I had been wearing my R-50 straight down, switching channels (left on right ear and right on left ear) because I could never get the memory wire to stay behind my ears when wearing them over the ear. Recently, I tried listening to the R-50 wearing them over the ear, and they sounded better than they do when wearing them straight down. So, I decided to remove the memory wire, and so I did. Now, I can wear the R-50 in the default position. Still, it is much easier not to try to place the cables behind the ears. I just let them hang down from the housing and the R-50 stay easily and comfortably in my ears and look good.
From this experience, I think that the safest and easiest way to remove the memory wire is as follows:
Work from the side that is far from the housing. Using a utility knife (one with a retractable blade) or just a small knife, carefully cut out enough of the rubber that covers the memory wire so that the end of the memory (metal) wire is exposed. Cut out enough rubber to expose a portion of the memory wire that is long enough to allow you to hold it with the tip of needle-nose-pliers. Hold the exposed end of the metal wire with one of those pliers while holding the earphone housing with the other hand and pull the wire. It should come out easily. Both of mine did. If for any reason, it doesn't, I don't know if it would be safe to try to pull harder. Now, you are done. Just slide the rubber cover down the audio cables to wherever you want it and your R-50 pair is ready for work.
Trying to remove all of the rubber cover (shell) before removing the memory wire is not needed and could be hard to do and risky for the audio cables inside.
Edited by Alberto01 - 6/15/13 at 10:56am