Good, durable earphones?


#1

I’m looking for some earphones that don’t fucking break. My last pair (Klipsch S4) only lasted about 6 months before they started playing sound out of only one earpiece. As I live in Japan both of those [expletive expletive expletive deleted]ers at Klipsch and Amazon are giving me the run around so it looks like I’m fucked. These headphones had the same problem as my last pair (iPhone headphones) and the Sony pair I had before it which seems to be that the wire comes lose where the cable connect to the jack plug. Why can’t they make that part more fucking durable? I take pretty good care of my stuff but the wear and tear of being shoved into a pair of jeans everyday just kills it. I’m not much of a sound elitist. The S4’s definitely sounded better than my iPhone earphones but I don’t mind the iPhone’s either. And the iPhone’s seemed to fit in my ears better. Are there any decent, relatively cheap earphones out there that are also well built?

edit sorry for all the cuss words but I just got finished with Amazon customer service where they tell you to go fuck yourself in the most polite way imaginable! :)


#2

Sony MDR-V6 studio headphones.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-V6-Monitor-Headphones-Voice/dp/B00001WRSJ


#3

Grado SR80i or a pair of AKG K-240s. Stay away from Bose and Monster/Beats.

Edit: If you’re sticking to earbuds, I recommend Etymotic. They don’t mess around either.


#4

Are you specifically looking for ultra-portables/earbuds?

If not, I’d toss some money onto the Sennheiser HD-202s. Sennheiser’s a very good, very respectable company with a lot of products in the high-end audiophile zone, but their low-end stuff is actually super well-made and sounds great compared to the competition. They also have very generous warranty policies, although I’ve never had to use them. My 202’s saw constant in-home usage between my fiancee and I (swapping between our respective electronics every day or two) and more than a few falls or cord-yanks for well over a year without any issues. I eventually upgraded to nicer Sennheisers and gave my dad the 202’s; he’s still using them to this day, AFAIK.


If you’d prefer portable, look around for Philips wrap-around headphones with the elastic band (I think they might be branded as the “Sport” or “Active” model in-store). There’s a little elastic strip attached to the part of the headphone wire (it’s single wire) that goes into the earpiece. If you yank the cable, the elastic band fully extends and resists a centimeter or two before the actual audio cable does, preventing it from over-extending and loosening the connection.

Mine lasted about two years of daily, heavy abuse. Thrown in and out of backpacks and jacket pockets, worn in the middle of metal concerts, worn to sleep, yo-yo’ed up and down at my desk when bored, etc. I honestly think it might have been sweat from exercise that finally did 'em in, and even then, that took a few months.


Edit: Jeeze guys, he said relatively cheap. $100 phones are cheap where y’all come from? Damn I’m poor!


#5

I second those - though not sure how they sound :)

I’ve been through a dozen headphones in the last 20 years with my favorite cheap set (which at about $50 is still not THAT cheap) being the Sennheiser PX100 - but I’ve bought 3 in the last 8 years - they last about 16 months before the cable goes. I’ve had other Senn headphones, a few Sony, and am currently using a Grado - all died within two years, and the Grado, though only a few months old has a design flaw where the cable tangles very easily and I have the feeling the cable will short eventually (though it is pretty thick) - and lately the right side sounds a little lower than the left.

I love to recommend the PX100 and now the Grado SR80i - both give a very detailed yet tonally balanced and smooth sound, with the SR80i being a tiny bit more aggressive, but I wish they were better made (PX100 has been revised recently, they’ve added a thicker cable so perhaps that helps, but haven’t tried it yet). And it’s not that they feel flimsy or cheap, but come on, I take very good care of my stuff and the PX100 has failed me after about 14 months of use, THREE TIMES!

But I’ve had a pair of Sony MDR-V300 going on something like 10 years and they’re beat to hell (lots of tape holding them together) and I’ve never really taken care of them since I didn’t care much for them but amazingly, they still work. Not only that but although the sound was much too boomy originally, now that the headband is stretched and partly broken and the cups aren’t squeezing my ears to death, they sound pretty damn good. This and a few reviews I’ve read in the past lead me to believe the V600s are probably a good buy (and if they’re built anything like the V300, will last forever!).

But based on sound - I’m really loving the Grado SR80i (not the original “i”-less version which was a bit too harsh in the high end) and I’d buy a PX100 again, best sounding headphones for under $75 I’ve tried and can hold its own against the $99 SR80i and aside with the wire issue I’ve had, they feel pretty solid.


