Are We 100% Sure Bluetooth Headphones Do Not Aggravate Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Masterchief117, Feb 7, 2022.

    1. Masterchief117

      Masterchief117 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I've had tinnitus for a year, thought it was caused by ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) headphones, but I'm not sure anymore.

      I believe in science and research. I believe in evidence. I have searched and queried and the consensus is that Bluetooth itself is not harmful. I agree. I am able to use my mobile phone and Apple Watch with Bluetooth switched on all the time with no issues.

      But things change when I use Bluetooth headphones. I thought it was ANC. I mean, they could be a problem too. But my tinnitus kept spiking and I was going insane. I also felt my head hurting when I used headphones. I didn't add 1+1 until I used a Bluetooth earpiece (single ear) and that side of my head was hurting. Then I realised that it might be the Bluetooth. Wired headphones have no effect for me. It's just Bluetooth headphones.

      Could it be, that Bluetooth headphones emit some kind of sound from the headphones itself? Like a sync signal or high pitched noise or something? I am also aware of the nocebo effect but I am not sure.

      Help appreciated.
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    2. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      San Diego
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Let me suggest that headphones itself may be a problem. I know you mentioned wired headphones have no effect on your tinnitus but some suggest that it could in the long run. I'm proof of that.
    3. Uklawyer

      Uklawyer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication - antidepressants
      Interesting. Physicists please chime in.
    4. Jack Straw

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Unless someone can produce scientific evidence that headphone use at low volume damages hearing, it's not true. Sound doesn't magically change and defy our understanding of it when you put headphones on. Sounds is sound regardless of how far or close you are from it. 50 dB measured at 10 feet is the same as 50 dB measured at 2 inches.

      This is one of those things on Tinnitus Talk that just won't die.
      • Funny Funny x 1
    5. nogg

      nogg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Computer noise
      I have ANC headphones which I find very useful for certain situations. I never use them to listen to music, but at times I might use them connected to a computer. Mostly, I just use them as a hearing protector. But, as a hearing protector, I always use earplugs with them. The reason is that the ANC headphones produce a low-level hiss as part of the ANC operation. It is perhaps easily missed, but over a not-that-long timeframe that hiss activates my tinnitus and causes a spike. Everybody's tinnitus is a bit different, and I'm sure some will think my observation is nuts. But when I turn on the ANC I hear the hiss, and it indeed does become a problem before long. Earplugs completely block the hiss, which is why I use them together.

      In no way am I suggesting that the hiss damages hearing, but it does activate my pre-existing tinnitus.

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