Can Subwoofers Cause Headaches? (Explained!)

If you have ‘normal’ headaches or migraines, loud noises and vibrations can be hell on earth for you.

People enjoy music, and some like it loud and with a lot of bass, which they achieve by adding a subwoofer to their home audio system. However, prolonged exposure to noise can cause headaches, and if you are one of the people who get headaches unexpectedly, it can be even worse. 

That is why you need to learn how Subwoofers and loud music can cause headaches, as well as what you can do to protect yourself.

Keep on reading to learn more!!

Can Subwoofers Cause Headaches?

loud sound systems

Yes, both medical and musical professionals agree that subwoofers can cause headaches, particularly migraines. It’s unclear how or why because some subwoofers appear to be less disturbing than others. 

Excessive use of electronic media and loud sound systems, including subs, are frequently linked to long-term negative health effects such as obesity or a lack of regular exercise and nonspecific symptoms such as tiredness, stress, loss of concentration, headaches, and sleep disturbances.

As per research, 489 youngsters claimed to have headaches, and 536 claimed not to. There were no associations found when the two groups were compared for television viewing, electronic gaming, mobile phone usage, or computer usage. 

Daily music consumption was significantly associated with headaches of any type, though, as Milde-Busch states, “it cannot be indicated whether the habit of listening to music is the reason for frequent headaches, or whether it results in the sense of self-therapy by relaxation.”

According to one study, those who experienced a headache as a result of noise had a rise in temporal pulse amplitude, which relates to distention or expanding of a superficial blood vessel in the head.

Why Do Subwoofers Cause Headaches?

There are several theories as to why subwoofers cause headaches in some people but not others. However, none of them have been proven. Subwoofers are most likely to affect those who have blood vessels that widen faster or more than others. 

These expanding blood vessels stimulate sensory nerve fibers, which then release proteins. The proteins cause inflammation, which causes headaches.

They could be experiencing nervous system hyperarousal. In a nutshell, hyperarousal means that people are hypersensitive to their surroundings. This includes stimulation through sight, smell, or hearing.

Another theory is that a subwoofer bass causes headaches. It’s unclear how this affects people, but it’s believed to affect blood vessel widening.

Subwoofers As A Headache Trigger: What Is The Science Behind It?

Noise is a proven headache trigger, which may surprise you. In one small study published on headaches, 79 percent of people exposed to 50 dB of white noise developed a headache, and 82 percent reported that the Headache was the same or similar to their usual migraines or tension-type headaches.

Noise can also be a headache trigger for people who don’t normally get headaches, as many music fans prefer to listen to music with full bass and use subwoofers in their music systems to add more bass to the music they’re listening to.  

Despite the fact that people with headache disorders typically have a lower tolerance for noise and report worse headaches than those who do not typically suffer from headaches.

In other words, people who suffer from underlying headache disorders appear to be more sensitive to loud noise as a potential trigger. 

Subwoofers produce loud bass, which is harmful to those who live nearby. It can cause severe headaches as well as high blood pressure.

The Mechanism Behind Subwoofer-Induced Headaches

As is the case with all triggers, The precise mechanism by which loud music produced by subwoofers causes a headache is unknown. Because subwoofer noise is a trigger for both migraines and tension-type headaches, there is probably more than one mechanism at work.

According to one study, those who experienced a headache as a result of loud sounds had an increase in temporal pulse amplitude, which relates to distention or widening of blood vessels around their face.

According to the last few migraine theories, blood vessel distension around the skull may stimulate trigeminal sensory nerve fibers. 

This causes the release of proteins such as calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, which aggravates brain inflammation and thus pain. These trigeminal sensory nerve fibers are frequently activated by listening to music at high volumes, such as using Subwoofers to add more bass to your music system.

Overall, the precise mechanism by which loud noises produced by subwoofers that cause headaches is likely complicated, but it could very well be linked to blood vessel dilation.

Nervous system hyperarousal is also likely to play a role, as evidenced by the other symptoms (aside from headaches) associated with prolonged and loud noise exposure, which include:

  • Disruptions in sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Eyestrain
  • Odor hypersensitivity

Subwoofer Headache Facts

Those who are normally headache-free can be triggered by noise. Those with lower sensitivity to noise may be more affected than those with more painful headaches.

According to music lovers, subwoofers only affect their ears if they are turned up to normal comfort levels. They stated that it is critical to leave headroom in the volume.

How To Prevent Headaches Caused By Loud Subwoofer Noises

music systems

It can be difficult to prevent noises from causing headaches. Because avoiding loud noises may be impossible in some cases (for example, sound systems with subwoofers for music lovers, your children, or ongoing construction near your home will inevitably be loud). 

Learning to cope with loud noises through a process known as desensitization may be your best choice.

