Do replaceable cables work?
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Joe Bloggs

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Many people say that the cables on their IEMs die like flies, so they want or use IEMs with replaceable cables.  My experience is the opposite: I've never had a pair of headphones fail at the cables, IEM or otherwise, except by extreme abuse not induced by me (e.g. pulling the jack off tight sockets by the cable rather than the plug), and the one pair of replaceable cable IEMs I had died 4 times, none of those times fixable by replacing the cable.  The last time was actually caused by the use of replaceable cables--the socket for the cable came off with the plug.
 
To avoid derailing the UE900 discussion thread, I'm posting this poll here for those of you who own replaceable cable IEMs:  what has the replaceable cable done for you reliability-wise?  Since one may own more than one such IEM this is a multiple-choice question--e.g. you may have broken the cable on one pair, had the drivers go dead on another pair, and had a pair where the connection goes bad no matter which cable you use--that would cover all the three "breaking" choices.  I'd love to hear the details in a reply to this thread as well!
 
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tinyman392

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I have not had an IEM that had a problem where it broke the actual socket (or IEM itself).  All problems were cable related.  Headphones that had these: Westone W4R, Phonak PFE232 (both replaced completely; both companies wanted to see the problem entirely).  
 
To reiterate this one, the 900s don't have a cable problem right now.  I didn't replace the cable, nor did I replace the IEM.  The problem was due to a build up of grease or other foreign object in a thin layer between the socket and the connector.  This can easily be brushed off to fix the problem.  It wasn't a malfunction in neither the cable nor the IEM.  I don't consider this a failure, Logitech still wants to look at it though.  This is similar to the case of the W4R where the IEM functioned 100%, but they wanted to look at the IEM still.  
 
Replaceable/interchangeable parts is a beautiful thing...  It makes so much possible.  
 
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anomalouscode

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i've had IE8,SM3, em3-pro and twag cables all go out,... but that's more down to how i use them and not a manufacturing fault. 
 
of the cables that went out, none were due to a sudden shock or snagging on anything, but rather as a result of wear and tear,... i use them alot, a few hours during the day, a few in the afternoon, and i normally watch videos with them at night for a good couple of hours as well. out in all kinds of weather too.
 
also i just shove them in my pocket or throw them in my bag so i definitely dont look after them the way some people baby their things. i'm like one of those machines manufacturers use to stress test car parts, haha,... if someone's trying to design a cable, send it to me and if it survives 6 months you've got a durable winner, haha!
 
the point of failure seems consistent,... its always at the point where the cable meets the connector or if there's a plastic tube with memory wire, the point where the cable meets the edge of the tube.
 
cables will fail, its inevitable, it just depends on when, and that "when" depends on how well you treat your stuff. and because of that i always prefer replaceable cables to permanent, makes them easier to fix.
 
learning to solder is also a good idea as cable failures are usually very easy to fix.
 
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FullCircle

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AHHH  cables, cables, cables
 
Here is what I have seen.  Thus far, I have never seen a failure at the 3.5mm jack over mold for CIEM cables. But I have seen failures at the left and right male pin area (inside the over mold) and I have seen failures in the splitter overmold junction area.
 
For the most part, cables can be fixed, but they certainly do not appear to be "stock" after the repair work, and repairing the splitter or the left and right pin area is in my opinion difficult to do.
 
But here is a tip.
 
The male pins used for the cables are made via a lathe. After the pins are spun, microscopic ridges are left behind. Thes ridges actually help to secure the pins into the socket. (they act kind of like "barbs")  As the cable is inserted and removed from the socket over the course of use, those ridges become more smoothe.  After time, the socket will appear to be loose, when the reality is, the pins are the culprit.  A simple sollution is to take a pair of needle nose pliers and attempt to "smash" the pins flat.  The average person can not generate enough force to do that, but what will happen is the pin will change in shape at a microscopic level. 
 
Slide the pins back in to the socket and you will discover that they are now nice and snug.
 
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