Category Archives: Care and Use

How to Make the Best of Classroom Headphone Storage

If you are a teacher or administrator in a school or library, there is a high chance that technology and headphones are a part of your toolkit. Storing multiple pairs of headphones in a manner that keeps them clean, safe and yet easy to access is a challenge. Never fear, we have many great solutions for the best classroom headphone storage.

The Listening Center

If you were fortunate to receive your school classroom headphones as part of a listening center, you may have a headphone storage solution built in to your center package. If you are in the purchasing phase, this might be a great option to consider. Listening centers come in wired and wireless varieties, so you can choose the solution that works best for your classroom. Both Califone and Hamilton Buhl offer lab packs with up to 30 headphones and a storage case. If you have not yet purchased your headphones, consider buying them as part of a listening center or lab pack. Many of these options come with a storage case. In addition, the headphones sold as part of a package vary widely. You can choose on-ear or over-the-ear headphones. You can choose mono or stereo headphones or models that have the ability to switch between the two formats. The Titanium series headphones from Califone offer a lifetime guarantee on the headphone cords. You can choose headphones with in-line volume control, mute and on/off switch. Some models are primed to work best with iOS, Chrome or Windows hardware. Headsets with an attached microphone are available. The type of storage solution included may affect your decision: there are toolbox style cases, metal racks, suitcase style cases and a variety of noise canceling options in listening centers, too. With so many options, we can help you find just the right solution for your classroom or library, just ask.

The Storage Case

If you’ve got the headphones but are in need of a place to keep them, check out our selection of cases, bags and racks. Hamilton offers a tool-box style case and a steel rack to keep your headsets organized. Califone offers a wide range of storage options for headphones and your larger tech gear.

More Storage Ideas

If your budget is small or previously allocated and you still need a storage solution for your supply of headphones, we’ve got you covered! Check out these storage solutions from Pinterest.

28881c59dac159082a14e0ada16f7368Do you know someone who is crafty with PVC? PVC can be turned into a number of different storage units, including a rack for your over-the-ear headphones! We’ve also seen PVC pipe used to store yoga balls, colored pencils, ribbon and playground equipment.

132e3bf048ff468aeb82e039c9c00680Got earbuds? There is nothing worse than a big pile of earbuds with cords twisted together. Here is a clever way to use a jewelry case to keep them – and all those cords – organized. Jewelry cases are inexpensive and can also be used to store small rewards, erasers and treats in the classroom.

da886bb6af02cbab8054f62b0e8e9e7fThe variety of repositionable hooks on the market today is astounding. Take a look at your favorite home or craft store to find a style that will work best for you and create a wall storage unit for your headphones. You can position the headphones above computers, tucked out of the way, or create a cozy listening corner like this one.

Whether you are creating a new classroom listening nook or replacing old school classroom headphones with a new listening center package, we’re here to help! Contact us at Encore Data Products for more information about cases, bags and racks.


Extend Headphone, Earbud Life With Disposable Covers

Headphones are an investment, no matter how small or how many. Whether it’s having a classroom equipped with earbuds for 30 students listening to important materials on a computer, or having a high-quality headphone set in a music studio, your headphones serve an important purpose. Therefore it is important to keep them in good shape for present and future listening hours. Using headphone covers not only extends the life of your headphones, but they can also keep your headphones clean for multiple users. Here’s a quick guide to headphone and earbud covers, and their benefits.

earpads50prFoam Earpads: For earbuds, extra foam earpads are great to have on-hand. Many earbuds come with their own set of foam earpads in order to make them feel more comfortable for the wearer. But foam earpads easily wear down from constant use, get dirty or grimy from substances like ear wax, and they easily fall off and get lost. Having replacement foam earpads not only keeps your earbuds sanitary, but they can ensure comfortable listening for all users. If you want to extend the life of your foam earpads, they are also very easy to clean and wash. Just put them in a bath of soapy hot water, then air dry. Though they are relatively inexpensive, this could be a great way for teachers to stretch their classroom budget, especially with younger kids who play with or remove the earpads frequently.

