Repair question(for hifiman re-400)

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions' started by utopianemo, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Utopianemo
    Hey all,

    The stress relief on the left channel of my Hifiman RE-400 sheared off at the point where the cable enters the left enclosure. It now can slide up and down the cable. I'm worried that the cord may itself shear over time.

    I am thinking the best solution would be to use some sort of epoxy to secure the strain relief back in place. Does anyone here have an opinion on the matter? Either a good product to use, or a better idea?

    Nathan Daniels
    Portland, OR
  2. Mad Max
    Epoxy might work, some super glue could be better.  Or vice versa for all anyone knows.  But the most likely event is that nothing will secure it permanently again, so some heat shrink there should do and that means disassembling the headphone and desoldering the left channel cable.
    Or just be very, very careful with that left channel cable where it enters the headphone and you should be fine.
  3. Utopianemo
    Are there threads here that talk about disassembling the re-400?  I looked but came up empty-handed.  Maybe I'm not using the exact term.
  4. Mad Max
    dBel84 has done it before for another forum, apparently.  Try asking him.
    It looks like it is probably as simple as with other headphones: remove the earpads, take out the screws that you find around the now exposed baffle, and you have access to the innards after that.  There may be more screws to remove as you go into the interior.  Don't forget to grip those screws as you pull them out, or they may fall into the driver and stick to the magnet and give you an extra hard time.  In the case of dynamic headphones, the screw can damage the thin plastic diaphragm that produces the sound.
  5. Utopianemo
    .....So the 400 is an earbud.  I can't paste pictures yet so here's a random link of a closeup. I'm pretty sure there are no screws; there is a seam on the enclosure with a mysterious hole nearby, but it's not a screw hole.  The whole thing either snaps together, or is glued together, or that hole has a pressure-release tab that allows for the headphone to come apart.
    I'm hoping there is someone on this forum who has taken apart these IEMs, because I don't want to be the test case. Even though they're "only" $100, I don't want to kill them just to fix a minor problem.  :) 
    The other fix I had in mind was to try and slip some shrink tube over them with a hole notched along the tube.  heating it up could create a sort of 'foot cast' wherein the bulk of the tube cinches on the cord and the stirrup straddles the enclosure.......but I don't think they make shrink tube with that much shrinkage so as to fit around an enclosure but still hug a tiny cord.
  6. Mad Max
    For some reason I mistook "re-400" as "he-400", one of hifiman's orthodynamics.
    Shoot me.
    The "mysterious hole" is a bass port.  I guess I can't be of any help.
    Utopianemo likes this.
  7. Utopianemo
    Thanks for trying.  It still helped me clarify what my options are.
  8. lovesound
    Hi All,
    Finally joined the forum today after years of just looking--- I am a budget audiophile, and all of your counsel has been amazing over the years to someone with limited funds-----thank you.
    I took a chance on the Hifiman RE-400 in 2015 after the price drop to $79 USD ( unhappy with sound out of box---have been in love with the sound ever since after an initial 2 weeks of "burn-in" and use with a Audioquest Dragonfly v1  DAC out of a standard laptop). I listen to almost everything ( primarily instrumental), and play music as a hobby.
    I was disappointed to find the same thing happened to me  after about a year----sound was intact, but BOTH sleeves pulled out per your quote below, Utopianemo. I had treated them like a baby, and took the time to wrap them loosely around my  fingers and place them in their accompanying case after use.
    I am happy, and thankful, to say they have been going strong without issues to this day in 2017 after the simple repair below ( $79 was, and is, a lot of money for me!). I profess no expertise.
    Went to Walmart and got some cheap "crazy glue" (cheap cyanoacrylate) for about one dollar.
    Used a toothpick as my tool ( really!) and wore a pair of 2.0 magnifier reading glasses during the repair.
    GENTLY--with my fingers, I pushed the sleeve in as flush as it would go.
    Placed a small drop of glue on the toothpick and ( IMPORTANT !! ), taking care to AVOID  the small ventilation port on the housing, carefully spread the drop of glue around where the sleeve and the housing met.
    After letting  the buds dry outside the case for a day, I did the same thing again with each bud, spreading the glue a millimeter or so down the sleeve for reinforcement.
    The repair, thankfully, has been amazingly durable---I am listening to them as I write this post in 4/2017.
    Some SIDE NOTES---
    I try to make sure to push ONLY on the housing exclusively while pressing them in my ear,  and avoid touching the sleeve.
    My wearing " style" is with the cord hanging down--- versus above the ear.
    Hope this helps---thanks for all of your helpful counsel over the years everyone, and happy listening! 
  9. Utopianemo
    I left that part alone and never had any issues with it.....but that's mainly because these have been sitting unused in my garage for the last year. Shortly after the strain relief issue, I started getting intermittent cutouts of sound related to cord position at the 3.5mm jack.  I bought a Neutrik plug to replace it, but it turned out to be impossible.  the copper strands in this thing are SOOOO FINE, and they seem to be touching each other.  The copper is colored differently for each channel, but I wasn't ever able to get the sound to work after that.  So I've been roughing it with iPhone buds, which is not ideal, but since I work in construction, it's better than beating expensive earbuds to death every 4-6 months.
  10. lovesound
     As you noted you work in construction, I hear you loud and clearly, Utopianemo. 
      The RE-400's  build , I feel, doesn't lend them toward being  "rough and tumble"  buds;  they seem to be a  little on the delicate side construction-wise. I find them OK for travel or a walk/ occasionally on a workout, but on a construction yard where there may be repetitive accidental pulls on cables, they don't appear to be built to survive.
    Fortunately I have not as yet had any 1/8" plug issues with my RE-400's. I have read in other threads it was more of a problem with the older models (as mentioned, mine is circa 2015) and that Hifiman may have addressed this to some degree, but I continue to be careful when I plug-in/ pull-out. I am praying that my good fortune continues---that type of fine wire work is completely out of my DIY league.
    Again, with your work, durability is likely to be a factor here ----but , as a fellow  RE-400 fan, I understand sound quality is important to you also---as it is to me.
    Found a link to a website for a list  of durable headphones ( "7 Most Durable Earbuds 2017") and for  those of us that are budget minded ("15 Best Earbuds for the Money 2017 ").  Hope it helps. 

    The best to you in your quest---happy listening!
  11. .Sup
    Damn I was just about to do the same - cut the cable where its causing problems and replace the plug. I had two re-400s die on me because of the same issue... :/
  12. rellik
    Great... The strain relief is just a piece of heatshrink over the junction to the old style hifiman SMA style rf connector. Careful use of a match or lighter should snug it back to where it will stay put.

Share This Page