When it comes to headphones, the cable is usually the first thing to break. Every cable has a bunch of twisted wires within the plastic or rubber casing. Some have more than others. But regardless of the type of cable, they will break over time, causing the signal to be interrupted. And if you mishandle your cables, they may break sooner rather than later.
How To Make Your Headphone Cables Last Longer
How Not to Store your Headphone Cable
The first rule of thumb is to never wrap the cable around the headphones or music player. That’s the quickest way to wear out your cable. And it also adds stress to the connection area, putting both, your headphone and music player at risk of breaking.
Over/Under Coiling Method
But the best trick to increasing the longevity of your headphone lies in the way you coil your cable. The safest way to coil a wire is to use the “over/under or “counter-coiling” method. It’s difficult to describe, so, we’ve included a link to a short video made by the London School of Sound, which walks you through the process. It’s a method in which you coil a cable in one direction, and then coil it in the opposite direction. When you alternate the direction of the twist, the loops cancel each other out once you unloop the cable. It takes a few minutes of practice until you get the hang of it. But it works effectively.
Also, alway go with the natural shape of your cable loop. Never force a loop size.
Clean Your Plugs (I mean your headphone connectors)
You also want to keep the connectors clean. Dirty plugs or jacks can cause crackles in your setup and even damage the interior of your player, DAC or amplifier. You can spruce up your plug using grade 0000 steel wool. Then apply a little alcohol to a soft cloth, and wipe it down.
Also, take extra care of your cable while using your cans. Never pull the cable out from the wire. Always have your fingers on the actual connector when disconnecting. If you carry a player in your pocket, make sure the cable is facing out from the top of your pocket. You want to avoid any sharp bends or twists. And you want to ensure that no weight or stress is applied to the cable near the connection area.
Headphones with Detachable Cables
With all that said, the safest bet is to go with a headphone or earphone that has detachable cables. Most IEMs have detachable connections, as do higher priced over-ear headphones. You may have to spend an extra few bucks, but it will save you from having to buy a new pair every 12 months.
Headphone Cable Safety Precaution
Finally, never wrap the cable around your neck. It’s not worth it. Just listen to your favorite song, call your therapist, and take your meds. You’ll feel better in the morning. Or buy new headphones. That’s always a good serotonin hit.