In today’s wired (or wireless, as the case may be) society, virtually everyone has at least one pair of headphones. Keeping them in good shape can be difficult when you carry them around with you and pull them in and out of your bag and pocket all the time.
Nothing is worse when you get ready to listen to your music or that exciting new podcast than discovering that your earbuds have stopped working or are broken.
Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to keep your headphones working all the time and never looking worse for the wear.
Taking good care of headphones or earbuds is especially important when you invest in a pricey pair. Replacing them may not be in the budget so caring for them properly is vital.
The following tips should keep your headphones in top working condition all the time. None of them are hard, but they’ll really pay off in the long run.
Read on and these tips will pay off.
Keep Them in a Case
One of the best things you can do to protect your headphones is to store them in a case when you’re not using them. If your headphones didn’t come with a storage case, you can buy a universal one at an electronic supply store or places like eBay and Amazon. Even some of the best active noise canceling headphones we reviewed recently failed to supply a case.
Here’s what to look for when you choose a case:
- Hard sided materials to protect from bumps
- A snug fit to keep headphones from being shaken around
- A design that allows for opening and closing for added protection
Headphone cases can be found to suit all budgets, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding one that fits your needs.
Properly Wrap the Cord
Do you always have to untangle your headphones when you want to use them? One of the most frustrating things about headphones is that the cord often gets tangled and that can really affect how long headphones last.
During use, be sure to keep the cord safely against your body so that it doesn’t get snagged on furniture, door knobs, or other items. Each time the cord is pulled from your ears, it degrades it just a little bit more, meaning it will wear out much faster.
When you aren’t using your headphones, don’t just wad up the cord and stuff it in your pocket, your bag, or even the case you store them in. Bending and kinking the cord over and over again also contributes to poor performance.
Use the following ideas to safely wrap your cord when you aren’t using your headphones
Use your first and little finger to wrap your cords in a figure 8 pattern
- Try wrapping the cord around a large binder clip
- Braid embroidery floss around the cord to give it more stability
- Wrap the cord over, then under to prevent tangles
- Wrap the cord around an old store card
- Wrap the cord around your phone or musical device
When you wrap your cord, try to do it the same way every time so that the kinks in the cord are always in the same place. This prolongs the lifespan of your headphones because you aren’t creating new bends all the time.
Pay Attention to Weak Points
The weakest parts of your headphones are where the cord attaches to the earpiece and at the end where the device is plugged in to your smartphone or other outlet. We recently wrote an article about earbuds that don’t break easily because this is becoming a big problem with these weak points.
But if you follow these simple steps when removing your headphones they should last a lot longer.
Instead of pulling your headphones off by the cord, it’s much better to reach up and remove them from your ears manually. Likewise, instead of yanking the jack out of your device, grip it firmly at the base and gently remove it.
These two easy steps will help prevent the cord on your headphones from becoming frayed, which can dramatically compromise their performance.
Clean Headphones Properly
If you aren’t cleaning your headphones on a regular basis, now is the time to start. That’s because proper cleaning keeps your headphones hygienic, but also preserves the sound quality and overall lifespan of them.
Use the following steps to clean your headphones:
- Wet a soft cloth with warm water and a bit of soap
- Gently wipe the headphones
- Then wipe them with a dry cloth to remove moisture
- Avoid using alcohol on your headphones
- Repeat this process once a month or when they start to look dirty
Clean headphones are nicer to use but will also last longer. Be sure you don’t submerge them in water, which can cause irreparable damage.
You want your headphones to last for a long time, whether you use them for business or pleasure. That’s why taking good care of them is so important. Using these handy tips and tricks should have your headphones lasting for many years to come.