Is It Dangerous to Have Headphones on During a Thunderstorm. Myth or Fact?

Is It Dangerous to Have Headphones on During a Thunderstorm. Myth or Fact?


Lightning has always been a topic surrounded by a great discussion about what is true and what is a myth. Many people have written articles and even written books, trying to break these myths and provide logical answers to the questions people have. Once such question about lightning is that it is dangerous to have headphones on during a thunderstorm when lightning is flashing. Is this a myth or is it true? Let's delve into it.

 Is It Safe to Wear Earphones during a Lighting Storm? Can you use headphones in the thunderstorm? These are the questions on our minds. And they are very important because safety is important. People engage in activities because they enjoy them and in all things, we enjoy we must be safe.

Listening to music is a great pass time activity for many people. It is one that is loved and enjoyed. However, this practice can be very annoying to passersby who may not like your taste in music. For this reason, headphones and earphones were created.they were also created to enhance listening quality. Many people use these devices and they enjoy doing so. But what should you do when you are caught in a thunderstorm whether when you are walking, jogging or cycling?

 For some people, the only option is to stop what they are doing and seek shelter but this does not have to be the only choice. Especially if you love to listen to your music, podcasts, recordings or conversations.

Is it safe to wear earphones during a lightning storm?

 Opinions on this subject seem mixed.  Some have stated that people can get electrocuted by earphones if wearing them during a thunder or lightning storm. There are many cases that have documented that this question is not futile. In fact, one particular case proved that there is some weight to the question. 

Related article: Is It Safe To Use Earphones While The Phone Is Charging

Is it safe to wear earphones during a lightning storm

Vancouver man struck by lightning    

It was reported that a man in Vancouver was badly injured after being struck by lightning. The Vancouver man was jogging during the storm with his earphones, listening to music on his iPod. It was stated that the lightning struck a tree nearby which then sent a side flash that struck his earphones and that caused him to be hurt. The earphones conducted electricity through his head which then sent the man flying over 2 meters, burst his eardrums and fractured his jaw.

This case was interesting because humans are hardly struck by lightning. Lighting requires height for transference and usually requires a metal conductor which the human body does not have. It must also be noted that the earphone did not attract the lightning, it only directed it through the man's body.

There are some earphones that protect people.these are considered to be lightning earphone or earbuds and they are often noise-canceling. In addition, the fact that earphones cannot attract lightning means that you will benefit from the self-care practices which will be listed at the end of this article.

Does wearing headphones makes you a target?

Does wearing headphones makes you a target?

Many people have posted the question does wearing headphones during a storm make you a target? This question is not a tricky one and it is, in fact, easy to answer. Some people argue that headphones will attract lightning but that is not completely true.

Wearing headphones during a thunder or lightning storm does not make you a target. In fact, the odds of being struck by lightning stays the same with or without you wearing headphones.

Headphones are different from earphones because they are placed on top of your head and are generally larger than earphones. These devices contain magnets that may be a point of attraction for the lightning strike, however, the contents of this is so small that it is basically irrelevant and cannot, in no way, shape or form make you a target for a lightning strike.

 One can confidently say that it may be beneficial and safe to wear headphones during a lightning storm. This is so because a 2007 case showed that wearing headphones in lighting stormed saved a man's life.

 Man saved by wearing headphones during a thunderstorm

 Zoran Jurkovic was traveling on a cycle from work when he was struck by lightning. The strike hit his earphones and traveled to his phone. From this incident, doctors determined that his life was saved because if the lightning had struck him then his heart would have stopped and possible death could have arisen. 

What should you know when wearing headphones in a thunderstorm?

Now while your headphone or earphones do not make you a target in a bolt of lightning or thunderstorm they do serve as distractions and may make you a target for accidents on the road.

When wearing earphone or headphones perceptions may be inhibited and as such you may not hear or see vehicles approaching during the storm. For that reason, it is advised that you

  • Use only one side of your earphones if you are walking or riding during a thunder or lightning storm (if you cannot stop listening to your music for that short period of time, while you get to shelter)
  • Wear noise-canceling earphones are great to cancel out the loud noises of the thunder or pounding rain but use with caution
  • Never use cords connected to your devices when you are indoors or under shelter
  • Never complete block noises when you are commuting
  • Wear noise-canceling earphones during a lightning storm, the types that have an aware feature. An aware feature allows you to hear through your earphones clearly but not so that you are not aware of your surroundings. Being aware of your surrounding is very important for when you decide to wear earphones or use headphones on a rainy day
  • Use wireless headphones in a storm. Wireless headphones are the new in thing. These headphones and more efficient and less annoying because they don't have cords connecting them. These headphones are perfect for cycles, runners or just the average person who wants more comfort.
    • One the one hand, these are also better to use during a storm because they are easier to put away and you won't have to untangle any cords when you are ready to use again. Also, without a cord signal cannot travel down your body, through the cord to your phone, thus damaging your phone.
    • On the other hand, although your headphones will not attract lighting and the chances of you being struck are slim to none, it has been stated that the cord will conduct the electricity, thus protecting your heart.
  • Limit overall use of devices if you can where possible during a thunderstorm if you are outdoors. The reason for this is you don't want damage to your devices from the water or rain. Not all devices are waterproof. If you love to jog or walk in the rain then you can try getting waterproof devices.
  • Be vigilant when commuting during a thunderstorm and try to get to shelter as soon as possible.
  • Never play music too loudly

Getting the most of the rainy time

What should you know when wearing headphones in a thunderstorm

 Now for some people, rain sounds and thunder sounds are soothing and helpful. Many people listen this sounds when meditation or trying to relax. This is where thunderstorm recording headphones come in handy. What this means is that wearing headphones when listening to these sounds will increase your hearing capacity and make the recording better. Some people will specify that you should listen the sound with your headphones on for quality purposes.

 Some headphones are better for listening to some recordings. This is another great reason why people love and use headphones often. Never let myths make you afraid or anxious about using one of your favorite devices. There are many varieties of headphones available for you to choose from that will not only enhance your listening activity but bring comfort to you.

 Summing It Up

Myths are often busted by real facts. And this myth has indeed been busted. Headphones and earphones are different and as such, they yield a different result. For the Vancouver man, his earphones allow electric singles to travel and cause injuries, however, Zoran  Jurkovic got his life saved because he had on his headphones while cycling during the storm.

 So what is the link between headphones and thunderstorm? Well, to be honest, the only link is that you are able to listen to your favorite music, podcasts or conversation while you try to stay safe and tucked away. Wearing headphones or even earphones during a storm is not going to harm you any more or less than not wearing them.

So to answer the common question of Is It Dangerous to Have Headphones on during a Thunderstorm? The answer is no it is not dangerous to have headphones on during a thunderstorm. But you must exercise caution if you decide to do such, so as to avoid road accidents. In order for mental to attract lightning to must be over 100 feet above the ground. This means that items less than a 100 feet above ground and incapable of attracting lightning.

Now, this does not mean you cannot get stuck. In the event that the lighting his a tree and you are affected by the side flash then you are no more or less likely to get hurt if you have headphones on or off. It’s all your preference. Once you are happy, safe and comfortable then you are good.  What do you prefer? Do you prefer to wear headphones during a thunderstorm or not?

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