My iPod Touch is damaging my high-end earphones. What to do ?

Discussion in 'iPod touch Accessories' started by audioteknika, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. audioteknika macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    3 weeks ago, my Sennheiser CX-300 started to acting weirdly on the right channel. With each listening period passing by, the volume was going lower and lower, till to the point that this channel was barely audible. I tested them with different sources and I faced the fact that this problem couldn't be undone. Even if I threated them carefully during a whole year, I could just say now that they are completely dead, due to some sort of driver failure.

    So, I rushed out to buy a new set on earphone and I decided to pick a higher end one, a brand new pair of Shure E4C. God I was happy, having finally sound in both of my ears. I listened to them during a 2 hours period. When I was over, I folded them back in the carrying case.

    The day after, after plugging them back in my ipod, I just wanted to cry : the left channel was inaudible to a point that I needed to boost the sound to the maximum in order to ear something in the left channel. I tested them back in different sources and the same thing happened. After 3 hours of testing on different sources, I thought they were completely damaged.

    So , this morning, I tested them back in my macbook and, to my suprise, they are working 100% like the first time I tried them.

    Now, I'm thinking, could my ipod have some sort of voltage problem that could do such irreversible damage to an high-end earphone ? I just can't find another explanation.

    Should I go to the genius bar or ask for a repair online ? I just don't know how to prove this awkward problem to a genius at the bar.

    I won't be plugging my shures in this cursed ipod , that's for sure !!!! I don't want to lose $200 +++ over this.

    Please, help me.
  2. mavis macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Odd. I'd suggest taking it in, maybe there's a problem with the wiring/jack ... ?

    I use my $1200 Sensaphonics with my iPod every day with no ill effects, and those are pretty sensitive IEMs - so I don't think it's a Touch thing - sounds like yours might have some problems though ... ;)
  3. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    As I said earlier, the CX-300 had the same problem ! Exact symptoms but in the other channel, how can this be ? I reallllly don't think it's a earphone problem since everything started WITH the ipod touch, in both cases.
  4. mavis macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Sounds like you've answered your own question. Take it back, get a new one! :confused:
  5. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    Well, how can I prove my point ? Even if I tell my story, there's no way to check it at the genius bar.

    Would it be better to ask for a repair on ?
  6. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    Seeing as it's been tested with 2 different sets, definitely take the iPod back.

    Just explain rationally what's happened and what you've done (basically everything you just detailed here) and be patient as it's a highly unusual situation and they might be a bit reluctant because of it.

    Try ringing Applecare first and see what they say, just incase it saves you a trip down to the store.
  7. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    Well, I didn't buy applecare and I bought my ipod on september 27th so I can't give them a call.

    This will be my second replacement, the first one had another weird problem because the "Touch" fonction wasn't even working after 2 weeks of ownership.

    I'm little pissed off at the moment.
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Why not? You have a standard manufacturer's guarantee on it, usually a year. Got the receipt? Demand a new one.
  9. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    Well, on it says that the 1-year warranty includes a 90-day customer service by phone. Since I bought it in september, I think I already passed this deadline.

    Is there another number I can call ?
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Forget the 90-day phone support... you take or send the product back to where you bought it, with the receipt. It has a one year guarantee.
  11. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    Do you think I'll have better chance to get a new one if I send it to apple ?

    I don't see myself go whine at the genius bar for this sort of problem since there's no way to test it in store.
  12. Antares macrumors 68000


    This sounds like an onvious question...but are you sure that you always have the headphones plugged all of the way into the jack? I experienced your same issue with my Touch (although with an admittedly cheaper set of headphones). After a bit of frustration, I later realized that I wasn't inserting the prong completely into the jack. The same thing used to happen when I plugged headphones into my old PowerBook.

    I know you have tested this with multiple sources, but try this again. Make sure that it is pushed completely in (with little or no metal showing).
  13. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    lol. Yes.. don't worry everything is pushed all the way in :D

    Thanks anyway.
  14. PMB macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2007
    New York
    just take it in, and tell them whats wrong.

