Kenyon Mythbusters: Headphone Ringing


 ipod_earbuds    Versus_sign                     RFID_Anti-Theft_Door_Gate_IC_Card_Reader_with_IR_Sensor

Sometime last year I walked through the anti-theft system, located at the entrance to the library, while wearing earbuds. I was immediately hit with a slight ringing sensation in my ears that lasted until I was at least a foot or two away from the device. I’ve noticed the problem with both earbuds and headphones alike, and I have finally decided to root out the cause of the ringing. 

Now, I like to consider myself naturally curious, but for the longest time I simply ignored the ringing problem. Having worked in a library the summer before Freshman year, I knew the theft prevention system had something to do with magnets. I chalked up the ringing to some sort issue between the magnets in the columns and the machinery in my headphones

This week, to satiate my desire to know the root cause of this issue, I turned to a Google search. I am not proud of this search, but yes, the words I searched were “why do my headphones ring when i walk through book detector” After a few searches with similar combinations of words, the only sources I could find were reddit and Yahoo Answers. I apologize that I was not able to find a better source, but the info sure seems plausible.

So, brought to you by BZWingZero of reddit, the ringing has to do with the electromagnetic driver in your headphones being affected by the magnetic field generated by the theft detection device (library books have magnets in them that disrupt this field unless desensitized).

There you have it folks, blame the magnets! Sorry I can’t solve the problem, but at least we now understand it.

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