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9 Real Reasons Why Earbuds Break So Easily (Updated 2023)

Why Do Earbuds Break Easily

“Not again.”

You say as you realize your earbuds no longer work.

And you’ve now lost track of how many earbuds went before the other.

Such a bummer, right?

Well, I’m here to put an end to it.

Continue reading to discover:

  • 3 awful ways you’re tangling your earbuds.
  • 5 simple tips to prevent your earbuds from breaking (trust me on #3).
  • 9 surprising reasons why your earbuds break easily (most people are guilty with #5).
  • And many more…

Why earbuds break easily – 7 reasons

#1: They’re low-quality

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being frugal. 

So buying cheap earbuds is totally alright.

However, there are some consequences to that.

Since you bought your earbuds at an affordable price…

It means manufacturers made them using cheap materials. And such aren’t built to endure continuous use.

With that, they break easily. 

Moreover, this is kind of a strategy for manufacturers.

Sure, you can cop a good pair of earbuds on a budget. 

But with them degrading after a short time…

These manufacturers continue to earn when you buy your next pair.

That’s because earbuds are essential to almost everyone. So rest assured, they’ll continue gaining no matter what.

I mean, in 2019 alone, 33 million earbuds were sold. According to research, that’s a sale with a total of $4.1 billion.

You might also want to know: Do Wireless Headphones Last Longer Than Wired? 5 Scenarios

#2: Your earbuds are defective

Alright, what if it wasn’t cheap earbuds at all?

That you actually spent a lot of money for the pair…

And they ended up acting like budget earbuds…

Well, sometimes, it’s not you. It’s them.

So, in this case, against your earbuds…

They’re at fault. Literally.

You received a defective device. That’s why they’re faulty and break easily. 

#3: Pulling the cord

You’re not the only one guilty of this practice. I used to do it too.

I admit that I sometimes operate on autopilot. And when that happens, I pull my earbuds’ cord to remove the jack from my device.

It’s just easier that way. As long as I unplug them.

But let me tell you…

That cost me a lot of earbuds.

And if you keep doing it too…

Wirings and other components inside will loosen.

With that, your earbuds, one after the other, will surely break easily. 

#4: Leaving them dangling off

No one should leave anyone hanging. Not even your earbuds on your table.

For example:

You set your earbuds on the side of the table. And half of it is dangling.

Now, that can cause stress to the wires. That’s because they’re unnecessarily bent. 

Moreover, since your earbuds’ are barely holding it…

Before you know it, they’re on the floor.

Chances are, they could get stepped on. Or rolled over a chair with rolly wheels. Even just covered with another object on the floor.

Those put pressure on your earbuds and their wire. Leading to unavoidable damage.

#5: Knotting or tangling them

It’s an issue most people have:

Untangling wires.

Whether it be your laptop’s charger. Or your guitar’s audio cable. And in this case, your earbuds’ cord.

Every time you need to use it…

You face the challenge of detangling the wire.

“Why does this always happen?”

I’ll give you 3 reasons:

Wearing them in your sleep

Wearing Earbuds In Your Sleep Breaks Them Easily

After a long day, it’s so good to put on music. Then, wait ‘til you drift off to sleep.

I know how satisfying that can be.

But I stopped using my earbuds before going to sleep. Before, almost every time, I left them on.

And when I wake up…

I find myself almost choked by the cord. 

That was my last straw. I’m never doing it again.

Moreover, not only did I save myself, I saved my earbuds, too.

So, take it from me.

While you sleep, you roll around your bed. And with your earbuds on, you also twist around their cord.

Plus, they can get tangled in your clothes or blankets.

Winding them down too tightly or loosely

I trust you recognize the importance of setting your earbuds aside properly…

But are you really doing it correctly?

Folding the cord too tight or too loose can harm your earbuds. 

Using them while they’re twisted

I get it. 

Sometimes, you let your earbuds win. So you just put them on even though their cord is still twisted.

That’s a wrong decision. It only puts your earbuds’ cord under strain…

And if you do this 1 too many times…

You’ll say goodbye to your earbuds not long after.

#6: Carrying them unprotected

As I mentioned, earbuds are essential.

I remember being late to my meeting because I didn’t want to commute without my earbuds. And when I found them, I just threw them in my bag.

