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Wireless earbuds are one of the best things about Bluetooth technology. They came into the mainstream in 2016 when Apple released its AirPods and haven’t left since.
From listening to music to taking calls on the go, there’s nothing that these compact wireless earbuds can’t do. They have, without a doubt, made all of our lives easier. Even so, no one wants to pay a fortune for them or have to replace them every few months.
Once you get a pair, you want it to last as long as possible. This is because while they are easy to use and have several benefits, you can’t afford to blow a hole in your budget for them.
I am here to tell you how you can avoid doing so. This list of five tips will extend the life of your earbuds easily.
Each revolves around manipulating subjective factors that impact the durability of your earbuds. These are things like how often you use them, what you clean them with, and where you store them.
Although manufacturing does play a role in how long your earbuds last, these factors are also essential.
How to Make Earbuds Last Longer?
1. Keep them Clean
Your earbuds are exposed to dirt, sweat, ear wax, and moisture. Each one contributes to their degradation, and over time can cause severe damage.
In addition to the surface level damage caused by these harmful particles clogging your earbuds’ speakers, you also have to deal with long-term harm to your sound quality.
This is because substances like dirt have small particles that can make their way inside your headphones. After that, they can affect the individual moving parts of your device and corrupt them.
Therefore, you must clean your earbuds regularly and protect them from such harm. Incorporate the following practices into your routine, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Wipe your earbuds every time you use them. Use a soft piece of cloth and gently take it across the headphones.
After removing the layer of dust, dampen the cloth with sanitizer or alcohol. You can also use water, but make sure your device is waterproof, or you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
Then lightly brush earwax off the driver unit. If you let it stay there instead, the wax will accumulate and harden, resulting in malfunctioning earbuds.
If you want to go even further, use a cotton bud and clean out the crevices of your earbuds. Then soak them in warm water for around five to six minutes. Any longer can be dangerous.
- Sharing is Not Caring
We’ve all been in a situation where a friend or family member asks for your earbuds. Saying no can seem rude and socially impolite. However, you have to find the strength to do just that.
Do not let other people use your earbuds. I say this for two important reasons.
First, it is highly unlikely that anyone other than you will care for your earbuds as much as you do. In extension, they’re also unlikely to prioritize being cautious with their usage.
Whether or not you give them a color-coded file on dealing with your devices won’t make a difference. It’s all the same to them since their money wasn’t spent buying the earbuds.
As such, it is better to avoid taking a chance and giving other people your earbuds.
Secondly, you can get a severe ear infection if the person you loan your headphones to doesn’t clean their ears regularly. Each one of us produces a significant amount of earwax every day.
When you share earbuds, you also run the risk of transmitting this wax, which can be incredibly dangerous for you and them.
In short, even if it looks rude, it is better to refuse someone’s request to use your earbuds than to let them operate them, even if it is just for an hour.
2. Store them Properly
Earbuds are compact headphones. They have the same functionality as bulkier devices but are smaller in size. This means that if you leave them around on a sofa or desk, there is a high probability of you losing them.
Furthermore, the delicate physique of earbuds makes them particularly vulnerable to sharp and heavy objects. Anything can break them.
Therefore, not only can you lose your earbuds, but you can also break them very easily. Therefore, the best way to prevent these unfortunate events is by taking some necessary precautions.
- Buy the Right Case
The first step to protecting your earbuds is by buying the right case. Take your wireless earbuds with you and try different cases until you find the best one.
If a case is too big, your earbuds will move around, collide with the covering, and damage themselves. On the other hand, a tiny case isn’t very useful either. It will crush your earbuds, their drivers, pads and render them useless.
Keep looking until you find the right case. It needs to be a perfect match.
This case will protect your earbuds from foreign threats. Even if someone sits on the case or drops it, the earbuds will be safe.
- Set a Place for Them
The second step is deciding on a location for your earbuds and their case. This can be in a pocket on your bag, in a drawer, or on the dressing table. You can even leave them on your office desk if you want.
Ideally, the location should be such that you don’t need to make much effort to get there. So, for example, if you need to walk to the other side of your house each time you want to keep your earbuds safe, you won’t make an effort.
Pick a place that’s easily accessible and always close by.
This is important because it makes sure you don’t lose your earbuds.
Ensuring you have earbuds and not losing them is an integral part of making them last longer.
3. Keep the Volume Low
Listening to songs on high volumes can be damaging to the internal mechanisms of your earbuds. Therefore, you should try to moderate your volume and stay on the lower end of the scale.
