Taking care of your earbuds increases their lifespan and optimizes performance. Learn how to take care of earbuds and keep them in good shape.
Earbuds are the trusty, pocket-sized duo that follow you everywhere—the gym, an airplane, your office, or in the back of an Uber. But just like anything else, earbuds can wear out if they’re not taken care of. So how can we keep our trusty audio companions sounding great and looking sharp for years to come? We’re glad you asked.
To enjoy your music and podcasts to the fullest, taking care of your earbuds comes first. In this article, we'll look at top tips for earbud care and maintenance, as well as the benefits you can expect to get from your well-maintained earbuds.
How Long Do Earbuds Last?
Earbuds can last for years, but the exact length of time depends on your lifestyle and habits as well as the build quality of the earbuds themselves. For starters, high-quality earbuds like UE FITS or UE CSX earphones will last longer than the $5 bargain bin earbuds you picked up in a pinch.
Then you should think about how you use your earbuds. Do you use them every day or occasionally? What activities are you doing when you wear them? Exercising with earbuds daily may cause more wear than studying with earbuds at home, especially if they’re not sweat-resistant.
These are things to keep in mind, but proper care and maintenance is the only way to make earbuds last, no matter what your lifestyle looks like.
Benefits of Earbud Maintenance
Before we walk you through the best care tips, let’s take a look at the benefits you’ll hear and see when they’re kept in pristine condition.
Replacing your earbuds every few months can burn a hole in your wallet. You can make your earbuds last longer if you take good care of them. By cleaning your earbuds regularly, storing them properly and keeping them away from moisture, you can extend their lifespan.
Better Performance and Fit
No matter how well-made your earbuds are, the drivers and components won’t deliver the best sound quality if they’re in poor shape. Although a little wear and tear is common, physical damage could potentially misalign the drivers and alter the sound. In some cases, it might also cause your earbuds to fit incorrectly. After all, there’s nothing worse than earbuds that keep falling out when you’re trying to enjoy your music.
Keep Them Looking New
Dirt, dust and grime keep your earbuds from looking their best. Even if you’re careful with your earbuds, sometimes it’s inevitable. Developing a good care and maintenance routine is the only way to keep them looking brand new. You spent time and money choosing a great pair of earbuds just for you, so why not take care of them?
Earbud Care and Maintenance
Your earbuds need a little care and attention. By following our simple cleaning and maintenance tips, your earbuds will last a lot longer.
Clean Your Earbuds
Earbuds are prone to collecting dirt, dust and wax. One of the first things you might notice as a result of dirty earbuds is a loss in sound quality. For the drivers to produce sound accurately, they need a clear path to your eardrums. When grime blocks the drivers, it’s harder to hear the audio. If something sounds off, you should consider a deep cleaning.
By cleaning your earbuds regularly, you can prevent bacteria growth and promote better ear health in the process. Ear inflammation and discomfort are caused by bacterial infections in the inner ear. Putting dirty earbuds in your ear increases the chance you’ll get an infection, which may even require a visit to the doctor.
Cleaning your earbuds is easy and if performed routinely will allow you to combat both of these problems.
Avoid Excess Moisture
Exposing your earbuds to excess moisture could ruin the speaker drivers. Be sure to check the IPX rating of your earbuds before you consider using them in a wet environment. IPX ratings refer to the level of water resistance a device has. For example, UE FITS are sweatproof earbuds with an IPX3 rating, meaning they’re suitable for fitness and active lifestyles.
Although it’s tempting to take your earbuds everywhere, you should be careful if water is involved. To stay on the preventative side, don’t swim with your earbuds (Bluetooth doesn’t work underwater, anyway) and keep them away from overly moist environments. If you’re traveling, store your earbuds in a dry place to protect them from moisture, just like you would any other electronic device.
Store and Transport Them Properly
After you’re finished with your earbuds, always store them well. Storing your earbuds protects them from dust, moisture and physical damage. Wired earbuds should be carefully wrapped up and placed in a safe spot. True wireless earbuds need to go back in the charging case. No matter which earbud style you own, the environment you store them in should be a cool, dry area.
When you’re on the go, don’t tuck your earbuds in the bottom of your backpack or pocket. Aside from collecting debris, your earbuds won’t have any protection from pressure or collisions. Fishing broken earbuds out of your pocket is a disappointment, to say the least. Always carry your earbuds safely, either in a case or secure compartment.
Replace Removable Tips As Needed
Earbuds with removable tips are easy to clean, but sometimes they just need to be replaced if they’re worn or lose their shape. The sonic performance of your earbuds is closely related to the shape of the tips. When the tips are torn or misshaped, the audio tends to sound a little off. For example, UE FITS feature tips that create a seal unique to your earprint that blocks ambient noise. If the seal becomes compromised, the earbuds won’t block noise effectively.
Control Your Volume
We know how it is—you want to listen to your music loud to block out the noise. Ironically, listening too loudly can put additional strain on the drivers. If you begin noticing distortion or a rattling sound, it’s possible that the driver is worn out. Small earbud drivers are similar to full-sized speaker drivers in the way they respond to extreme volume levels. If you continuously push them to their limit, the sound quality might worsen.
Listening at lower volume levels also protects your hearing. Your ears are sensitive to sound pressure, and you can permanently damage your hearing if the volume is too loud.
Whether you’re constantly on the go, studying at home, or exercising, keeping your earbuds in good shape is essential. The next time you reach for your favorite earbuds, keep these care and maintenance tips in mind. We recommend finding a simple routine that works for your schedule and lifestyle.
When you’re ready to take your listening experience to the next level, check out UE FITS—true wireless earbuds that instantly mold to the unique shape of your ears.