Earpad Covers (Over-the-Ear and On-Ear): Earpad covers are a great way to provide sterile headphones in settings that involve many users wearing the same headset. Hotels, airplanes, hospitals, libraries, schools, audio labs, and more can benefit from having sanitary, disposable earpad covers. Earpad covers will not only prevent the transmission of lice, bacteria, skin cells, and more from contaminating multiple people, but they also keep the headphones safe from dirt and contamination when left on high-traffic surfaces. Sanitary earphone covers are also hypoallergenic, which allows users with various allergies to use the community headphones without the worry of a reaction. Disposable headphone covers are easy to use, do not distort sound quality, and are very affordable. The Hamilton HygenX covers come in white, blue and black.

Replacement Ear Cushions: For over-the-ear headphone models like Hamilton’s HA5, HA7 and SC7V, having extra, replaceable ear cushions will also extend the life of your headphones. While ear cushions do have a long lifespan, constant use and exposure to sweat and temperature differences can cause the pleather or leather cushions to crack. Long periods of use, especially in a warm environment, can make these headphones susceptible to cracking. Damage can also be caused by improper storage of these headphones. For example, headphones that fall off surfaces or get dragged along carpets and rough floors can reduce the cushion’s quality. In addition, the cushion lining can lose its shape over time, making it uncomfortable to the wearer. To keep them in better shape, using earpad covers will reduce sweat on the headphones, while also providing a sterile environment for the wearer. But, if you do need to buy new cushions, using a leather protector will also help lengthen their lifespan, and proper care by wiping them down will also help.

Overall, buying disposable headphone covers is a great, long-term alternative to buying disposable headphone sets, and can improve the longevity of your headphones. Not only do they protect your audio equipment, but they also improve the listening experiences of your clients or audiences by taking away any worry about sanitary issues. Furthermore, keeping your headphones clean will give you a better return on your equipment. To learn more about headphone covers and cushions, contact us. We can help you find the options most pertinent for your headphone needs.

Gripcase: Full Protection and Convenience

Gripcase Encore Data ProductsiPads are prevalent in daily work and life for libraries, schools, businesses, and likely yourself. Gripcase has invented iPad accessories that protect your investment in this rapidly expanding technology and improve proficiency for education, work and during presentations. The Gripcase is convenient and ergonomic and some models will even help your iPad function more like a laptop, so you can work in places you couldn’t before. Here at Encore Data Products, we carry a wide variety of Gripcase products with options to help make your iPad work more efficiently.

The Ergonomics of Gripcase Products

One thing many iPad owners don’t always take seriously enough is the ergonomic factor. Most people use their iPads in their laps or held upright with one hand. This can sometimes put a strain on your wrists or hands if you use your iPad for hours at a time at work or at home, especially for students. It’s also uncomfortable to work on an iPad without proper grips available or enabling it to stand up on end. The Gripcase is the perfect device with a four-handle design on the case for easy carrying or holding. Each corner of the grip is durable so you don’t have to worry about your iPad getting damaged if you drop it or run into something. Plus, you have a 360-degree raised bumper to help protect the screen when the device falls flat. Gripcase is available for all models of the iPad.

The Gripcase Scribe

GCA_Slider_LibraryScribeTouchThe new Gripcase Scribe provides the same high level of protection that you’d expect from Gripcase and pairs it with a highly functional, durable keyboard and integrated pen/stylus. Many wireless keyboards are very small and aren’t easy to use. The Gripcase Scribe keyboard is an oversized folio keyboard, measuring 1.25 inches bigger than the standard folio keyboard. On the Scribe keyboard, you will have better responsiveness for improved typing accuracy, no matter where you are. The keyboard snaps onto the case when not in use, providing added screen protection on the go. When you want to prop your iPad up to watch a movie, you can with the integrated Gripcase Scribe stand. Gripcase added Sound Forward technology to the Scribe case. This case positions the speaker at a better angle so you’ll have an improved audio experience. You will appreciate this when showing a video or other media during class or business presentations.

Gripcase Accessories

Gripcase offers a number of accessories to maximize your comfort and efficiency while working on your iPad. These include a sling shoulder strap for securing your device while working in the field and the Gripcase base for keeping your iPad upright and secure on your desk or workspace.

Contact us here at Encore Data Products to learn more about Gripcase many other media-related products that make your work, home, or educational life easier.

EMTEC Traveler Bags: Protect Your Digital Devices While On the Go

If you are constantly traveling for business and need proper storage for your digital devices, an EMTEC traveler bag is a smart investment. What makes EMTEC so outstanding is that you get a quality bag with excellent storage features without having to pay a fortune. Here at Encore Data Products, you can buy several EMTEC traveler bags for nearly half off the suggested retail price.

