Your headphones might have cost you a fair whack and you may well take great care of them, but when was the last time you looked at your wires?
Just take a moment to think of all the abuse your earphone wires endure. They are stuffed in your pocket, wrapped around your media device, pulled, tugged, tangled and unknotted.
Many a good pair of earphones have been ruined because of the wires being destroyed. So what are the main causes of headphone wire deterioration?
1. Wrapping Wires Around Your Device. The easiest thing to do is obviously to wrap the wires around your media device to stop them from getting tangled. However, this just causes more damage. The constant twisting can weaken the wire which will eventually lead to permanent damage and a new set of headphones.
2. Having Long Cables. Long cables are a liability in themselves. They get snagged or caught all the time. Eventually this constant snagging will cause your delicate wire to break, often cutting off the sound in one earphone first.
3. Tugging or Pulling the Wires. This can be as a result of snagging but also many people tend to swing their headphones around which puts a lot a strain on the wires and will eventually pull them out of their casings.
4. Earphone Wire Friction. How do you listen to your music? Usually on the go, right? But if your wires are plugged into your headphones and your media device in your pocket, then as you are moving around these wires are also on the move. This causes friction which will eventually wear away the wires not to mention the high risk of them being snagged against something you pass.
These are the four main ways in which your earphone wires can be damaged. So what can be done about it? The best thing to invest in if you want to extend the life of your headphones is a cable tidy. This is a flexible, grooved piece of rubber around which you can wind your cable. This keeps it out of the way and protects it from snags, pulls, friction and tangles. Make sure you choose an ergonomic cable tidy as many are clumsy and difficult to use. Rubberised plastic tends to grip wires more effectively, keeping them on the cable tidy.
Recently boffins have done some research which has shown using clever maths that flat ribbon-like wires are less likely to self-tangle. We didn't really understand it to be honest, but as a result several manufacturers are now making earphones with flat, broad wires which, amazingly, don't tangle. We've tried them and they are great. Having said that, it is still well worth keeping them on a cable tidy as wires can still be damaged but tugging, kinking and friction.
A cable tidy is your essential headphone friend!