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Is it time to replace my IEMs? (Poor college student)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

A few years ago, I hopped on Amazon's $99 deal for the Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10.

 

I've used them primarily for working out at the gym and so far has lasted me longer than my "sporty" Sennheiser earbuds that I've owned previously. Fast forward to today:

 

One of the sides (I believe you audiophiles call them "channels") keeps fading in and out every time I move (which moves the wire). After a while, the problem became more drastic as it started fading even with the slightest nudge and the other channel also started to begin fading in and out, albeit not as much. I hated these OEM cables from UltimateEars... The only thing that I did like about them was the memory wire that keeps the loop that goes behind my ears intact. This however was a double edged sword: when I wrapped the cord around my Iphone/Ipod and it forever kept those loops and no matter how much I tried straightening them, it never went away...

 

Logic tells me that the issue is with the cable (If I wiggle it just right, the sound comes back on). If this is the case, I'd have to replace the cable. HOWEVER:
 

1) Is it possible that the issue is in fact not with the cable, and instead due to the "mainframe" of the earbud (you guys call them "monitors", I believe)? Is there an easy way to check the source of the problem?

 

2) Is this even worth replacing the cable? (In other words, should I just buy a $50-100 new pair of earbuds?) A quick search on these aftermarket cables and they seem to be pretty expensive. As far as sound quality goes, I love these things and the for the price that I bought them for ($99) and their original MSRP, I got it at a good deal. 

 

3) I believe the IEM's mainframe is still in good condition. There seems to be a "milky" colored scratch in the interior though. (Pictures below) I don't believe it's the plastic housing being bent (like when you try to bend the plastic packaging of a brand new item, it starts turning white at the area of the bend) The housing itself is pretty sturdy and there's no sign that it's about to open. Anyone know what it is? Should I be worried?

 

4) If you guys think it's safe to keep these earbuds and the problem lies in the cable, are there any recommendations you guys have for a decently priced cable that is durable/sweat-resistant? BlackFriday is coming up... any good deals?

 

Thanks all!

 

1000

 

1000

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiyobeats View Post

1) Is it possible that the issue is in fact not with the cable, and instead due to the "mainframe" of the earbud (you guys call them "monitors", I believe)? Is there an easy way to check the source of the problem?

 

2) Is this even worth replacing the cable? (In other words, should I just buy a $50-100 new pair of earbuds?) A quick search on these aftermarket cables and they seem to be pretty expensive. As far as sound quality goes, I love these things and the for the price that I bought them for ($99) and their original MSRP, I got it at a good deal. 

 

3) I believe the IEM's mainframe is still in good condition. There seems to be a "milky" colored scratch in the interior though. (Pictures below) I don't believe it's the plastic housing being bent (like when you try to bend the plastic packaging of a brand new item, it starts turning white at the area of the bend) The housing itself is pretty sturdy and there's no sign that it's about to open. Anyone know what it is? Should I be worried?

 

4) If you guys think it's safe to keep these earbuds and the problem lies in the cable, are there any recommendations you guys have for a decently priced cable that is durable/sweat-resistant? BlackFriday is coming up... any good deals?

 

1) Unlikely, but anything is possible. I do believe it is a cable issue by your description.

 

2) Replacement cable can be found on $25 or less (check eBay), so it is definitely worth to replace it. You can find some really good sounding IEM under $100, but not with $25, and especially since you enjoy TF10 sound.

 

3) That's normal, as the nozzle is glued to the housing so the milky part is the glue they used.

 

4) ...I'll recommend T-PEOS H100 as TF10 direct upgrade, but it is more like a $150 deal and you won't get any Black Friday discount (it si a Korean company). Unless there are some very major deal, I think replacing cable is your best bet.

post #3 of 3
I think it's the cable personally, I'm guessing a section around the memory wire has gone a miss over time from bending it back and forth, common problem with stock TF10 cable. I'm fairly confident it's not a housing issue owning two pairs in the past... I shall suggest you purchase one of sunricky's cables on ebay, you can go for his cheapest / mid range cable. Most popular here for TF10 upgrade (through sunricky) is Dark Lord. (check his listings for cheaper alternatives)

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Dark-Lord-Telfon-upgrade-cable-for-Ultimate-Ears-UE-TF10-5-/261125589494?pt=UK_Home_Garden_CD_DVDStorage_SM&hash=item3ccc4c49f6

I also second ClieOS suggestion on T-PEOS H-100 as a direct upgrade if you're interested. $120 I believe with Head-Fier discount express EMS shipping included. Though considering your TF10 are possibly not entirely dead, Id go for the cable first. Unless! of course you want a whole new sound entirely. wink.gif
Edited by H20Fidelity - 11/21/12 at 8:52pm
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