#6

It sounds like you could go one of two ways: Get a better quality phone that’ll last through whatever abuse you throw at it OR get a cheap set that won’t cost anything to replace.

For an IEM, I use a Philips SHE3580. I read about them on Headfi, they were supposed to have good sound for a cheap price. It’s true, you can even listen to dubstep with these, the bass goes deep enough. They cost $10, $10! Those S4s are typically about $100 right?

Otherwise Beyerdynamic seems to have pretty good build quality. In any case you’ll be looking for strain relief on the plug end AND that L shape, which I think is the best way to reduce wear and tear. Alternatively you can go with headphones(not IEMs) that have replaceable cables.


#7

Again, the reason I keep buying the PX100s even though they haven’t lasted long is that they sound fantastic for the price - they were $39 when I first bought them, then $49…they’re currently $59 and still worth it. But check out Senn’s other headphones, they can’t be beat for the price, whether it’s their $30 HD202 or their $250 HD598.


#8

There’s a cheap of Monoprice ones…hey, you do realize there’s another headphone thread just below?


#9

So there is! I’m looking for earphones (earbuds?) rather than headphones though. Something that doesn’t make me look like a tool walking around with them on. I’m looking for something multipurpose. I want to use them for working out, jogging, going to work and back, plug into my computer, etc. I don’t want expensive ones (especially after this experience-what a waste of money). The S4’s cost me $50 and for me that is expensive (I realize people have different standards for stuff like this). I just want something that will last for bloody ever with proper care and sounds at least as good hopefully better than a pair of iPhone earbuds (low bar I know). I really wouldn’t notice the difference. I’m sure some of my more musical friends would listen to a pair of iPhone earbuds and say, “this sounds like shit” and I would say “Really?”
If I compare them directly with high quality versions then obviously I’ll notice the difference but just on their own I wouldn’t notice any poor performance.
I saw on the internet someone suggested skullcandys. Are they any good? I don’t want something $10 cheap. I’m willing to pay $30-40 for a decent durable pair.


#10

Skullcandy is a crap LCD brand. Do you prefer inner-ear? I can’t stand those myself.


#11

I am not sure about availability in Japan, but I’ve got just the pair for you a few threads downpage.


#12

My experience has been that when you go low budget you will have to give up something. If there was an IEM that had excellent build quality, sound good, and not look goofy they wouldn’t be cheap now would they?

The Philips I have for instance, cheap build quality including microfonics from the cable. This cable noise makes them not a good idea for jogging, jostling the cable around would cause an annoying amount of noise.

So you may be in a situation where you’re going to have to sacrifice sound quality in order to get a better build that can handle jogging and general portability at a low cost.


#13

the expensive ones can’t be that much better.


#14

from the other thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/580769/the-monoprice-8320-mep-933-the-7-11-club


#15

I do prefer inner ear yes. I assumed that most people do-that’s what I see 95% of people wearing anyways. I’m sure you can get great over ear headphones with much better quality but I would only want to use those while sitting at home in front of the computer. Plus I sometimes wear glasses and the headphones pushing my ears against my frames for a long period of time can start to hurt.

Tjohn thanks for the suggestion. Heck for that price I would pick them out just to test them out. Not sure if I can find them in Japan or not. Looking at Amazon.co.jp I came across these pair of Xtreme something or others from JVC:

I’ve never seen headphones so highly reviewed before-there are almost no negative reviews. Amazon Japan has them for about $40 US and the HA-FX1X (Amazon) are only about $25. I’m not exactly sure where the $15 difference comes in but they look like they might have potential. I’ll see if I can find them in store first. I’ll feel bad if I buy something from Amazon again so quickly after telling them that I would think twice about purchasing electronics from them again! I will also see if I can find any Monoprice headphones.

THanks for the help!


#16

Unfortunately for the price of shipping, I could get 4 more of those earphones! Do they weigh 25 pounds or something? :)


#17

I bought a couple of those cheap pairs from mono price and got them shipped to my family in Canada. I guess I’ll get them somehow eventually. If they’re is good as people say, they’re cheap enough that I would be fine replacing them every year if necessary.


#18

Beats by Dre? A buddy of mine says it pretty good.


#19

Those are shit.


#20

The Monoprice buds are among those rated here. All are rated for build quality/durability as well as several other factors.

I have the Brainwavz ProAlpha/ViSang R02 and swear by them.