Preventing your earbuds from breaking: 14 steps (with pictures)

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Preventing your earbuds from breaking: 14 steps (with pictures)
Preventing your earbuds from breaking: 14 steps (with pictures)

This wikiHow article shows you how to keep your headphones and earbuds looking great and sounding great for years to come by storing them properly and choosing a lower noise level.


Part 1 of 2: Preventing physical damage

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 1

Step 1. Pull the plug, not the cable

When you remove the earbuds or headphones from your stereo or music player, pull them out at the connector. If you pull on the cable, you put extra stress on the connector, which will eventually damage it.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 2

Step 2. Pull steadily and not jerkily on the plug

When the plug of your headphones is tight, pull it out with steady force. You can damage the connection if you pull on it.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 3

Step 3. Don't leave your earbuds on the floor

This may seem obvious, but if you leave your earbuds on the floor you will definitely damage them by accident. Always put them on your desk or table, or store them when not in use.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 4

Step 4. Do not leave the earbuds in your stereo or music device

When you're not using your earbuds, you can get the best out of your music player. If you accidentally get caught on the cable, you can damage your earbuds when you try to stand up or move around.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 5

Step 5. Roll up your cables when you're not using your earbuds

This is especially important with portable headphones without a braided cable sleeve. If the cables become tangled, they can kink and damage the connection. Don't put your earplugs in your pocket.

  • You can use a paper clip or cut some nicks in an old card as an inexpensive tool to securely wrap the cables around.
  • Do not knot or strain the cables.
Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 6

Step 6. Don't let your earbuds hang down

When gravity pulls on the earbuds, the connection of the cable to the buds themselves is unnecessarily strained. So don't let your earplugs hang from your desk or out of your bag.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 7

Step 7. Make sure your earbuds don't get wet

As with all electrical devices, your earplugs should not get wet. If they do get wet, dry them immediately, apply rubbing alcohol to them and let them air dry for several hours. This should save your earplugs from most water accidents.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 8

Step 8. Don't sleep with your earplugs in

Not only is this bad for your hearing, but the cables can also bend or snap when you turn around.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 9

Step 9. Buy a box or protective pouch for your earbuds

If you often take your earbuds somewhere, consider getting a box or soft pouch for them. You may be able to buy a box for your brand and type of earplugs, or a box that is suitable for many different types of earplugs.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 10

Step 10. Spend more money on quality headphones or earbuds

With cheap earplugs and headphones, savings have been made on everything. They are therefore often less well put together. If you regularly put a lot of strain on your earbuds and you can't help yourself, then it might be better to buy more expensive ones that can withstand more.

A braided cable sleeve prevents the cables from tangling and getting knotted. They will last longer that way

Part 2 of 2: Preventing damage from audio equipment

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 11

Step 1. Turn down the volume before plugging in your earbuds

Your earbuds can be damaged if you plug them in while playing loud music. Turn down the volume on the device before plugging in the earbuds and don't put them in your ears until after plugging them in.

When you have your earbuds plugged in, you can turn up the volume to a level where you can comfortably listen to it

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 12

Step 2. Keep the sound soft

Loud music can not only cause hearing damage, but also destroy your earplugs. As a result, the sound can be permanently distorted and you can hear a buzzing sound. If the sound starts to crack, your music is too loud.

Do not set the volume control to the highest setting, because this increases the chance that you will destroy the speakers of your earbuds or headphones. If you want to turn up the volume, but your music device's volume control is already set to maximum, look for an amplifier for your headphones

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 13

Step 3. Turn the bass control down

Most earbuds don't have strong woofers and strong bass can quickly damage your earbuds. Bass tones are low tones and can put a lot of strain on your earbuds if they aren't designed to reproduce those sounds properly. Use your music player's mixer to cut the bass and make sure all bass boost options are turned off.

Avoid Breaking Your Headphones Step 14

Step 4. Use earplugs that can handle the output

This isn't much of an issue when you plug in earbuds to your phone or computer, but it is when it comes to high-quality stereo equipment. In that case, make sure the earbuds can handle the output. If you use weak earplugs with a strong sound source, they can quickly break.

Read the owner's manual for your earbuds or headphones to find out what the impedance or resistance is (expressed in ohms). Also see how much your stereo or music player can handle


  • If you wrap your earbuds around your music player when you're not using them, make sure they're not plugged in. Otherwise the cables may break internally.
  • When you buy earplugs, look for ones with a kind of plastic combs at the end of connectors, or strain relief. This way you don't accidentally pull the cables out of the earbuds.
  • If your stereo or MP3 player has a feature that allows you to limit the sound, use that feature. It prevents your hearing damage and ensures that your earplugs last longer.
  • Take your earplugs out of your pockets before washing your clothes.


  • You will suffer permanent hearing damage if you listen to loud music for long periods of time.
  • If someone else can hear the music from your headphones, that means you have open headphones. Normally, when the headphones are closed, no one can hear your music. However, if you have closed headphones and someone can hear your music, then your music is too loud.

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