It doesn’t matter whether you’ve splurged for a pricey pair of headphones, or you’ve picked up something on the cheap, proper care and handling will ensure they last a long time.
It’s possible to fray or break wiring just from normal wear and tear, especially if you handle the aux cable improperly.
Why Does one Earbud in a pair of Headphones Stop Working?
The main reason why audio stops working on one side of the headphone is that the wire on that side has broken due to constant stress such as twisting and pulling, therefore, this stops the sound from traveling to that side of the earbud.
If you want your headphones to look and sound great, for as long as possible, follow these care instructions to keep them in tip-top shape:
1. Don’t Pull the Cord on the Headphones
When unplugging or removing the headphones from a device or port, grip and pull on the main connector, not the cable.
If you yank on the cable instead, you put added stress on the wired connection which will either sever it or create a wiring issue. The latter will often result in an audio loss in either one or both of the earbuds.
2. Treat Headphone with Care
When you’re not using the headphones, follow these tips to ensure they remain in good health:
- Never leave them on the floor or place them where they can be crushed, stepped on, or potentially damaged
- Don’t leave them plugged in to a device when you’re not wearing them as you could accidentally damage both the headphones and your device
- Wrap up the cable similar to how they were when you first bought them
- You can secure the wrapped headphones using a bread tie, rubber band or something similar
- If you wrap the headphones around your player or phone, make sure it’s not plugged in and that you secure any loose cable sections including the plug
- Do not tie the cables
- When stowing the set, never let the headphone-side or port-side to dangle as they could snag on something and break
- Do not sleep with your headphones on, if you start to get tired then remove them
- For over-the-head style, headphones make sure you store them in a carrying case or pouch
The exception for some of these tips, of course, is if you’re using true wireless earbuds or wireless headphones, both of which, well, have no wires. With wireless headphones, you still want to be careful how you stow them when not in use, so keep that in mind.
3. Preventing Audio Damage
Have you ever heard a blown speaker? They make weird noises like crackles and pops and it’s just not a pleasant sound.
The same thing can actually happen to your headphones if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to prevent that from happening:
- Turn down the volume on your device before plugging in the headphones
- Only raise the volume after they are plugged in and seated in/on your ears
- Keep your volume lower to prevent damage, most Android devices will warn you if you go past a certain “safe” threshold
- If you’re not listening to audio that utilizes bass turn it off as it’s a low-frequency sound that can put a lot of stress on your headphones (most headphones aren’t designed to properly produce bass anyway)
- If and when you use high-end stereo equipment with more power, make sure the headphones you plug in can withstand the added power (measured in OHMs)
In reality, many of the tips listed are self-explanatory and will be easy to follow with proper care and handling.
Headphones generally tend to be built rather well, unless you purchase a really cheap pair, but even then, you can prolong their life through careful storage and handling.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to reply in a timely manner.