How to Extend The Life Of Your Headphones

by Matthew David | Updated: 08/23/2020

With the evolution of the digital era, there is an increase in the use of mobile devices. As the importance of mobile devices has increased, so is the significance of their counterparts, like headphones. But, do we treat the headphones, the same way we take care of our mobile devices? the basic idea behind designing of some headphones is simplicity. Some parts of it are very fragile that needs proper care while usage. With time, due to wear and tear of the headphones, the user can come across problems like:

The reasons behind such problems can be damage to the wiring or damage to some internal cable connections. In addition to this, there can be dirt build up inside the earpieces.

I recently bought my favorite pair of headphones that were good looking and had amazing sound quality. I bought these because of their superb performance in the bass and treble departments. Everything was just perfect about these headphones. But, while usage; I felt some reduction in sound delivery. Then, after some time, one of its earcups stopped working. And after that, in no time, the whole headphone lost its sound.

When I applied for the warranty, the company found damage to the cable. That damage was because of the wrong way of cable wrapping by me. The damage was on my part and that’s why I was unable to take the benefit of the in-warranty replacement. Dirt build-up was also found in the earcups which hampered the sound quality. This again was because of a lack of care and maintenance on my part. So, then I realized, how important it is to take care of the headphones.

Did you ever came across headphone issues like me and want a solution for it? Well, then you have come to the right place. Today we are going to discuss some of the tips to extend the life of your headphones.

Why Regular Maintenance Of The Headphones Is Necessary?

1. Extension Of Lifespan Of Headphones:

You can extend the life of your headphones by :

If you follow the basic maintenance tips, you can save money on the repair and replacement of your headsets. The basic tips include:

  1. Not leaving the headphones on the bed while you are sleeping.
  2. Wrapping the headphone’s cable properly when not in use.
  3. Checking the battery and changing it.
  4. Check for any type of audio leaks.
  5. Keeping the headphone in its carry-case to avoid dirt build-up and other necessary tips which we are going to discuss further.

2. Enjoy The Sound Quality To The Fullest

In most of the cases, users experience degradation in the sound quality, over time. Users usually think that the headphones are not up to mark and there are issues with it. The actual reason behind the audio degradation is the lack of maintenance from our side. The most common reasons for the degradation are:

By regular cleaning of headphones, you can resolve the audio problem. You can enjoy the sound quality to the fullest if you keep in mind the following cleaning points:

  1. For removing dirt from the headphones, you can use a spare dry toothbrush. Keep in mind not to be too harsh while cleaning. Move the brush softly so that you cause no damage to the audio drivers.
  2. An air canister also works well to clean the build-up. Just keep it at a safe distance so it doesn’t cause any internal damage to the headphones. The average safe distance for its usage is around six inches.

3. Maintain The New Look Of Headphones

Not taking care of the headphone can ruin its looking. The stylish and new look of the headphone portrays a positive image of the wearer. So, to maintain your headphone’s looking, follow these steps:

  1. For the restoration of surfaces of wood and metal, make use of a buffing cloth.
  2. For cleaning the fabric areas, it will be wise to use a damp cloth. The cloth need not be too damp as the wetness can damage the audio drivers.
  3. Many times, some headphone come with unique designing which includes some seams and cracks. Dirt tends to build in such seams and cracks which makes it difficult to clean. Using a toothpick to remove the dirt can work for you.

Read also – How to Makes Your Headphones Louder

4. Maintenance Of The Warranty

A good reputable headphone usually comes with a warranty of one or two years. The first thing to remember is to always keep the invoice safe whenever buying from an offline store. If you’ll keep the proof of purchase safe then only you’ll be able to prove the age of the headphones. Without the age proof, you’ll not be able to avail the warranty and won’t be able to get your headphones repaired or replaced. Even if your headphones are under warranty, the companies are very particular about the terms and conditions of wear and tear. If the headphones do not fall under any of the terms, then you’ll not be able to avail the in-warranty replacements.

To avoid the invalidation of a warranty, you should:

Tips To Extend The Life of Your Headphones And To Keep Them In Great Shape

If you want to enjoy the long-lasting service from your headphones then you need to treat them well. Follow the given tips to extend the life of your headphones with little care and maintenance:

1. Choose The One Which Suits Your Need

Picking a headphone that is fit for your desired purpose can help you to extend its life. The first thing to do before picking a pair headphones is to ask the following questions from yourself:

All these questions would help you pick a headphone which serves your audio needs.

In addition to audio needs, these above-discussed questions will help you extend the life headphone in the long-term. Want to know how? Let’s take an example to understand this. Which headphone will be suitable for a music studio sound engineer? Obviously the over-the-ear headphones with the capability to handle high power. Additionally, the headphones should deliver high as well as low frequency clearly along with strong bass. A headphone with a shorter cable will also work for him. Most of his work will be near the mixing board so shorter but durable cable can solve his purpose. If he’ll choose any other headphone then the headphone will get damaged while working. Hence, choosing a headphone that suits your needs can help you get long-lasting service from your headphones.

2. Keeping The Headphones Clean

It is not just with headphones, if you want any product to last long then you should keep them clean. Before you start the cleaning process, make sure to unplug your headphones from any of the devices.

Ear wax is the main problem behind the degradation of sound quality over time. When you are using on-ear or over-the-ear headphones, ear wax issue is not that big. The issue with these headphones is they tend to get sweaty due to exercise or regular use. There are headphones that give you the option to rinse the earpads. Rinsing the earpads at regular intervals keeps them clean. You should always check the IP rating of headphones before doing so. Only the ones with an IP rating of 5 or close to 7 are ideal for rinsing purposes.

