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The Sound Board

The Latest from LSTN



Earbud cables rubbing you the wrong way? There's a fix for that.

03/01/17


The Bowery is LSTN's original earbud - we think they sound pretty great, and if you don't want to take our word for it, you can read the reviews yourself. But we're always trying to find ways to improve our products and make them better for every one of our listeners.

Our braided nylon cord was designed to eliminate the problem of tangled cords - nobody likes to untie the Eagle Scout-level knots that magically appear when you put your earbuds in your pocket, and the nylon cable makes untangling a breeze.

However, the combination of the microphone and the cord material combine to create an unwanted side effect: the noise of the cord rubbing against your clothes while using them. Luckily, we have a simple (and free!) fix for this effect:

All you have to do is wrap the earbud cord around the back of your ear while you wear it. Just make certain the cable runs along the back of your ear, making contact with the skin, and you'll hear a massive reduction in the cable noise. Well, actually you won't hear it, but, you get what we mean.

Here's an animation showing the recommended way to wear your Bowerys to eliminate the cable noise:

This cable noise is often referred to as microphonics, although this is not technically a proper use of the term.* It refers to undesired transmission of mechanical vibrations into undesired signals. In this case, it's the rubbing of clothing onto a set of earbuds with a snug fit. By wrapping the cable around the back of your ear, you're absorbing those unwanted vibrations before they can get to your ear, leaving only the sounds of your music to get through.

Though this method works for most, not everyone prefers to wear their earbuds in this fashion. If that's the case, there's an alternative that can also help reduce microphonics, though not quite as well as the first way. If you clip the cables to your shirt, any vibrations from the cable past the clip will be absorbed by the clip. The higher you place it, the fewer vibrations you will hear.

That's all there is to it! We hope you continue enjoying your headphones, with only the noises you want to hear coming through them.

*Microphonics describes the phenomenon wherein certain components in electronic devices transform mechanical vibrations into an undesired electrical signal (noise). The term comes from analogy with a microphone, which is intentionally designed to convert vibrations to electrical signals. However, the sounds transmitted to the ear physically by mechanical vibrations or knocks on the wires of a headphone or in-ear monitor are not created by disturbance of any electrical signal, therefore, microphonics is not the proper term. Source