Should I Share Earbuds with Others? - Amazing Facts You Should Know

Is sharing headphones with others safe?

Earbuds are fantastic devices that allow people to listen to music on the go, without disturbing other people. If you ask me earbuds are the best invention after cell phones. Added to this, music is a fantastic display of gods given a gift. Musicians heal the world with their talent. Therefore, it makes sense that people will find earbuds easy to just share. Hey dude, listen to this song.

Sharing earbuds and passing headphones is a common reality. Many students also share earbuds in school and people share earbuds with friends, family members and sometimes even strangers. I'm sure you have shared your earbuds with your friends just to listen to a song that might be playing. But, have you ever thought that this practice might not be safe? Is sharing earbuds bad? Have you ever considered the health aspect of sharing earbuds? Well if you haven't then here are some facts to consider before you share your earbuds with others.

Many researchers have studied whether or not it is safe to share earbuds. The results of these studies indicated that it is not safe to share earbuds with others. Here are the dangers of sharing earbuds:


As you know, your ear often contains ear wax. The ear wax in your ear acts as protection against bacteria. Now, some people may have way more earwax than others. Also, certain activities that cause sweating may cause an increase in the amount of earwax produces. What this means then is that ear wax is more likely to be on the earbuds are a work-out. Another thing is the moisture that is found from getting swimmers ear or on simmers earphones. However, you must note that ear wax is harmless and actually very helpful. The Wax in your ears helps to clean, protect and lubricate your ears. So, what's the bad part. Well, the issues arise when the bacteria gets stuck to ear wax that's left on the dirty earbuds. The leftover bacteria can get transferred from one person to the next by sharing earbuds and that is why you should stop sharing them.

Development of Ear fungus

Ear Fungus is an infection that occurs in the ear. So, can you get an ear infections from sharing earbuds? Now, while this fungus is not contagious, the colds that cause it are contagious. This means that if you share earbuds with someone who has an ear infection, it's likely that you may be exposing yourself to one.

Development of Yeast

Did you know that earbuds can have yeast on them?  Well, Studies have shown that some of the earbuds in that they examined had yeast on them. The earbuds also had traces of bacillus, which is found in soil. Often times, these traces can cause infection, itching, swelling and other types of skin infection. With that being said, it may not be wise to share your earbuds anymore.

May cause Blackheads

Blackheads, a skin condition and it is a common occurrence. These gross pimple like structure forms on the skin and it hurts when squeezed. Now while these may be caused with or without earbuds, sharing earbuds do exacerbate the blackhead outbreak. Blackheads are annoying, especially when they are found within the ear. To avoid this, you may want to stop sharing earbuds completely.

May cause itching

Sometimes sharing earbuds may not cause serious health issues but may cause itching. Itching is not a serious matter but it can be very uncomfortable. Added to this, itching may cause you to damage or irritate your ear. You should never put your fingers in your ear, eyes or mouth so to avoid this overall you must never share earbuds.


Sharing earbuds may cause discomfort. Most times, you will need to sit really close to someone to share earbuds. This can cause you to strain your neck, strain your back or just cause you to feel uncomfortable.

Another point of discomfort may come from the fact the earbuds that your friend uses may not be the same that you use. It may be too big for your ear and this will hurt you and cause you discomfort. 

If you have to...

Sometimes it may be difficult to change habits suddenly. In this case, you can try to employ ways of cleaning and protecting your ear.

Simple things you can do is to:

  • wipe earbuds with disinfectant wipes before and after using them.
  • the next thing you can do is to always clean your ears with a wet rag before and after a workout.
  • Limit the number of times that you share your earbuds

Little actions in the way you want to go will definitely make a difference. The goal of this is so that you can overall stop sharing earbuds with others. 

How to Clean Earbuds?

Regardless of sharing or not though, you will benefit from cleaning your earbuds regularly. This is a great practice to develop so you can being now. After use, you can simply wipe your earbuds with a disinfectant cloth. You can also put your earbuds in a secure case.


It may be helpful for you to find alternatives to sharing your earbuds. These alternatives are easy to do and probably won't cost you that much.

The first thing you can do is to purchase an extra set of earbuds. Earbuds are very affordable these days so just purchase an extra set and tuck it in your bag.

The next thing you can do is to gift earbuds to a family member, friends and people you typically share with. Earbuds can make a wonderful gift and this can be a great and humble way to say let's use separate earbuds.


Should you share earbuds with others? By this point of the article, you should no longer be asking this question. From what we have discussed it is quite clear that the practice of sharing earbuds needs to stop. It is not a wise decision to share earbuds because there are a lot of health issues that may arise. The following health issues were uncovered from studies who looked into the topic: Bacteria, development of ear fungus, development of yeast, may cause blackheads. To conclude, not sharing earphones and cleaning them regularly is the perfect way to practice earphone hygiene.

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