    I have skull candy headphones and i can say i haven't had this problem with them
  15. Marvin1379 macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    New York
    Seems like you know the answer to your problem, but don't feel confidant enough that you can get your point across to the Genius. Well, you convinced 5 or 6 people on this forum and we haven't heard the iPod. Bring in the 2 now broken earphones and the ipod, as well as another music source (ie the macbook you said the headphones play perfectly on).

    Hey, these are just our opinions on what you should do. it's you $$. Good luck.
  16. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    I'm not buying that the iPod is damaging anything, you simply haven't offered up evidence yet that that is the case. The first thing I'd do is get the original ear buds and plug them in and see if the Touch itself is working. If the Touch works fine with the supplied buds then the problem is external to the Touch.

    One thing that bothers me is that if you had a touch problem I would expect the same transducer to fail on the head phones. You are indicating that the opposite did. So I'm not sure how this can be blamed on the Touch, unless of course one of your expensive head phones is wired backwards.

    In the case of both devices I would recommend sending the head sets back to the manufacture for their comment. They could offer up more useful information than you have now. I'm suspicious that you have manufacturing defects in both head sets.

  17. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    I listened to my shures all day long on my macbook without a problem.

    When the left channel failed yesterday on my shures for a 5 hour period, they were plugged in the ipod touch, same as my CX-300 when they began to fail.
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Both the machine / earphone has a warranty. Claim on the Shure warranty if you plug the phones into anything else and the E4c's won't play anymore. If you suspect a problem with the Touch, claim on the Apple warranty too.

    There is a story about a DC offset issue on the iPod Touch / iPhone (maybe) going around, but there's been like two actual cases where the person in question claims to have measured it (with no pictorial evidence) and it seems like it's been blown out of all proportion by the blogosheeposphere. However that's not to say the issue can't exist of course, especially knowing Apple 'quality'.

    I've owned various Touches, some of which have failed me in other ways but I've never had problems with the earphone socket - and I use the Shure SE530, E3c & UE-10/11.
  19. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    Do they work properly when plugged back into the Macbook?

    As others have pointed out it is not impossible for the Touch to apply some DC to the head phones and cause them to fail. Normally DC is blocked in the last stage of the amplifier. The thing that is bothersome here is that you are talking about both the right and left channels now failing on the Touch.

    However I'm still interested to Know how the original ear buds work on the Touch. It is important in my estimation to have a base line to start with.

  20. audioteknika thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2008
    Well, some happy news finally.

    I went to the apple store yesterday. I told my whole story without adding too much details to it and the genius simply said : "Well, how about an exchange, that should solve your problem". Wow, no arguing whatsoever. I was pretty impressed.

    Thanks all for your help!! I'll see how things will go in the next few weeks with my shures.
  21. curnalpanic macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    I'll add to the pile of damaged earbuds. My iPod touch has so far managed to damage two pairs of Ultimate ears earphones, AND the original Apple earbuds in exactly (!) the same way.

    It has always been left channel that drops significantly in volume, down to about half of the right one that remains unaffected. Also, it seems the damage is irreversible.

    The original Apple earbuds took two months to exhibit these symptoms, the first pair of UE took like four days, and the current ones took about three months.

    I use my earbuds (all of them) with the Touch, my Macbook and a Powermac G4. I have not found any evidence of people having macbooks damaging their earbuds, so I suspect the iPod is to blame.
  22. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    Contrast the above quote with this one below:

    If they are working 100%, then what makes you think the iPod did irreversible damage? The details of this story don't make sense. I'm not really sure what an ipod could do to damage headphones either, since it's not a huge amplifier inside there.

    I think you need to do some more detective work to figure out what's going on. Buy a cheapo pair of headphones at the drug store and test with those, instead of testing with $x00.00 headphones.
  23. DuckSoup macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2008
    Upstate Central NY

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