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Weirdest IEM problem ever - static electricity??

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Ok, so -


I bought some Nuforce NE-6s a couple months ago for use with my Sansa Fuze. The first pair developed a serious short in the cord after a few weeks, so I returned them.


The second pair had a different problem out of the box - they made a continuous popping/crackling sound whenever the cord was moved. I read that the Sansa Fuze can have issues with certain headphones if their plugs insert too deeply into the jack, so I tried plugging the headphones in more shallowly and also tried an extension cable - they made the same crackling sound either way. I tried plugging three other pairs of headphones directly into the MP3 player and also into the same extension cable, but couldn't replicate the noise at all - so I returned the Nuforces for another exchange.


I'm on my THIRD pair - and these have the same problem! And after a few hours of frustrating experimentation, I've discovered a bizarre quirk - they only make the popping sound when the Fuze is in my shirt pocket. I can't replicate the distortion if I vigorously shake the Fuze or the cable, nor does it make any noise if I jump around with the player in my pants pocket. It also doesn't  make a difference whether they're directly plugged in to the MP3 player or plugged into the extension. If I lift my left arm or lean forward, there's that same crackling sound - even while plugged into the extension cable with the Nuforce cord held firmly in my hand! Other headphones plugged into the Fuze or extension didn't do this at all.


I took out my old Sansa Clip just now and found the exact same phenomenon.


Any ideas? I swear that I'm not imagining this. I'm assuming that the first pair also made this noise but I just never noticed. I only heard the popping on the second pair because I happened to be listening to spoken word at the time. These aren't subtle pops though - they're as obtrusive as surface noise from damaged vinyl.


I'm keeping the Nuforces - I'm just wondering what could possibly cause this sort of issue. Some sort of innate incompatibility with the sound circuitry shared by the two Sansa players? I'm at a total loss.


Edit - I just replicated the exact same effect with my PSP. It doesn't take any effort to produce the popping - all I have to do is put it in my shirt pocket and then move my arm slightly.


Edited by moleface - 3/20/11 at 5:54pm
post #2 of 3

Yea..it happens with certain iems. Probably crappy shielding around the cables since I've only had this happen with cheaper ones (pro alphas). My solution? Put my ipod into a pocket that doesn't get disturbed.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

The funny thing is, none of my other ultra-crappy headphones I have laying around have any issues like this - not even my $5 Kanen KM-92.


I guess I could eliminate this by recabling the Nuforces. I really like their sound - the only issue is the static electricity.

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