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Do driver in headphone degrade when age?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

Hi, Just wondering do driver in headphone age and degrade accordingly or it will stay the same sonic quality as long as it's working?

 

post #2 of 54

Transducer is just like any electrical piston motor. Given enough usage, it will slowly degrade in performance due to wear and tear (though probably not very noticeable most of the time) and eventually suffer a total failure.


Edited by ClieOS - 7/9/11 at 5:09am
post #3 of 54
Thread Starter 

Wow, if it is true than some of them may sound different even if it is the same phone due to age. I have to be more choosy when buying used phone next time. :)

post #4 of 54

Isn't this what some refer to as burn-in? I would expect that the actual mechanical operation of headphone drivers stay well below levels at which permanent changes occur in the materials. Change, if any, would be most significant in the first moments of usage, and then converge to zero as the headphones age.

 

In-ear monitors typically fail from either wax buildup in the sound port (clogging filters) or from wire or soldering problems. Driver failures aren't unheard of, but my impression is that they're manufacturing defects, not age-related failure.

post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 

 

Oxidation is in cable/joint is probably another reason?
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

 

Oxidation is in cable/joint is probably another reason?

Oxidation doesn't affect sound. AFAIK.
 

 

post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 

nice, that is new knowledge for me.

 

Quote:
 

 

eldge fi
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronz View Post



Oxidation doesn't affect sound. AFAIK.
 

 



 

post #8 of 54

The drivers in my old Grado RS1 and HP1000 degraded so much they are unlistenable now. wink.gif

post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post

The drivers in my old Grado RS1 and HP1000 degraded so much they are unlistenable now. wink.gif


i cry bullschitt

 

post #10 of 54

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post

The drivers in my old Grado RS1 and HP1000 degraded so much they are unlistenable now. wink.gif


Isn't that what we call "burn-out?"

post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soaa- View Post


Isn't that what we call "burn-out?"


Good one!

 

I was only joking about those headphones. They still sound wonderful after many years of use.

 

post #12 of 54
Thread Starter 

I do find phone sounds abit funny if left unlisten for many months. They become normal afterusing for a while, do you experience the same thing?

post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

I do find phone sounds abit funny if left unlisten for many months. They become normal afterusing for a while, do you experience the same thing?



... placebo! 

post #14 of 54

I have a test for you.  Try listening to bassy IEMs, then something with less bass like ER4P.  Let me know what you think.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

I do find phone sounds abit funny if left unlisten for many months. They become normal afterusing for a while, do you experience the same thing?



 

post #15 of 54

I think of the headphone drivers like a pair of running shoes (that last years instead of months):

  • When you first get them you have to break them in (IE burn in).  This is just using them [lightly sometimes] until they are more flexible.
  • The sweetspot.  They are perfect and are at the prime of their life.  They stay this way for the majority of their life.  They work as intended and are comfortable.
  • Wear and tear.  They can wear and tear with normal usages.  After a while, they don't feel the same and you can't really use them anymore without problems occurring...

However, like shoes, they are probably more likely to be damaged in an accident.  Unlike shoes, drivers rarely ever fail due to time, it's really hard to do that.  They do degrade, but it takes a while for that to happen.

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