Originally Posted by tinyman392
Microphonics can be described like static, I can see where that would come from (that first statement was worded oddly, but still meant the cloths caused a static sound, unknown source). Rubbing and scratching are more general descriptions as well. However, he made the statement that he was in motion (active; gym cloths). Your suggestions for sources for this "static" (which I'm 99.9% sure is microphonics at this point) match sources for microphonics in general... Except they would involve contact with the housing (not the cable).
As for static, people were making fun of him above for that statement. What he was hearing was not literal static.
_______Static Electricity Stuff________
Static electricity wouldn't account for what he hears... Remember what static electricity is, a buildup of electrons. Electrons can only build up if there is no place for them to discharge. Their initial discharage will cause a sound, but after that, the additional sounds will be gone. It is theoretically impossible to statically charge a wire that is connected to an electric circuit, the small amount of electrons being added to the system will simply flow through (amps could/would increase).
However, I'll assume this did happen, multiple times... Enough to cause a problem. If what the OP was experiencing was true static electricity, what he would hear would be random volume changes (power = amps * volts => more amps = more power; more power = louder headphones => more amps = louder headphones) induced by a large gain of static electricity over very little time (milliseconds). This load would require a system that is efficient in generating static electricity (Something like a Van De Graaf generator).
I'm not so sure, I experience a lot of static especially with the coming of winter--when it becomes drier and I have to wear warmer clothes which often involves fuzzy or insulating materials. Or even nylon outers with other types of cloth rubbing against each other due to wearing multiple layers.
Even without all that much layers of clothes, I also experience static when on the treadmill or when my PMP is in sport pants pocket. The headphone jack is connected to the PMP, and both are in the pocket. With exercise and motion, they rub around on the inside of the pocket and sometimes there will just be static added to the sound. This is when I think armbands for PMP is a good idea haha.
I experience these even with headphones, which isn't nearly as sensitive to microphonics.
And the sound is none other than what you'd hear with "static" and noise in radios and other audio devices: noise, scratchy sounds, and pops. It has zero likeness or inclusion of volume spikes... if you want a common example, it sounds pretty much exactly when you're fiddling with the leads of a full size speaker that is plugged in. Or when you have scratchy pots in your receiver.
Not exactly the same as microphonics sound.
But for what matters for the OP, the more he can learn the better so it's all good. Can't say much about the people above but I decided to not suggest it being microphonics simply because it didn't sound like the problem (to me). I won't deny the possibility of being wrong though.
Edited by kalbee - 12/24/12 at 5:17pm