Unless someone can tell me why I should burn $30 on a new pair of EarPods, I would rather buy a solid pair of earbuds that cost more and would last longer than be exploited by Apple's savvy planned obsolescence scheme. With every pair, I try to keep them in good shape. No frayed wires, proper storage in my pocket, etc. After about 3-4 months though, the left earbud decreases in volume and I have to angle it in my ear to get clearer sound, which is much quieter than when I bought them. Any suggestions? All of the other cheap headphones and earbuds around my house are just that, cheap. Edit November 25: It all makes sense now...I guess my left ear produces a lot of earwax or something and (although translucent) it builds a film on the grille. The bristles of a toothbrush can surprisingly fix this.