How To Extend the Lifetime of Your Headphone

To get long-lasting headphones, you need to know the proper way to care for your gear. You can have the most expensive pair of headphones, but there will be sound issues within a few months if you do not care for it properly. You can extend the lifetime of your headphones by buying quality products and treating them right.

How to Choose the Right Long-lasting Headphones For Your Needs

We all know the frustration of having a much-loved pair of headphones suddenly stop working. The sounds go out from one ear, or suddenly there’s static buzzing every so often. These problems let you know it is time to invest in a new pair of headphones.

Finding the right headphones for you and your needs will depend on what you intend to use them for the most. Are they for your workplace, game station, sleeping, or do you require a pair of earbuds capable of all the above? You can find the perfect long-lasting headphones by keeping an eye on the following specs when looking for your next pair.

Headphones for Work

For work headphones, you want clarity, ease of volume control, and hands-free options. Longer lasting headphones for work are going to be built for performance rather than aesthetics. With more people than ever working from home, it is vital to get a pair of headphones that can cancel out the sounds around you while you work.

One excellent example of a quality work headset that will have a longer lifespan is the Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Alexa compatibility. These can have up to 20 hours of wireless charge so you can take them through the house with you as you transition from work to play. With the ability to remove the cords as needed, it is less likely that you will damage them, which will allow your headphones to last for longer.

Gamer Headphones

Speakers, mic, and the ability to play for long periods between rests is a must for gaming headphones. Over the ear, models tend to be better for creating a more immersive experience. One of the longest-lasting headsets for gamers comes from HyperX and boasts 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets among a whole host of other positive factors, including 30-hour battery life, steel slider, and detachable mic. Being able to remove the mic and cables lessens the risk of these being accidentally damaged while being stored.

Earbuds

For Bluetooth media playing on the go, you can get quality earbuds that offer flexibility and good sound at an affordable cost. The downside of earbuds is that even top quality ones will have a shorter lifespan than their over the ear counterparts. However, there are some things you can do to keep earbuds working longer. This includes cleaning them regularly, storing them safely, and for wired earbuds being careful not to pull them out of your ears by the cord as this will damage the wire connections.

A good example of wireless earbuds designed to live a long time is the Elite 75t Earbuds by Jabra. Water-resistant, dust-resistant, and 28-hour battery life are a few of the perks that come with this in-ear headphone set. When possible, it is best to get earbuds that have removable cables or charging ports because this eliminates one of the weaker parts of in-ear headphones, which is the connection point of the cords and the earpiece.

6 Factors That Affect the Life of Headphones

Your headphones will not last long if you do not keep an eye out for circumstances that will help determine their lifespan. Below are six factors to consider when looking for new headphones. We also included some tips and tricks for maintaining the proper use of your current set so that they can live longer before needing replaced.

Buy Quality Headphones and They Will Last Longer

If you are a gamer and need headphones that can play loud, surround-sound for long periods as you stay immersed in your playing, then you want something better than $6 earbuds. To have headphones that last a long time, you will need to pay for quality, but the price is not everything. Check the specs before purchasing to ensure they have proper dust and water resistance (IP5-IP6), correct drivers for the amount of power you will need, and cord storage.

Watch Out For Children and Pets

Nothing kills a pair of headphones faster than a curious child or a pet with a case of the munchies. You can leave your headphones in perfect condition for a few minutes and come back to them in pieces. Always keep your earpieces properly stored and out of reach. Children may bend or pull apart the pieces, while pets will simply chew through the wire.

There are some headphone protection coverings (e.g., metal wire mesh, etc.) that you can buy, but they will not protect your product from a determined chewer. It is best to take the extra time to always keep them out of range of children and pets.

Using the Cord to Move Your Headphones Will Damage Them Quicker

Headphone cords are not designed to be pulled, twisted, or tugged on. If you routinely use the cables to pull out your earbuds, then the connections will fail, and you will start to notice that one side fails very quickly (sometimes within weeks of purchase if you are routinely rough with them). Twisted up cords will also damage and possibly even kink the internal wires, which will also cause intermittent or loss of sound. If they are caught on something like a chair arm and pulled abruptly, this might also disconnect the internal audio source.

The best way to keep the cords from being responsible for killing your headphones is by handling them carefully, using a case for storing them whenever they are not in use and being sure not to get them caught on things.

