7 earbuds in 2 years. All break. Need alternative.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bungiefan89, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    My brother is in college right now, working towards a career as a welder. He's pretty deep into his studies and takes his work very seriously, but while welding and working with metal, one of the things he likes to do is listen to the music on his iPod.

    My brother has told me he listens to about 3-4 hours of music per day (it's a big part of his life, not just something he does to pass the time) and he has had roughly 7 sets of earbuds break on him over the past 2 years.

    The earbuds don't break because he's irresponsible, they break because he uses them so much. This has been the case for cheap earbuds and more expensive ones, mostly SkullCandy and Wicked brands.

    It's my brother's birthday and we want to find a solution to this problem for him.

    Our family has suggested over-ear headphones, but he says they're too bulky for his usage. While welding, he wears a beanie and goggles in addition to a welding mask that he often flips down with just a nod of his head, so while the solution to his problem doesn't really HAVE to be earbuds, they do have to be a sound delivery system that take up very little space.

    Right now, my brother has resorted to just buying cheap earbuds over and over again to keep the costs low for when they eventually break, but I'm wondering if there's such a thing as really durable earbuds?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance! :D
  2. Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    I've faced the same problem myself. Headphones do generally last longer, but if those won't work for you, then you can buy sports headphones, which usually last longer than normal headphones. I've had these amazing ones for six months, and hopefully they'll last me longer: http://amzn.com/B004477D00
  3. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    If they're dying due to sweat (common issue) maybe waterproof earphones will work.
  4. Shaun.P macrumors 68000


    Jul 14, 2003
    Omicron Persei 8
    I have a pair of Bose IE2 which have been robust. They fit my ears perfectly.

    Bose's aftersales is also very good.
  5. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

    Sep 28, 2012
    You might want to check out some reviews on wirecutter.com and decide.com and cnet.com. They've all reviewed various ear buds.
  6. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    I love my SOL Republic Amps HD but I can see that they're quite delicate lol.

    There's some earbuds that have these like "teflon" style cables.
  7. tbabb macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2004
    Itasca, IL
    I would also suggest you post this question over at Head-Fi.com


  8. sagnier macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    I use the earphones that come with Samsung phones. They are good quality and really cheap on eBay. Like, just a couple of pounds. Absolutely no point spending much on these items as they are so easily trashed or misplaced. I wrecked my first pair by accidentally dangling them in my bike spokes. After that I ordered 3 pairs for a total cost of £6.

    I have big, comfy and £££ phones for use at home, but for out and about I find the Samsung buds quite acceptable.
  9. redshot macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2008
  10. dude18 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2010
    Some of the shure earphones.have a detachable cable from the actual earbuds. I used to have a lot of earphones broken at the cable. Now I just replace the cable cheaply and keep the expensive earbuds.
  11. robo456 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2008
    New Jersey
    I've had a decent amount of experience with earbuds in the metal industry.

    I work in a metal stamping factory, and quite often I'll get the cable snagged on a piece of metal or even something as simple as a belt. Or especially when I'm welding, it'll get pulled a little too snug under my vest and if I move my head the wrong way.. yoink. If your brother (sorry, forgot if that was the case) does welding, there's really no way a full size headset is going to work with a full face welding shield. Maybe over the ears around the back style, but the masks usually get pretty close to your face for protection.

    In all seriousness, just go to staples and pick up a few pairs of the Skullcandy Ink'D or I think the others were Memorex. Whatever they were, it's the 9.99 to 12.99 pairs. They last me a few months before one channel finally gives in and cuts out. It's not worth spending alot of money on super quality headphones in a factory environment. You're not going to get the benefit. I dunno how your brother's place is, but we constantly have heavy machine presses going, air compressors, and even the welder is fairly loud; not ideal listening conditions for hi-fi. At home, yeah, go crazy, but at work, just save your money, buy the cheapies as needed.... and honestly, they sound really good to me; good highs, bass is great...

  12. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    I've had SkullCandy FMJ for about 2 years now. Amazing durabilty, great sound. Lifetime no questions asked warranty. What more could you want?
  13. Ice-Cube macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2006
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    I'm using earphones by NOCS. Awesome sound and durability for a decent price. I had mine dropped into coffee & Coke, scuffed and knocked around but still working like it did when I first got it.

  14. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    My brother in law is a welder and goes through headphones like crazy too. So I'm going to make the opposite recommendation and tell you just to buy him several pairs of cheap headphones.

