Can Sweat Ruin Running Earbuds?

For the most part, we like to listen to music when exercising, walking, or running. To keep from being obnoxious and blaring music out to the world, most of us will use a pair of headphones or earbuds to listen. Using earbuds during your workout leads to them being in contact with your sweat. Unfortunately, this kind of activity can put your earbuds in a tough situation. We've researched whether sweat can ruin earbuds, so you'll know how to wear and maintain earbuds without damaging them.

Sweat can eventually ruin earbuds, but this isn't always the case. Basically, when your sweat gets onto an earbud, it will sit on top of the speaker plate. This plate covers the internal electronics and usually keeps earbuds dry; however, stagnant sweat can distort or dampen the sound coming through, making it seem like a larger issue. Most earbuds are well sealed, so just cleaning the outside keeps internal components fairly safe. If sweat gets inside, allow time to dry, and earbuds should work fine.

Now that we know that sweat can potentially harm earbuds, remember that reoccurrence can eventually deteriorate the internal electronics over time. You must have additional questions about cleaning and maintaining earbuds. We encourage you to continue reading as we answer some of those questions and suggest some affordable quality earbuds.

Collage of running earbuds with young fit man running while listening to music on the background, Can Sweat Ruin Running Earbuds?

How to prevent damage from sweat on earbuds?

Earbuds are already a good choice compared to headphones to wear while working out. Earbuds sit inside the ear instead of outside, so they have much less exposed surface to sweat on. The inside of your ear doesn't sweat nearly as much as the outside of your head, so much of the sweat will be running down your head onto the outside of the earbud. This is super helpful since that is the sealed end of the earbud.

Generally, the maintenance needed to prevent damage to your earbuds is to just wipe them off. Just like any other exercise equipment you used, earbuds will last longer given a good wipe-down with a disinfectant wipe. This will keep sweat from sitting on the earbuds and remove excess moisture from the outside of them. You also need to make sure to give the earbuds time to dry. If sweat is getting inside, the only way to get that out is to allow it to dry.

Also, remember that sweatproof does not mean waterproof. If you sweat profusely or feel like there is water in your ears when you are using the earbuds, they are at a higher risk of getting water inside. Keep this in mind when it rains as well, as rain will damage your earbuds even if they are sweatproof.

Can I put AirPods in rice?

You could put your AirPods in rice if you felt like it; however, it isn't a great idea. For AirPods, drying them in rice is no more effective than leaving them in the open air. You also run the risk of getting rice pieces or dust inside the ports.

Instead of putting your AirPods in Rice, if you get them wet, wipe off as much water as you possibly can. Microfiber towels are helpful, as are cotton swabs for the ports. You want to sit them out in an area with a gentle airflow, maybe near an air conditioning vent.

Make sure they are in a cool and dry area. Putting your AirPods in a hot space like on top of a radiator can cause them to overheat and damage them. Make sure to leave them to dry overnight and don't use them during this time to ensure they can dry out thoroughly, and they should be fine.

Are Powerbeats waterproof?

Powerbeats are not waterproof. They are sweat-resistant and water-resistant. Essentially this means that getting them a little bit wet will usually not be an issue. The water or sweat will bead up on the outside, and it's unlikely that a splash of water will get inside and ruin them.

Looking at Powerbeats, their waterproof rating is an IPX4. This simply means exactly what we have stated, that water splashing on them, regardless of the angle, will generally not penetrate them. This in no way means they are waterproof or that they can be submerged in water. In fact, excess water or submerging will likely ruin them forever if they are not dried out quickly and properly.

What are the best waterproof Bluetooth earbuds?

One thing you need to remember about waterproof earbuds using Bluetooth is that Bluetooth doesn't work underwater. If you plan to swim with them, you will need them to have some sort of storage system for your music. If your only concern with them being waterproof is you want to avoid any water damage, then Bluetooth will work just fine for you.

Endurance DIVE by JBL

A completely waterproof set of earbuds at a reasonable price is the Endurance DIVE Headphones from JBL. They have a solid sound quality and are completely waterproof, even to the point of being submerged and used by swimmers. In addition to their Bluetooth availability, these earbuds have a built-in MP3 player with 1GB of storage. Using these will mean you don't have to mess around with a phone or MP3 player, wires, or even setting up a Bluetooth connection, just put your music on the earbuds themselves and go.

Click here to see these affordable earbubs on Amazon.

Vista by Jaybird

While the DIVE earbuds were made for swimmers but can be used by anyone, the Vista earbuds from Jaybird are made for runners. They are sweatproof, waterproof, and crushproof, with an IPX7 rating. These are premium earbuds with a great Bluetooth connection.

They also are some of the smallest and lightest earbuds available and in no way compromise on quality. There is even an app that links with the earbuds so you can tinker with the sound settings to find the perfect settings for you. They have great battery life, up to 16-hours if using both earbuds at once.

Click here to see the Jaybird Vista earbuds on Amazon.

Soundwhiz Turbo

If you're looking for the most comfortable earbuds you can find, give Soundwhiz Turbo earbuds a glance. They have multiple comfort options. You can wear them in a casual position that is non-constrictive or in a locked position that will keep them in place during activity.

They come in seven sizes to accommodate anyone, have a noise isolating function, and all controls located on the earbuds. The Turbo has a nine-hour battery life, so not as great as others, but plenty to use during workouts. They even have an IPX7 rating and are sweatproof and waterproof in any weather so long as they aren't submerged in a pool or body of water.

Click here to check out the Soundwhiz Turbo earbuds on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Over time, sweat can deteriorate your earbuds, but this will take quite some time. If you give your earbuds time to dry out properly, you should get plenty of life out of them. If this still concerns you, check out the products listed above, or go for as high an IPX rating as possible. After reading through this article, we hope you have a better grasp on how sweat can damage your earbuds, how to avoid this damage, and know some fantastic replacement options that are waterproof.

For additional reading, check out:

Can You Play Sports With AirPods?


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