How to Make Your Headphones Last Longer

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Updated February 11, 2023

Learning how to make your headphones last longer is essential if you’re an audiophile or someone who likes to save money. Of course, the best headphones feature a longer life than some less expensive options with lesser audio quality. Still, you may extend this lifespan by taking quick and easy steps for protection and maintenance.


  • Keep your headphones clean.
  • Take care of the wire by loosely coiling the cable and keeping it in your headphone case.
  • To protect it further, you may want to wrap your cord in a thicker material, like a braid.

With the help of the tips below, you should see longer headphone life, fewer breaks in your wired headphone cable, and longer-lasting earcups or earbuds. In addition, you may be interested in learning how to play audio out of your speakers and headphones if you like to watch with others.

Tips for Extending the Life of Your Headphones

When you purchase a new pair of headphones, earbuds, or a headset, plan on performing regular cleaning to avoid contaminants damaging your brand new audio device. Additionally, you may want to purchase a case for your headphones and their wire (if you have a pair of headphones with a removable cable).

Insider Tip

To avoid unintentional damage, unplug your headphone cable by pulling on the plug instead of the cable.

Before you buy, you want to test your prospective models beforehand because satisfaction will prompt you to better care for your headphones. You should also consider other steps to protect your cable and its wires since these parts break pretty easily. Check out our tips on how to know headphone sound quality.

Method 1: Clean Your Pair of Headphones Regularly

Ensure you keep your headphones clean, including removing earwax or debris from the driver unit. Some experts recommend wiping your headset after every use. Certain manufacturers even provide a cleaning tool for your device in the packaging.



Unplug and turn off your headphones.


Remove any detachable ear cups or gel or foam tips. You should clean these pieces separately, and you can access the mesh covering on the speaker without the earcups on the device.


Gently wipe the outside of your device, cable, and earcups with a soft, microfiber cloth. You may want to wet the cloth slightly with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent or soap, but ensure that you don’t oversaturate the fabric to avoid water getting inside the device.


Use a cotton swab or old toothbrush to remove dirt and earwax from the mesh covering the speaker if necessary. Do not use liquid on this area because it may enter the speaker or drivers inside.


Replace the detachable tips or earcups and enjoy your newly cleaned device. This process might prevent the sound from becoming muffled by build-up if you use your headphones many times.

Method 2: Headphone Cable Care

To extend the life of wired headphones, earbuds, earphones, or wireless headphones with a removable cable, it’s paramount that you protect your cable. They tend to get easily bent and tangled, leading to unintentional damage to the headset’s wire. When you store them, make sure you don’t coil your cable too tight. You should make large loose circles before placing the headset in a case to avoid damage.

One major step for maintaining your wire stems from how you choose to remove your cable from the headphone jack. You should always unplug your headset by pulling on the plug instead of the cable. You might loosen or damage the wires or plug otherwise.

You can also wrap your wires in a certain kind of braid to create a buffer. This braid may prevent tangling during storage and reinforce the cable so that the thin wires inside don’t bend as much. Again, you will notice that they take up slightly more space during storage, but it won’t be a significant amount.


Water can enter your headphones during cleaning, so use a damp cloth or cotton swab.


How long do headphones last?

On average, wired and wireless headphones last about two years. Good quality earphones and earbuds match this headphone lifespan at times.

How long do AirPods last, and can you make them last longer?

AirPods last about two years, but you may see slight improvement if you take the above steps and maintain battery life. Unfortunately, batteries are often the first thing to cause problems with AirPods or other true wireless headphones.

What’s the battery life of AirPods?

On average, AirPods have a battery life of 3-5 hours.

STAT: Experts recommend investing in a quality headphone case to reduce wear and tear and friction. (source)

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