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Apple: Careful, Our Earbuds May Shock You

In a post on its support pages entitled, Apple Earbuds and Static Electricity, Apple told users that it is possible to receive a small and quick electrical shock from your earbuds while listening to iPod or iPhone. 

Apple explains that people using the headphones in drier environments may receive a small electric shock similar to the one you get when you drag your feet across the carpet and then touch a doorknob but that instead of the static charge building up on your body, it builds up on the device and instead of discharging through your finger, it discharges through the earbuds.

Apple suggests a number of solutions to reduce the the risk of electrostatic discharge from the headphones, including grounding yourself before you use your iPod and not using your device in extremely dry weather. The full list of suggestions is below.

  • Try raising the moisture level in the air of the local environment by using a portable humidifier or adjusting the humidity control on your air conditioner.
  • There are a number of anti-static sprays that can be sprayed into the air that can be used to reduce static.
  • If you have dry skin, try anti-static hand lotion.
  • Try wearing different clothes. Try clothes with natural fibers since synthetic fibers are more likely to hold a static charge.
  • Try to keep your device out of the wind by using a case, or leaving it in your bag or pocket.
  • Avoid removing your device from your pockets frequently as rubbing the device on certain materials can cause a static build up.

The post also points out that this problem is not specific to Apple hardware, just in case this is swaying your decision as to whether or not you should buy Apple's iPod headphones.

  • verenos
    I the price does not shock you first the product will!
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    verenosI the price does not shock you first the product will!
    Agreed!

    $49 for a crappy earbud... :\
    Reply
  • jerreece
    Considering I've never heard this warning from any other company, I wonder if Apple should recall these before someone sues them claiming they lost their hearing over an electrical shock.

    Try raising the moisture level in the air of the local environment by using a portable humidifier or adjusting the humidity control on your air conditioner.

    LOL What if you live in the Desert? Like, say southern Arizona, or some place where there is absolutely 0% humidity most times of the year. If you're outside, you just can't use your iShockPhones then?
    Reply
  • icepick314
    so how much can we sue Apple for causing brain tumors due to constant electric shocks?
    Reply
  • tenor77
    Clear!
    Reply
  • Ho0d1um
    icepick314so how much can we sue Apple for causing brain tumors due to constant electric shocks?I wonder if its part of the apple tax or is it an extra feature?
    Reply
  • JMcEntegart
    eddieroolzAgreed!$49 for a crappy earbud... :\
    I don't know anyone who bought iPod earphones on purpose. I only use mine because they came with my iPod.
    Reply
  • sandmanwn
    Boom, earshot!
    Reply
  • hallic7
    Mac = expensive, lie, health harm XD

    Oh, sorry! I forgot "cool, cute, awesome"

    LOL
    Reply
  • wicko
    eddieroolzAgreed!$49 for a crappy earbud... :\Err, 50$ for earbuds? Honestly? Wow, I had no idea they were that pricey. It doesn't matter what brand you buy, earbuds will always sound like shit..
    Reply