When you buy headphones, online or otherwise, your first instinct is to keep them working like new. This is especially true if you’re an audiophile and you’ve invested a lot in accessories. The problem is that there are plenty of ways that you can inadvertently damage your headphones and earphones. As a result, they end up getting damaged and practically unusable after only a few years.
To keep your audio accessories in good shape for a long time, here are some care tips to keep in mind:
Keep the Cables Loosely Coiled
If you have wired headphones or earphones, the best thing you can do to maintain their quality is to keep the cable loosely coiled. This prevents resistance, and also eases the pressure on the wire.
Do note that headphones or earphones often come packaged with the cable wound a little tight to fit in the box or case. In this situation, stretching out the cable should be your first priority. Then, once it’s straightened enough, rewind the cable using loose coils. You might have to try a few times to find a configuration that stays in place, so be patient. The same rule applies to detachable cables and chargers.
Once you find the right looping set-up, use a fastener to keep the cable in place and then store it properly.
Keep Your Earphones in a Case
Speaking of loose coils, it’s best to have a case where you can keep your earphones when you’re not using them. Don’t wrap the cable around your smartphone or bunch up the cable carelessly because this can cause the wires inside to get stretched or frayed. Again, find that loose, natural coil of the cable and then store it that way.
It’s also good practice to avoid looping the part of the cable nearest the plug. This is where most cables get damaged first, so keep it straight and loop the cable farther from the plug.
When it comes to the actual storage, a hard case is better than a soft one. This will prevent the cable from getting squished inside your bag or purse. However, even a soft case is better than no protection at all. The key is to prevent tangles and unnecessary strain on the wire. As long as you keep the earphones and cable in a dedicated spot, a plastic or cloth pouch will be enough.
Pull the Plug, Not the Wire
The cardinal rule when unplugging any wired appliance or accessory is to pull the plug, not the wire. Pulling by the cable or wire will stretch, causing premature damage such as thinning at the point where it’s joined with the plug. Eventually, the wire will snap and the appliance or accessory won’t work anymore.
To keep your headphones or earphones in good shape for long, make sure to unplug them by firmly gripping the plug and then gently pulling it out. Get a good hold on the base and make sure to remove it straight out. It’s pretty simple advice that can make any wired accessory last for years.
Clean the Ear Pads and Earbuds Regularly
Headphone manufacturers use either fabric or leather for ear pads. Over time, fabric can get dirty and smelly due to sweat, body oil, and dirt. Meanwhile, leather or faux leather can get cracked or start peeling from the pads. To prevent any of these from happening, make it a habit to clean the ear pads regularly.
For fabric, check if the covers can be removed for laundering. If not, spray it with a disinfectant spray and let dry completely before using. Meanwhile, for leather or similar materials, wipe using a soft, dry cloth or cotton pad.
For earbuds, simply remove them and clean using a wet wipe or damp towel. For the inner areas, use a baby-sized cotton bud to reach into nooks and crannies. For the speakers, wipe them with a soft, dry cloth to get rid of dirt.
Avoid Maxing Out the Volume
When you love the song playing on your phone or music player, It can be tempting to turn up the volume. However, it can be bad not just for your hearing but also for your headphones or earphones. This is because the extreme volume levels can strain the drivers, resulting in excess heat. This can tear the cone and damage the speaker.
For your ear health and the longevity of your headphones or earphones, keep the volume at moderate levels.
Don’t Wear Your Earphones or Headphones to Sleep
Last but certainly not least, avoid wearing your earphones or headphones to sleep. You might like listening to music to help them relax; the problem with this is that you might, indeed, fall asleep. If you lay on the cables, they can get tangled or even snap.
If you really need to play music to help you sleep, play it from your device and use the speakers. There are music apps with a sleep timer, so they would stop playing music when it reaches the time limit you set.
With these care tips, your headphones and earphones can give high-quality audio for a long time.