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May 8, 2019

Ear pressure, nausea and sore throat when using the QC35 II headphones



I have the QC35 II headphones since around May this year. At first I felt some discomfort when using it with the ANC: I felt ear pressure and would start getting headaches after a couple of minutes. However, this stopped happening after maybe a week: I would still feel some pressure, but it not longer caused me discomfort. 

However, since around 2 weeks, discomfort came back when using the headphones, and it is even worse than it was the first week. I feel more pressure on my ears, which gives me headaches and nausea after a while, but in addition to that, my throat is getting sore, as if it was tightening, and I have trouble breathing normally. The pressure feeling in my ears fades after a few minutes after removing the headphones, but the discomfort in my throat stays for a while, at least 15-20 minutes and sometimes up to an hour. It is a very painful sensation, and I now fear for my health when using the headphones.


I would like to specify a couple of things:


1- The discomfort starts faster when the ANC is set to high, a little slower when set to low and again a little slower when disabled, but almost always ends up happening.


2- I mostly use the headphones for listening to music, but always make sure I'm listening to it at a reasonable volume, between 30% and 40% of the max volume level, maybe 50% in very rare cases.


3- I do use the headphones quite often each day, but usually not for very long each time, and at different moments of the day. For exemple, on a typical day, I would use them from 6:40 am to 8:00 am (so around 1h30) on my way to work, then from 4:00 pm to 5:20 pm (so around 1h30 again) and then usually around 2-3 hours, at home, after 8 pm. And the feeling of discomfort, when it happens, usually starts after maybe 5 minutes and becomes more intense with time.


4- I usually only set the ANC to high when I'm in a very loud place, so usually when when taking the bus and the subway to go to work, and discomfort seem to happen especially often at these moments. The thing is, the point of noise-cancelling headphones is precisely to be used in these kinds of environnement, and yet when the discomfort gets intense, it feels a lot worse when I am wearing them than when I am not and that my ears are exposed to the loud noise.



How can I stop this discomfort from happening? Like I said above, I am fearing for my health when using these heaphones, and it's clearing not normal nor is it acceptable that I am when said heaphones are worth 450$ and are supposed to be top of the line quality and comfort. Had I known that they would cause so much discomfort to me, I would never have bought them, but there wasn't any mention or warning in the official descriptions of the product.





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Oct 1, 2019

Re: Ear pressure, nausea and sore throat when using the QC35 II headphones

You may have an chronic middle ear infection from continuous headphone usage. Sounds like you wear them a lot.

You may be experiencing issues with ANC in general, as some do:

"The WSJ also cites Sarah Stackpole, a New York ear, nose and throat doctor, who “speculates that the sound waves that cancel each other out may still transmit enough very low frequency vibrations to stimulate the balance receptors that are connected to the hearing hair cells in the inner ear… The disequilibrium that some people may feel from this is made worse because the vibrations falsely signal that the head is moving, but the eyes report that the head is stationary. Those mixed signals make the headphone wearer feel dizzy.”"



Re: Ear pressure, nausea and sore throat when using the QC35 II headphones

Hello Irohen,


Thank you for posting in the Bose Community. 


I am truly sorry to hear about this experience you are having with your QC35 II's. 


Noise-cancelling is subjective and is not always comfortable for every user. It is something that most people adjust to but not all. As this situation relates to health impacts, I would strongly urge you to contact our customer service team via the phone. It is important that we look into this matter further!


Global Contact Us > Select your country > Scroll to the bottom of the page > Click 'Contact Us'


Thank you for understanding!


Warm regards,

Charlotte G