Do Earbuds Get Quieter Over Time? Important Facts

Choosing to use earbuds means investing in a brand, and relying on them to be worth their cost over time. However, as we all know, there is always a chance for any electronic device to lose functionality over time. As such, it is reasonable to wonder if your investment into high quality earbuds is worth it, and if there is a chance they can become quieter with age.

In most cases, earbuds are left quite vulnerable, as you cannot keep them away from the external elements. As a result, they can be prone towards damage as they get older. Degradation usually starts with something like static sound, but if you can catch the signs early and be careful, you can delay wear and tear for a lot longer.

Obviously, no one wants to see their earbuds sustain damage, and we like to think we will do whatever we can to prevent damage. However, that is often easier said than done. Luckily, there are a few small preventative steps you can take to help your earbuds survive for longer. Keep reading to learn more about what causes damage and how to avoid it.

Do Your Earbuds Get Quieter With Time?

Just like any other electronic device, the sound on your earbuds may lower over time. This is simply a result of the inner mechanism of the earbuds. They produce sound waves, which can damage the internal components over time due to qualities like the bass. This can result in a lower sound, as well as a buzzing sound or static noise. 

One of the biggest reasons that contribute to this phenomenon is listening to music at a high volume. Not only is this damaging for your ear, but it also causes damage to the earbuds itself. Sometimes, this can go hand in hand. After all, if your ability to perceive sound is affected, you will not be able to notice the same volume level, and you may hear lower. 

Sometimes, the issue is external rather than the inner mechanics of your earbuds. If you use earbuds you will notice that there is often a structural effort to seal the ear canal. When you use earbuds for a longer time, this seal loosens, which means they will not fit perfectly. As a result, you may think there is an issue with the volume, when it is really with the seal. 

In other cases, the problem comes down to the battery. This is the case for earbuds that use up a lot of battery life, as over time their ability to handle the power requirement can diminish, which may cause a lower volume. On the other hand, sometimes the earbuds get quiet because of breaks or damage to the earbuds, the inner wiring, or the components. 

Related: 5 Reasons Why Raycons Are Bad Earbuds

Reasons For Damaged Earphones Over Time

The reason why your headphone can sustain damage over time can vary depending on your situation, but there are certain things that are more likely to cause damage. Once you are aware of these potential problems, you can be cautious and take measures to help your precious earbuds survive for even longer. 


Most earbuds come in some kind of case to keep them in ideal storage conditions. But let’s be real, a lot of the time, you may feel tempted to just throw them into your bag or pockets. Keep in mind that improper storage can severely harm your earbuds. The most common reason for this is temperature differences, which can affect the internal wires and parts.


Accidentally exposing your earbuds to water or moisture is extremely dangerous. This can be anything from rain, to sweat, or even leaving them outside. This can slowly damage your earbuds and restrict their ability to play music efficiently. There are ways to absorb moisture, such as keeping them clean and storing them safely when you are not using them. 


We all know that earbuds require efficient charging to work properly. However, if you charge them too often or not as often as you need, you can damage the battery. As a result, the ability of the earbuds to charge and dispense power will become severely affected. Using the instructions from the manufacturer to charge your earbuds is the best course of action. 

Related: Why Do Earbuds Have Mesh On Them?

The Average Lifespan Of Earbuds

Let’s be real – earbuds don’t generally come cheap. You will most likely spend a decent amount of money in purchasing your earbuds, so it is reasonable to question what their potential lifespan will be. Usually, it is not exactly the most effective thing to try and nail down exactly how long earbuds can survive, as there is no exact science to help you out here. 

In general, how long your earbuds will survive depends on the way it is built, such as the materials that the manufacturer will use to create it, and how you use it. With a good pair of earbuds, you may find that the device will last you for at least four years. That being said, you may notice a decline in quality after just a couple of years of use. 

The better the quality of your earbuds, the longer their speakers will be in use, and the longer their batteries will work. Even the best quality earbuds will show a decline at some point, so you need to focus instead on measures you can take to delay the inevitable. If you use your earbuds with less care, they will be more likely to show signs of damage. 

How To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Earbuds

We have talked extensively about the reasons why earbuds can decline in quality, and what you can expect in terms of lifespan. However, what you need to consider is the ways that you can stand out and prevent damage by taking care of a few essential things. With a little care, you can keep earbuds older than the average lifespan working in excellent condition.

Protect The Charging Case

Unlike headphones, which you plug into a wired jack, taking care of earbuds is often easier. However, the best way to keep them working for longer is to protect the charging case and leads. The longer you take care of the case, the better the chances that you can keep your earbuds in working condition for a much longer stretch of time. 

Clean The Headphones

We place earbuds inside the ear canal, and that is a space where there is a huge chance of the accumulation of dust, dirt, and earwax. The accumulation of these materials can be a major source of damage to your headphones. Therefore, you can be proactive and keep the earbuds clean after every use. Also make sure to schedule a detailed cleaning every month.

Don’t Share Too Much

One of the most common ways you will see your earbuds face damage is if you let someone borrow them. The fact of the matter is that other people are unlikely to take care of your earbuds like you can. This is very common within family members, but the best way to use earbuds is to have your own device to reduce risk of damage and even infections.

Signs You Need To Upgrade Your Earbuds

So, you are struggling to get your earbuds to perform, but when do you throw the towel and admit defeat? When do you know that it is time to change up the earbuds you are using? We all know at this point that there is a good chance your earbuds will stop working as you need over time, so when do you know that it is time for an upgrade?

In most cases, the biggest sign of damage to your earbuds is the change in quality of sound. Once this starts to happen, the core function of the earbuds is already gone. This can be in the form of a rattling sound, distortions, static noise, and more. Once you hear this, you should start looking for a new set, although you can try a cleaning before you decide. 

If the charging case is where you see the damage, you may not need to change the earbuds, but it might be the time to change the case itself. Most retailers will allow you to buy a new case, but keep in mind, it can get pretty expensive. In such a scenario, most users opt to buy a new version or a new brand altogether to make a worthy purchase. 

Another sign that it is time for a change is if there is clear physical damage to the earbuds themselves. If your earbuds are broken, or if there are cracks on the device, it is either close to being nonfunctional or it already is. Exposed wiring can also come about, which happens to be extremely dangerous and can cause injury if you continue to use the earbuds.


For many people, earbuds are an important purchase. And there is no doubt that everyone wants that purchase to be worthwhile. It is understood that the earbuds won’t last forever, but with a few simple steps, you can extend their life well beyond the average. 

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