Fixing iPod remote headphones

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Like many others, I enjoy listening to music, podcasts and books while I run. When I saw Apple had produced iPods with a remote control on the headphones, it seemed like a good idea. Having tried it them out, the remote control is awesome when it's working. Being able to pause, change volume, skip songs, play the same song endlessly, change playlists without fiddling with the player is really nice. The problem is that it's nice "when it's working". If the remote control gets a drop of sweat or rain on it, it goes mad, randomly changing volume and song.

I hope that Apple will bring out some new headphones with a waterproof remote, but until then, I've come up with a cheap fix. This will not make them completely waterproof, but it makes them usable in most conditions, though the fix does not always last. I've purchased four pairs of the Apple remote control ear buds and each has died.

The fix is just to wrap the remote section of the headphones is plastic wrap (saran wrap or similar), then tie it off with cable ties. Take a look at the pictures below to see how this works.

I have not tried this fix with the more expensive remote+headphones that are sold by Apple. Those headphones use a system that requires a good seal with the ear to produce the bass tones, and I find that they do not work when running. All you hear is your footsteps!

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1 Update

  • Put the headphones in a sealed container with silica gel (the little packets you get in packaging to keep things dry) for a day or two before making this fix. That will ensure you are not wrapping the moisture in.
  • I've also attempted to put silica gel in side the plastic wrap to try to keep things dry.
  • The plastic wrap will perish over time and need replacing.

2 Other Changes

I use Innovelis BudFits to keep the Apple earbuds in place. These are plastics hooks that fit onto the standard ear buds.


I've also found that Acoutibuds improve the sound quality slightly.


3 See Also