Desensitizing one’s own headache triggers, such as loud noises, entails gradually exposing oneself to the headache trigger to reduce future headache pain or frequency when exposed to that same trigger. This therapy is also frequently used for people suffering from anxiety disorders, particularly phobias. 

However, those who have their own music systems at home and listen to music at full bass using subwoofers are harmful to themselves and their families because once you are addicted to listening to music at full bass, you can’t listen to it at low volumes, which can be extremely harmful if you frequently get headaches.

Learning how to deal with triggers through continual exposure is becoming a more popular headache treatment. More research is needed, but in the meantime, this is an exciting, non-invasive intervention in which people suffering from headaches can participate.

Headaches Caused By Poor Equipment

Poor equipment is also blamed for causing tension headaches in humans and pets. With poor equipment, there is distortion, which can irritate everyone. 

According to one subwoofer owner, they swapped out the subwoofer, and while the new subwoofer produces great sound, the owner is experiencing less discomfort with low-level headaches than before.

This means that poor equipment is the cause of frequent headaches. When you listen to music at a very loud volume with full bass, your head obviously feels heavy because of some sensory nerve fibers that are released in the skull as a result of listening to music with full bass.

How To Get Rid Of Your Headache Caused By Subwoofers?

Headaches have become an increasingly common thing for many people in today’s world. Medical conditions can cause them, but loud noises more commonly cause them in the environment.

Most people enjoy listening to music with full bass. Our young generation, who are very fond of music, build their own home theaters and use subwoofers to add more bass in order to enjoy the music, but they don’t know how harmful it is for them. Stress can also be a major cause of Headache.

Symptoms are not always relieved with subwoofer noise, including ibuprofen or paracetamol or prescription headache medications.

Trying to take more than the prescribed dose, as tempting as it may be, is not the remedy. In fact, many common (and extremely simple) lifestyle habits can help reduce headache pain without requiring you to take a pill.

1. Massage Treatment

Massages may appear to be luxurious, but they are also extremely relaxing. Headaches can be caused by loud noises produced by a subwoofer, which can also cause high blood pressure or tension in the upper body due to muscle strain caused by poor posture or an intensive workout routine.

Massage therapy may be able to decrease chronic pain and muscle tension that causes headaches. Take the time to learn about various massage techniques(Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, and so on).

2. Cold And Hot Applications

Muscle tension headaches can be relieved with hot or cold compresses. Place ice in a Ziploc plastic bag covered with a thin cloth for the cold portion to keep your skin safe. Put the ice pack on your forehead and/or cheeks, or wherever the most pain is felt.

Because loud noises from subwoofers cause your skull blood vessels to activate trigeminal sensory nerve fibers, So hot and cold applications on your forehead and backside of your neck make you feel relaxed. When you use this application, it relaxes your nerves and reduces headaches immediately.

Simply apply cold packs for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. You can buy a heat pack at most local pharmacies or make your own out of uncooked rice for the hot part.

Fill a modest pillowcase or part of fabric two-thirds full with uncooked rice. Close the open end with a stitch or a tie. If required, microwave the rice for one minute. Apply to the back of your neck or the top of your head for a warm relief.

3. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the study of how different smells can evoke positive and even healing reactions in the brain. Some smells have been proven to relieve and prevent headaches. Peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil are among them. All of these aromas can help reduce headaches caused by subwoofers.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the application of fine, sharp needles to specific areas of the body in order to promote energy flow.

It is thought to stimulate the body’s natural pain-relieving compounds, which greatly aid in reducing headaches caused by your subwoofer’s loud noise.


Does Loud Music Cause Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss can result from damage to any part of the ear. Loud noise is especially damaging to the inner ear (cochlea). Hearing loss can be caused by a single exposure to extremely loud sounds or by listening to loud sounds for an extended period of time. Loud noise can harm the cochlea’s cells and membranes.

Is It Possible That Listening To Loud Music Causes Deafness?

Hearing loss can be caused by a single exposure to extremely loud sounds or by listening to loud sounds for an extended period of time.

Loud noise can harm the cochlea’s cells and membranes. Listening to loud noise for an extended period of time can overwork hair cells in the ear, causing them to die. As long as the exposure continues, the hearing loss worsens.

Can Listening To Loud Music Make You Dizzy?

As previously stated, loud music or prolonged exposure causes hair cells to bend down excessively and severely, which can result in temporary or permanent hearing loss. Dizziness is frequently caused by increased pressure in the ear canal caused by loud noise.


Subwoofers are usually the cause of headaches, but they are not for everyone. It appears that some people are more sensitive to this than others.

There are ways to avoid the headaches caused by subwoofers, and your best option is first to ensure that you are using quality equipment, as poor sound quality could also be part of the problem

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