I Love earbuds. They really give me the versatility and flexibility I need for my daily life. But, I am also aware of the many problems these things bring forth. I’ve been through my share of earbuds, and I know how annoying they can be at times. The main issue with them is that they tend to break at the worst possible moments. After years of experiencing earbuds, I learned how to take care of them in such  a way that they last at least three to four times longer than normal. I learned the hard way. Luckily for you, you don’t have to go down the route I did. You don’t have to waste your hard earned cash in order to learn the same lessons. Here are ways you can maximize your earbud experience.

  1. Quality is in the Dollars: One of the biggest, if not biggest , mistakes people make when buying earbuds is that they go cheap. They figure that they don’t really need to spend 50-100 dollars on something that they’ll only use sparingly. First of all, I don’t believe anyone uses earbuds sparingly. Music is so portable now that people can access it through their phones, their mp3 players, their video game systems, sound docks, satellite receivers, and much more. Music is everywhere, and the best way to control the flow of that music is by using earbuds. Accept the fact that your earbuds will absolutely grow to become a part of your lifestyle. Music is addictive. The most important thing you can do is to buy a good pair. You should look to spend anywhere over 50 dollars. Ideally, you would want to spend over a $100. The problem with cheaper earbuds is that they tend to break very easily. In the short run, you are saving money. In the long run, that 30 dollar pair of earbuds that keep breaking on you will end up burning a massive hole in your pocket.
  2. Unplug the earbuds: I cannot tell you HOW many times I have broken my earbuds as a result of having them wrapped around my ipod. This damages the structure of the cable, and it bends it in awkward positions. Over time, you’ll notice that your music gets choppy unless you bend the wire in a certain way. This is very annoying.
  3. Clean your earbuds!: They are in your ears all the time. Over time, ear debris can clog up the phones and mess with inner circuity. Clean the buds often.  You might need a needle to take out the contaminants. Do it. Another way of doing would be to run a slightly damp cotton ball around the edges and interiors of the buds.1
  4. Clean your ears: Keeping your ears clean ensures longer lasting earbuds.
  5. Carrying case: One of the worst things you can do is ball up your earbuds and throw them into your pockets. Buy a small plastic container that you can place your earbuds in when you’re not using them.

All in all, make sure you buy quality earbuds, and take care of them by making sure that they are handled delicately. Even the most expensive pairs are not indestructible. Treat them well, and they will treat you well.


1. “How to Clean Your IPod Earbuds – WikiHow.” WikiHow – The How-to Manual That You Can Edit. Web. 21 Aug. 2010. <http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Your-iPod-Earbuds>


16 comments until now

  1. Thanks, this is pretty helpful.
    I go through those skullcandy earbuds once every 2 months!
    now i know why..

  2. those tips work! I’ve had these headphones for 7 years

  3. [...] James Stoich has been an earbud enthusiast for over ten years. Fed up with the lackluster coverage of earbuds on the net he created a site dedicated to the bringing you the news, reviews and answers for all earbuds on the market. Check out the latest article: Taking Care of Earbuds [...]

  4. Haha I always ball up my headphones and throw them in my pocket. Now I know why the longest some headphones have lasted me was a day. -_-

  5. Thanks for those tips, very helpful.

  6. HeadphoneGirl

    I disagree with the first bullet point. I’ve been using Sony earphones that can be bought in Target for $9.99 and they last for quite awhile. I’ve lasted at least 6 months with them each time I use them. If I started unplugging my earphones, they would be lasting longer. You don’t have to spend so much on earphones. Instead you can test out the different cheap earphones and find the ones that last the longest and cost the least.

  7. Anonymous

    Thanks for the tips. What in-ear headphones would you recommend? (Particularly noise-isolating)

  8. i have the new appl earpods and theyre amazing. i highly recommend these ($30) not too much money

  9. NEVER buy skullcandy earbuds they are the worst pair i have ever bought i took moderate care of them the same i did withh previous pairs and lasted only a month as my others last 4-6. My longest lasting pAir were ifrogz only 10 bucks

  10. Oh, forgot to mention the skullcandys broke the piece that goes in the ipod broke off i didnt even wrap it tight when i wrap i leave two fingers worth of extra coil so it doesnt bend akwardly

  11. Thank you for this. Now I know how to keep my earbuds working much longer now.

  12. Well.. now I know why my music keeps getting choppy and the ear buds eventually stop playing music in one ear, and then both.. I wind my earbuds around the Ipod each time >.< Thanks for this, it was really helpful.

  13. Thanks! I’ve gone through 2 pairs of Dr. Dre earbuds and visit the store twice a month for new Skullcandys. Hopefully this will help my earbuds last longer.

  14. This really helps, except I wouldn’t buy the most expensive pair in the whole freaking store. I will buy ones I will like, ones that are good looking and/or, ones with decent sound quality. I bought some really bad Ear Pollution earbuds and they lasted all of three weeks before they broke. I also tried iFrogs and they worked for all of two months before they broke. You don’t need to buy the most expensive pair, but make sure they’re decent enough. I have the Gumy’s currently. It’s lasted me a few weeks so far with no problem. They’re Eco-friendly and they have a frequency response of 16Hz-20,000Hz which is not bad. I believe that as long as you’re taking care of your earbuds in the right way and coil them up correctly and put them in a case instead of a pocket or a bag or even just wrapping then around your device. No. Bad. TAKE CARE OF THEM.

  15. So… it’s not ok to wrap them around my phone/ipod/etc, but is it ok to roll up the cord when I put it away?

  16. Exactly! That’s because if you keep the piece plugged in and wrap it around your ipod or whatever, the plug will bend awkwardly and eventually break a cord or two.

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