It’s one reason why we recommend EMTEC as a brand to trust when on the road. Take a look at the level of protection you’ll have with an EMTEC bag and the type of devices it holds. Without one, you have a lot more elements to worry about than you think when your mobile device gets depended upon for business.

Laptop Protection

Even if tablets are slowly starting to overtake laptops for mobile devices used in travel, a laptop is still necessary for many applications. No matter if you use Windows or use a MacBook, you probably have reams of business data loaded on your laptop. In reality, your laptop has the potential of being stolen or damaged in an unfortunate accident. The worst case scenario is complete destruction of your device.

When you use EMTEC’s Bag L variation (priced at $24.99), you’ll have a storage bag for laptops up to 15.6 inches. Intended for the MacBook Pro, you have complete protection from the elements thanks to an airtight compartment so your laptop doesn’t attract dust.

Made with quality canvas, you can also count on this EMTEC bag being durable for years.

You’ll also find EMTEC’s Bag M (priced at $19.99) for laptops and MacBooks in the 13-inch range. All of these bags have a removable and adjustable shoulder strap for convenience when you have to walk long distances in airports, or easily remove it when storing your bag on airlines.

Protecting Your iPad

As iPads continue to become the most popular mobile devices for business use, you will also want to protect it as much as a laptop. Apple devices are stolen often and you don’t want your iPad or iPad Air sitting around in random places where someone could snatch it.

Because iPad screens also have the potential for damage, you don’t want it exposed when out in the elements. EMTEC’s Bag S (priced at $18.99) is perfect for all iPads or iPad Air. The lining within the protective compartment is cotton polyester for assured durability and smoothness to prevent scratches.

As with the laptop bag, you will have a shoulder strap that’s removable or adjustable so you can customize for your traveling situation. You can’t always find this option with other bags at a reasonable price.

Protecting Your iPad Mini

You may prefer using an iPad Mini for business or educational purposes while traveling. We don’t always realize how vulnerable smaller mobile devices are in  comparison to larger technology. EMTEC’s Traveler Sleeve is a 7-inch pouch that provides all the protection you need for your iPad Mini. And it’s only $13.99.

Contact us here at Encore Data Products to find out more about EMTEC travel bags and how they protect all mobile devices.

How to Extend the Life of your Headphones

With the growth of technology and mobile devices, headphones and headsets are increasingly becoming as important and as mobile as their electronic device counterparts. But do they get the same care and treatment? While many models are designed with simplicity in mind and the expectation that they will get replaced, learning to take good care of your headphones can be important.Here is a simple how to for extending the life of your headphones/headsets, no matter their use and type.

First Step: Choosing Quality

One of the ways to extend the life of your headphones is to pick a set of headphones that are fit for their use. Asking yourself questions like: will these headphones be mobile or stationary at a workplace? Would you benefit from headphones with wires, or could you immensely improve your listening experiences with wireless headphones? Will your listening need to include low bass capabilities, high volumes, or general use? And if you do have headphones or headsets with wires, what length is appropriate? These questions can help you pick out the right headphones with the specifications suited for your audio needs.

For example, a music studio sound engineer can benefit from a quality over-the-ear headset, capable of handling higher power, low and high frequencies, and heavy bass. A headphone set that cannot handle these qualities might get damaged during listening. In addition, he or she could use a shorter, yet durable cable, if they headphones are meant to stay close to the mixing board.

In contrast, having disposable bulk headphones can be a perfect option for environments where headphones will be used by multiple people – think classrooms of children or learning labs and libraries. Kids can get sick and having disposable options in the library can be better than buying hygienic covers, in some cases. In a classroom, where students can be taught to carefully clean headphones and change out hygienic covers, a more sturdy headphone may be best. By picking the right set of headphones you have a better chance of ensuring their longevity.

Overall Care and Storage

A lot of headphone damage comes from improper storage, whether you have on-ear or over-the-ear headphones, wireless or corded. From throwing them into backpacks where they can slide to the bottom (and get crushed by books), or letting them hang and fall off tables, headphone life is easily shortened just by a poor system of storage.

