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How to tell the difference between a cable problem and a driver problem?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I've owned the UM2RC for a month and they really are a step up from my previous set of earphones.

 

Recently, however, the right side seems to have less volume than the left. There is also a noticeable "cracking" sound when I increase the volume, especially prevalent on tracks with female vocals/treble.

 

I've tried to reduce the variables down by attaching the LHS cable with the RHS earbud and vice versa, yet the "cracking" sounds still seems to appear on the right earbud.

 

My question is that, can this conclusively be a driver problem on my right earbud? It is hard to believe as I have only owned it for under a month and followed the maintenance and care that is instructed on the manual (put in case, clean residue in canal, no moisture).

 

Of course, I do hope it could be a cable problem (although I have tested on many devices and songs and the right earbud is still the culprit) since it can be easily resolved.

 

The other possible reason I thought was perhaps I blown the driver? I play my music through a 5G iPod (no amp) on Rockbox at around -20dB...although I am not sure if that's sufficient to blow the driver.

 

TLDR: Right earbud "cracking" sound during female vocals/treble when playing music at higher volumes, cable or driver problem? It is possible for Westone to just repair the driver and reattach the housing/shell?

 

Any response is appreciated, just ever so slightly irritated how I purchased the UM2RC to anticipate cable problems and a potential driver failure occurs.

post #2 of 12

You still under warranty right? Don't waste your time and send them back as fast as you can. Let them solve the issue and ask later what the problem was. Probably a BA failure

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Any help please?

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squallkiercosa View Post
 

You still under warranty right? Don't waste your time and send them back as fast as you can. Let them solve the issue and ask later what the problem was. Probably a BA failure

 

 

No, that's the thing, my warranty is out.

 

Are BA issues a common thing...? I thought I was going to be fine with the replaceable cables for a good long time...


Edited by kandywrks - 9/4/13 at 3:38pm
post #5 of 12

If the right side crackles on either side of the cable while the other side works on both sides out of multiple sources and with different track there's nothing wrong with the cable and it's a problem with the right side.  Whether it be a failed driver or the internal wiring will be up to Westone to decide and repair or replace under warranty, as they see fit, looks like the shell is in two halves so should be openable but I'm guessing from pics and I'm guessing you have reason to believe otherwise with them in your hand?

 

Edit: If the warranty is out you should be able to send them an e-mail and see what they suggest, no point playing guessing games as to what they can/can't do :smile:


Edited by suicidal_orange - 9/4/13 at 3:48pm
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidal_orange View Post
 

If the right side crackles on either side of the cable while the other side works on both sides out of multiple sources and with different track there's nothing wrong with the cable and it's a problem with the right side.  Whether it be a failed driver or the internal wiring will be up to Westone to decide and repair or replace under warranty, as they see fit, looks like the shell is in two halves so should be openable but I'm guessing from pics and I'm guessing you have reason to believe otherwise with them in your hand?

 

I was just hoping my deductions were not precise enough to conclude that my right earbud was faulty. Otherwise, I'll just purchase a new cable and be a new happy man again, although this does not seem like the case.

 

You mentioned that the shell seems to be "openable", and now that I think of it, they better be. Ideally, I would want to keep the blue and black shell intact with a driver change if possible.

 

Thank you very much for your reply.

post #7 of 12

It's easy if the cables are removable - just switch the two channels. Plug the right cable into the left earbud, and plug the left cable into the right earbud. If the problem is still in the right side then it's the driver. If the problem switches over to the left side then it's a cable problem.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

It's easy if the cables are removable - just switch the two channels. Plug the right cable into the left earbud, and plug the left cable into the right earbud. If the problem is still in the right side then it's the driver. If the problem switches over to the left side then it's a cable problem.

 

Yes, it seems definitive that it is a driver problem.

 

One more question might I add, does anybody know of the common causes of driver failure so that I could prevent this from happening in the foreseeable future?

post #9 of 12
Moisture, strong magnets or mechanical failure.
Some are lucky, others don't. If you live in the US, send them to repair even without warranty. They might give you a good price for a new right side.
Edited by squallkiercosa - 9/4/13 at 7:08pm
post #10 of 12
BTW, does the westone have filters inside? It could be ear debris...
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squallkiercosa View Post

BTW, does the westone have filters inside? It could be ear debris...

 

I think the pair I have have filters inside; I can see mesh-like wiring when I look into the canal. I cannot see any evident residue that is clogging it up, unless debris actually went through the filter.

 

Thanks for your responses squallkiercosa!

post #12 of 12
For dynamic drivers, usually strong shock/vibration, like getting dropped. For balanced armatures, moisture.
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