How Long Do Wired Earbuds Last?

The wear and tear you should expect

Wired earbuds are a great alternative to wireless earbuds, providing audio that's just as good, with a connection option that makes them compatible with a wide range of devices—not just those that support Bluetooth. If you're worried they won't last as long, though, you needn't. If you take good care of your wired earbuds, they can last for years at a time.

How Many Years Should Earbuds Last?

The longevity of earbuds depends on quality, how much you use them, and how you treat them. If they cost you $10 and you use them roughly every day, you might find that the cable frays or an earbud stops working after just six months. However, if you spend upwards of $50 on wired earbuds and look after them, they could last as long as five years.

There's nothing about a pair of earbuds that should break over time. Still, they will become worn with repeat usage, especially if you bend the cable a lot, expose them to harsh environments, or don't pack them away in a protective case when traveling.

How Do You Make Wired Earbuds Last Longer?

If your earbuds break soon after buying them, then chances are you purchased a faulty pair, and you should immediately return them. That said, you can make any pair of wired earbuds last longer by taking good care of them.

Here are some tips to improve the long-term health of your earbuds:

  • When removing them from a device, pull them out by the plastic header, not the cable. Doing this prevents stress on the cable connectors.
  • Place them in a protective case when not using them.
  • Don't use them in wet conditions, especially if they don't have any weather resistance. Avoid wearing them during extremely strenuous exercise where you will sweat heavily.
  • Don't listen to the highest volumes often or for long periods, which can damage the driver.

You can also make it more likely your earbuds will last longer by purchasing a good pair of wired earbuds in the first place. Check reviews for notes on durability if that's particularly important to you.

Are Wired Earbuds Worth It?

Wired earbuds are vastly cheaper than their wireless counterparts. Apple's earbuds (branded as EarPods) are just $19, but they offer excellent sound. They're not quite as good as a pair of AirPods (Apple's wireless headphones), but they cost over $100 less, so if you don't need wireless capabilities, wired earbuds are worth it.

How Long Should Apple Wired EarPods Last?

As with all wired earbuds, how long Apple EarPods last will depend on how much you use them and how well you treat them. That said, anecdotal accounts suggest that a pair of EarPods will start to fail after a year with average use. With better care, you may make them last a bit longer.

  • How do I wear my wired earbuds?

    When wearing wired earbuds, use earbud tips that fit your ears. Make sure the cable isn't tangled and goes under some clothing, if possible, for extra protection. Transport earbuds in a case or safely wrapped around a device to avoid tangles.

  • What are the best wired earbuds?

    The Beats urBeats3 and the Shure SE215-CL are top-of-the-line earbuds built to last for several years. If you're looking for something cheaper, try the 1MORE 1M301.

  • How do I clean wired earbuds?

    To clean your earbuds, use a mix of isopropyl alcohol and water. Dab a small amount on a clean cloth or cotton swab, then wipe down the plastic and silicone surfaces. Remove and thoroughly clean (inside and out) the silicone earbud tips too.

  • How do I fix my wired earbuds?

    If your earbuds stop working, unplug and reconnect them. Check the power source and turn up the volume. If you notice frayed cords or broken plastic coating, you can repair the earbuds cable with a soldering iron.

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