Before we proceed any further you must know the difference between earbuds and earphones. It is a common practice of sorts for people to interchange these terms very frequently when in reality they are so very different from each other.
Our ears consist of a ridge called the Concha ridge which can be described as the bean–shaped structure in your external ear which is where an earbuds rest – just outside the auditory canal. The earbuds are so designed to fit into this area. Depending on the shape and size of the earbuds along with the kind of tip it has, you will have a secure and comfortable fit.
Since these earbuds do not enter the auditory canal ambient noises do filter in and you can be aware of your surrounding noises at all times. Some of these earbuds come with hooks or loops for additional security and to hold them in place.
On the other hand, in-earphones are inserted into the ear canal and often come with active noise cancellation which cuts out all external sounds. While the quality of music no doubt is far superior to these earphones they are not the most convenient or the safest around. Long usage can be detrimental to your ears because they are inserted into the ear canal.
How do Wireless Earbuds Work?
Most of the wireless earbuds in use are based on Bluetooth technology. There are other technologies like infrared but not in vogue. The Bluetooth earbuds connect with other Bluetooth compatible devices by exchanging data using radio transmissions.
So, the wireless earbuds have a small computer chip embedded in them which contains the necessary Bluetooth software that makes it possible to connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices. You need to pair the devices initially before they start functioning together.
How to clean your wireless earbuds?
It is every audiophiles responsibility to take care of your earbuds diligently and periodically not only to keep them in pristine condition but also to protect your ear from bacterial infections. The
accumulation of sweat and the contact with ear wax will reduce the efficiency of your device and you must take care of them in the following manner:
If the earbuds have removable tips usually of silicone they are really easy to clean, if not you must take extra care to not wet the battery component of the device.
Use mild soap and warm water; you can try using dishwashing liquid and water.
Do not submerge in water or wash them under running water.
The best method is to mix a mild soap solution and dip a soft cloth in it and wring it completely before using it to wipe the earbuds tips completely. Then use a kitchen towel and dry it for an hour or two.
If there is an accumulation of ear wax use a clean toothbrush and gently dislodge the wax before cleaning it with water. Brush in a circular motion and ensure you are pushing in the dirt. Do not press with the brush too hard.
Do not use the earbuds till they are completely dry
Most importantly do not clean them when they are still connected to the Bluetooth in your phone.
Another safe option is to use adhesives like blue tack to remove the dirt. Just pat the adhesive on the dirt and gently roll it out. This way you can be sure that even by mistake no water seeps into the earbuds and they are completely safe.
When should you replace your earbuds tips?
Unless you are using the apple airports, your earbuds tips need to be eventually changed. Once you realize that the earbuds are not staying in place and ambient noise is seeping in you must change the tips.
What material is used for wireless earbuds tips?
The most common material used for earbuds tips is foam, rubber, and silicone.
Foam: Foam tips have better sealing properties and enhance the quality of the sound that you hear from them. They are also more comfortable to wear and have better noise isolation properties. Their biggest drawback though is that they are not durable and need to be changed more often than the other two as they attract more dust and wax and cannot be cleaned.
Silicone: They are the most common and most sought after earbud tips because of their ability to conform to the shape of the ear canal of each user. They provide a really nice and snug fit. They are durable and easy to maintain.
Rubber: The least favorite of the three, they are commonly found on the lower end of the spectrum. They are comfortable to use but their ability to cancel and isolate noise is debatable.
Common problems with wireless earbuds
While there is no doubt that the wireless earbuds are very convenient and much in vogue nowadays, there are some areas that need attention and that the user must be aware of before buying.
It is entirely possible for the connection to go missing every once in a while especially if the version of Bluetooth is old because the technology uses the same wavelength as FitBit, WI-Fi, keychain trackers etc.
The in-built controls that are designed to function with a touch can be very inconsistent and prove to be frustrating when you are unable to control the music or attend to calls.
Size of the earbuds makes a difference in the quality of sound because the printed circuit board is bigger in bigger models and hence has better ability to fend the excess signals.
Despite the claims by manufacturers, there are cases of earbuds slipping and falling off because most of the earbuds are mass produced and they are one size only.
You can overcome the above problems by opting for good quality earbuds with the latest version of Bluetooth compatible with your device and choosing a model that has been tried and tested
and has received positive reviews.
What about the price?
There is a plethora of choice in the wireless earbuds section in varying price range. You have products from as low as $50 to as high as $400 and even above. Read here a comprehensive list of best bluetooth earbuds before buying one. You must realize that the more the price the better the quality and the more the features available.