After using my Apple AirPods for a few weeks, I noticed that they gradually became quieter. The bass has lost some of its thumps, and even at full blast, it can’t compete with the din of an approaching subway car. I concluded that my AirPods must need to be cleaned because my hearing is good in situations where I am not using them; in fact, I am an amazing eavesdropper.
In a way, this makes perfect sense. “Using earphones can trap the ear wax that is meant to be transported out,” the website for Whittier Hospital Medical Center warns. I use my AirPods everywhere: on the train, in the gym, in bed, and at work. (I count myself among those who prefer not to use cotton swabs. A very disturbing episode of Girls!
Quartz tech reporter and Apple fanatic Mike Murphy was the first person I went to for advice when I ran into trouble with my AirPods.
Unhelpful. The internet quickly became my second go-to source for all things Apple.
A user of Apple’s basic wired headphones noted in 2014 that the left earpiece was noticeably quieter than the right. (This is hysterical to try to diagnose with AirPods, by the way, because the moment you remove one, the other one stops.)
Praise be, I stock up on brand-new toothbrushes whenever possible. The tried-and-true “brush and blow” method worked like a charm on my AirPods. Full and complete acoustic restoration.
You can hear the bass for the first time, and it sounds great. (Had I, in effect, made out while listening to music on my AirPods? Sure. I will not, however, apologize for it.
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Of course, once you start exploring the Internet, it can be difficult to pull yourself back out. You can use anything from a toothpick to rubbing alcohol to clean your AirPods, and there are plenty of other articles and videos out there with similar advice. You are not alone in your desire for pristine audio equipment. Regardless of what Mike claims.