Sweat will kill your Sennheiser headphones. It’s nothing personal. Sweat will wreck your Beats, Bose and Sony headphones, too. Sweat is a corrosive little prick especially when you’re working out.
Sennheiser will probably advise that you don’t workout in headphones. It’s a shame because the Momentum Wireless 2.0 is a good piece of kit. Its sharp audio and active noise-cancelling technology makes it ideal for noisy gyms, and when we did a round-up of our favourite gym headphones, we were impressed that it could hold its charge - with the noise cancelling turned on - for fourteen hours and that it’s easily controlled by a simple tap on the cup.
In 2017, Sennheiser reported a turnover of 667.7 million euros; the company is a major manufacturer of headphones and microphones. Their technology isn’t cheap. Headphones range from £169.99 to £379.99 on the UK website, so these aren’t something you want to have to replace after twelve months. They’re designed to last. They’re designed to offer sharp audio BUT they’re NOT designed for the gym.
Until now, that is.
How Will Sweat Ruin Sennheiser Headphones?
Sweat can break headphones in two ways. Firstly, the moisture on your skin will soak into the leather cushion pads. You’ll know that because when you’re done working out, they’ll be damp and in time they’re going to start smelling a little funky. And not James ‘sex machine’ Brown kinda funky either, but a teenage boy’s bedroom with the windows shut sort of funky. The more you sweat the quicker it will happen and the more noticeable the smell will be. You’ll start to see some wear and tear in the leather, too.
Sennheiser Momentum headphones do have replaceable cups, but sweat damage doesn’t only manifest as an aesthetic issue. Sweat can soak into the internal electronic components of the headphones, too, and that’s when you’ll start to notice the sound crackling, dropping out or disappearing completely; it’s only then that you’ll fully realise that your £150+ headphones are now worth shit.
And it’s not just an issue for those wearing headphones in the gym. We might sweat more during exercise, but moisture damage can occur whenever we’re sweating. Some of us just naturally sweat more in certain environments or, for example, you might be a gamer, wearing your headphones for hours on end. If you’re regularly feeling damp spots on your cans, then it’s worth thinking about how you can protect them before you’re faced with having to fork out a new pair.
1) Wipe down your Sennheiser headphones when you’re done
Using an antibacterial wipe will reduce the amount of bacteria on your headphone cushions. It’ll help stop unpleasant odours from forming, too, and it can help to protect against exercise-induced acne whilst reducing the chance of contracting a middle-ear infection. Maintaining good headphone hygiene is always a good idea, but it won’t stop moisture seeping into the headphone’s delicate internal components. So unfortunately, they’re probably still going to break - damn.
2) Buy Replacement Cushions for Your Sennheiser Headphones
Sennheiser Momentum headphones have the advantage of cushions that are replaceable, and this isn’t true with most brands. Swapping out old cushions for new is easy, and will cost around £25 which is way cheaper than having to pay out for a new pair. This is a great way to restore your headphones to their former glory BUT only if the damage is superficial. You can’t repair the internal components. If the sweat can get in, then they’re still at risk of breaking. It’s worth noting, too, that a number of customers on the website appear to have had trouble ordering replacement pads citing high order volume. If you think you’re going to need to buy replacements, then it may be worth doing so in advance of them breaking.
3) Use EarHugz on your Sennheisers
EarHugz are sweat-resistant covers that you slip over your headphone cushions. Anti-bacterial, machine washable and in a number of awesome designs, they fully reverse to black, so they’ll blend into your Sennheisers on those days when you don’t feel so bright. Sweat is quickly wicked away from your cushions thanks to the Ultra-Stretch, MAX-DRI™ material meaning you can wear your headphones during exercise without the risk of bad smells, exercise-induced acne on your face or middle ear-infections and you won’t have to replace your busted cans. EarHugz are the only proactive solution to sweat-damage of headphones and they fit the entire Sennheiser range, but what’s more, £1 from every pair of EarHugz sold goes directly to the Mental Health Foundation so you can protect your sound and support a great charity, too.
4) Swap Your Sennheisers for Earphones
This is probably the most common solution for anyone worried about moisture damage and headphones. Earphones are cheaper, easier to carry around, and they’re not going to give you exercise-induced acne, BUT they’re only a solution if you’re able to comfortably wear earphones and not everyone can. Every ear canal is different but manufacturers make earphones to generic specifications which means they’re too uncomfortable or painful to wear for some people. Anything that undermines your ability to focus on your workout isn’t a real solution, it’s a compromise and that’s before you consider the potential drop in sound quality. Sennheiser do make earphones ranging from a modest £9.99 to a whopping £869.99, but whether or not this is a solution to your headphone woes will depend on your suitability and attitude towards in-earphones in general.
5) Stop Sweating
This is a 100% foolproof way to stop your headphones from being ruined by sweat. Leave them in your car, in your gym bag, in your locker or in your house. Better still, leave them in the box in the shop and work out alone, with only your internal monologue to distract you. Simple.
We’re totally biased when we say that EarHugz are THE solution to working out with headphones but it’s only because EarHugz were made by gym users for gym users. Life is too short and your workout is too long to leave your Sennheisers behind. For headphone wearers, there’s no better way of enjoying superb sound quality during a workout whilst protecting against excessive sweating.