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The Dos and Don’ts of Using Earbuds Safely

Earbuds have become a ubiquitous accessory in the modern world. They provide us with a convenient way to listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. However, prolonged use of earbuds can cause damage to our ears. In this article, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of using earbuds safely.

The Dos

Use Earbuds with Noise Cancelling Features

Exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss. When using earbuds, it is beneficial to select ones with noise-cancelling features. This type of earbud will block out external noise, allowing you to listen to music at a lower volume, without the external world drowning out your songs.

Take Regular Breaks

Prolonged use of earbuds can cause ear fatigue. It is essential to take regular breaks to give your ears time to rest. A good rule of thumb is to take a break from noises in general for every hour of earbud use.

Keep Earbuds Clean

Earbuds can accumulate dirt, wax, and other debris. It is essential to clean them regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. You can clean your earbuds with a tweezer, dry cloth, or a mild cleaning solution.

Store Earbuds Properly

Proper storage of earbuds can prevent damage, keep them hygenic, and prolong their lifespan. When not in use, store your earbuds in a protective case. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures and moisture whenever possible.

Use Comfortable Ear Tips

Earbuds come with different sizes and shapes of ear tips. It is essential to choose the ones that fit comfortably in your ears. Ill-fitting ear tips can cause discomfort and even pain. If worn too long, ill-fitted earbuds can cause redness, swelling, and even openings in your skin.

The Don’ts

Don’t Use Earbuds at High Volume

Listening to music for extended periods of time at high volumes can cause severe hearing damage. It is essential to keep the volume at a safe level. A good rule of thumb is to keep your audio content at or below 60% of the maximum.

Don’t Share Earbuds

Sharing earbuds can be a potential health risk. The bacteria and microorganisms that can be found in your ears can easily be transferred to someone else if you share your earbuds. Not doing so can help prevent the spread of infections and diseases. Regularly cleaning your earbuds can help eliminate any buildup of bacteria, wax, or other debris that may accumulate over time, but you should still avoid lending them to others.

Don’t Use Earbuds While Driving

Using earbuds while driving can be dangerous. It can reduce your ability to hear important sounds, such as car horns and emergency sirens. In many places it’s even illegal to wear them while operating a vehicle. Best practice, regardless of where you live, is to keep earbuds in their case when driving.

Don’t Sleep with Earbuds In

Sleeping with earbuds in can cause discomfort and even pain, but there are also other factors that suggest you should remove them before going to bed. The pressure of the earbuds on your ears can cause irritation and soreness, and in some cases, even lead to infection. Moreover, if the earbuds aren’t cordless, they can become tangled or knotted while you sleep, potentially damaging them. Additionally, sleeping with earbuds in can make it difficult to hear important sounds during the night, such as a fire alarm or a family member calling for help.


Earbuds provide us with a convenient way to listen to music and other audio content. However, it is essential to use them safely and responsibly. By following the dos and don’ts discussed in this article, you can ensure that your ears remain healthy and free from damage.

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