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Dropping IEMs. Any risks of damages?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello forum.

 

IEMs being their small selves are pretty hard to handle or hold around with our cumbersome finger. Occassionally, I slip 'em and they just fall to the ground. Or sometimes they just swing from opposite sides towards each other and crash with that plastic-like collision sound.

 

Most of the time that happens to me my iem still works fine. But how can I tell if the insides became slightly flawed. 

 

I own a set of Klipsch s4. I've only dropped them once, but apart from that they collided with each other tens of times . I try to avoid that but it happens nevertheless.

 

I didn't really mind, til I noticed that my left earbud is distorting distinctly on loud and high-pitched segments of songs as compared with my right which is fine. 

 

So, question. Have you guys ever dropped your iems and detected immediate sonic flaws?

 

Or, for you guys who know all the complex tech within the earbuds themselves, does dropping an iem pose any damage risks at all?

 

Cheers. 

post #2 of 13

I'm not expert in this by any measure but I've never had any problem with dropping IEMs. I have Shure scl3 and SE115 and dropped them many times over the years but no problem yet. I think it's cause most of them are really light, the force of them hitting the ground is not as powerful as something heavy. So unless you're like 10ft tall, I wouldn't worry about it.

 

I once had my ipod touch fall down with my IEM still plugged in and that destroyed the wire inside because of the sudden jerk.

 

If there is something to be careful, it'd be putting IEM in your pocket or backpack. I've had several headphones whose wires were ripped, exposing, because they are weak. Again Shure earphones have unusually thick cable so they can stand some abuse. But from looking at S4 pictures...their wires seem weak. I'm actually thinking of buying S4i or Ultimate Ears 700 but both of their wires look really weak compared to Shures which can probably stop a bullet.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by j57park View Post

I'm not expert in this by any measure but I've never had any problem with dropping IEMs. I have Shure scl3 and SE115 and dropped them many times over the years but no problem yet. I think it's cause most of them are really light, the force of them hitting the ground is not as powerful as something heavy. So unless you're like 10ft tall, I wouldn't worry about it.

 

I once had my ipod touch fall down with my IEM still plugged in and that destroyed the wire inside because of the sudden jerk.

 

If there is something to be careful, it'd be putting IEM in your pocket or backpack. I've had several headphones whose wires were ripped, exposing, because they are weak. Again Shure earphones have unusually thick cable so they can stand some abuse. But from looking at S4 pictures...their wires seem weak. I'm actually thinking of buying S4i or Ultimate Ears 700 but both of their wires look really weak compared to Shures which can probably stop a bullet.

 

Hahaha... thanks for that reassuring comment. I shouldn't worry too much then. 

 

I only had my klipsch for 3-4 months so no signs of wear and tear on the cable yet. Will have to wait longer til I can judge on its durability. Plus Australian weather doesn't get too cold so the rubber cables probably won't harden and crack.

 

It is awfully short though, but I like it. Less prone to tangle or getting caught in your hands and causing a sudden jerk.

 

Oooo... Shure's a pretty sweet brand. I haven't had the chance to insert those freakishly good earbuds in my ears yet, coz of $$$$ haha.
 

post #4 of 13

You cannot tell the strength of a wire by looking at pictures.
Quote:

Originally Posted by j57park View Post   But from looking at .. pictures...their wires seem weak. I'm actually thinking of buying .. but both of their wires look really weak compared to Shures which can probably stop a bullet.

Spiders web vests.jpg

Does a spiders web look strong?

post #5 of 13

Is that a trick question? They don't look strong and in fact they are not strong.

 

If your argument is 'well they are strong enough to catch some bugs multiple size of the spiders', that's not necessarily due to the fact the strings themselves are strong, it's the position of how the webs formulated. It's more about physics and mathematics than pure magnitude. If that spider web was just one long line, do you think it'll still be effective?

 

But ya I know don't just a book by its cover...but compared to some other headphone wires I've seen, the Klipsch S4 and UE 700 do look weak. I am not saying they are but just from quick trying (and I've gone and tried the S4 and 700) I am going to say IMO that they won't be as durable as something like Shure or Sennheiser, albeit the sound quality was terrific

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by j57park View Post

Is that a trick question? They don't look strong and in fact they are not strong.

