Do Magnets Ruin Headphones? No, They Don’t

Do magnets ruin headphones? The simple answer is no, because they are too small to cause any damage to the magnet inside your headphone. Read on to know more.

Magnets are objects that produce magnetic fields. Different magnets have different uses. Magnets have turned out to be virtually omnipresent among various things we use every day. 

With the plethora of ways to use a magnet, it is no surprise that magnets are also part of your headphones. You must have seen earlier that your headphones either have to attract or repel characteristics.

This article focuses on the use of magnets in headphones and can external magnets cause damage to the magnets inside headphones. 

Do Magnets Ruin Headphones

Do Headphones Contain Magnets?

Headphones can be of many types and range from the very cheap to the very expensive. However, one thing that is common to all of them is that they all work on the same principle. Headphones are essentially transducers

A transducer converts electrical energy into various other forms of energy such as heat, light, and sound. In simpler terms, your headphone receives an electrical signal from your laptop, computer or smartphone and converts this signal into an equivalent movement of something known as a “diaphragm” inside their circuitry.

This moving diaphragm causes air molecules to be pushed, producing the sweet sound of music that we all know and love headphones for. To understand why headphones need magnets is to understand how this process works.

You might like to read: Can Bass Break Headphones?

How Do Headphones Work?

Essentially headphones work by using something known as a Driver. The Driver is the unit that receives the electrical signal and converts it into motion.

Drivers are of three types: 

Do Magnets Ruin Headphones

Dynamic Driver Unit

This type of Driver has three parts: an electromagnet, a permanent magnet, and a diaphragm.

The electromagnet is essentially a wire coil wound around the permanent magnet. When the electrical signal is sent to the electromagnet, it continually changes polarity based on the pattern in which it is sent.

This change of polarity causes the electromagnet to be repelled and attracted to the permanent magnet alternatively. The electromagnet starts to vibrate due to these forces, in proportion to the electrical signal being sent.

Next, this vibrating motion is transferred to the diaphragm, which further pushes air molecules, hence producing sound.

If the electromagnet is vibrating quickly, it will produce higher tones and vice versa. Turning the volume up and down on your headphones increases and decreases its intensity.

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Planar Magnetic Driver

PMUs are very similar to DDUs, except for the fact that they don’t use electromagnets. Instead, they use very thin magnetic conductors. Also, they don’t use a single permanent magnet but use a set of magnets.

Electrostatic Driver

Electrostatic drivers are the most advanced and usually produce the best quality in sound. The difference here is that these drivers don’t use magnets; instead, the diaphragm itself is a magnet here.

The diaphragm is made from thin electromagnetic material, which is placed between the plates of a condenser. When current is passed through the condenser, it causes the plate to move, producing sound.

Electrostatic drivers are the most expensive but also the most advanced drivers.

Do Magnets Ruin Headphones

Are Magnets Bad For Headphones?

Now, let’s come back to the topic at hand. Even though headphones do have magnets inside their circuitry, keeping small magnets close to headphones does affect the sound produced. This is because the force between the very small magnets of the headphones and small external magnets is very minimal, and therefore cannot disturb the circuitry.

However, wherever you go through a metal detector or any place that generates a large magnetic field, you might experience a loud and uncomfortable screeching noise. This can also cause a bit of hearing damage for a few seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do headphones use permanent magnets?

As explained earlier, all headphones do have small magnets inside them. While DDUs have permanent magnets, PMDs use small electromagnetic coils, and in electrostatic drivers, the diaphragm itself is a small magnet. 

Out of these three, only DDUs have actual permanent magnets inside them (one in each earpiece). DDUs are the most common type of headphone driver, so it is very likely that your headphone does, in fact, contain permanent magnets.

Do magnets affect Bluetooth headphones?

As far as the driver unit is concerned, Bluetooth headphones are no different from regular headphones. The only difference between Bluetooth headphones and regular headphone is that the electrical signal from your computer or smartphone is transmitted using Radio waves through Bluetooth technology. 

The same is true for Wi-Fi-enabled headphones as well. Therefore, magnets will affect Bluetooth headphones and Wi-Fi headphones too. But like we said earlier, small magnets are unlikely to affect the sound of your headphones.

Do Magnets Ruin Headphones

Do magnets interfere with audio?

Yes, but small magnets cannot create a significant difference in the audio quality of your headphones. It is only large magnetic fields such as at an airport during security check or otherwise in MRI machines in the hospital, where you can expect a significant impact on the audio signal of the headphone.

Is magnetic earphone safe?

The magnets of earphones produce very low electromagnetic radiation. It is unlikely that such small magnets can produce any tangible impact on your health. These are smaller than the refrigerator magnets that we use in our homes.

You may be surprised to know that the earth is a type of magnet, and so is our human body. Magnets are found everywhere in the world, and we should not be afraid of this strange and beautiful phenomenon that produces many of the things that have helped life survive and thrive on earth.

Do Magnets Ruin Headphones

Do Magnets Ruin Headphones? The Answer Is No

Magnets are found everywhere in nature, but as long as you are dealing with small magnets, their magnetic force is far too small to cause any significant damage to your electronics or your health. 

Yes, headphones do contain magnets, but external magnets can neither impact their audio output nor can they cause any damage to their electronic circuitry. 

Only when you are dealing with very large magnets such as that at the airport security check or in an MRI machine should you be careful about magnets ruining your headphones.