With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the world to go remote, the use of electronic gadgets is on the rise. Recurrent lockdowns have forced people to stay at home, increasing smartphone and laptop usage. Moreover, with work from home becoming the new norm, smartphones and laptops are always short on battery and charging. We’ve also noticed an increase in the usage of earphones and headphones while charging. But can you use headphones while charging laptop or smartphone?
You may have heard a lot of people say that you should never use headphones while charging an electrical device. On the other hand, you may have also heard some people say that it’s completely normal to use headphones while charging laptops or other devices. You may have also come across a third category of people who firmly believe that it’s acceptable to use only wireless headphones and earbuds while charging mobile phones, laptops, and so on.
Well, this can get really confusing. However, don’t worry; we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll provide you with a clear answer. Read further to know more.
Using Headphones and Earphones While Charging – Myths Busted
Myth 1 Busted: Using Headphones or Earphones While Charging a Cell Phone or Laptop Can Lead to Cancer
No. You will not get cancer from merely using your headphones or earphones while charging your laptop or cell phone.
As you may have heard before, harmful radiation emissions from cell phones “can” lead to cancer or other health problems. However, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, there is no credible or consistent evidence of health problems caused by the radio frequencies (RFs) emitted by cell phones.
The FDA also regularly monitors the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database maintained by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes for Health (NIH). Per the SEER data, brain cancer rates are not increasing in the US despite the massive increase in the number of cell phone users.
Myth 2 Busted: Using Headphones or Earphones While Charging a Cell Phone Can Lead to Brain Damage
Again, that’s a false claim! To date, there’s no research-based evidence to prove that using headphones while charging a cell phone or laptop can lead to brain damage.
In fact, studies show that using headphones, especially Bluetooth headphones, while taking phone calls can read the effect of electromagnetic fields on your brain.
Using Headphones and Earphones While Charging – Facts Explained
Fact 1 Explained: Using Headphones or Earphones While Charging a Cell Phone or Laptop Can Pose the Risk of Electrocution
Yes, electrocution is something you need to worry about when using headphones or earphones while charging laptop and cell phones.
However, there are two reasons why you can get electrocuted when wearing headphones or earphones while charging. These include:
A Malfunctioning or Faulty Adapter
Adapters help in providing your electric device with a secure and stable power supply. However, cell phones, laptops, and other electrical devices have different power requirements. Therefore, they all have different adapters designed per their specific power requirements.
You should avoid purchasing a cheap charger or a non genuine charger as it can be life threatening.
A low-quality or faulty adapter can be dangerous. In the case of a power fluctuation or power surge, a faulty adapter may not be able to stabilize the power being delivered to your device. This can lead to:
- A short circuit
- Device explosion
As a result, you can get electrocuted.
Exposed Wires or Faulty Wiring
Both exposed charging wires and headphones or earphones wires can lead to electrocution. Similarly, faulty wiring in your headphones, earphones or electric socket can also lead to electrocution.
Wires are meant to keep electric currents away from humans. Therefore, they’re covered by an insulating material (usually plastic). If your headphone jack is falling out with an exposed wire but you’re still using it – PLEASE DON’T! It’s better to know how long your headphones will last and get a replacement pair to keep yourself safe. Faulty headphones or earphones can be life threatening.
Similarly, faulty wiring in your power outlet can be extremely dangerous. For example, it can lead to electrocution, a short circuit, or a device explosion during the charging process
Exposed wires in your headphones or earphones can be extremely dangerous as they can easily transfer current from the electrical devices to your body. And, on the other hand, bad wiring in your power outlet can lead to a short circuit.
A few years ago, a Malaysian news outlet reported that a teenager was electrocuted while charging his mobile phone. Unfortunately, he passed away. He was found with a pair of earphones and his mobile phone connected to the charger. There were reports suggesting that he was electrocuted because he was using headphones while charging his smartphone. However, the culprit was an exposed mobile charging cable.
