Monday, January 11, 2010


So, picture me, standing on the edge of the Blue Line platform at Washington, looking like I'm having a seizure (or at least busting out some Elaine-bad dance moves).

Ever since it got super cold here in Chicago and I started wearing my Big Coat, my headphones have been shocking the insides of my ears! I was totally baffled at first, thought there was some malfunction with my headphones or iPod, but after some research via Google, I found out that when using in extremely dry conditions (ie winter) the static electricity created by the device discharges through the headphone wires and into my ear. So, I guess I'm creating a TON of static walking in my big nylon coat in the dry cold, especially when going up or down stairs (which is when the problem is most apparent). Now, of course, this shock isnt enough to harm me--it's the same as when you touch a light switch or pickup a static-y blanket--but it's a whole different ballgame when it's happening INSIDE your ear!

I was originally using the stock headphones that come with iPhone, so I switched to the in-ear type (that a friend gave me for Christmas) where the metal doesn't actually touch your ear. Nope, still shocking.

One friend suggested carrying a boombox on my shoulder, while another, who is having the same problem, recommended trying outer ear shell headphones. (I preferred the boombox solution--think of how many friends I would make!--until I thought about all those heavy D batteries that would have to go inside). I wasn't looking forward to having to purchase ANOTHER pair of headphones, but then Tankboy said he would let me borrow the pair he uses to DJ with (Thank you! I promise I will treat them with the utmost care!)

Stay tuned for the SHOCKING update!


Sarah said...

I'm glad that I'm not the only person this happens to! Every time I mention getting my ears shocked by my headphones, people look at me like I'm nuts. Thanks for validating my sanity, at least on this point. :)

B said...

Ive had this happen a bunch too! Stick those little black pads that come with on the buds, they absorb it before it shocks your ears :)