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Why Do My Headphones Keep Dying?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted May 26 2006 - 02:48 AM

It seems that I go through I lot of pairs of headphones. Now, I'm not buying the most expensive ones on the market. But it seems that after awhile, headphones I use just seem to die on me for no apparent reason. One day, they are fine, the next, they go bad. Sometimes it seems to have to do with the position of the wires and even just turning my head slightly causes them to cut out. Anyone else have these problems? Anyone know what causes them to die?
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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted May 26 2006 - 03:28 AM

Excessive stress? Bad solder joints? Hopefully they're dying during the warranty period.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   chris_everett


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Posted May 26 2006 - 06:49 AM

I've seen a lot of cheap headphones with lousy strain reliefs, and very small wire. Usually the wire breaks where it enters the earpiece, or where it's soldered to the speaker. Sometimes at the connector as well. As usual, you get what you pay for.
--Chris Everett

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   MikeH1



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Posted May 26 2006 - 07:06 AM

When I was a teen I used to go through them cheap $30.00 Sony bud headphones every 3 - 6 months. As I got older I bought a pair of Grado SR 125's that after a couple years they broke too. Then I switched to Sennheisers in May 2003 (HD590) and after thousands of hours using them for iRiver listening and gaming on the pc there still working great. Time for some "not so cheap" cans me thinks.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted May 26 2006 - 08:32 AM

I've been using the same pair of Sony's for the past 4 years with no problems, and I use them a lot. Go figure.
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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted May 28 2006 - 07:53 AM

My Grado SR60 also failed, but after ten years of use. I opened them and found out the strain relief is nothing more than a tie-wrap wrapped around the cable's jacking. There was nothing to keep the cable from moving inside the cup, which slightly twisted the delicate wires to the point one of them broke off the solder pad.

I decided to create a permanent fix for this as well as replace the original cable which has a nasty habit of becoming excessively stiff in low temperatures i.e. winter. I obtained some black 24 gauge hook-up wire and BRAIDED my own headphone cable!
Posted Image
The cables inside the cups are not only wrapped with a tie wrap as before, but I also hot-glued it to the cup itself. Now the cable won't move at all and the wires won't twist off.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   MikeH1



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Posted May 28 2006 - 12:43 PM

Good thinking Francois. I despised the Grado's cable, it would twist itself all over and eventually the right headphone quit working, probably for the same reasons you had.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted May 28 2006 - 03:22 PM

Thanks for dropping the brand name. I've been using these Maxell noise cancelling headphones since last fall.

They did a great job at first of making noisy roommate partying disappear. Probably around March, the sound quality got all scratchy with noise-cancelling turned on and then at the beginning of this month the quality of the straight sound degraded as well. I'm pretty sure it's because with the noise cancelling hardware in a clunky little box halfway down the wire, the stress caused the wire to pull out. Both of Sennheiser's entry sealed models - the Sennheiser HD201 and the Sennheiser HD202 - look like good replacement options. I'm leaning towards the latter because it supposedly has better isolation, but am worried about the fit. I have a large head, and the 201 is the only one to have the adjustable band.

With non-cooperative cooperative living, a decent pair of headphones become a way of life.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Matt Gordon

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Posted May 29 2006 - 09:32 AM

Another vote for the Sennheisers. I'm wearing a pear of HD 414's right now that are probably about a decade old. They still work fine!
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