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Can cold weather damage headphones?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Two mornings ago it was like, -6 degrees Fahrenheit here which is rare so even though some of you guys might think that's nothing, it's something for me. Other than freezing my ass off waiting for the bus it wasn't much different. You know, put my headphones on (JVC HA-S400s) listened to music the whole bus ride, whatever. Well ya, it is obviously pretty cold, and so the cable gets really stiff, normal cable behavior, no big deal. Funny, I have always feared that its gonna get so cold and brittle that its just gonna break the internal wires or something... haha...


Well... after that day on the ride home I found my cable to have a slight short in it. If I wiggled the cable near the jack the right channel would crackle and cut out just briefly, it never stayed out though, only when it was getting messed with. Well, yeah, I wasn't too happy! I seriously take really good care of all my stuff. No wrapping cords around my iPod or whatever lol, usually they just hang from my neck when I am not using them actually so the cable stays pretty straight majority of the time.


So yeah, well I just let them sit for a while when I got home. That night I decided to try them with my computer to make sure it wasn't my iPod's fault. Plugged em in, messed around with it and nothing happened! So I got my iPod and tried with that, again, nothing. I thought maybe it was just in cold weather it does that but only while its cold? But I mean the cable has gotten stiff before due to cold, just never -6 degrees stiff lol. I have no idea how or if cold would affect that though. And I don't see why it would only be the right channel either. 


Today in school it did the little crackle thing a few times, randomly and only for a sec. Then on the bus home it did it BAD. I am not very happy... So what's up? Can cold ruin cables or what? Is it just bad luck? I still have the warranty on my JVCs so I guess I will have to get them replaced mad.gif I wanna take my Ultrasone DJ1s tomorrow so I can still have music, but if they are gonna get ruined... I would rather just go without! Like I said, I have NO IDEA if the cold ruined the cable thing is even possible, I am just dumbfounded as to what else could have caused it since I am very careful with them, I suppose just a fluke bad pair I was shipped? Info on this would be appreciated, thanks

post #2 of 4



With cold weather comes moisture. It's less likely that cold weather did anything. It's more likely that moisture would cause damage.


I would just guess that it's more likely that you inadvertently damaged your cable or the connection some how, when it's cold, you don't notice how hard you're leaning, pressing, etc and things can get damaged more easily as your senses are a little numb.


Very best,

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Ugh. Well... hmm... idk, maybe I don't wanna risk it with my Ultrasones then! I don't wanna go without music though haha god listening to all the obnoxious kids on the bus will kill me tongue.gif Idk what do ya think? The Ultrasones are MUCH more durable than the JVCs... I mean the cable is about 3 times thicker and they are built pretty solid... what are the chances of me accidentally messing them up too?

post #4 of 4

-4? Pfft, and just this morning I was wondering when this -40 cold snap of ours is going to let up. 


In any event, the crackling can come from any number of things. Moisture has been mentioned already. It's also possible that the cable wires have started to break inside and they contract a bit while cold which breaks the connection, but once warmed up might regain contact. It's hard to say. 


Just because the Ultrasone has a thicker cable is no guarantee that it will resist the cold any better. At this point I wouldn't risk it. If you really need music while out and about in the cold, get some iems and tuck them inside your clothes. 

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