Noise reducing earbuds are made to block out external noise before it reaches your ear. These noises are cancelled out and this allows the music to be heard with more clarity and without the need to turn up the volume. These lower volumes and less interfering external noises help protect the ears from hearing loss that is sometimes associated with using standard earbuds. However, since the earbuds fit inside the ear it is important to keep them clean and also know how to reduce any pain that may come along with having them inside the ear canal.
Since noise cancelling earbuds are in direct contact with the ear canal, keeping them clean and sanitary is crucial. This is because the earbuds can carry bacteria. The earbuds are made to seal the ear canal and this creates a prime environment for germs to grow in the dark and humid environment of the ear. Wearing the buds for exercise or extended time periods can cause sweat to form in the ear, which just adds to making the ear canal a target for bacteria. These bacteria can set you up for an ear infection. While not usually serious if treated, the pain from ear infections can be very unpleasant.
To prevent bacteria from building up it is important to take steps to keep your noise reducing earbuds clean. Not only can bacteria build up, but earwax can get into the earbud and cause it to become clogged. This also affects the sound quality. The sleeves of the ear buds should be cleaned regularly using either warm soapy water or an antiseptic such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Never put the ear buds directly in water. A dampened cloth used to clean works just fine. If you use foam sleeves they should be replaced regularly since they cannot be cleaned.
After the buds are clean and dry they should be stored in a cloth bag or case to keep them clean when not in use. If you just throw them into your purse or bag they are coming into contact with all the germs inside the bag.
While keeping your earbuds clean will go a long way in protecting your ears from germs, it is also important to protect your ears from the pain that can be caused from having them inside your ear.
Noise cancelling earbuds make listening to music enjoyable. And since they are so portable it is easy to always have them with you for hours of good music from your portable player. This can have some downsides. Leaving ear buds in the ear for long periods of time can cause ear pain in some people. By making yourself familiar with ways to prevent this pain you will be able to listen to your music longer without experiencing as much discomfort from the ear buds. Below are some tips to help ensure the most comfort when wearing earbuds.
Wear the correct size. If you have ears that are smaller the larger noise reducing earbud models may not work well for you. If the bud is too large it puts pressure on the ear canal. Many models now come with ear tips in assorted sizes to ensure a proper fit
If you are active, wear earbuds made for sports. If you will be listening to your portable device while exercising you will need earbuds made to stay in place during activity. If the ear buds are bouncing around in the ear it can cause pain. Also, if they keep falling out and you have to keep putting them back in the ear it can cause irritation
Keep the volume down. Since noise cancelling earbuds block out the external noises the volume doesn't have to be as loud. However, some have grown accustomed to thinking loud has to be better when listening to music. Listening to volumes too high for too long can cause temporary ear pain and even temporary hearing loss and ringing in the ears
Take breaks. It is convenient to have portable music and can be tempting to listen for hours. This can be especially true if you travel a lot. If you are on a long flight or even a passenger on a long car ride, take a break from the music and get the earbuds out of your ear for awhile. Even properly fitting earbuds can put pressure on your ear canal after extended wear and this can lead to ear pain.
Noise reducing earbuds are the best choice for listening to music from your portable player. They provide better protection for hearing and better sound quality from the music. They do require that care be taken however, to ensure they are kept clean to prevent bacteria from getting in the ear. It is also important to know how proper fit and use of the earbuds can prevent the pain that can come from having the buds in the ear.