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Is Removing the Headphones from an MP3 Player Bad?

written by: Erik Hinrichsen•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 10/14/2010

Is removing the headphones from an MP3 player bad? Find out the answer to this question and learn some useful tips on how to make your headphones last longer.

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    With each passing year, MP3 players are becoming ever-smaller and sturdier. While these technological advances have improved the durability of MP3 players, there are still a few weak spots that often lead to damage. One of the most common causes of MP3 player malfunction is, surprisingly, removing the headphones. In fact, the question, "Is removing headphones from MP3 player bad?" is a good one. Removing the headphones from the jack very forcefully can, over time, damage the connection and require repair to the device. Mistreatment of your headphones also accelerates their wear and may cause them to fail earlier. Though the $10-20 cost of replacing earbuds is a far cry from the expense of replacing an MP3 player, such expenses can add up if you're replacing headphones every few months.

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    So, is removing the headphones from an MP3 player bad?

    The answer is no, not really. Provided you don't use too much force, it is completely fine the remove the headphones from your MP3 player. With modern MP3 players like the iPod, the headphone jacks are well-engineered and shouldn't be damaged by such small forces. However, some devices are either poorly made or defective, and removing the headphones over and over again could eventually damage the connection from the jack to the player hard drive. To avoid damaging your iPod or other MP3 player, make sure to remove and install the headphones gently. You won't do any damage by sliding the headphones into the headphone jack. However, if you tend to rip your headphones out by the cord or jab them into the jack, then you do have a real chance of damaging your device.

    Removing the headphones from your MP3 player is actually more likely to damage the headphones than the device itself. Headphones contain thin wires which carry a signal from your player to your ears; these wires can be pulled out of their dock. When this happens, your headphones will stop working. In fact, this is the biggest cause of failure in headphones, and seems to be inevitable. You can prolong the lifespan of your headphones by always treating them gently (never rip them out by the cord!). Also, unplug the cable from the MP3 player when you are not using it. The connection to the MP3 player is the weakest part of the headphones, and the wiring may be gradually damaged by wear and tear if you leave the headphones plugged in all the time.

    If you suspect that your headphone jack is broken, don't despair. Repair shops can easily fix a disconnected headphone jack, and you may get the problem taken care of for free if the device is still under warranty.

    So, in conclusion, removing the headphones from your MP3 player is not bad, provided you don't yank too hard on the cord.