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So basically, I've brought several headphones. Within a few days, one of them almost always fails for some reason. It happens for different brands of headphones (both ones that cover the entire ear and ones that are earphones) and when I plug them into different types of computers.

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I've had five consecutive pairs of canalphones' right speaker fail after [x] months in a row. Something ain't right about that... –  Nick Bedford Jul 22 '11 at 1:42
    
Wow - do you know any way to correct that? –  InquilineKea Jul 22 '11 at 4:28
    
Is the same side of the headphones always breaking? That would indicate the problem is probably happening with the plug. –  neilfein Aug 16 '12 at 19:22
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3 Answers

If this is happening over and over, it's almost certainly something you've been doing. As DreLambo says, do you wrap the cable around something? Do you twirl the cable around your finger? Stuff them in a pocket when not in use? Wind the cable sharply when putting them away?

Pay attention while using the headphones, and perhaps you'll have an "aha!" moment.

I have had several pairs of headphones that have lasted for years. In particular, I have one pair of headphones I've been using for well over a decade (JVC HA-D500 semi-enclosed, a unit that is no longer made). I usually replace headphones to get better sound quality, not because the headphones have died. (I've broken two or three our of perhaps a dozen sets over the years.)

The absolute cheapest headphones will usually fail after a while, but if you spend a little money on them and take a little care and they will last. The first thing to fail on headphones is usually the plug. While I'm pretty handy with a soldering gun, many modern headphones no longer come with solderable plugs.

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It doesn't seem to matter what you do with your headphones.I stored mine is a circular case after each use.I hav had the expensive Ipod models and the 10 dollar cheap ones.None have lasted more than six months.It seems it is a sign of our disposable times.I am wondering if the ones i see with a flat cable are any better? –  user2781 Aug 16 '12 at 8:42
    
@matthewgibb - I respectfully disagree, and I believe it absolutely matters what you do with your headphones. Have added to my answer to address this. –  neilfein Aug 16 '12 at 19:22
    
In over 20 years I have only had one pair of headphones fail. And I only ever use the free ones that come with phones, mp3 players etc. I never wind the cable - preferring to stuff them in a pocket loosely. –  Rory Alsop Sep 26 '13 at 14:43
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Usually when one side of my headphones stops working it is due to a fault in the cable somewhere. Most often it happens near one end of the cable or the other. Almost always the problem in the cable is caused by me catching the cable on something and yanking them off of my head.

If this is the problem, the only thing you can do is be more careful or buy a better brand of headphones with a tougher cable.

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Don't wrap the cable around the device you use it with and don't put pressure on the cable when it's connected!

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