Do you need to know how long do wireless earbuds last? The lifespan of wireless earbuds is often debated, but the average is around six months. When they start to fall apart or die, it can be hard to find a replacement battery for them. A new battery can be expensive and hard to find, so it’s important to take proper care of them.
If you’ve had your wireless earbuds for more than 6 months, there are ways to prolong their life that are worth trying before investing in a new one.
- 1 Rechargeable Batteries: The Hard Truth
- 2 How Long Does Wireless Earbud Last
- 3 What Manufacturers Can Do?
- 4 Do I Overcharge Or Undercharge My Wireless Earbuds?
- 5 When Should You Replace Earbuds?
- 6 What Shortens The Lifespan Of Earbuds
- 7 Conclusion
Rechargeable Batteries: The Hard Truth
Even if your Bluetooth headphones don’t break physically, eventually, their batteries will stop being able to charge. This is not an evil corporate plot. Rechargeable batteries all eventually go out of business. It’s simple physics.
Over time, batteries lose their capacity due to a layer of crystalline buildup on the inside walls of the battery. The aging process causes an increase in electrical resistance, which results in a gradual decrease in the battery’s juice available each time it is fully charged.
Mark Smirniotis, the senior editor at Wirecutter and powering expert, wrote a description of this phenomenon. In short, it means that every time your earbuds are recharged, you get less listening time. The effect is not immediately noticeable. Over time, however, the effect may become more noticeable.
Wireless earbuds that once played music for five hours per hour when they were first purchased can now only provide an hour of listening. They will eventually stop holding a charge, and you won’t swap them out. The battery is glued in in most cases, so you cannot get to it.
A non-replaceable rechargeable battery is a reason that earbud companies use them. Although earbud buyers prefer smaller devices, there is less space inside the earbuds for all the components.
A Bluetooth chip and processor, antenna, battery, driver, controls, and microphones must be packed into a device that is often as small as a thimble. To replace a battery, earbuds need more space. Companies don’t want their earbuds to be flops in a field where small is king.
How long can you expect your earbuds to last? It all depends on how you use your headphones. Mark explained that many factors could affect battery life.
These include how frequently you charge and leave them plugged into, how often they are exposed to extreme temperatures, and whether you make calls or use active noise canceling (both of which use a high amount of power).
One pair of headphones might last for two years, while another pair may last four years. It’s only a matter of time before technology’s grim reaper calls.
People who are used to wired headphones’ lifespans may be shocked to hear this information. People have had traditional wired headphones for over ten years, provided that they were maintained occasionally. It can be a shock to realize that your beloved $200 earbuds may only last three years of daily use.
Many people are used to the fact that their equipment is becoming obsolete with technology. People accept that laptops and phones are not permanent purchases. Headphone enthusiasts like me may find the annual value of regular use to be worth the price.
The environmental impact is what bothers me. People often throw their broken earbuds in the trash. This could cause a fire. Even those who do their best to recycle correctly may discover that the system they trust for reducing and reusing is flawed.
According to a 2017 United Nations Global E-waste Monitor (PDF), only 20% of the nearly 45 million metric tonnes of e-waste in the world were recycled using proper channels.
Many “recyclers,” ship e-waste overseas, but much of it can’t be recycled. While some parts can be reused and valuable minerals extracted from the e-waste, this has a negative environmental impact. These methods can create unsafe working conditions for workers and those living nearby.
One example is “bathing circuit boards with nitric acid and hydrochloric acids” to recover gold, which is used in electronics because of its conductive capabilities. This can poison waterways and communities and makes them unusable.
Profit is driving much global recycling. Therefore, the viability of recycling an item depends on the raw material value extracted. But margins are very slim. Because earbuds have such a small volume, the value of the extracted materials might be less than a cent.
This may not cover the labor-intensive costs of recycling. Many recycling companies won’t recycle earbuds, and they end up in the trash.
