Headphones have become a necessity in life for many as people like to listen to music not just in their spare time but while working, cleaning or even showering (courtesy of waterproof headphones). There are many different varieties of headphones in the market varying in size, colors, shapes and prices. If you are a music loving person who carries some sort of earphones with you all the time, you would know how easily earphones can get damaged.
Sometimes, the sound quality deteriorates, sometimes the wires break and not to mention the effects over time on ear pads. Even if you invest in a pricey headphone, there are chances that they will not last very long. That being said, there are ways you can protect your headphone and make them last, well, may be forever.
Handle Headphone Cables with Care
How many times your earphones stopped working because the wire tore or because you twisted it? The answer would be many times. We sometimes forget that it is equally important to protect the wire as to protect the ear buds. Mostly the wires get damaged when you roll them. Coiling the wire in a figure 8 will allow the twists to cancel each other and will unroll smoothly.
Wrapping it around the headphones is not a good practice. And wrapping it around your player is not good either. It applies unnecessary stress on the chords.
Preserving Pleather Pads
You should use a cloth to wipe the pads gently and do this often. Cleaning inside the pads can be tricky but you can use a mini vacuum that we use for cleaning keyboards. Any leather conditioners and cleaner should be avoided because they are meant for pure leather only which is stronger than synthetic leather. Since these agents are strong, they can cause cracks in the Pleather or velour.
Preserving Leather Pads
Cleaning leather pads is the easiest; just use damp cloth to clean it. Polishes and conditioners can damage the leather over time and affects it durability.
- At most, use a leather conditioner twice in a year on the pads of your headphones.
- Cream conditioners are recommended and mink oil should be avoided as it will soften the leather.
Whatever you choose, first test it on a small area and see the results.
Cleaning the Foam
- The foam can be cleaned with a damp cloth or a bit of water.
- Avoid squeezing the foam; just let it dry by itself.
- You can even use soapy water should the foam be really dirty.
- Alcohol based cleaning agents are to be avoided as well.
- Make sure that the foam is completely dry before using them again.
Avoid Environmental Extremes
Your earphones are likely to get damaged in extreme temperatures. Keep them away from direct sunlight and do not keep them in extremely high temperature. The pads and the wire’s insulation might melt and even the internal circuitry might get damaged.
Be Careful While Storing
- The headphones break because they are not stored properly. Keep them in a case when you are not using them. Or you can get a cheap bag and put them in a bag.
- Do not toss them at the bottom of your backpack and put heavy stuff on it. This is a no brainer of course as heavy weight will break your headphones.
- Coiling your mobile’s earphones and putting them in a tight pocket is probably not the best thing to do either.
Protecting Headphones with Embedded Wood
This kind of headphones should be kept in a cool and dry place. The excessive moisture can destroy the wood over time. Use soft cotton cloth to clean and avoid oils and chemicals. And this is highly unlikely but do not bring them near termite mounds.
- Avoid low bass frequencies: Too lower bass can burst a regular earphone set. There are specially designed headphones for low bass so if you like your bass down low you should get those headphones.
- Avoid using unsuited stereo: Wonder why the quality of the sound deteriorates over time? This could very well be the reason. You should not use earphones on a stereo system they are not designed for. The power of such stereo will be quite larger than what the headphones can handle.
- Turn the music down a bit: Yes, this can help your headphones last longer. Some might say what is the point of listening to the music at low volume when using headphones? Well excessively loud volume will not only damage the headphones but might also affect your hearing. Some headphones come with incredibly high volume range and usually these are the cheap ones. Such headphones should not be bought in the first place and if you have one just lower the volume down.
Other Things to Avoid
- Do not leave your headphones on the ground as even small pressure can break your headphones.
- Do not put headphones on when your ears are wet.
- Do not bend the chords too much as it will damage the wires inside.
- Do not let the earphones dangle; the strain on the wire will damage them.
Headphones are incredibly useful device used by music lovers all over world. Although they are cheap, that does not mean you should have to buy them again and again. With proper care you can keep hearing quality music for a very long time.
- Just follow the simple steps outlined here to clean your ear pads.
- Also take care of your ears and clean them, as most of the wax accumulated in your earphones comes from your ears only.
Nowadays, there are many high priced headphones in the market but high price does not mean they are indestructible. Their quality is of course great but they can get damaged by the same mistakes as a regular set of headphones. And when buying headphones, make sure you try one on to see if they are comfortable and have the quality you are looking for.
More Reading: All You Need to Know About Headphones