The escape to another world that earphones and headphones allow even when in public spaces is crucial to staying sane while treating other people around you respectfully. Keeping earphones and headphones in good condition is good both for your hygiene and for preserving audio fidelity. Here are some ways to care for them and increase their longevity.
1. Clean your earbuds
Remove the rubber earbuds and clean them with a damp cloth. Use a toothpick dipped in water to remove all the dust and wax et al that may be stuck to the inner hard-to-reach areas. Earphones are especially susceptible to earwax which can block and alter the sound from the earphones. Also gently clean the cable if it has accumulated dust.
Check for dirt on your headphones on a regular basis and give them a quick wipe down with a soft cloth and maybe warm water after every extended period of use. Err on the side of caution when it comes to using water and soap and if you’re especially hesitant use baby wipes. You can use a dry toothbrush to dislodge any bits of dirt and grime inside the meshed areas of earphones that you can’t easily reach.
2. Store them in a case
Roll the earphones or headphones cable in a tight figure 8 shape after use and store them in a case after you’re done using them. The same applies to headphones, buy a case or pouch and fold them per instructions then store them there when not in use.
Be especially careful with the cable. Wrap it around a few fingers so that it assumes a natural coil before storing it to minimize internal damage. Eventually, though headphone cables inevitably suffer from repeated use which is why detachable cable types are best. You can easily replace the cables and keep using the headphones.
It’s also good practice to store them in a designated pocket or drawer so that you always know where they are and take special care when handling that area. Store them in a clean, dry place away from extreme temperatures. For example, leaving your earphones on the dashboard or car seat on a hot day is ill-advised.
Also, refrain from carrying earphones in your pocket. Doing so increases the chances of them being damaged by lint, dust, and other debris ultimately leading to poor sound production.
3. Pull out the plug, not the cable
Most people tug at the cable or cord when disconnecting the cable from the headphones or phone jack which is wrong. You should grip and pull the connector while removing the headphone from the audio source. Pulling the cable puts extra stress on the connector which will eventually damage it.
4. Don’t turn up the volume too high
It’s not only bad for your ears but can also damage the speakers of your earphones and headphones.
Earphones and headphones are not the most robust of equipment and require TLC (tender, loving, care) to extend their longevity.
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