How Long Does Wireless Earbud Last
You should follow a proper charging schedule. Avoid undercharging the battery or completely draining it. You should ensure that your wireless earbuds are in good condition and operating correctly to use them for as long as possible.
If they are not being used, always keep them in a case. To prolong the life of your device, make it a habit to store them away when they are not being used.
You can clean your earbuds and case regularly with a dry, lint-free, and soft cloth. To ensure it is bacteria-free, you may also use a little rubbing alcohol to wipe the cloth. You should clean the microphone and speaker meshes with a soft-bristled toothbrush or dry cotton swab. It’s pretty simple, but it is often forgotten to clean the microphone and speaker meshes.
Your wireless earbuds should be given a workout every once in a while. Please don’t leave them unattended for weeks or months. Instead, put them to work. Keep the volume up and keep them charged in a case. You won’t be disappointed if the battery runs out.
They should be protected from all liquids. Submerging them into any watery substance could cause irreparable damage. Some earbuds have a water-resistant option.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are waterproof. Unfortunately, there aren’t wireless earbuds like this on the market yet. Let’s hope they come out soon. The rule of thumb is aqua until then.
You should not leave your earbuds in while you’re sleeping. It could cause irreversible damage and make it difficult to get them to perform at the same level. You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money, do you?
Your personal hygiene routine should not be forgotten: wash your ears. It’s very simple: earbuds and ear wax don’t mix well.
What Manufacturers Can Do?
Kyle Wiens, CEO at iFixit, believes that replacing batteries in true wireless earbuds can be done – if manufacturers are willing to do so. Some wireless earbuds like the Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro are not repairable after the battery has died. Still, others, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Buds or Jabra’s Elite 75t would only require minor design changes to be fixable.
Taylor Dixon from iFixit dismantled several Bluetooth earbuds. He found that the only thing preventing battery replacement was a change in glue or using battery clips instead of relying upon solder.
Manufacturers of headphones could improve their designs, offer battery-swap service, establish authorized repair centers and even sell branded repair kits to DIYers.
They could also offer discounts and free recycling for old earbuds, which would reward brand loyalty. Apple and Bose offer to recycle but no trade-in incentives.
These advancements can only be made if the people who buy the earbuds ask for them. Although it is focused on cars only, Massachusetts legislation is designed to force electronics companies to make them more repairable. It requires replacement parts to be sold and manuals to become accessible online.
However, a right-to-repair law can be challenging to implement and slow-moving in effecting change, especially with consumer-demand-driven movements. The problem is that shoppers cannot speak for themselves and purchase earbuds with rechargeable batteries until companies produce them and support the repair process.
Despite the current situation, there is still hope. One startup, Podswap, is a business that focuses on recharging millions of AirPods in need of new batteries. Jon Chase, Wirecutter, wrote about his experience exchanging his first-generation AirPods with another pair that has a new battery.
Currently, podswap can only replace the first- or second-generation AirPods. Although this is only one model for one brand of earbuds, it’s a proof-of-concept that could significantly impact the life expectancy of battery-powered headphones if more brands and companies adopt a similar strategy.
While wireless earbuds won’t disappear, they need to be more durable. With some encouragement from all, brands may begin to make real changes.
What To Do With Your Wireless Earbuds?
Earbuds can easily be damaged because they are small and delicate. These are some of the most common reasons:
- You shouldn’t sleep with your earbuds in your ears. This is not good for your ears and expensive wireless investment. Both can be damaged, so it’s not everyone’s fault.
- You should not crank up the volume so much that it damages your ears and the device. It is okay to raise the volume to an appropriate level. While it is understandable that you may feel like Steven Tyler or Ozzie Osborne, it doesn’t make it any more fun.
- Exposed earbuds and other liquids. They don’t mix well. Period.
- Keep your earbuds safe and in your pocket. One wrong move can cause your wireless friend to become fragile and smashed. Sometimes, there is no turning back.
