Headphone Performance: Do You Lose Quality Over Time

If you’ve been wearing your headphones for a while now, you’ve probably noticed a slight difference and might be wondering if headphones lose their quality over time.

The short answer is yes! Every pair of headphones will eventually break. It’s a delicate device with many intricate components, and those components will be jostled and worn down over time, resulting in unavoidable malfunctions. You can put it off, but you can’t stop it. Keep on reading to learn more. 

How long can a headphone last?

With all of the intricate wirings inside headphones, it’s natural to wonder if they’ll last.  

There is no definite expiry date, or, to put it another way, no breaking point. We’ll say that if your headphones break every year, you’re doing something wrong. One of the main causes of headphones failing before their time is rough and careless use.

All headphones will lose quality at some point. It’s inconvenient, but it happens. Normally, we replace them at the store, but what if there was a way to save that money and put it towards something else? What if there was a way to prevent them from losing their quality early? Wouldn’t that be beneficial? So let’s see some reasons why your headphones are constantly losing their quality. 

Things that may cause your headphone to lose quality faster, and how to avoid them?

Here are a few common mistakes that will cause your headphones to lose quality and major ways to prevent it.

  • The Cord is Being Rolled

Headphone cord lengths can be quite long. You might be tempted to let a long cord dangle on the ground. If so, take extra precautions to ensure that it is never stepped on or, worse, rolled over by the casters on your computer chair. It only takes one severance to render the entire system useless.

Prevention.When rolling over your line, keep it above the ground and roll up any extra cord that may become damaged. When possible, keep it in a secure location.

  • Not Making Use of a Case

Even when you’ve misplaced the case or the producer didn’t include one, locating a small pouch that you shouldn’t have to try and fit the headphones into will help shield the cabling, pad the earpieces and earcups, and probably keep them from being crushed if you carelessly throw your bag on the floor after working all day.

 Prevention:  It is also advisable to use the pouch that most likely came with your earphones or headphones when you purchased them. Some of these cases are semi-hard and circular and are intended to hold a properly looped cable. 

  • Pulling the cord, Not the plug 

Another major cause of your headphones breaking is pulling on the cord, which causes tension where the cord gets to meet the plug. Pulling can cause the internal wire to break and separate from the plug over time. Worse, pulling the cord may cause the cable to detach from the connector, leaving it stuck in your device’s audio port.

Prevention: Never, ever pull the cord! Tension is the primary cause of your headphones breaking. You can break the habit by switching to a cord with an L-shaped jack that is impossible to unplug by cord-tugging.

  • Exposing your headphones to moisture regularly.

Water can cause damage to any device, including your headphones. Sweat can also be an issue, especially if you work out while wearing headphones.

Prevention: This can be avoided by putting a towel over your ears and placing your headphones on top of them before exercising. You should also refrain from wearing headphones after showering or while outside in the rain.

  • Sleeping With Headphones On

When you sleep with your headphones on, you run the risk of damaging them by putting weight on them and rolling around, putting strain on the cord. Headphones are not created to support the weight of your head, and the cord can be severed while sleeping.

Prevention;  When you’re tired, remove your headphones and put them in the case. This protects them from being crushed under your weight or from accidentally pulling on the cord while sleeping.

  • Dropping the Headphones to the Floor

Dropping your headphones to the ground can severely damage them. For example, frequently listened to music on your computer while forgetting that you are wearing headphones.

 When walking out of the room, your headphones fall off and crash to the ground. With fragile electronics inside the headphones, you can only hope that nothing was harmed.

Another common scenario is that you may drop your headphones while jogging if they sit too loosely on your head.

Prevention: Check that your headphones are properly fitted to your head and that you are not tripping on the wires. If the damage has already been done, perhaps you should invest in a pair of wireless headphones

  • Neglecting to Clean

Seeing actual earwax on the surface of your earphones’ ear tips, or worse, jammed inside them, is an unfortunate reality of wearing in-ears. And, given the recent prevalence of charging cases, earwax on truly wireless earbuds can cause serious damage if not well cleaned—you don’t want it to transfer to the inside of the charging case and gradually build up over time.

Prevention: To solve the problem, some true wireless pairs are now fully waterproof or highly water-resistant and can be quickly washed off under the faucet. 

  • Cost-cutting Measures

Why do low-cost headphones fail? Because they are inexpensive! Paying a high price for a product doesn’t necessarily make it better. Less expensive products can be well-made and long-lasting, but you generally get what you pay for.

Prevention: Instead, go with what you can afford; just don’t go for the absolute cheapest option unless you’re willing to buy it several times. Invest in high-quality headphones with detachable cables and take good care of them; you’ll spend less in the long run and get better audio as a result.

Conclusion

We all adore our headphones, but they are not designed to last forever. The good news is that this does not have to be the case! You can extend the life of your cans with a little care and maintenance. Take good care of your headphones if you want them to perform at their peak.

Photo of author

Josh Koop

I love listening to everything I can, from podcasts to music and movies. I have always loved to live in my head, and headphones were a portal to help quiet the noise in my head. Now I write and hope to bring to your attention all the best information to learn how to enjoy your experience just as much as I do!

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