Wearing Out Your Headphone Driver

In headphones, the driver is an electromagnetic device that turns the audio signals into sounds. Without a working driver, there is no way for sound to come through. You can blow out a driver by playing music too loud though this is usually only going to happen if you have it plugged into an audio source like a radio or speakers—smart devices like your phone or tablet which have built-in safeguards for driver protection in their device programming.

When possible, it is still best not to blast your headphones at full volume for long periods. It can permanently damage your hearing and ruin the drivers.

IP Rating and Debris or Water Resistance

There will be some debris buildup regardless of whether you wear earbuds or over the ear headphones due to frequent handling and being worn close to the ear where residue is excreted. Unfortunately, it can also be easy for food or drinks to be accidentally spilled over headphones since they are usually worn around desks.

The IP will determine if headphones will last even if they encounter water, dust, or other debris. The IP is listed under the product specs stands for the rating of how well that item can keep out solids and liquids. IP5 or IP6 is ideal for water and dust resistance when looking at headphones. You will still want to clean your earbuds and over the ear speakers regularly or whenever you notice buildup occurring.

Keep Your Headphone Cables Safe

If you have headphones that have cables, then the soldered connection points between the wire and the base are where wear and tear will destroy your sound. Kinks and breaks in the wire are also something to look out for to keep your headphones long-lasting.

There are a few ways to address the cables. One of the best ways is to get a headphone holder or case where you can loop your headphones together in a safe place where they will not get tugged on or twisted. You can find them cheap at any electronic retailer or online.

DOs and DON’Ts For Extending the Life of Your Headphones

We all know that treating your headphones harshly will cut down their life expectancy. However, there are a few things you can DO and NOT DO to keep them in tip-top shape.

DOs

  • DO take off anything that is designed to be removable (e.g., mic, charging cables, etc.) before storing after use. This will lower the risk of damage to the entire headphone.
  • DO store your headphones after each use and between uses.
  • DO curl up the cords rather than leaving them loose or shoving them haphazardly into the storage container.
  • DO listen at a reasonable volume to keep your drivers from blowing prematurely.
  • DO regularly clean and inspect your earpieces and cord for any damage or debris.
  • DO treat your headphones gently, including the accessories (e.g., cords, charging stations, mics, etc.)

DON’Ts

  • Throwing your headphones into a tangled puddle of cords when they are not being used will lead to faster wear and tear. DO NOT leave them loose and tangled when not in use.
  • Holding headphones up or pulling them by the cord will damage the connection between the cords and the earpieces, and this is a primary cause of one side going out before the other. DO NOT use the cable to pull, hold, or position your headphones.
  • DO NOT blast your headphones at full volume. The hardware is not designed to withstand that kind of power output for long periods, and it is damaging for your hearing.
  • DO NOT leave your headphones or their accessories where children and pets can easily reach them.

How to Fix Common Headphone Issues

If your current headphones are starting to exhibit signs that they might be getting a bit worn out, then there are a few things you can try to breathe some life back into them. These fixes will not work for all headphones, but it is worth trying before deciding to give up on your current pair, especially if they were more expensive or you have not had them for very long.

Static or Buzzing

This problem is frequently caused by a bad connection with the headphone jack when you plug it into a computer or other device. You will need a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol.

  1. Remove the headphone jack from the device.
  2. Dampen the cotton swab with alcohol.
  3. Clean outside of the headphone jack.
  4. Clean inside the small opening of the headphone jack.

This can also be caused by a loose wire connection or corrosion of the wires. You can go through the steps listed for the first “Only One Ear Hearing Sound” fix below to see if this is the case.

Only One Ear Hearing Sound

This is usually caused by a bad connection point, which could have been brought on by harsh handling or a low-quality product. Do not attempt if you have no soldering experience.

You can try to fix whichever earpiece is not producing sound by hand using the following steps. You will need a soldering iron, desoldering braid, solder, and flathead screwdriver before you get started.

  1. Use the screwdriver to pry open the earpiece carefully. Look for a disconnected wire or damaged connection.
  2. Use a desoldering braid to remove. Resolder it into place.
  3. Put the earpiece back together.

The problem may be in the cord’s plug section rather than the earpiece, so if you do not see any loose connections in the earpiece, you can look at the plug.

  1. Cut the cord above the plug.
  2. Take the casing off the plug. Mark out which color of wire goes to which area of the plug.
  3. Remove any wires from the plug area using a desoldering braid.
  4. Solder back on the wires making sure that colors are in their correct placement. Replace plug casing.

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