Fact 2 Explained: Using Headphones or Earphones While Charging a Cell Phone or Laptop Can Reduce Their Charging Speed
Very true. Haven’t you noticed yet? Wearing headphones or earphones while charging a laptop or cell phone can slow down the charging process. Moreover, with time, it can also deteriorate their battery.
Is It Safe to Wear Headphones or Earphones While Charging Laptop?
All in all, it is safe to wear over the ear headphones, wireless headphones, in-ear headphones, and earbuds while charging laptop. The only risk (as discussed in the previous section) is electrocution, that too, in rare cases.
Wireless Headphones and Earbuds Are Safe
We highly recommend using wireless earbuds and Bluetooth headphones while charging laptop. Firstly, the wireless connection between your headphones/earbuds and laptop is safer. So there’s no risk of getting electrocuted. After all, no risky wires are involved!
Even if your laptop faces a power surge or voltage fluctuation, you and your ears are safe since you’re not a part of the electrical circuit between the power source and laptop.
Wireless Headphones and Earbuds Are More Reliable
Secondly, both wireless headphones and earbuds comprise built-in rechargeable batteries. Therefore, unlike wired headphones, they don’t rely on your laptop’s battery or power to function.
Moreover, the built-in rechargeable batteries in wireless headphones and earbuds are a stable power source. Therefore, you do not need to worry about a sudden energy surge.
Wired Headphones Also Carry Minimal Risk
Even though wireless headphones and earbuds are better to use when charging a laptop, looking at all the safety precautions, wired headphones also carry minimal risk. Also, many laptop users don’t want to get into the hassles of charging headphones or earbuds. They find it convenient to connect the wired headphones to their laptop.
Moreover, your laptop’s charge converts AC voltage into a more stable DC voltage. However, ensure you’re using your laptop’s original charger only. Simply put, your laptop’s charger will consume 110-120 volts of power supply and compress it to 20 volts before transferring it to your laptop.
Is It Safe to Wear Headphones or Earphones While Charging Cell Phones?
Using headphones or earphones while charging smartphones is almost as safe as using them while charging laptop.
Most cell phones these days come with reliable chargers that convert AC mains voltage into stabilized DC voltage before transferring it to your cell phones. Therefore, there’s merely any risk of short circuit or electrocution. However, cheap chargers can be an issue. If you end up losing your cell phone’s original charge, we recommend purchasing a replacement charger. Avoid buying low-quality chargers.
It’s a Good Idea to Allow Your Mobile Phone to Charge Completely Before Connecting Headphones or Earphones
Even though it’s safe to use headphones or earphones while charging cell phones, it’s better to allow your device to charge first completely.
Research shows that how you charge your mobile phone could compromise its battery lifespan. Moreover, Bluetooth headphones and earbuds also feed on your battery’s power to some extent. Therefore, they can slow down the charging process.
Quick Safety Tip for Using Headphones or Earphones While Charging
- Avoid charging laptops and mobile phones in a moisture-heavy environment; water and electricity are enemies.
- Use original (branded) chargers when charging your laptops and cellphones. Using the right charger is extremely critical to your safety.
- Ensure the charging wires or headphones’/earphones’ wires or metal parts are not exposed.
- Ensure all power circuits are earthed.
Is It Safe to Use Bluetooth Headphones While Charging Them?
We recommend avoiding using Bluetooth headphones while charging them as they’re directly connected to the power source. Also, exposed wires and faulty wiring in the power circuit can lead to short circuits and electrocution.
In conclusion, it is safe to use headphones, earphones and earbuds while charging laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc. However, it would be best to do so with the utmost precaution.
Faulty adapters, exposing wires, faulty wiring, metal parts sticking out of your headphones and earphones, and cheap chargers can be dangerous.
Also, we do not recommend using Bluetooth headphones while you’re charging them.
We hope we’ve successfully answered the question, “can you use headphones while charging?” If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.