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Sealed Headphones Causing ear heating and discomfort?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by cdavid1013, Jun 19, 2009.
  1. cdavid1013
    Hi guys,

    I'm brand new here, so I thought I'd make myself known.

    To topic: I currently own Shure E2C's, E5C's, and SE530PTH's. I was curious as to what a sealed headphone would sound like, so I invested in a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 phones. They sound AWESOME, but when I wear them for about an hour or so, I start not feeling well (slight nausea, slight sweating). I know this has nothing to do with frequency, nor is it a physiological issue, as I've used IEM's for years. It just seems that the sealed nature of the ATH-M50 phones are causing heating of the ear, and thus the inner ear, which is causing malaise.

    I know this forum does not, nor is it designed to, give any type of medical advice aside from "see your/a doctor", but I wanted to see if anyone else experienced this, and if so, possible resolutions...?

    (Sorry if I'm annoying some of the people who have seen "my ears hurt" type posts before...) [​IMG]
  2. Uncle Erik Contributor
    That's not normal. Can't say I've seen that here before and it sounds like you already know you need to get it checked out.

    Have you tried open headphones? Sounds like they might be better for you.
  3. cdavid1013
    I haven't tried open phones. The ATH-M50's are my first pair of headphones apart from IEM's. I'll give it a few days and see what happens, then, yes, I will get it checked
  4. Bullseye
    Well, it actually might be normal for you to feel that way. The ear is one organ that controls body balance/equilibrium.

    The fact of putting something that seals outside noises is making your body react differently than when you are not wearing anything or having open cans. When I first put on the shure se-210, after a few minutes I felt a bit disorientated, even dizzy. The volume level was normal, even lower than I usually listened to music. I am the kind of listener that instead of craking up the volume, lowers it.

    After a long time wearing IEMs now it does not happen, I no longer feel dizzy nor annoyed. You can also try closing your nose with your fingers, closing your mouth and blowing air (not too hard, just a little). That way the pressure in your ear canals when having the closed headphones on top will even, and that nausea feeling you have might stop, or feel reduced.

    You just need to get used to it. Give it a rest if you keep feeling like that. And make a time progression to use those HPs. Start wearing them a little and keep wearing them for more time till your body gets used to them.

    You might also want to check your ears. Just in case.

    As a sidenote, today i received my first closed cans, the Fostex T50RP. The are supraural headphones, so my ears are completely covered. The sensation of having my ears blocked is a bit strange, and my head feels it, but doing the nose trick and putting the volume at low levels makes it easy to wear them. I am used to wearing open cans like the Grado SR225 I have, and the sensation of open cans is really nice.
  5. krmathis Contributor
    I have spent quite a lot of time with closed back 'phone, even 6-7 hour sessions, and not had any such issues. So guess it depends on several factors, like the type of 'phone, the temperature and personal differences on how this affect us.

    Like 'Bullseye' say the ear is an organ that control ex. our balance, so it seems real to me.
  6. cdavid1013
    After a week of near constant use, the ATH-M50 no longer cause any symptoms whatsoever, so I guess it was just a matter of getting used to them.

    I sincerely appreciate all the input from all you guys.

    Thanks!!!! [​IMG]
  7. Bullseye
    Good to see you just had to get used to the sensation [​IMG]
    Hope you enjoy your tunes then!
  8. moogoob
    Most headphones have a physical break-in period where they adjust to our head and, more importantly, our head adjusts to them. [​IMG]

    EDIT: case in point: my current portable phones are marshmallows. [​IMG] My ear canals still hurt.
  9. krmathis Contributor
    Great to head that the issue is now gone! [​IMG]
    So now you can enjoy them as much as you want..
  10. milkweg
    I have ATH-M50 too and they are not the most comfortable compared to my DT990pro but they don't cause nausea in me that is for sure. The ears sweating is a bit of an issue now that it is summer but all pleather pads make your ears sweat. I put up with it though because IMO the M50 actually sound a bit better to me than the DT990pro. My niece who is only 19 (fresh young ears) said the same thing. At first they do clamp the head tight so that may cause you nausea but they do loosen up over time.
  11. aaaaa1
    hi, i think I'm facing a similar problem as i got a m50x audiotechnica today and it is also making my ears red and heated up thus causing discomfort now i wonder what should i be doing

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