Headphones and Earbuds: Should You Share Them With Others?

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Headphones Sharing:

There are many reasons to share headphones among people. For example, it’s great for couples and families to take the same music with them. It also comes in handy when you want to watch a movie or TV show on your computer or tablet without disturbing anyone else in the room.

Sharing phones helps minimize the risk that someone will get water damage by accidentally dropping their phone into a toilet, sink, or pool of water because they don’t have a charging cord nearby. It also lets you take advantage of special offers and discounts.

With all of these benefits, nobody would expect there to be any downsides to headphone sharing. But it turns out there are some. Strictly speaking, all headphones are single use. When you purchase them, they aren’t designed to be used more than once.

They tend to wear out after that first use—especially if you wear them for extended periods of time on extended-term usage (ETU) like at work or school, during the day while studying or typing an assignment on your computer instead of taking breaks—or even at home while listening to music or watching TV by yourself or with your family members.

Headphone Damage:

Once you share headphones, they’ll wear out much more quickly than they normally would. Since many people tend to treat them roughly or fail to take proper care of them, even if they’re only used once by someone else, the life of the headphones is cut short.

This means that you won’t be able to use them again after a maximum of three uses maximum. When you consider that many people tend to drop their phones accidentally and that damage like this can end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars, it makes sense that it’s not worth sharing your headphones at all.

Disadvantages of Sharing Headphones:

Sharing headphones has its drawbacks when it comes to sound quality. Specifically, audio is distorted when you share them with others because the sound from the other headphones won’t be as good as what’s coming from your own.

This isn’t a problem if you listen to music on your computer or tablet because the quality of its speakers is great, but it can still get in the way of movies and other media that need sound that’s better than what you hear from another person’s laptop or smartphone speaker.

Another problem is that headphone amps usually have a lot of interference noise called CIR. It’s most apparent when you use cheap earbuds that you share.

The reason is that cheap earbuds (or headphones) filter out the high-frequency sound they make when they’re used with an amp. These filters are designed to help people who want to listen to music quietly but still want to hear the high notes.

Should We Share Them With Others?

On one hand, you could say that it’s nice to have other people’s headphones just in case you need them or that it would be nice not to have to charge your device every few hours. However, the problem with headphone sharing is just too much.

Sharing headphones doesn’t give you any advantages. It can even hurt because of the wear and tear they experience after being shared for long periods of time because of the headphones damage.

Besides this, there are other things to consider—most notably your budget. If you share headphones, they won’t be as good quality as what you get from buying a pair by yourself.

They also won’t last as long and they won’t be as comfortable. As a result, you may end up having to buy them more often than if you had purchased your own headphones in the first place.

Even if you like your friends and family members and want to help them out, it may not be worth it if their only way of starting to save money is by using single-use devices designed for use by one person. It’s better for each person to have a pair or two of headphones that last a long time without getting damaged easily.

So, while it might seem nice to share headphones with others, there really isn’t much reason to.

What to do when Headphone Sharing is unavoidable:

When there’s no other option, you could use a headphone splitter and hook it to the audio source and the audio output on your smartphone or tablet.

The tiny headphone splitter will let you use two headphones at once, with one person listening to the audio from the device and another person using their own headphones for music.

However, they can be such a hassle to keep track of. A simple solution is to just buy a pair of headphones that’ll last for years  without having to assume they’ll be damaged by sharing’s extra wear and tear. See our list of top affordable noise cancelling headphones! They can be used as one-time earbuds, with no charging cable needed.


Ultimately, you’ll want to make sure that you buy headphones that do not need to be shared. We suggest our list of the top affordable headphones for this purpose.

If you want the best possible sound quality, invest in high-end headphones instead of sharing them with others. That way, they won’t be damaged so easily and they won’t wear out as quickly because of the shared use.


Q: Do you ever Share Your earbuds?

A: Narrator: Do you ever do this? In some ways sharing earbuds is like sharing a Q-tip. Even though you don’t use earbuds to clean your ears, you’re still shoving them pretty far in there. And earwax can get stuck in the crevices of the earbud so when you share them, you might be trading wax with someone.

Q: What happens when you share your headphones?

A: When headphones are used, this contaminated earwax then sticks to them. The wax and whatever else is on it is transferred to another person when the headphones are shared. Earbuds and in-ear monitors are especially riskier than headphones since they are placed directly in the ear. Ew, right?

Q: Can you get swimmer’s ear from sharing earbuds?

A: About seven percent of people who have fungus in their ears are diagnosed with having Swimmer’s Ear, and yes, it can be transmitted by sharing your earbuds. So whether it be you or a friend with ear fungus, you definitely don’t want to share your earbuds because you’ll pass it on like the common cold. 4. Maggots

Q: How do I share audio from my Beats headphones with a friend?

A: If your friend has Beats wireless headphones, put them in pairing mode and hold them close to your device. When you see your friend’s headphones appear on your screen, tap Share Audio.