Tired of the same old headphone hacks just as much as with your same old headphones? Here are 10 completely new ways to give your music a makeover, and deal with old or inferior headphones.
Prevent Them From Bending Using Springs
A lot of earphones I’ve lost to wear and tear usually suffer ruptures close to the joints, whether it be just above the audio jack or around the split in the wire. There is a simple solution to that problem, thankfully.
All you need is an old click-pen or a toy which has a spring in it. Get the spring out, and slip it around the wire close to the joint you want to secure. You can then slip it to make it lie smugly on top of the joint you want to protect. Don’t be shy to snip off the densely coiled ends of the spring to make the winding easier.
The springs make sure your earphones’ joints stay straighter, so there’s significantly less wearing out at the ends.
Never Lose Wireless Earbuds! Fit Them in Earmuffs
The biggest problem with wireless earbuds is how easy it is to lose them. They fall out unexpectedly or get misplaced at least twice a year, at least for me. I found a solution by using a little wire to sew a loop on a pair of earmuffs, approximately at the position I calculated I’d need my earbuds to be. I made sure the loop was just about the size of my earbuds, not too tight to be difficult to pull out, and not too soft to not stay put in case of a jerk.
I placed my earbuds in the hooks. And then I found an old pair of earmuff felt coverings that i placed over the earpieces, and then carefully cut out circles for the earpieces to pop out. Now I need only carry my earmuffs, and my ears stay warm in December while also letting me listen to my tunes. I can remove the earbuds to charge them and pop them back in!
Prevent Tangles by Wrapping Around a Spectacle Case
Have one of those old plastic cases from when you had your old pair of glasses made? They’re not just great for storing something; you can also wrap your earphones around them and have them stay tangle-free no matter how many days you leave them in your bag. People also use pencils, but I’m not really a fan of those curly headphone wires, personally.
Clean Them Using Hand Sanitiser
How many people clean their earphones? Not nearly enough, which is what makes me paranoid about sharing my earphones or using someone else’s usual pair. Turns out it is surprisingly easy to clean your earphones or earbuds using something as commonplace as hand sanitiser or rubbing alcohol.
Just wet a qtip in some hand sanitiser or rubbing alcohol and scrub at the plastic tube of in-ear headphones. Then clean the outer concave. You can even go ahead and clean the exterior of the wire, the microphone and other plastic bits.
Just be careful not to wet the circuitry, since there can be some water content in rubbing alcohol, and there is surely some water in hand sanitiser. Both hand sanitiser and rubbing alcohol kill germs as well as dissolve earwax, oil and other organic grime that may be stuck to it.
Dead Headphones? Make the Wires Into Christmas Ornaments
This one is my favorite. All you need to make your own christmas ornaments is a bunch of old earphones, a pair of scissors, some hot glue and paints of your choice, be it spray paints, acrylic paint or washable water colors.
To begin, snip off the ends of the earphones to get uniform pieces of wire. Start turning the earphones on one end to make a nice spiral shape, using hot glue to keep things together. Don’t worry, you can use a sharp paper cutter to clean off the excess glue later. When you have a nice diameter, leave some bit of wire to fashion into a loop that you can use to hand the ornament to your tree. You can then paint the circle in your favorite colors, make patterns on it, or even paste a photo of Santa you cut in a round shape.
You can also get creative with the shapes. Use cookie cutters lined on the outside with butter paper to get a nice star shape or a gingerbread man, leaving the centre empty. Or instead on making a spiral and making loops outwards, line the wire along the length to get a mould. Endless possibilities, really.
Use Wire Ties to Make Exercise-Friendly Headphones
A lot of people complain about their headphones popping out while they work out, exposing them to terrible gym music. If you have a few wire ties lying around (chances are you do, if you’ve ever bought a wired gadget), you can fashion them into ear hooks. Simply wrap a tie a few times at the neck of your earbud, and use the rest of the length to make into spectacle-like ear-holders.
Some people don’t find this very comfortable, and it is understandable. You can make the sharp wire tie more bearable by enclosing it in a bendable drinking straw or a thin bendable plastic pipe or capillary. Put the bendable part of the straw at the place the wiretie is going to rest on your ear; don’t worry, just eyeball it. You can seal the end with some hot glue.
Use Swimming Earbuds to Make Cheap and Super-Effective Noise Isolating Earphones
You can buy ear-sealing earbuds at a store that sells sportswear. The ones you’re going to need are the ones made of foam, preferably memory foam. Cut them at an approximate length to fit well in your ear. Press them along their axis to make them into a flat circle. Then, use a punch machine to cut out a hole at the centre. Let the earbuds return to their size. Use some strong glue to attack the earpieces to the foam earbuds, and voila! You have noise cancelling, smug fitting earbuds ready at barely any cost.
This only works with in-ear earbuds, but it is great if you end up losing one or both earbuds, or want to replace them anyway. Also, feel free to adjust the width of the hole using a paper cutter. It is easy to do it after flattening it.
Boring/Dead Headphones? Make them Into Earmuffs!
Have a great pair of headphones that would be a shame to throw away? I’m talking about a great pair of earphones that are collapsible, extendable or designed like something a tech god would wear. Instead of throwing them when they stop working, cut out the wire, put some felt or woolen fabric on the back and stitch it to the earcup. Fill the headphone cup with fabric or cottonwool or feathers from an old pillow or even some foam.
Feel free to add more padding to make it as cozy as possible. Stitch it up again. You can experiment with the way you line the stitching and padding to get a whole variety of earmuffs, be it the ear-enveloping kind, the flatter kind that just sits on your ears (easier to wear with jewelry) or something completely different. Your ears can be toasty and you can show off your purchase a lot longer. You could even combine it with the second hack with the wireless earbuds!
Recycle Useless Earphones to Keep Other Wires Organised
This one’s really simple. You know how earphones are really tough to untangle? Well, it can come in handy. Cut out the ends of your earphones and use them to tie your desktop’s wires together. You can keep your workstation organised this way, make sure your keep laptop chargers neatly arranged and lots more.
Make The Built-in Microphone Detect Sound Much Better
This might be helpful if you’re trying to send voice notes over messenger or whatsapp but your earphone mic picks up too much of your breath. Get some cotton wool or a paper towel and pay it on top of the microphone. Try experimenting with the sound quality (you can make an empty group to send voice notes to in case you’re too self conscious to send some to a friend). Once you’re satisfied, tie the ends with some string. If you have a mic that juts out from the headphones, you may be able to just buy a gelt or foam mic-cover.
There are a whole lot other creative ways you can better your headphone experience. Try them out and tell us how well they work for you.
You can read about more headphones hacks here