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I got a pair of in-ear headphones, broke the left earphone, bought another set, broke the right earphone, and joined the leftovers of both. I found white, grey, or beige fibers near the copper of the newer one, the white set, from June 2019, and not on the grey set from January 2019.

overview of headphones

beige fibers

I imagine that these fibers give the wire strength or insulate the Joule effect. At worst, I worry that they are asbestos. For reference, the headphones are Sony MDR-AS210 Sports In-Ear Splashproof Headphones.

What are these fibers and what is their purpose?

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    $\begingroup$ Asbestos in old products would be expected only where heat needs to be accommodated; I'd worry about it in old hot plates and kettles, but not headphones, and certainly not new headphones. $\endgroup$
    – CCTO
    Jun 4 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @CCTO Can you write an answer? $\endgroup$ Jun 5 at 8:46
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The fibre is usually the first part of the cable making process, as it forms the support for adding further components as the thin signal cables need the fibre support.

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  • $\begingroup$ What is the material of the fibers? $\endgroup$ Jan 22 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ Not sure what “the” fibre is in your image, can be a simple “cotton” string or a nylon, or similar, plastic string and one reason for the choice is to control the flexibility. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 23 at 6:48
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Those fibers are also commonly used to color-code the wires so you will not confuse them when you strip off the insulation, and wire up your device backwards.

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