Earbuds can be tricky when it comes to sound, especially since many are made to be disposable or for easy listening. However, there are various things you can do to improve their sound, using objects that are most likely already in your classroom, office or home. Here are 5 steps to making to make your earbuds sound better – even if they are bulk disposable earbuds.
1. Place them in your ears correctly. It’s very basic tip, but many people find that the sound quality of their earbuds are due to the way they fit in your ears, not the earbud quality itself. The earbuds should make a seal that helps direct sound waves to the ear canal, so placement is key to getting the best sound. The easiest way to insure that your earbuds are in place is to try the earlobe tug test: simply tug on your earlobe a little bit before inserting the earbud, place it inside your ear as you normally would, then release your ear lobe. Depending on the angle you’ve tugged your ear lobe, the earbud should fit better. Definitely test out different ways to find the best fit. If you feel like your earbuds just don’t fit properly, it might be time to look for a different model, or add foam pads to help it stay in place comfortably. Also note that your ears might have slight differences, so if the ear tug does not work as well for one ear as it does for the other, it could just be a difference in the ears.
2. Clean your earbuds regularly. When you wear your earbuds, they slowly become coated with earwax and natural oils from your ears. Over time, that build-up can change the quality of the sound. Giving them a regular cleaning with a slightly damp microfiber cloth and some soap will remove the wax and oils from the earbuds. For very dirty earbuds, you might also want to use a toothbrush to clean them. If you use foam covers, you should also gently wash these regularly by soaking them in soapy water and air drying them completely before use. Not only will the cleaning help with keeping your earbuds hygienic, but they can go a long way to improve sound.
3. Amplify them with everyday objects. There are also DIY tutorials online that will broaden your earbud’s abilities, and therefore sound quality. If you want to evolve your earbuds into speakers, there are a few ways to amplify their sounds. One great hack involves the use of paper cups: you essentially poke the ear buds into a paper cup, which help direct sound waves versus dispersing them too much. In contrast, if you want to create your own noise-isolating earbuds (using plug-on-a-post earbud models), you can repurpose foam ear plugs. The foam ear plugs help reduce the noises and sounds coming from your surrounding environment, while retaining the audio from your listening device. By blocking out other sounds, you should really be able to hear what you are listening to better, without other sounds distracting or muffling the targeted audio.
4. Utilize EQ settings on your listening devices. Depending on the quality of the headphones, utilizing the EQ console on your listening device can give you better quality sound through your earbuds. While many audio- and headphone-enthusiasts decry the use of EQ, they might actually be the best last resort for cheap earbuds. Remember that each person hears audio differently or have different sensibilities to things like bass, so small adjustments to the EQ can be best for you and your listening needs.
Overall, with proper care and use of your school classroom earbuds, in addition to some small tweaks, you can hack them into giving you better sound quality. For more earbud options and advice, contact us.