 

If your argument is 'well they are strong enough to catch some bugs multiple size of the spiders', that's not necessarily due to the fact the strings themselves are strong, it's the position of how the webs formulated. It's more about physics and mathematics than pure magnitude. If that spider web was just one long line, do you think it'll still be effective?

 

But ya I know don't just a book by its cover...but compared to some other headphone wires I've seen, the Klipsch S4 and UE 700 do look weak. I am not saying they are but just from quick trying (and I've gone and tried the S4 and 700) I am going to say IMO that they won't be as durable as something like Shure or Sennheiser, albeit the sound quality was terrific


Spider silk, also known as gossamer, is a protein fiber spun by spiders. Spiders use their silk to make webs or other structures, which function as nets to catch other animals, or as nests or cocoons for protection for their offspring.

 

Spider silk is a remarkably strong material. Its tensile strength is superior to that of high-grade steel, and as strong as aramid filaments, such as Twaron or Kevlar. Most importantly, spider silk is extremely lightweight: a strand of spider silk long enough to circle the Earth would weigh less than 500 grams (1 lb.)[6]---wikipedia

 

They don't look strong but they are damn strong, people and scientists are still trying ways to construct artificial spider silk to make personal amours such as bullet proof vests.

 

Wires are weak though... a prolonged bend in the wire could snap it and make it lose contact. Braided wires and twisted cables would do better imo
 


Edited by ajkda - 6/17/10 at 11:51pm
post #7 of 13

Oh sorry if I wasn't being clear but I meant one strand of spider fiber compared to one earphone wire. Unless I totally misunderstood and what you are saying is that one strand of spider fiber has better overall strength than steel and kevlar, in which case I'm sorry.

 

But either way, can we just drop it...I was just making an opinion, no need to get all scientific about it ha

post #8 of 13

A strand of spider silk is stronger than a strand of steel or kevlar of the same size.  It's just there's not yet any way to produce the stuff in quantities that will be useful to humans.  If it was possible to make spider silk in arbitrary quantities, then there would be probably be bullet proof t-shirts.

 

Back on topic, the shell of even the cheapest IEMs should be able to with falls from any distance.  They don't have mass to enough to achieve a high terminal velocity and are light enough that they will accumulate minimal kinetic energy.  In short, you could probably drop them off the Sears Tower and they'd suffer no more than a scuff mark.

 

The cables on the other hand, are the weak link.  Portable cables are small and repeatedly folded and unfolded which will cause the copper strands to fracture eventually.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 


 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

A strand of spider silk is stronger than a strand of steel or kevlar of the same size.  It's just there's not yet any way to produce the stuff in quantities that will be useful to humans.  If it was possible to make spider silk in arbitrary quantities, then there would be probably be bullet proof t-shirts.

 

Back on topic, the shell of even the cheapest IEMs should be able to with falls from any distance.  They don't have mass to enough to achieve a high terminal velocity and are light enough that they will accumulate minimal kinetic energy.  In short, you could probably drop them off the Sears Tower and they'd suffer no more than a scuff mark.

 

The cables on the other hand, are the weak link.  Portable cables are small and repeatedly folded and unfolded which will cause the copper strands to fracture eventually.


Good to know  . It'll be awesome to have a bulletproof T-shirt

 

I won't have to worry bout dropping IEMs now.

 

I've never had problems with headphone cables... yet.

I am thinking of getting the triple.fi 10 as my first high-end IEM in the near future, but I've heard that it's notorious for its crappy cable quality. I'm having second thoughts now.

post #10 of 13

Just be careful not to step on them after you drop them.  That will probably be fatal.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Just be careful not to step on them after you drop them.  That will probably be fatal.


Not necessarily, I stepped on my IE7s not long ago after I carelessly stuck it in my pocket and they fell out.  They were unknowingly dragged on the floor for quite awhile too, and then I stepped on the right earpiece.  I was about to be devastated when I discovered what I did but after seeing that the nozzle was only bent in slightly and cleaning them off, they were fine and still sounded great!  Still, be careful  though, might not be so lucky next time.

post #12 of 13

You're more likely to affect the outside shells than the insides, unless you drop them into the toilet - at which point you're on your own.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Darn water!!!

It's every electronic gadget's worst enemyyy!! 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post

You're more likely to affect the outside shells than the insides, unless you drop them into the toilet - at which point you're on your own.

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