Headphones or earphones are electronic devices that have electronic circuits and chips inside of them, hence they function based on voltage and current to produce the sound that we hear from our media players. But can you get electrocuted by headphones?
Yes, you could get electrocuted by your earphones, but this has very rare situations and conditions to occur. In fact, as a more practical answer I could say no, it’s not that caution we should think of while wearing our headphones.
Feeling slight electric shocks with your headphones on is not uncommon, but the question of electrocution is a different matter completely. These shocks can be rather unpleasant but they cannot actually kill us. Or can they? First, let’s take a look at some of the cases where you could get electrocuted.
Static Electrical Discharge
During winter time because of the dry weather, our bodies are getting charged while we are walking, wearing a pair of shoes with a rubber base, and because of the friction between the rubber base and the ground, our bodies start to get charged with a static electricity charge. This charge could be discharged if we touch another person’s skin, or touch a metal door.
This could be happening as well between you and your earbuds since some types of earbuds have a metal body or grid. This static charge will be discharged from your ears to your earbuds, and while this feeling is unpleasant it is completely safe and not dangerous to you.
Why Static Energy Builds Up
- Dry, low-humidity environments
- Very windy environments
- Moving your device around in your pocket
- Jogging or exercising with your device
- Clothes made with synthetic fibers, like nylon
AC Power Discharge
This type of electric charge is caused by the main AC power in your home. There are three causes you could get electricity zapping by your headphones, and those cases related only to wired headphones or earbuds not wireless because electricity doesn’t transfer via Bluetooth or wifi medium but only through cables.
Type of Headphone or Earbud Body
Normally, headphones or earbuds are made of rubbers or plastic, but certain ones have metal casings. If the internal electrical board and connectors are somehow touching the metal body from inside, in this case, there will be an electrical circuit connected to your skin.
Even with the metal casings ones, electrical fields can reach out to your body if a connection with an AC source occurs, so case 1 is only if you are using metal casing earbuds.
Where the Headphone is Connected to?
This is the main reason why you would get electrocuted by your headphone, there should be a media player that is functioning by an AC power source such as a socket in the wall.
Electricity is based on three factors to run an electrical circuit which is Current, Voltage, and Impedance. In order to make the circuit function properly, it requires having a connection to the ground. Our bodies are a very good source for electricity because it contains water, therefore, they are working as a direct connector to the ground.
Having your electrical media device connected to a wall socket is a lack of electrical voltage discharge, therefore, once your hand or any portion of your body touches any metal part of the device, your body will work as an electrical discharge ground to it. In other words, you will get an electricity zapping.
This is applicable to any other electrical devices that require an AC power source to function such as a cooker, Air Conditioner, hair drier, Binder, and more. If those devices have a 2 pin power connector then you could face some electrical shocks by touching them on their metal bodies.
Are You Wet While Using Your Earbuds or Headphones?
This will make your situation worse if the two previous cases occur. Water is a very conductive medium for electricity so if you are wet and touch an electrical device that is powered by the wall, chances to have a huge electricity shock is extremely high and could be fatal. As mentioned above your body will discharge all wall AC power voltage to the ground and work as the conductor.
- Wear clothes that are made with cotton-like fibers. Synthetic fibers are more likely to hold a charge.
- Keep your device out of the wind by keeping it in your pocket or having a case on it.
- Don’t constantly move your device in and out of your pockets. Rubbing your device on certain materials can cause a static buildup.
- The best way to avoid a mishap is to not use headphones while charging your phone.
- Do not use a pair where the metal parts are exposed or wire coating is torn
- Invest in a pair of good-quality headphones with proper padding and protection.
- Use only the specific phone’s charger.
- Do not fall asleep with earphones on.
Remember, the main reason for getting electrocuted is because of a device that uses direct AC power. If you are using a portable device with batteries then you are safe and no need to think about electrical shocks whatsoever even if you are using metal casings headphones. To be extra sure you can be happy to know your wireless Bluetooth headphones are safe.