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Why do headphones die so easily?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey all, I know this seems like a really stupid question, but hear me out. I have gone through lots of pairs of headphones, and they all just end up dying on me eventually. Usually it starts with one side slowly getting quieter and quieter until you can't hear it and then the other side quickly follows. This usually happens in under two years and has been one of the reasons why I'm afraid to buy a $300 or more pair of cans. So my question is, why does this happen? I've noticed it on both ear buds (Sennheiser Adidas CX 680) and headphones (most recently my CAL!'s). I treat them very carefully, don't shove them carelessly in my backpack, get water on them, etc. Is this just a normal thing? Is this a problem with the headphones or the cord, if the cord, will buying headphones with a replaceable cord fix it? Or is it these headphones are just to cheap, and I need to buy some actual, more high end decent headphones? Thanks for your help, I actually have a budget for more expensive headphones this time around, but I'd rather not buy a $300 pair, if they only last a little longer than a year. 

post #2 of 10

Maybe you need to start looking for higher quality or more durable ones. I personally have only had troubles with my Yuin PK2s which died on me twice and I just chucked them.Otherwise I had my ATH M50s for 2 years before I sold them. They were still playing like new. Earbuds and iems do tend to be less durable than headphones. Headphones are built pretty durable now though.

post #3 of 10
I have a pair of headphones that I bought new in 1980. I replaced the foam pads a couple of times, but other than that they work perfectly.

Do you wind the cord around the phones?
post #4 of 10
Quote:
I treat them very carefully, don't shove them carelessly in my backpack ...

"Carelessly" seems a trivial qualifier for shoving them into a backpack in the first place. ;)

 

You get a lot of things with more expensive headphones - robustness is one of them.  Many studio and DJ phones are built specifically for that, with audio-quality a secondary consideration, unfortunately.

 

If you really want a high-quality headphone that stands up to shoving into a backpack - the Sennheiser HD25-1 II (or Amperior and its variants) is the ticket.  It's pretty much bulletproof, but even then - if something breaks, every part on that headphone is replaceable - with very little trouble.

post #5 of 10

I've only had a Philips IEM break on me ever, and even it lasted around 2 years. Surprisingly, Apple's free Earbuds and EarPods haven't ever lost function for me. Had about 4 pairs since 2005 in the various iterations, all of them originally included with iPod/iOS devices. And I wasn't even that nice to them.

 

On breaking them, I guess it's just the nature of moving a small, flexing electronic device with potential for disconnect or damage from simply getting so much handling. I like to consider how much per month I'd be willing to pay for the improved experience of my devices and if it comes down to $5-10 a month over a year or two, I'd probably say it is worth it.

post #6 of 10

Are you using cases? I have a pair of crappy Sennheiser's that are going on 7 years old that I have treated like absolute crap but they are still going strong.

post #7 of 10

better question how loud do you listen and what are you powering your headphones with,

 

back in the day when I would own a pair of $10 Sonys ever 2-3 months [same pair] I liked LOUD music, not to loud but I'd max out my iPod Frequantly, and every few months I'd need new headphones, the other way I lost a pair of cans was suddenly! Like when I got my first amp... and we set it to high then cranked the onboard amp of the PC I was using on High too... the result one busted right driver

 

with cheaper headphones, like the many Sony's I used to own it was most often over drive that killed them.

 

With my Dt 880 600 ohm and my D2k and W1000x, I've yet to have any issues, and I'm using amps with 4-5x the power over my first Fiio E06 [using balanced cans with a Pb2 and NFb 10ES2]

 

So it could be... your over driving your cheap headphones... or some one is secrectly stalking you and ruining your headphones :3 

post #8 of 10
Get a pair of m50's, i've had mine for almost 4 years now. They still sound as if i bought them yesterday biggrin.gif.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the responses. To answer some of the things that came up: I don't wrap the cord around my phone, by not carelessly shoving them a backpack I mean that I have a dedicated padded pocket specifically for my IEM's (my backpack is awesome), also my CAL!'s which never left the house died the same way too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

better question how loud do you listen and what are you powering your headphones with,

 

back in the day when I would own a pair of $10 Sonys ever 2-3 months [same pair] I liked LOUD music, not to loud but I'd max out my iPod Frequantly, and every few months I'd need new headphones, the other way I lost a pair of cans was suddenly! Like when I got my first amp... and we set it to high then cranked the onboard amp of the PC I was using on High too... the result one busted right driver

 

with cheaper headphones, like the many Sony's I used to own it was most often over drive that killed them.

 

With my Dt 880 600 ohm and my D2k and W1000x, I've yet to have any issues, and I'm using amps with 4-5x the power over my first Fiio E06 [using balanced cans with a Pb2 and NFb 10ES2]

 

So it could be... your over driving your cheap headphones... or some one is secrectly stalking you and ruining your headphones :3 

I'm thinking this is the probable cause. I listen to music anywhere from four to five hours daily (cranking out that college work) and also I use them on the bus and have to turn up the volume a bit on my IEM's. However, it seems from yours and other's responses that an actually decent pair of headphones won't experience that problem so that is nice. So, I should be good when trying to buy a better pair....unless I really do have a stalker....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wubbles View Post

Get a pair of m50's, i've had mine for almost 4 years now. They still sound as if i bought them yesterday biggrin.gif.

 

Thanks for the advice, but like you kinda implied, the m50's came out awhile ago. I'm not trying to trod upon your headphone selection and I'm sure they're a decent pair, but I've been reading a lot of threads on here that say that today there are better headphones than the m50's at around the same price. I may be absolutely wrong on this, seeing that I am mostly talking out of my ass, having never gotten the chance to listen to them, it just seems to be the general consensus, so I think I'm gonna do a bit more research before I settle.

Edited by WTFiretruck - 2/1/14 at 3:54pm
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by WTFiretruck View Post
 

I'm thinking this is the probable cause. I listen to music anywhere from four to five hours daily (cranking out that college work) and also I use them on the bus and have to turn up the volume a bit on my IEM's. However, it seems from yours and other's responses that an actually decent pair of headphones won't experience that problem so that is nice. So, I should be good when trying to buy a better pair....unless I really do have a stalker....

 

Audio TEchnica makes a nice headphone, most of those can take a good bit of power we well 

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