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Cheap but long-lasting headphones?

by Sinani201 / June 3, 2010 10:33 AM PDT

I feel like I have a headphone "curse," so to speak. Every time I buy headphones, after about 1 or 2 months sound starts to only go through one ear. Sometimes I can fix the problem by aligning the cord a certain way, but it starts getting harder and harder, then becomes permanent and the problem moves on to the next ear. I have tried many different headphones, but the same exact thing happens to each pair. Even if I take good are of the headphones, they still break the same way.

I've searched the internet for this problem, and the solution seems to be to simply get headphones with a thick and sturdy cord. That seems reasonable, but it's been hard to find earphones since I can't tone down a shopping search to the thickness of the cord (CNet appears to have the length of the cord, but that doesn't help). So basically, does anyone have any recommendations for this kind of sturdy headphones? I'm looking for a max pricepoint of $30.

I prefer headphones that go around the ear, but the kind that goes directly in the ear are fine for me too. But no over-the-head headphones.

(Sorry if this is the wrong forum for posting this kind of question. There was no phone related to earphones, and this seemed like the most appropriate place to put it)

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If I agee with you it's the "curse", then...
by ahtoi / June 3, 2010 5:12 PM PDT

a month or two from now you'll be looking for another headphone. So I am going to say maybe it's the user, hehe. So take it easy; the money you save is yours.

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Definitely user-induced
by make_or_break / June 3, 2010 11:04 PM PDT


Cursed? LOL. Look to the mirror and you will see the reason for your headphone heartache. If you don't change your habits in taking care of your headphones it won't matter how thick the wire is; your cans will fail, period. It's not the physical wire itself that fails, it's the wires' soldered connection points at the plug and at the earpieces. Rough treatment will break those points, period. And from what you've described in terms of how long your cans last, you're pretty harsh on your headphones.

Besides, a relatively low cost price point like $30 typically isn't going to land you better materials such as cabling or cable housing; that's WHY such designs are cheap to begin with. But with your self-described track record, I certainly wouldn't recommend spending more. Perhaps you should just find the cheapest set possible and buy in bulk.

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Not user induced
by Sinani201 / June 4, 2010 5:45 AM PDT

I keep the headphones in very good shape. Most of the time they are just connected to my computer and I don't take them out.

The part of the headphones that plug in isn't the problem. The problem is at the place where the wire splits into two wires for both ears.

If $30 wont give me better materials, then what will?

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Couple suggestions;
by ahtoi / June 4, 2010 8:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Not user induced

Don't know what type you use so I am just suggesting what I have seen. I have a couple of earbuds (came with my mp3 player) that has shielded wires. Looks pretty strong. I also have an over the neck one that doesn't have splits.

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by Sinani201 / June 4, 2010 9:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Couple suggestions;

What is the name of the headphones with shielded wires? Where did you get them?

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I don't have the box anymore and...
by ahtoi / June 4, 2010 9:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

there's no name on the earphone. But if you visit a store you should be able to see the wires are being shielded. On my unit, where the wires split occur, one is actually encapsulated and the other one is inside a metal cylinder. Like I say..it seem pretty strong. Good hunting..and you should be able to get it for under $30.

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When you are in the store, take a look at this.
by ahtoi / June 4, 2010 10:08 AM PDT
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Are those protected?
by Sinani201 / June 4, 2010 10:39 AM PDT

They look good, but do you think they will be less prone to breakage?

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by make_or_break / June 5, 2010 5:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Not user induced

I've had plenty of headphone/earphone sets that have NEVER suffered a failure at the Y-split for the wire leads, and virtually all of them don't have any added reinforcing at that junction. When I've had problems it's typically been at the miniplug connection or one of the earpieces, and even then those instances have been extremely rare.

But if that is the problem area for you, there are indeed some earphones that do provide hard reinforcing at the channel split. V-moda's Vibe uses a cased shield that the individual leads split off from, and at least online it's under $30. Not the best-sounding set available (I have a pair, but it's long since been tossed in the retired drawer because I dislike its sonic characteristics), but perhaps it'll prove to be more durable:


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