On the way, I had to detangle my earbuds before I put them on. Which was quite pressuring to do publicly. 

That aside, here’s my point:

I put my earbuds in my bag without protection.

And most can relate to that, too.

Not everyone puts their earbuds in a designated case. 

So, when you grab them out of the bag for use…

They end up tangled. Which harms your earbuds and causes them to break easily.

#7: Exposing them to moisture and humidity

Some people won’t go about their day without putting their earbuds on.

Whatever the temperature is, you wear your earbuds.

Regardless of the activity, you’ll also put them on if you can. Whether you’re out for a run or lifting weights at the gym.

Fun fact: Listening to music during exercise can increase your performance by 15%. This study reveals.

However, those can expose your earbuds to one of their enemies:


When you exercise with your earbuds on…

They’ll catch the sweat dripping from your head.

Now, electric devices plus water don’t go well. At all.

Sure, the water might not seep through your earbuds completely…

But they can leave off moisture. Which creates…

Condensation in your earbuds

This is the scientific term for moisture.

And condensation can happen once you expose something to low temperature or dampness…

Then, you transfer it to a warmer place.

The sudden temperature change creates beads of sweat. 

Which then harms the components inside your earbuds. 

So if condensation gets them…

I’m afraid it’ll be the end of your earbuds. 

Read also: Can You Shower With IPX4 Rated Headphones? 3 Facts

#8: Loudly listening too often

This one shocked me.

Earbuds are used for listening.

So why would loud sounds damage them at all?

Well, it’ll only happen if you do use your earbuds constantly.

Now, you know how if you put a speaker in the middle of the room…

Then, set it to the highest volume and play something…

The room would seem like it’s shaking, right?

Even so, when you’re wearing your earbuds and listening to music with a hard bass…

It’s as if your ears are vibrating…

That’s it. Exactly how listening to loud music can damage your earbuds.

The shaking causes the internal components to degrade.

Then, you hear fuzzy and cracking sounds. Until you hear nothing because your earbuds have had enough.

#9: Bending the input jack

When you wear your wired earbuds…

Where do you put the device you connected it to?

My answer to that is, most of the time, my pockets. And if you do the same thing…

Take it from me to stop practicing it. Or at least practice it with care.

Because such a custom might bend your earbuds’ input jack….

And that part is very delicate. 

Bending it too much can then break the wirings inside. Next thing you know, your earbuds no longer work.

How to prevent earbuds from breaking

#1: Protect the audio jack

As I mentioned, you shouldn’t pull from your earbuds’ cord…

Instead, when removing their connection to a device…

You must hold the audio jack, then pull it out carefully.

It’s a small practice that can go a long way for your earbuds.

Moreover, I did say that the jack is a delicate part. So, to avoid them from being bent all the time…

I highly recommend getting a 90-degree earphone jack.

#2: Buy a case for your earbuds

Shoving them into your bag should stop now.

Instead, get a casing to protect your earbuds.

And when it’s time to take your earbuds out…

You won’t have to detangle them awkwardly. 

Surely, that case will last as long as your secured earbuds.

#3: Roadie Wrap their cord

Earlier, I mentioned that you should properly fold your wired earbuds.

Otherwise, they’ll end up tangled.

And the solution for that is the Roadie Wrap

After each use, this is how you should put your earbuds aside.

So here’s how you can do it:

#4: Don’t listen too loudly or overuse them

This is what you found out a few sections ago:

Listening too loudly and too often can damage your earbuds.

And not only that, but it can affect your hearing, too.

Many studies point to this:

Constantly listening to loud music using earbuds can lead to hearing loss.

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) reveals:

1 out of 5 teenagers will eventually experience hearing loss of some form. The studies mainly focus on them because teens are the usual earbuds user.

But regardless of age…

It’s unhealthy to expose your ears to loud music all the time. 

So, for the benefit of your earbuds and eardrums…

Follow the 60/60 rule

This states that you should only set the volume up to 60% maximum. And strictly listen within 60 minutes only. 

No more, no less.

#5: Protect your earbuds from moisture

I’m not telling you to stop wearing your earbuds while you exercise…

But do avoid exposing them to moisture for too long.

If they end up being moist…

Put them in that casing I recommended earlier. Then, add a silica gel desiccant inside. 

That little packet will absorb any moisture your earbuds will get.