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74 posts

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# 82596 2-May-2011 22:13
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I've been through about 7 different In ear Headphones in the last 5 years and all of them (costing between $20- $30), no matter what brand or make (Sony, Sanyo & Philips), have become "Tinny" sounding after about a year of use. I usually have the volume fairly low (1-4 bars on my Nokia Music Xpress 5130 depending on the ambient noise level within the current environment I am in), so it's not like I'm deliberately blasting them.

Usually one side starts to noticeably lose it's bass response then shortly after the other side will lose it's bass response as well. Is this normal? Do the other, say more expensive brands suffer the same problem?

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gzt

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  # 464692 2-May-2011 22:27
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No idea, usually destroy mine in service before they get that old, and for that reason buy at the cheaper end.

In theory bass response is a function of how much the speaker diaphram can move. If some foreign material is weighting it slightly maybe that would cause a problem. Try a plastic safe non-corrosive solvent to clean an old one and see if it makes any difference. Go mad with the stuff, it's great.

If it is some weird magnetic fade type thing, that would change the electrical properties and there should be some way to measure that.

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  # 464836 3-May-2011 12:55
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I have personally never experienced this, but I have never purchased headphones in this price range. You're not likely to experience quality issues like this if you get yourself a decent pair.

 
 
 
 


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  # 464851 3-May-2011 13:08
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I've never noticed this, but don't buy headphones that cheap either. I'd had dozens of pairs of headphones for reviews too. Usually the cheaper ones get busted before anything like that could happen.

Check out my headphone review website for some suggestions on better quality headphones. Ultimate Ears are good, and there are some reasonably priced ones. J B Hifi have a surprisingly good range.

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  # 464878 3-May-2011 14:11
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I've never experienced that phenomenon, but my first couple of pairs of iPod headphones (starting with an iPod Mini) both developed fading volume levels in the right earphone. They're the only headphones I've experienced this with.

And no, it wasn't the hearing in my right ear that was failing in both these instances. :-)

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  # 465367 4-May-2011 18:35
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I havent heard any difference between cheap $20-30 phones and the $2 shop ones to make it worth spending that extra on my disposable ones.

One more thing that can cause a drop in bass is if the port gets blocked up. check that its not full of earwax and pocket lint etc.




Richard rich.ms



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  # 466877 8-May-2011 19:40
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Thanks for everyone's replies. I Suspect the problem may indeed at least be partially down to gunk accumulation in the ear phones. I tried cleaning my current set of earphones with a bit of hydrogen peroxide and there was some perceptible improvement in the bass response, (although not 100% restored).

FWIW, as a note of interest -- With the few ear phones I had continued using after noticing the fading bass response, the volume in both sides (asymmetrically) overall did progressively become lower until they were so quiet at which point I binned them. (so I do wonder if the "drivers" themselves wear out over time?)

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  # 467136 9-May-2011 14:59
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Im sorry but if youre only spending $20-$30 on a pair of headphones then I dont know what you expect. If you place any value on sound quality (not to mention your ears) why not get a decent pair of headphones ?

You dont need to spend a fortune. Ive had a pair of Koss PortaPro's for over five years and they have been brilliant for ipod use. They cost about $75 through ebay the bass in these things is phenominal considering what they are.

I still use them from time to time but I now use my laptop with ASIO4ALL pushing the music straight to a Fiio E7 headphone amp/dac via usb, with a set of Sennheiser HD595's.

Granted thats a wee bit more than $20's but my god its good :)

 
 
 
 


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  # 467146 9-May-2011 15:20
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richms: I havent heard any difference between cheap $20-30 phones and the $2 shop ones to make it worth spending that extra on my disposable ones.

One more thing that can cause a drop in bass is if the port gets blocked up. check that its not full of earwax and pocket lint etc.


I wouldnt expect a difference between $2 and $30. I would expect a difference once you go over $80.

I have Sennheiser CX-400 which cost $129 and sound fantastic - more bass then you can shake a stick at.

Do yourself a favour and buy a decent set, you will never go back to cheap phones again.




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  # 467253 9-May-2011 19:12
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geekiegeek: I wouldnt expect a difference between $2 and $30. I would expect a difference once you go over $80.

I have Sennheiser CX-400 which cost $129 and sound fantastic - more bass then you can shake a stick at.

Do yourself a favour and buy a decent set, you will never go back to cheap phones again.


Agreed. I'm astounded by the number of people who are happy to spend $300 on an iPod, but won't spend half of that amount on a reasonable pair of headphones. 

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  # 467274 9-May-2011 19:52
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I've heard more headphones than almost anyone. $3 headphones are junk. $30 headphones can be ok. $150 headphones are usually good, but can be as bad as $10 headphones.

I was sent some US$975 headphones and hey were just amazing, the only headphones I've ever heard that come close to my speaker system.

I've owned plenty of headphones, none have ever lost bass. I would suspect wax buildup. Clean your ears more often. Couple times a week.



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  # 467277 9-May-2011 19:54
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martyyn: Im sorry but if youre only spending $20-$30 on a pair of headphones then I dont know what you expect. If you place any value on sound quality (not to mention your ears) why not get a decent pair of headphones ?

You dont need to spend a fortune. Ive had a pair of Koss PortaPro's for over five years and they have been brilliant for ipod use. They cost about $75 through ebay the bass in these things is phenominal considering what they are.

I still use them from time to time but I now use my laptop with ASIO4ALL pushing the music straight to a Fiio E7 headphone amp/dac via usb, with a set of Sennheiser HD595's.

Granted thats a wee bit more than $20's but my god its good :)


Thanks everyone.

At the end of the day, that is what I was trying to assess -- Whether or not the more expensive earphones would last the distance. I have no doubt they will sound better and I'm more than happy to spend more on a decent pair if they will last (rather than fizzing out only after a year of use, which I was unsure of) so I will be looking to pick up a more expensive set of ear phones in the next week or so based on the recommendations here.

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  # 467304 9-May-2011 20:42
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I have all of these earphones that i've been meaning to sell after I reviewed them, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I also have Earjax Moxy and their big brother I think (both quite decent) and Altec Lansing Muzx (quite crap but they control and iPod). Let me know if you're interested in any. I get so many samples I sell most of them on trademe/ebay, they've been used a couple of times each so they sell below retail. They all come with removable and washable earpieces, and spare earpieces in different sizes.

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