- Inadequate cleaning: If you rub and scrub the microphone or speaker’s surface hard, it will lead to irreparable damage.
Do I Overcharge Or Undercharge My Wireless Earbuds?
You don’t need to leave your device on charge for too much time. You should be able to use your device for as long as it is fully charged. You don’t have to worry about whether your favorite song will stop playing, so charge it away overnight.
For example, if we look at a wireless Apple device, we will see that the charging case contains an indicator light. It is located in the middle of where the earbuds can be found. A green light indicates that they are fully charged. An amber light signals that the charging process has started.
However, leaving your phone with very low battery capacity or “undercharged” can lead to damage. This will mean that your precious earbuds won’t last as long as they could if you keep up with your charging schedule. It is a smart idea to make sure you check your battery now and again.
For example, setting up an iPhone reminder to remind you to do so might be a wise move.
When Should You Replace Earbuds?
Distortion Is A Common Problem, Especially In High Volumes.
You should replace your earbuds if you hear distortion or volume increase in your music and audio.
One Side Is Louder Than The Other
You may notice a similar issue: instead of distortion, there is a difference between the sound levels between the earbuds. This is not due to the panning of music but rather because one of the buds has been broken.
When You Move The Cord, There Is A Crackling
This is usually a sign that the wire connecting the jack and the earbuds have suffered internal damage.
If you move the area behind the jack, you’ll hear a crackling sound. This is a sign that the jack has been damaged beyond repair.
Their Cord Begins To Fray Or Crack And Break
The problem described above could occur over time due to wear and tear. This could also cause the exposed inner wires of the cord earbud to be damaged.
They Are Susceptible To Water Damage
Two possible causes could be that they fell in water or went through the wash, or they were used during exercise and have suffered damage from being exposed to sweat.
You could dry them in a bag of rice or with a low-temperature hairdryer if they were exposed to water.
However, if your sweat is constant, you might want to invest in sports earbuds.
What Shortens The Lifespan Of Earbuds
There are many other reasons why our earbuds might get damaged. We can prevent these things from happening to prolong the life of our earbuds.
Bending, Twisting, Tugging On, Or Rolling The Cord
This can happen, especially if you are using corded headphones. You could accidentally or intentionally cause the internal wiring of the earbuds to fail, rendering them unusable.
Inadequate Carrying Case
It’s much easier to place your earbuds in your purse or pocket and go. However, this can cause damage to your internal wiring. You can avoid this.
Most earbuds of higher quality are shipped in complex storage cases, so it is recommended to use them.
Pulling On The Chord Instead Of The Plug
Sometimes we are lazy and grab onto the cord to free the earbuds. But, as you’ll soon see, this will damage the wiring and possibly cause the end of your earbuds.
Exposure To Moisture
This point has been mentioned before, but it is essential to remember that earbuds should not be left exposed to moisture for extended periods, just like other electronic devices.
You can expect a shorter life span if you wear your earbuds while working out.
Listening At High Volumes
We all know we need to replace them when they distort at high volumes. However, the main cause of distortion is listening to audio at high volumes.
Keep your maximum listening volume at between seventy-eighty and eighty percent.
Earbuds At An Affordable Price
This may seem obvious, but we sometimes forget that it is usually of lower quality if something is less expensive than its counterparts.
Earbuds can last between six and two years on average. It will depend on the brand and how much abuse they are subject to. The time to replace them is when their sound starts to distort or cease completely.
When buying earbuds, you need to think about the cost. There are earbuds at both the low and high ends. Their price often reflects their quality. If you want your earbuds to the last longer, spend more. If you don’t mind them breaking faster, then spend less. It’s a simple matter of economics.
Also, the more expensive earbuds are likely to have better sound quality and performance than their cheaper counterparts. Rezence hopes you found this article useful and that you’re able to get a new pair of wireless earbuds that will be your favorite.