If you’ve just acquired a shiny new set of headphones, you’ll want to take good care of them. Looking after the cans that provide you so much audio joy will give them a longer lifespan, maintain the audio quality, keep them looking good, which considering many are worn as a fashion statement is a top priority, and make it easier to return them if there is a problem.
Advantages of Proper, Regular Maintenance
Extend headphone lifespan
Good use, care and maintenance of your headphones will extend their life. This saves you money or the annoyance of having to get them repaired and replaced. Simple tips, like not using them in bed, when you are going to sleep, will keep them alive for longer. For powered or wireless models, regularly changing batteries and checking them for leaks will ensure your headphones can last for many years of great use.
Enjoy the highest sound quality
Audio quality will degrade over time for most headphones, that can be from dirt, ear wax or moisture build-up over the grille, especially for in-ear models, and getting into the moving parts. Regular cleaning with a spare dry toothbrush or an air canister (at a safe distance of six-inches) can remove the buildup and restore the sound quality to usual levels.
Maintain that new look
Clean the different parts of your headphones with the appropriate materials. Use a buffing cloth to restore any wood or metal surface. Use a damp cloth to clean any fabric areas that are starting to discolor, and don’t be afraid to get in to seams or cracks with the end of a toothpick to remove dirt. This is important as keeping them clean maintains their value for resale, and projects a positive image of the wearer.
Avoid Invalidating the Warranty
Most headphones come with one or two year warranties. Firstly, if you brought them in a store, remember to keep the proof of purchase, so you can prove their age, without proof, you won’t get a repair or replacement. Even if you have, warranties are notoriously picky about what they cover in terms of wear and tear. If a headphone fails with no obvious cause, you should be able to get an in-warranty replacements.
You should regularly check over-ear or on-ear headphones for cracks in any moving parts, the band or tears in the fabric or other material. If still in warranty, try to get them replaced, even an in-warranty repair may be less expensive than having to buy a new pair and can save you a lot of money in the long term.
Tips For Keeping Your Headphones in Great Shape
To maintain your headphones, and enjoy good and proper use from them, all you have to do is treat them well. Follow our advice and they can last many years with a little care and maintenance.
Clean Your Headphones Regularly
As with any product, the key to a long life is to keep them clean. Before you start, ensure you’ve unplugged them from any devices. For earbuds, using a screen or alcohol wipe or other electrical friendly cleaner is often all you need to do to kill off any bacteria, remove any grime and leave your headphones looking just like new.
If they have been in use for some time, then a deeper clean can be achieved with some mildly soapy water and Q-Tips. Squeeze out the Q-Tip before rubbing it around the buds, if there are any grooves, you can use a dry toothbrush or a toothpick to prize out any dirt.
Plenty of in-ear models, and some over-ear headphones come with replaceable silicone, foam or cloth covers. These can be removed and cleaned easily, or you can replace them with new versions for that fresh off the shelf look and feel.
The main band and caps of over-ear or on-ear headphones should be cleaned with a microfiber cloth from time to time, to keep them clean and shiny.
Store Them in the Case
You may have noticed the recent generations of Apple EarBuds come packed in their own case. Where possible, keep them in that case to better protect them. Similarly, if you’re buying a new set of headphones, go for a model that comes with a dedicated bag, case or holder to keep them protected when not in use.
When traveling with them, if you don’t have a dedicated case, then always keep them in a separate compartment in your main bag, to prevent them getting squashed or damaged.
Protect the Wires
Always unplug them by holding and pulling on the jack, never the lead. Store them with the wire rolled up neatly, to avoid tangling which will put pressure on the cable, and could cause it to break or fray at the ends. That will either break them or cause poor audio quality. If you often notice the wire going taut during regular use, then buying a short headphone extension lead can help prevent damage to the main cable
Avoid These Mistakes When it Comes to Using Your Headphones
There are several ways that you could damage or break your headphones, even from relatively normal use. Most headphones are made from very small pieces of plastic and thin wire. They don’t respond well to abuse, so you need to be aware of their frailties and look after them properly.
Don’t Carry Them Around in your Pocket
One of the biggest no-no’s for in-ear headphones is to carry them in your pocket. It is so easy for them to get tangled which could put pressure on the connections, or snap the wire. This can also result in scratches as they bump into other items in your pocket like keys or coins. This will be even worse for larger headphones, even if they are foldable models that can fit in a typical pocket.
Don’t Wrap the Cable Around Your Device
Avoid wrapping the cable around your smartphone, MP3 player or other device, as this will stretch the wire and cause it to eventually break. You should also be mindful of the cable, never leave it running across the floor where it can get run over by chair wheels, chewed by pets, or trodden on.
Don’t Share Your Headphones
While it may look cool in adverts, don’t share your headphones with other people, as you don’t want their bacteria in your ears. These can lead to infections of the ear canal, plus other nose and throat infections. If you do need to share a cool tune, then always clean them promptly afterwards, antibacterial wipes are good for this task and will ensure that .
Don’t Turn the Volume Up High
For the benefit of the audio components, you shouldn’t overstress them with constantly overloud playing. Not only will excessive noise damage your hearing over time, but reduce the response of the moving parts, the coil or transducers, within the headphones. Most devices have recommended audio limits, do not disable these for the sake of your headphones and your hearing.
Taking care of your headphones can protect your investment in them, save you money on having to buy a replacement, and ensure you get good use from them for many years. If you have any questions, or are looking to upgrade your audio experience, please leave a comment.