    They're going to get sweaty, dirty and grimy. They'll be tossed around the shop and left on the bench and just generally beaten up. I can't imagine wanting to worry about $50 headphones in a shop, let alone $100+ bose.

    Find some decent, cheap, semi-comfortable headphones and buy him 3-5 pairs. Headphones for a year!
  15. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011
    Redshot here posted on the Klipsch s4i rugged. They are supposed to be put through the ringer.

    I have the standard s4i (aka, not rugged). They just recently survived an hour long tour through my washing machine. I'm using them on a conference call right now. Shocked would be a good description for how I feel regarding the durability of these.
  16. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I don't think the price of earbuds (at least anything below $100) matters with respect to durability. I handle earbuds gently and they always break before the warranty expires. My last pair, RHA, broke in 3 months. I think the issue is always the jack. It appears not able to withstand normal wear and tear. Soon enough, the sound is messed up in one ear.

    I had two pairs of Shure's that lasted me each over 2 years in the early 2000's. Then I had a lot of issues the Klipsch S4's. Great sound, comfortable, never lasted me the 2 years. I finally got tired of sending them to Klipsch for a replacement and purchased a pair of Phillips O'Neill as backups and RHA as my daily. After the RHA's broke I got a replacement pair from them but they are now my backup pair. The O'Neill's, while very cheap, sound better than the RHA's.

    I'm convinced that earbuds won't last very long even under normal use and proper care. Perhaps this doesn't hold true to expensive earbuds ($100 +). I don't know. It's pretty frustrating.

    (Forgot to add that this also happened with a pair of MEEIectronics CC51's that came HIGHLY recommend over at Head-Fi forums. After six months one side stopped working properly. Incredible.)
  17. Jalopybox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2012
    What was needed to send them in for repair?
  18. rSweden macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010

    If you can afford it get a pair of etymotic HF5 (HF3 if you want with headset). I think they use kevlar or something. I've used the HF2 headsets for 6 years and have really been unkind to them (rain, sweat, a lot of pulling, tossed them in the backpack and pockets without cover etc). Still perfect. (the reason it says headsets in plural is because I've broken the internal cables twice because of excessive bending but having the iphone in my jeans pocket and bicycling eeeevery day but the new plug design is much more durable).
  19. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I used to have these a number of years ago and thought they were very good at the time.

    Shure are also very highly regarded, as are Sennheiser and Grado, but my own personal favourites are Bowers & Wilkins. I have their headphones (P5 and P3) and have not yet tried their in ear phones (called C5), but all of their products are very solidly made, and offer an excellent audio experience. However, they are quite expensive.

    I love music, listen to it a lot and wanted an excellent, comfortable, exceedingly solidly made and portable set of headphones, and I have been very happy with the P5s. However, I tend to work in office environments, or on trains, planes or buses, so my headphones, while used a lot, probably do not receive the abuse they could expect to receive in the sort of environment that the OP's sibling works in.

    Re the actual post made by the OP, it seems to me that you have a choice to go either one of two ways. There is the way suggested by a number of posters, which is to buy a great many cheap in ear buds, and wait for the inevitable breakdown after a fairly short period of time, regarding them essentially as more or less disposable.

    Personally, I prefer to head off on the other route, which is to buy something that is very high quality, and spend a lot of money on it; however, having done so, I expect that product to last me several years.
  20. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA

    Forget all that stuff above...just have your ears removed and earbud implants.

    I mean...make a commitment!:cool:

    ;) :D
  21. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Bottom jack requires me to hold it firm to get audio in both ears. Any movement caused huge issues.

    I take great care of my headphones. I'll never purchase from them again. Same issue with other headphones too. Right now I'm using a 2 year old pair of wired Phillips headphones that have given me zero issues along with Bluebuds X's for the gym.
  22. eejits macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2013
    Although I cannot testify for their quality personally, I've heard nothing but good things about the earbuds from TweakedAudio. They come with a LIFETIME warranty and from the reports I've heard is that there customer service is second to none; replacing broken earbuds without question.

    Just a thought.....

  23. coachingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2003
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    Just Spitballing here, but maybe look at some Bluetooth headphones? That way the cable isn't an issue.

  24. thekingofnerds macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2013
    I have a pair very similar to those - suckers have been through some extreme abuse and are still doing well. Think I got them at Target for around $10, about a year ago.

    Cords have been stretched, they have been sweated on, and they have been ran over with an office chair and still somehow work.

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