Music Devices

How to Maintain Headphone Quality

Headphones usually have simple structure and operation principle, however, each headphone contains small yet sophisticated system. Therefore, they are vulnerable to external impact or overloaded usage. There are many problems that your headphones can have such as noise, interrupting sound, damaged wires or shutdown. Those troubles may be due to the manufacturers, but also due to users’ improper use and maintenance.

Below are some simple methods in headphone maintenance that can prolong the duration and avoid any problems during the using time.

Earbuds or In-ear Headphones


Due to small size, in-ear headphones can be very easy to break, even with accidental stretch. The connections are the most vulnerable points, such as the 3.5 zone, the Y area, the mic or the keypad (for headphones with mic) and the speaker connector. Besides keeping the headphones from strong physical impact, users can take several protective means such as ball-point pens, covered tape or heat-shrinkable genes to empower the weak points. In the market, there are many specialized cables for wire harnesses with reasonable price and high aesthetics.

To avoid malfunction and strengthen the flexibility of the headphone wires, some manufacturers even produce a jack that connects the wires and the speakers. This helps users easily replace or upgrade each component, but the weakness lies in the connection points which are usually quite small and weak. This would lead to wire and jack damage if users don’t properly assemble.

Another common problem with headphones is the loss of or mute sound which can be due to wires, oxidation in weld or driver problems. The headphones also can be negatively affected if the user turns on the volume too high in a long time. With some advanced headphones with 2, 3 or more drivers in the design, users should store the headphones in the pockets or headset case to avoid physical impact and chemical effects. Because with only one malfunctioned driver, the quality of the audio output will be as good as it should be.

Some notices during the usage:

  • Limit on using headphones before bedtime/going to sleep: listening to music can help us sleep better but the headphones can be accidentally damage by our effects in the unconscious process, not to mention the bad effects toward health of the users in the long term.
  • Ear hygiene: the in-ear headphones directly contact with users’ ears, therefore, the impact of human ears on the headphones are not small. Using headphones without proper hygiene can increase the amount of bacteria in users’ ears, which then leads to many ears problems. Therefore, make sure your clean your ears as well as your headset before and after using.
  • Use and store headphones in a clean, dry environment. Avoid any dust and dirt, mold that can fall into the sound hole and affect the sound quality as well as your ears.

Ear-pad or Over-ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones

Ear-pad and over-ear headphone with bigger size and stronger structure compared to in-ear headphones, but it does not mean that those headphones are not exposed to damage. In order to protect those types of headphones, beside protection methods mentioned above, there are some points that users of ear-pad and over-ear headphones should notice:

  • When not using the devices, hang the headphones on the shelf or hanger instead of putting them on the table or bag. Limit use at bedtime is recommended.
  • When carrying the headphones in bag, place them in specialized carriage, box or case as the couplings of the headphones are very susceptible to damage.
  • The ear pad is easy to be affected by the surrounding environment. Pad is an ideal living environment for bacteria and mold so make sure that you clean your ear pads often and keep them in the clean. This also help to make the ear pads made of leather harder to peel off.

Some Cleaning Tips for Headphones

For earbuds: Make a cleanser liquid with warm water and soap. Choose the gentle cleaning such as dishwashing liquid and dissolve with the warm water. Then, use a soft cloth such as glass cloth or soft-bristled surface and absorb small amount of sanitized solution. Gently wipe the surface of the headset. Don’t use too much physical force which may damage your headphones. Don’t soak too much water or strong detergent, it may damage the skin and the membrane. With small, opening details, use a soft toothbrush or cotton swabs with a little water to clean the headphone. Dry the headset with a dry cloth to avoid dampness.

In-ear headphones

For in-ear, ear-pad or over-ear headphones: With the same cleanser liquid for ear-buds, use the same wiping tools which are soft cloth, toothpicks, swabs and tissues or absorbent fabrics. You should remove the cushion from the headphones and clean separately. With ear-bugs, clean the outside of the sweat, then turn to the ear canal using cotton swab. You may want to clean this part by warm water instead of chemical cleanser since the rubber is more susceptible to chemicals than plastic. With the ear cover, use a bamboo toothpick to “smear” the deposits that accumulated during the usage. Remember not to strongly poke into the ear-pad if you do not want to damage the inner membrane. Clean the outside of the headphones using a soft cloth soak little cleaning water. Finish by dry cloth to remove water from the headphones.

With those tips above, we hope your headphones work effectively in long time.