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Given the virtually disposable nature of Bluetooth headphones, are pricier ones worth it?

  1. Rackhour
    I’m getting closer to making a final decision on a pair of over-ears to wear when I commute - I’m actually slanting quite heavily towards the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition (just gonna call it Codex from here on).

    However, one thought still bugs me. With the exception of headphones made by B&O and maybe others I’m not aware of, every other Bluetooth headphone of any size has their batteries sealed inside. That would mean that once the batteries fully die, they become either conventional wired headphones or complete junk depending on whether there’s a wired option.

    Since I take public transit and I’m on the streets often, I don’t want wires. So that means after whatever I buy dies and I want mostly Bluetooth, I would need to throw it out and get a new Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

    So given this disposable nature, would it make sense to just get burner cheap headphones, or still invest in a nice one and make it last?
  2. serman005
    What is battery life on the Codex like?
  3. Rackhour
    Supposedly 14 hours per charge according to their website.
  4. catscratch Contributor
    When you say the battery is sealed inside, do you mean there is no battery compartment that you can easily open, or the battery is not user-replaceable at all? If you can undo some screws and open up the headphone and replace the battery anyway (and more to the point, put them back together afterwards), then it might not be an issue.

    Otherwise, yeah, buy cheap. No reason to reward bad design with your money.
  5. Rackhour
    It seems like only B&O sells batteries separately, and engineered their on-ear and over-ear models in a way that makes batteries user-replaceable.

    I have yet to see a teardown of Bluetooth headphones, or maybe I suck at searching. So that means you’re at the mercy of customer service to get anything fixed.

    The only other way that would make more expensive Bluetooth headphones worth their price is the customer service. Is the manufacturer willing to provide any kind of servicing, be it free or paid, during the time you own a pair? That’s where B&O falls flat on its face - at least B&O Korea does; I called customer service to directly ask what their warranty policy was like and they said that during the warranty period, they will do exchanges for free or at cost depending on the issue, but outside the warranty, they won’t even touch the product. I wouldn’t mind that too much if whatever I get is for indoor use only, but I’ve scratched them out now since I want a commuting pair.

    On the other side, you have Apple and Beats. Their warranty policy is probably the most generous, as short of snapping a pair in two, and assuming the pair was released after Apple’s acquisition of Beats, they are willing to service or replace discontinued Beats for five years after the date of discontinuation. So this means that the Solo3, for example, would still receive support until 2023 if Apple releases the Solo4 tomorrow. As far as Bluetooth headphones are concerned, this may arguably be the most generous policy.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018

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