The best way to care for headphones is to have a specific place or case for them. If your headphones are to be used while traveling, placing in a special carry case or bag can make it easy to take from place to place, while keeping them safe from being crushed or tangled. A case is also great for long-term storage, as it keeps your headphones safe from humidity or temperature changes. When exposed to wet conditions or extreme temperatures, the headphones can short-circuit or lose quality over time.

In stationary situations (such as computer labs and classrooms), having a storage rack for headphones will keep them from getting tangled, or from being placed in precarious situations. Especially in a busy classroom, where headphones can be knocked off desks and stepped on, a storage rack is a great solution for minimizing damage.

Cable Wrapping

One of the most vulnerable components of headphone sets are their cables. They can be dragged, rolled over by chairs, tangled easily, or snapped by drawer doors, all instances that can reduce the life of your headphones. The key component to wrapping your cables neatly is to do it regularly and properly by following the cables natural bends.

There are many methods for neatly wrapping cables, such as the devil horns method. For headphones with big earpieces, wrapping the cables around the set is a simple way of keeping them neat and untangled.

When you do notice wear on your cables, especially at its jack connector, using a product like Sugru to keep it from falling apart can be a simple fix.


Besides coiling your headphone cables the right way, the best way to extend the life of your headphones is to care for the earpieces. Cleaning them with disinfecting wipes frequently will keep dust particles from damaging the hearing components. With foam covers, simply washing them in warm soapy water and air drying them is best. These foam covers should also be replaced as time passes, since they lose quality to wear.

Overall, headphones can last a long time when you pick the right ones for your audio needs and store them properly. For more headphone tips or advice when choosing headphones, contact us.

How to Take Care of Earbuds: Buying Choices and General Maintenance

The process of how to take care of earbuds is something you probably haven’t thought enough about if you are replacing your earbuds too often. While you probably think earbuds are easily dispensable and you can easily replace any that break in a hurry, the cost of doing so can add up over time. Especially when you use earbuds on a regular basis to listen to music or perhaps learn a foreign language, you may not realize how much you’re spending for replacements.

These same costs easily add up for a school that provides earbuds for students to use with interactive software or for taking tests. With students wearing earbuds every day for some kind of learning project, you’re probably seeing far too many sets break due to lack of care.

You have some relatively simple steps available to help your earbuds last ten times longer. By taking the advice below, you won’t have to worry about your earbuds breaking at the worst possible moments. You’ve likely experienced this scenario more than once during a critical moment.

Buying Quality Earbuds

There really isn’t anything more important than investing in quality earbuds in order to assure they last longer. No doubt you’ve been tempted to find and buy cheaper earbuds with the thought a cheaper brand is just as good as ones $50 or more. The truth is, quality frequently comes in the price you pay.

However, it all depends on the context of how you use your earbuds. If you plan to use them only temporarily (as in testing for students), you could buy disposable earbuds for much cheaper and have them hold up well during the interim.

Here at Encore Data Products, we offer earbuds like this that you can buy in bulk. When you do, you ultimately save more money than if you buy a more expensive set of earbuds for your own private use. These are also from some of the top audio equipment makers like AVID.

This isn’t to say that if you invest in more expensive earbuds for the classroom or for your own use at home, you can’t take care of them well. With some basic steps, you assure your earbuds hold up for at least a year or more.

Unplugging Your Earbuds When Not in Use

When you’re used to using your earbuds daily, you perhaps don’t take the time to unplug them from your iPod or other mobile device. Once you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to form the bad habit of wrapping the earbud cords around your iPod for quick convenience.

The more you do this, the more it could damage the wires and affect how well the earbuds work. Even if it sounds like the new “don’t run with scissors,” it’s best to unplug your earbuds, especially if you won’t use them for a while.

Cleaning the Earbuds, and Your Own Ears

All of our quality earbuds and earphones here at Encore Data Products are easy to clean with a simple cloth. The more you clean them, the less likely particles from the human ear get into the crevices and later cause damage.

Basic hygiene on cleaning your ears before earbud use also helps prevent earwax from becoming a problem. Still, we know earwax isn’t always controllable, which makes daily cleaning all the more important.

Proper Storage for Earbuds

The simple concept of proper storage for your earbuds assures they won’t get damaged while sitting out in the open. You can find some great storage ideas here. We have carry cases, storage racks, and bags. These all work well in the classroom as well when your students depend on earbuds for their interactive education.

Contact us here at Encore Data Products to find out more about the type of earbuds and quality earphones we provide.