Headphones are personal speakers designed to be placed directly over or into one’s ears. Because of certain advantages over normal speakers like portability, noise cancellation, small size and light weight, they have become the primary means to listen to music or audiobooks for today’s generation. However, due to their small size and delicate shape, they require conscious care when handling and using to increase their lifespan. So, let’s take a look at some tips for handling earphones/ headphones to keep them working and looking like new for as long as possible.
Prevent Physical Damage
Handle your headphones with care. When pulling them out of the headphone jack, use the connector and not the cable. Using the cable puts undue stress on the cables. This stress may lead to a wire breaking which is the most common reason for a headphone breaking. Also, while pulling, pull firmly and without a jerk. The jerky pull will cause damage to the connector as well as the prong.
You should make it a habit to regularly clean your earphones, to wipe out all the earwax and oil that gets collected in it with everyday use. This keeps them hygienic and sounding great. You can start by removing the rubber comfort pieces and soaking them in rubbing alcohol. Clean the surface beneath with a clean cloth and then move a cotton swab soaked in Hydrogen Peroxide over it. This will get rid of all the earwax, dead skin cells and other dirt and dust that has accumulated since the last cleaning.
Invest in a bag or case for the headphones
You would do well to invest in a case for your headphones if you carry them out with you on a regular basis. This acts like a cocoon for the headphones, preventing any shock damage or uninvited entanglement with other objects in your bag.
Avoid leaving them on the floor
Sometimes, we’re not paying attention and forget about headphones on the floor and end up stepping on it or dropping something else on it. This can only lead to damage and should be avoided. Always keep them on a desk, shelf or wrap them and put them away when not in use.
Unplug them from devices when not in use
There is a good chance we will get caught up and damage the headphones when we’re not aware that they are still plugged in to our device. The sudden pull can stress the copper cord and cause breakage within the headphone. Same goes for using headphones while sleeping. A change in position can lead to an unintended pull on the headphone cables.
Keep away from sunlight/ high temperatures/other magnets
High temperature and direct sunlight can cause damage to the headphone magnets. This will internally destroy the speakers over time. Similarly, avoid exposure to other magnets, other equipment like speakers and TV that contain magnets.
Avoid contact with water
Water and electronic equipment, obviously do not go together and all measures should be taken to avoid contact. Other liquids like Alcohol will cause the same effect. If, however, this does occur, immediately isolate the headphone from the area and put them in a rice jar. Leave them there for a few days and rice’s hygroscopic nature will absorb the moisture from the headphone preventing further damage.
Wrap up cables when not in use
It is a good idea to always wrap your headphone cables after use. If they are not wrapped, it can wear away the connections. However, do not wrap them around an object, just roll them in a circle. Wrapping around an object will cause tiny fractures in the copper wire given how delicate and light it is.
Don’t turn the volume too high
Apart from blowing up your speakers, listening to music on high volumes may lead to permanent hearing loss. Keep the volume low, especially if you listen to a lot of music with heavy bass lines. Bass is a low frequency sound which stresses the speakers. Most headphones don’t have bass drivers and this may damage the speakers far sooner than one would expect.
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It all comes down to taking care of them using the above tips right from the day you purchase them. With these tips, the life of your headphones can be increased to 2 plus years from 6 months.