Not long ago, Apple introduced a new product – the EarPods, which is an earphone designed to fit in every human ears and for a better audio quality with a completely redesigned drivers. The new design overcomes issues that older generation of Apple Earphones is suffering. Apple spent three years on designing these earphones and fortunately, Apple didn’t go through these years fruitless. It now doesn’t fall off from our ears easily, better comfort and most of all better sound quality. However, there are some unsatisfied consumers with one or two feedbacks. Some claims that it starts to produce unwanted noise after a few months or so while some says left/right speaker stopped working. Still, there’s feel having issues with fitting and causing ear-sores after a few hours of listening section. According to my experience, these issues can be fixed with just a few steps and it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you follow the path below and this not only apply to Apple Earpods, it too applies to others earphone or IEM in general.
Usually caused by the size of the eartips and the nature size of the earphone. The most common cause of uncomfortable fits is the earphones wearing style. Some IEMs also known as In-Ears Monitors, are meant to wear over the ear and the best example is ShureSE215 & UltimateEars UE900. They are both designed to wear over the ear to reduce the noise from the cable being transmitted into our ear canals and for a tighter fit to avoid it falling off during rough movements but there’s a few users prefer wearing it normally as they find it weird to for wearing it over the ears. Without wearing the earphone properly as suggested by the manufacturers might cause serious injuries to your ears. However, not all earphones are designed to be worn over the ear, Apple Earpods for example.
Bacterias are the main reason of ear-sore. In-ear and earbuds are the only types of headphone that touches our ear canals. It is important to keep it clean to avoid bacterias growing in our ears. To clean your earphones, I would recommend you not use wet cloth, using a dry cleaning cloth and gently clean it. If the eartips are removable, remove it and wash it with water from the water tap. Do not use warm water as this will damage the silicone. Wash it and dry it. Avoid using cleaning cloth to dry it as cleaning cloth might contain a tiny bit of fine dust that couldn’t be seen with naked eyes. Dry it this way:
Using smaller size eartips will too increase comfort as it will put in less pressure to the ear. Also, it is easier to remove whenever you wanted to. Easier doesn’t mean you could pull it out straight off. Gently pull it out in a twisting way and this will reduce damage to your ears.
If you have an issue with silicone eartips, I would recommend you to give foam eartips a try. It will also increase isolations from external noise. Do note that, foam eartips are not meant to last like silicone and it is not meant to be washed with water. Ones it gets dirty, you are asked to throw it away and replace a new one & foam catches ear wax easier than with silicone.
Last but not least in terms of comfort is that some earphones are massive. Even larger than Apple Earpods and it is considered small in comparison. Massive doesn’t mean uncomfortable fits, it should have its own shape and follow the instruction given by the manufacturer. Fitting shouldn’t be a problem after all but if you really do, you will really have to go hard core provided that you love how your earphones sound except for it’s fitting problems. Go for custom earphone; it’s a type of earphone that is designed to only fit into one person’s ear as those are shaped accordingly to your ears to maximize comfort and as comfort improved, sound quality will too improved. It is very costly as you need to make an appointment with an audiologist to measure your ears size and technical charges is there.
A lot of users are suffering from this as they didn’t take good care of it. Here’s a few tips on how to take care of it:
1] Burn-in: When you first unbox your new earphone, you must give it a burn-in before you turn up the volume high. At this state, the drivers are still very weak pushing up the volume will cause the headphone driver/speaker to die faster. Play it with any music at a decent volume maybe 45%-50% of it’s max volume for 4 hours a day and not more than that. Do it for 3 days and it should be ready to turn up the volume and the sound quality shall improved. I highly not recommend pushing the volume to more than 85dB as this will loosen the drivers and start creating unwanted noises. Playing it at most 50% of its max volume are loud enough as anything more than 85dB will cause hearing lose. Burn-in are not necessary for balanced armatures earphones and no effect will take place.
2] Dust: Avoid dusty environment for earphones or headphones. Dust goes in and out of your earphones a lot. If too much dust is living inside it will affect the movement of sound and degrade the sound quality.
3] Moistures: Moistures can be produced in earphones if it is not taken care. It is hard to avoid as air consists of humility it is just matter of times but you can slow it down by keeping it in a provided case or inside a clean drawer instead of open air.
4] Avoid it from hitting anything as this will damage the drivers and its one of the fastest ways to spoil it. If you are the kind of person who are very careless, avoid it from hanging around the neck as it will swing around.
Putting earphone into a pocket without case is definitely not a good idea. As we all know that pocket tangle cables and you never know how it tangles it. It might cause too much pressure at one or two points of the cable thus cutting the copper inside. Highly not recommended!
Tangling does get tricky at times. The Apple Earpods user need not worry as the provided case tangle cables decently but in case you lose the case, here’s a step by step picture tips on how I tangle my earphone:
Site Note: My earphone cable is in J-Cord and around 15cm long without an extension cable. Tangling method for the last steps might be different a little. For earphones with equal length on each side, roll in both the earpiece at the same time.
Keeping earphones clean does not only keep you away from suffering any issues mentioned above, it too improve the overall sound quality and remember, it is very important to clean it every week. Take it as a habit and earphones or headphones should be able to last over a decade! Believe it or not, the majority of the now discontinued Sennheiser HD580 units is still in perfect condition! Ever since the release of HD580 on December 1994 until the now considered historical headphone, it still sounds excellent and highly recommended if you could find it at second hand!
Last but not least, avoid hanging earphone or headphone around your neck as it can be easily stolen from the back without you noticing as we all knows that earphones and headphones are light in weight.
Do you have any tips and tricks regarding earphones or headphones? Feel free to share with us under the comment below!