If you cannot rinse your headphones then you should go with ones that have removable or replaceable earpads. You can take the new earpads from the accessories store of the headphone manufacturer.

When it comes to the headband and earcups of the headphone, you can clean them using a microfiber cloth.

In the case of earbuds, you can use an alcohol wipe, or a screen wipe, or any other cleaner which is electrical-friendly. This will help you to kill any bacteria present on your headset and also remove any grime.

In the case of earbuds, you can use an alcohol wipe, or a screen wipe, or any other cleaner which is electrical-friendly. This will help you to kill any bacteria present on your headset and also remove any grime. If you are using your headphones for quite a long time then it would be better to go for a deeper clean. You can do so by using mild soapy water along with Q-Tips. It will be wise to squeeze the Q-Tip properly before use. After squeezing out extra water, rub the Q-Tip gently on the surface. If your earbuds have grooves on it then a toothbrush or toothpick will work great to clean the dirt.

All the above tips will help you to keep your headphones clean and shiny. Cleaning on a regular basis makes your headphones look like new and also extends their life.

Read also – Headphones Buyer’s Guide – On Ear vs Over-ear

3. Proper Storage

The life of a headphone usually shortens due to improper storage. We are in the habit of throwing the headphones in the backpack. This makes them slide to the bottom of the backpack and then crushed by books. We even let then hang which finally results in their falling from a height. All these habits damage the headset and affect its lifespan.

You can take care of your headphones by improving their system of storage. You can assign a specific place to keep your headphones instead of leaving them anywhere you want. Using a dedicated case for your headphone is also ideal for storage purposes.

For traveling purposes, it’ll be best to use a carry case or bag for your headphones. Keeping the headphones directly inside your traveling bag can damage them. They can get crushed or tangled. A carry case keeps it safe and makes it easy to take the headphone form place to place.

A carry case can even protect the headphone from moisture, humidity, and temperature variations. When you expose your headphone to wet conditions or extreme temperature then they can short-circuit. Continuous exposure to such conditions can make your headphone lose its quality. So, it is always a good habit to store your headphones in a carry case.

Assigning storage rack can also serve as a good option for headphone protection. Keeping them in the rack avoids tangle issues and reduces the chances of it from falling off from the desk or stepped on.

4. Protect Headphone’s Cable

Cables are one of the most vulnerable parts of the headphones. In most of the cases, headphones stop working due to the cable damage which usually occurs because of:

All these instances result in a reduction in the life of headphones.

One of the key solutions for the protection of the cable is to wrap it properly and neatly. You can do so by following the natural bends present on the cable. In the case of on-ear or over-ear headphones, you can wrap the cable around the headset in a simple and neat way. This will keep them safe and prevent any tangling. Keep in mind to not to wrap the cable near to the earcups because it will tense the cable. Continuous tension on the cable can cause damage to the connection points. It will be wise not to wrap the cable too tightly to prevent any type of damage to it.

The dedicated carry pouches, which come with the headphones, also helps in storing the cable.

Several headphones come with detachable cables. In such cases, all you have to do is to unplug the cable first. Then, wind it up and secure it using a velcro wrap. The good thing about detachable cable is that it is replaceable. If there is any damage in the detachable cable, then you can extend your earphone’s life simply by replacing the cable.

Most of the headphones stop working due to constant use. If you’ll take care of the cables in a proper way then it can serve you for several years. As a simple remedy, if you don’t want any cable complication, then you can go for wireless headphones too.

Avoid The Following Mistakes

Even the normal usage of headphones can sometimes cause damage to them. It is because some headphones have got fragile plastic pieces and thin wires. A little stress on any of the components can result in the non-working of headphones. So, you should avoid the following mistakes to make your headphones last long:

1. Don’t Keep Them In Your Pocket

Most of the people are in the habit of keeping the in-ear headphones in their pockets. This habit can prove to be fatal for the earphones. In the pocket, earphones can get tangled which could result in pressure exertion on the cable connections. It may also cause the wire to snap. Other than this, the earphone can also get prone to scratches. The earphone can bump into other things present inside your pocket causing damage. The situation can be much worse in the case of large headphones, even if they are foldable in nature.

Read also – In Ear Monitors vs Earbuds vs Headphones

2. Wisely Wrap the Cable Around Your Device And Don’t Leave It Lying

You should avoid wrapping the cable tightly on devices like smartphones, mp3 players, or any other devices. It can result in stretching of cable which causes loose cable connections. Too much pressure on the cable can even cause it to break. One should also be mindful of leaving the cable lying on the floor. Pets can chew it there and it can also get under the legs of the chair. So, don’t leave the cable lying around anywhere. Keep it at a safe place or in the headphone case.

3. Avoid Turning Up The Volume Too High

To keep the audio components safe, it’ll be good to not to put too much stress on the headphones by overload playing. The high volume will obviously damage your hearing ability. But, it will also damage the moving parts of headphones like coil or transducers. To make your headphone live long, always follow the recommended audio limits.

Final Words

Giving importance to the maintenance and care of your headphone can prove to be fruitful for you. It’ll result in saving your money on headphone repairs and its replacement. It will more importantly result in extending the life of your headphones. You’ll be able to enjoy your headphones to the fullest and for a longer period of time. All you have to do is to follow the tips to extend the life of your headphones that we discussed.