Apple warns of static shock from iPhone and iPod

iPhone and iPod users may experience a “small and quick” shock via their earbuds due to a buildup of static electricity, Apple warned Monday.

People listening to one of the devices in extremely dry air are most at risk of receiving a static electricity shock through the ear buds.  In a posting on Apple’s site,   the company stated that the problem was not limited to their hardware:

The static can potentially build up on almost any hardwareand could be discharged using any brand of earbuds.

This condition is very similar to dragging your feet across a carpet and receiving a static shock by touching a door knob. However, instead of the static charge building up on your body, the charge builds up on the device that the earbuds are connected to. Likewise, instead of the static buildup discharging through your finger when you touch a door knob, it discharges through the earbuds.

Static buildup on your electronic device is largely due to the environment that it is used in. Certain environments and actions can encourage static electricity buildup.

  • Very low humidity (dry) environments are conducive for static buildup.
  • Very windy environments are conducive for static buildup.
  • Taking your device in and out of your pocket can create a static charge.
  • Jogging or exercising with your device can cause a static charge.
  • Clothes made with synthetic fibers (like nylon) can easily become charged with static electricity.

via Apple warns of static shock from iPhone, iPod | Apple – CNET News.

About The Author

Jamie is a co-founder and senior editor at Technigrated, covering all facets of the tech industry. In addition to working at Technigrated, Jamie is a Founding Partner of NBR Design Studio, a graphic and web design and hosting firm headquartered in Bethany Beach, DE.


  1. i never knew that if i listen to my ipod for a while my ears hurt

  2. how would you prevent this from happening and if it does happen how bad is the shock is it goint to hurt or is it a small shock.

    • Great question Ian.If you perhaps had not read the article as it does explain in the first sentence…

  3. I believe that this is a big issue and should be blogged about thank you Jamie your a genius.

  4. That is really interesting. It would really hurt if your head got shocked. Maybe they will need to start grounding these devices somehow, or putting something on the outside of the devise that would be less likely to gain or loose electrons. As that is the reason that static electric charge builds up.

  5. That sounds dangeous.

  6. I don't think that this is a very big deal. Is there anything that would be an effect of the shocking? To me it doesn't seem like it would be a long lasting side effect.

    • No, it is just annoying to some users of the product.

  7. I agree with mallory i don't think a small shock could drastically change your hearing.


Leave a Reply