Audio cables are the worst offenders when it comes to keeping things neat and tidy. If you’re like most people, you toss your audio cables in your backpack, which inevitably means your cords become a tangled knotted mess. Not taking proper care of your audio cables can lessen their lifespan and cause a loss of audio quality. No matter if you have run of the mill cables or custom audio cables, it’s important to take care of them. Keep reading for 7 hacks to take better care of your audio cables.
- Know Your Wraps
There’s nothing worse than a bunch of dangling and intertwined audio cables. One of the best ways to keep your cables safe is to know how to wrap them. There are all sorts of wrapping methods and you’ll want to choose the right one, depending on your needs. To combine your cables, use the alternating coil wrap. This keeps your cables tangle and kink free. There’s also a wrapping method, known as the shortening method that wraps and shortens your cables. Properly wrapping your cables will keep them safe and prevent the eyesore we all dislike.
- Avoid Sharp Bends
Sharply bending your audio cables can ruin the wires inside. In turn, the audio quality will be impacted. You especially want to avoid sharp bends near the connector. This part of the cable is already fragile and if bent too much too often, it can split open or the connector piece can break off entirely. An exposed wire is a safety hazard so be sure to toss your cable if it splits. By avoiding sharp bends, you can extend the life of your cables, saving you money and time.
- Keep Away From Liquids
Liquids and audio cables don’t mix. Be sure to keep your cables in a dry and cool area. Moisture and humidity can get inside of the cables and impact the internal wires. This can cause corrosion and can render the audio cables useless. While your cup holder may seem like the ideal nook for your cables, don’t risk it! Wet cables can be unsafe to use. If your cables do get wet, be sure to immediately dry them.
When storing your cables, it may be best to put them into a case. This way they’re all together and you don’t have to worry about something spilling on them. Better safe than sorry!
- Pull Softly
We’re all guilty of tugging at our audio cables without thinking about it. But, too much tugging can cause cables to split near the ends. Even if you’re in a rush, it’s important to carefully pull your cables to unattach them from a device. This way you don’t risk breaking or splitting the cable. When removing cables, be sure to grip the plastic jacket. This part of the cable is much more durable and can withstand a little pressure and pulling.
- Organize Them
Ever needed a certain audio cable only to waste time not being able to find it? As with most things in life, organization comes in handy when storing audio cables. If you have a bunch of the same cables, put them in the same location. You can store them in zip lock bags or wrap them together with zip ties or Velcro. This way you can easily find the cables you’re looking for. Label each container or use a different colored container for each cable type.
- Reinforce Them
Unlike other types of cables, it’s rare that you’ll find reinforced audio cables. The good news is that you can reinforce them on your own! All you need are a few small springs from a pen and shrink tubing. Place the springs on each end of the cable. Secure the springs using shrink tubing. By reinforcing your cables, there’s a much lower risk of them splitting, cracking, or breaking.
- Check for Corrosion
Over time, if your cables are constantly exposed to humidity and moisture, they’re at a much higher risk of corrosion. Before using your audio cables, be sure that there is no corrosion near the connectors. Corrosion can impact sound quality and if present, you’re better off buying new cables rather than trying to repair the existing one. Prevent corrosion by storing your cables in a cool dry location.
Without audio cables, you wouldn’t be able to thoroughly enjoy your favorite songs or movie soundtracks. If you’re an audiophile, be sure you take care of every audio component, down to the wires. Keep these 7 hacks in mind to keep your audio cables in pristine condition. How do you organize and store your audio cables? Leave us a comment in the section below?