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  #1  
Old 10-29-2014, 06:27 AM
neutral neutral is offline
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Default Best, cheapest, sturdy in-ear headphones for podcasts/audiobooks only?

My in-ear headphones broke all the time (I guess it's the cables).

So this time I really need something for the job.

As far as I know Koss offers a lifetime warranty, which is nice (though they are known for the Porta Pros and other over the ear canals, not their in-ears).

Or flat cables would be nice I guess.

Which pair if the only requirement is to be able to use them for podcasts/audiobooks?

Preferably something not shipped from China with a questionable warranty.

Last edited by neutral; 10-30-2014 at 09:19 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2014, 03:41 PM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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How are you breaking all those earphones? The last earphone I broke was around 20 years ago, when I dropped it too many times. Now I am more careful with them. How do they break?
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:39 AM
Jeven Jeven is offline
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I haven't broken any iems/headphones in years, either.

I think it's hard to break them unless they are really cheap and nasty, or if you don't look after them properly, ie. winding them too tightly or throwing them around.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:21 AM
neutral neutral is offline
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I bought them from Asia. And not only China; Singapore and Korea as well.

Anyways, more then discussing my bad past purchases, I am more looking for product recommendations for my use-case. Thank you!
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2014, 11:17 AM
Jeven Jeven is offline
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Well, who knows?

Any decent brand will do.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2014, 02:09 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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I have ever had a set of IEMs I'd consider sturdy. I've had those that had strong housings and proper strain relief so that they don't fail in normal service. The wires inside the cables has been pretty much the same when I've repaired or modded them.

As I said in your other thread I haven't had any fail recently in normal service as long as I took reasonable care. I have snagged a couple on something and they needed to be repaired but that's the only time they've broken.

I prefer maintaining what I have instead of dealing with warranty service. Koss headphones have lifetime warranty but you have to figure in the cost of shipping. I had my Portpros repaired a couple of times due to me breaking them. Between the cost of me shipping them and including the price of return shipping I got close to half of what I paid for them. I finally took them apart, resoldered them after I added a strain relief knot and some shrink wrap tubing and haven't sent them back since. I they ever break again due to my negligence I doubt I'll send them in again.

If there's a set I consider somewhat sturdy and inexpensive it's the JVC Marshmallow. They sound decent and are well built for the price. They'll still fail if you don't take care of them but I think they stand a chance to take a little more abuse without dying.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:40 AM
neutral neutral is offline
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The Marshmallows are a good idea; thanks!
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:33 AM
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Jack4L Jack4L is offline
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For me, the thing that destroys IEMs is sweat, sun and lotion. Those 3 things combined are plastic destroyers, oh and just for good measure, almost all insect repellents will dissolve most types of plastics. Most sub $50 headphones don't use plastic that is resilient to these, heck most headphones and IEMs don't use cables strong enough to protect against these no matter the price.

Work at a company that does plastics testing, and deal with customers that complain about plastic fatigue and durability and because of this I have a slight sense of what will and what won't last. Problem is, you can't choose headphones and IEMs based on the plastics they use, so it's all a gamble. So far my best indicator for a good cable for active use has been that it needs to be somewhat siliconish. Meaning soft and springy, in a sense hard to wrap, or get to stay in one shape. So far only my Amperiors, Urbanites and Phonak PFE 012 have this sort of cable, and all other cables I've had have gone stiff, started excreting some sort of sticky crap or just began getting doughy. Only ones that haven't are my UE600vi, but that will surely change after I use them through a summer or take them to a gym a few months in a row :P
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:41 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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I'm believe what you said about sweat, sun and lotion being what kills headphone cables the most is dead on. I started rinsing off the cables my workout IEMs with clean water a few years ago and none of the cables have deteriorated since. The ear tips have stiffened and needed to be replaced but the cables are still in pretty good shape.

I do the same thing to the pleather pads on my cans and they started lasting much longer than before. The ones I haven't wiped off start flaking and sometimes get gummy or stiff.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:10 AM
Curtisfire Curtisfire is offline
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Entirely depends on how much you're willing to spend. Firstly try and take care of your headphones lol

If you can't manage that then there some which are made quite rugged for example, I quite like Klipsch Image S4i which is made from tough rubber although it might be a bit more expensive than what you are looking for.

I know this guide might be a good read if you wanna find a cheaper option.
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