I have a pair of Sennheiser MX580's that I've had for over 3 years. Today I was using them to listen to some lectures on my computer when my wife pointed out that she could hear everything. Apparently you still hear the audio coming from the subwoofer, albeit faintly. I poked around in my computer a bit and saw in the sound settings that you could send bass to the front speakers. Thinking that might fix the problem I changed the setting and then played with the volume to see if I could hear the sound from sub with my earbuds connected (I wasn't wearing them though). It seemed to work so I put my earbuds back in noticed immediately the audio was crackling. I changed the sub settings back to default and listened again but the crackling was still there.
Thinking maybe the settings didn't take I reset the computer and switched over to mp3 player. Again, no matter what file I played the audio was almost drowned out by the crackling coming over the earbuds. Worried, I grabbed my wife's headphones and plugged them into the player. The audio was perfectly clear.
Am I correct in assuming that I blew out my earbuds? I know they aren't exactly high-quality pieces but I've gotten attached to them over time and they've survived things seemingly a lot worse.