lot of games, and listen to a lot of music), without any discomfort at the temple.
2. G435 Logitech - the always gaming headphones for people with glasses
Logitech has now branched out into the world of gaming by introducing its ‘G’ branch of equipment. Its branch is highly specialized and offers a large number of quality products. If you have the time and money, it’s also worth checking out their G502 Hero Mouse that perfectly compliments your huge PC game selection.
Logitech is an all-round solid option for headphones. They’re offered at a reasonable price and the G435 is specifically designed for gaming.
The icing on the cake is the memory foam cushions that cradle your head and stop the headphones from pushing against the temples of your glasses. With a Hero Mouse and G435 Logitech headset, you’ll be online for hours before realising you’re even wearing anything.
3. The Sony XM4 (WF) - The in-ear headphones for people who wear glasses
Unlike the XM3 and 4 (WH) version, the WF version are wireless headphones and sit inside your ear. Upside: that means no headband. Downside: You better have a safe place to put them or they’ll be lost - or looted.
Like other Sony headphones, these earbuds have a high sound quality, impressive noise reduction and a nice design.
Plus, like other earbuds, you can guarantee they won’t bother you at all when wearing glasses.
Before you make any decisions always remember to consider design, functionality and longevity.
So, have you made a decision?
As glasses wearers, we’ve got three solutions before us: optimize our current headphone/glasses set-up, invest in new comfortable headphones, or invest in new glasses.
Investing in new equipment may not always be viable, but if you’ve nefits. You could watch all 12 hours of Lord of the Rings without removing your headset once with the right gear.
And if you do decide you need new glasses, don’t forget to check out our gaming glasses selection.
Already figured out the ultimate set-up? Let us know!