This damage is caused by the most basic property of sound: it travels in waves. These waves are characterized by vibrations in our surroundings.
This means that every time someone or something makes a noise, there is a vibration in the object the wave passes through. So when you’re blasting music through your earbuds, these small devices are vibrating quite intensely.
Imagine shaking a tree with a ton of fruit on it. Common knowledge dictates that most of the fruit will fall off. The same applies to your earbuds. When they shake, all the small moving parts inside them will move around.
Since these parts are confined, they will collide and damage not only each other but also themselves. In the worst case, this damage can cause ear infections and result in an expensive trip to your doctor.
This specific tip to making your earbuds last longer can also keep your ears healthy.
You can do a couple of things to make sure you’re keeping an eye on your volume. But the most important one is to turn your volume down before you turn your earbuds on.
The sudden sound can be quite debilitating for earbuds and has serious potential for harm. So always remember to take the sound all the way down to zero before you start using them.
Furthermore, try to avoid the “Bass Boot” feature. If your earbuds don’t come with this function, placing the burden of running it on them is unfair and will reduce their life.
4. Stick to a Charging Schedule
While schedules and plans don’t matter a lot to inanimate objects like your earbuds, they’re incredibly helpful for you. Creating and sticking to a charging schedule will make sure your compact headphones are always ready for use and aren’t being overcharged.
How does a schedule do this? I’ll explain.
Each pair of earbuds takes a specific amount of time to charge fully. Most come with this information on their boxes or online data packets. In the unlikely case that you don’t have access to it, you can try charging them and time how long it takes to go from 0% to 100% battery.
They also come with battery lives: how long fully charged earbuds will last. Once again, you can use the information provided by manufacturers or test it out yourself.
Lastly, you’ll need the earbuds for a specific period of time. If you’re a student, you may need them eight hours a day for school hours and then another three hours at home for recreation. Alternatively, as an office worker, you’ll need them from 9 am to 5 pm to make calls, attend meetings, and coordinate with clients.
Each of these three factors comes together to make a charging schedule. The approximate number of hours you need the earbuds for will determine how many full charging cycles you’ll need in a day.
After getting that information, you can find gaps in your daily routine long enough to fully charge your wireless earbuds. Note them down in your calendar or on a sticky note.
Making such a schedule and sticking to it makes sure that your headphones are always available for use. Furthermore, it also ensures that you never overcharge your earbuds because you’ll have just enough time to get through one cycle.
5. Change the Sleeves
The last tip I have for extending the life of your earbuds is a bit complicated. The compact headphones themselves are made to last a while. However, the sleeves on top of them aren’t.
These sleeves are typically made of silicone, rubber, or foam and remain in optimum quality for a short period. This becomes especially problematic when the two components are compared.
The larger structure itself will remain efficient, but because the covering won’t, your sound quality will be impacted. Often users don’t know this and believe that their earbuds have expired; however, that isn’t the case.
You just need to change the sleeves.
I recommend that you replace the sleeves periodically whether or not you’ve noticed a change in audio quality. Since the degradation happens slowly, it’s very likely that you won’t notice the drop in quality until it gets terrible.
Preventive measures are always better than reactive ones.
How to Get New Sleeves?
The easiest way to get new sleeves for your earbuds is by contacting their manufacturer. For instance, if you’re using Apple products, go to their website and look for sleeves there.
Since the earbuds are from the same company, they’ll fit well and match in quality.
Moreover, when you’re ordering your first replacement, you should consider purchasing a few extra sleeves. It is always a good idea to have a few spare lying around in case of a rainy day.
Once you start using earbuds, you’ll become dependent on them for day-to-day tasks like talking to your family and listening to music. They become a part of your life and can not be replaced with bulky headphones or wired earplugs.
The exclusive benefits of easy usage, wireless connections, and compact size are simply too good to give up.
Therefore, users are often quite upset when they learn about the short life span of earbuds. Their size makes them easy to carry around but also makes them very easy to break. The lack of wires removes stress but means you need to charge the earbuds. This opens the door to overcharging and its various harms.
There are simply so many things that can go wrong and ruin perfectly good earbuds. Hence, I have put together a list of five tips that will teach you how to make earbuds last longer.
Firstly, clean your listening devices regularly. This won’t just extend the life of your device, but it will also protect you from health problems.
Secondly, store your earbuds properly. Thirdly, keep the volume low. Fourthly, create and stick to a charging schedule as outlined above. Lastly, change the sleeves of your earbuds periodically.
Do these things, and your earbuds will last longer.
Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.