What is the general/average lifespan of iems.?
Sep 1, 2012 at 10:42 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Dreamnine

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My Sennheiser ie8s lasted 2 and-a-half years before they died in one channel, 6 months outside the warranty. Not too good for £200 ear phones, I thought. But I wore them everywhere including many outside activities (although I was careful to not get them wet.)
 
My Beyerdynamic MMX 101iE (pictured) lasted 3 months to the day - the left side casing just disintegrated and I could see the bare wire - totally unusable. I also wore these everywhere and was pretty rough with them. Luckily, the shop replaced them today, no questions asked. I am pretty fond of the sound signature, very good for £80 iems, and I thought they were well built but apparently not. I don't think I'll be buying German stuff again after my experiences with both Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic iems.
 
My Klipsch x10i I really baby - I just wear them in bed, really, because those just don't look very strong (although they sound Ok).
 
What is the general lifespan of mid to high range iems? I'm interested to find out.
 
 

 
Sep 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM Post #2 of 18

TiRider

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Well my experience is varied and has nothing to do with price/sound -

Nuforce NE 6 - still going strong after two + years as my gym IEM.

Nuforce 700x - three months then an earpiece went out, replaced under warranty. Replacements lasted threes months as well. Shame I loved their sound.

Nuforce NE 600 - my current dailies, had them two months

ViSang R03 - three months then an earpiece went out.

Meelectronic M6 - nine months then an earpiece went out

Meelectronic CC 51 - almost a year of very light use

I'm tough on my IEMs. I wear them for hours a day at work, doing yard work, and at the gym. I expose them to sweat and snags. Over the years because they haven't lasted I've gravitated toward cheaper (<$50) IEMs.
 
Sep 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM Post #3 of 18

tinyman392

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Quote:
Well my experience is varied and has nothing to do with price/sound -
Nuforce NE 6 - still going strong after two + years as my gym IEM.
Nuforce 700x - three months then an earpiece went out, replaced under warranty. Replacements lasted threes months as well. Shame I loved their sound.
Nuforce NE 600 - my current dailies, had them two months
ViSang R03 - three months then an earpiece went out.
Meelectronic M6 - nine months then an earpiece went out
Meelectronic CC 51 - almost a year of very light use
I'm tough on my IEMs. I wear them for hours a day at work, doing yard work, and at the gym. I expose them to sweat and snags. Over the years because they haven't lasted I've gravitated toward cheaper (>$50) IEMs.

 
Price/sound deal with value and audio quality, so you are absolutely right.  It has nothing to do with either of those.  It deals with build quality mostly.  A build quality will help the headphone last longer.  What's more important is how you take care of the headphones.  The better they are treated, like any electronic device, the longer they'll last. 
 
@OP: I'd suggest contacting Beyer, you may have gotten a "dud" or "lemon" product. 
 
Sep 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM Post #4 of 18

Dreamnine

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Well, the shop replaced the MMX101iE's no questions asked, which I'm pretty pleased about as I do like the sound signature.
 
They look and seem really well built compared with many other iems, but I'm just going to have to be a bit more careful, I think, I wasn't expecting the first pair to disintegrate after 3 months.
 
Sep 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM Post #5 of 18

ClieOS

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No such thing as a 'general' lifespan for IEM. Some people breaks their IEM in days, some people can use a single pair for years. My first pair dates back to 2004 and still in full working condition even though I haven't used it much for the recent years, and I am pretty sure there are people who still hold on to their Etymotic more than 20 years ago. A good example will be me and my brother - he thought he has treated his IEM (which is mine actually) with decent care, but to me he is a rough user. That's why he always break his IEM in months while mine always look pristine.
 
Sep 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM Post #6 of 18

AccioHeadphone

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I agree with ClieOS. My friend and I both had the same IEM's. (Skullcandy Ink'd) He broke them in 7 months at the jack because of the way he stored them while mine are still going strong.
 
A lot of factors are going to affect the lifespan of a headphone whether it be how well someone stores it, how often it is used, what conditions its used in and this is basically different for everyone. 
 
Personally, I would just use expensive headphones in comfortable environments like homes, offices, etc. like you do with the Klipsch X10's and use affordable, cheaper headphones when you're out and about because one unlucky day, a cable will catch on something, etc. Or maybe that's just because I'm a klutz. 
 
Sep 1, 2012 at 10:05 PM Post #7 of 18

Spyro

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Agree with Cleios as well.
 
I have owned IEM's for several years with regular use and no problems/failures. Take care of them.  I'm on 2+ years with JH5 with daily use working out with sweat. I literally hang them when not in use and they just keep chugging along.  NEVER unsert and re-insert IEM with wet sweaty ear and go easy on wrapping and unwrapping of cable.  IEM should last many years
 
Sep 2, 2012 at 8:10 AM Post #8 of 18

Dreamnine

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With my ie8s it wasn't build quality they failed on - the left channel ultimately had about half the volume of the right. I was kinda expecting them to last a bit longer than 2.5 years. I nearly just went out bought the ie80s to replace them, but I'm not spending that sort of money every year or two just on iems (although I did with my 2 other pairs).
 
Sep 2, 2012 at 10:20 AM Post #10 of 18

soundbear

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I had a pair of DBA02's channel go dead within 7 months, the same with my GR07- after 7 months one channel went dead, got a warantee replacement then after 6 months lost another channel.   I keep them in a small fanny pack loosely coiled with the slider tight and my use is mainly outside on walks.  Sometimes I will catch them and yank the cord, pull them out of my ears and once they fell to the ground, concrete.   As advised above, guess I will have to get cheap ones for outside use.   I did notice that I never had an immediate failed channel when they fell or were jerked, it was always a dead channel when I put them on the next day.   Anyone have any guesses as to determine if its the cord or housing etc?   My Studio V is pretty bombproof, its been dropped several times and still ticking.   My guess is that I need to get specific sports IEMS for outside use?
 
Jan 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM Post #11 of 18

Dreamnine

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Well. 6 months and 2 days and the right channel of my Klipsch x10is  died last night - no sound at all.
 
Of course, today I just went back to the shop and they gave me a new pair... but 6 months is pretty poor and I didn't even wear them outside at all. The x10i sound good but aren't worth £150 because of their build-quality imho.
 
Jan 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM Post #13 of 18

kaixax555

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depends on how one takes care of it
 
anyway the most likely part to break down first is the cable, so probably the strain reliefs and cable thickness might be an approximation of whether it will be long lasting, though mostly it will be up to how you care for it
 
so far longest IEM would probably be my Ares at over a year, and not going to fall apart soon any time IMO
 
Jan 17, 2013 at 11:23 AM Post #14 of 18

Dreamnine

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It wasn't the cable that failed on any of the 3 pairs I mentioned.
 
The IE8s failed when one channel suddenly had less than half the volume of the right; the MMX101IE when the left bud casing came apart; and the x10i when the right channel suddenly failed. The cables were fine on all 3, at least, I'm sure they were OK on the Klipsch.
 
I got the Beyerdynamics replaced and they're still fine after 4 months, and I got new x10i today. I wouldn't buy Sennheiser again, though.
 
Jan 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM Post #15 of 18

Michael172

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RE262 lasted a year and 2 months before the driver in the left ear went. I treated them like **** though. Wrapped round my amp and cowon and chucked in the car storage thing when I wasnt using them.
 

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