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Thread: iPod ear bud blues

  1. #1
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    iPod ear bud blues

    I would like to request some input from the tech-savvy people on this board.

    As many folks today I have my iPod on me more often than not. When around the house I try to use my "real" headphones instead of ear buds.

    But when working in the yard or going out otherwise I use a pair of ear buds. I hate the things because they fall out of my ears and after a few hours they don't feel comfortable. But also, I go through a pair in about three months. And where do they fail? At the plug end which goes into the player. Because when you have the player in your pocket and walk or bend down the cable bends at the plug.

    Since I just went through another pair yesterday I did some online research. There seem to be good quality ear buds. 50+ bucks. But all the plugs I have seen are still the same crappy kind. Can't really reasonably repair them and throwing a $50+ pair out because of plug fatique hurts more than a $5 one.

    Do you know about any ear buds with better made plugs? Or other ways to prevent this problem?
    I am thinking about using my Makerbot to make a small plastic extension sleeve that goes over the plug end of my iPod to protect the plug.

    Peter

  2. #2
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    A sleeve is really good idea. I might have to try that with the next pair I buy. The last pair I broke went through the washer. The ones before that, I sat on "just right" and snapped the housing of one of the buds.
    Solfe

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  3. #3
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    Have you considered not putting the player in your pocket and/or not bending? Seriously, get some sort of belt clip or arm band or something.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  4. #4
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    Instead of just a plastic sleeve, use heat shrink. Available at the hardware store in the electrical supplies aisle.

  5. #5
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    I usually get about 3 months out of the earbuds for my iPod. Oddly (or not), they don't fail at the connector end, but at the wiring within the ear piece. I don't think my usage profile is that odd. Anybody have similar experiences?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Instead of just a plastic sleeve, use heat shrink. Available at the hardware store in the electrical supplies aisle.
    I'd do this, and get something in ear w/ different sized cushions. They help cancel external noise so you don't keep hitting the volume++ button and quickening ear fatigue.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I usually get about 3 months out of the earbuds for my iPod. Oddly (or not), they don't fail at the connector end, but at the wiring within the ear piece. I don't think my usage profile is that odd. Anybody have similar experiences?
    This is my experience as well, and therefore I use my hearphones instead. Sadly even good quality headphones will also - in my experience - fail at the wiring within the ear piece. The difference is the time before it happens and the sound quality - and the price.

  8. #8
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    This looks like a classic case of skimping on material to get the price down, at the expense of making the product fragile. The sad part is that for something like this the cost of greater durability would be pocket change. The cost of building it to what I would consider good military specs for durability would be rather modest, but the marketing people might pitch a fit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterkienle View Post
    I am thinking about using my Makerbot to make a small plastic extension sleeve that goes over the plug end of my iPod to protect the plug.
    A few inches of heat shrink tubing from Fry's or Radio Shack should reinforce as well as a custom non-shrinky extension sleeve.

  10. #10
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    My experience, though it's been mainly with headphones for computers is that the part where they fail is the cheap volumecontrol/switch thingie they all seem to come with.
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  11. #11
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    Alternately, OP, you could get a right-angle adapter. Not only will it be stronger at the jack, the lower profile will reduce lever action and force on the iPod as well as on the earbud plug. It also means that there is less wear and tear on the connectors inside the jack since there are fewer removals of the plug, assuming you leave the adapter in and only remove the earbud plug.
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  12. #12
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    Well, I'm a huge fan of my Sennheiser IE8s. They have a right angle plug, with strain relief, and a replaceable cable. The sound quality is phenomenal too. The price is rather high though...

    (The IE7 and IE6 models share the right angle plug with strain relief and the high strength cable at a lower cost, but the cable isn't replaceable).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    Alternately, OP, you could get a right-angle adapter. Not only will it be stronger at the jack, the lower profile will reduce lever action and force on the iPod as well as on the earbud plug. It also means that there is less wear and tear on the connectors inside the jack since there are fewer removals of the plug, assuming you leave the adapter in and only remove the earbud plug.
    That was my thought as well. The headphones I have plugged into the computer I'm typing on have a right-angle plug. I didn't buy them for that reason but it does keep the cord out of the way of the mousepad.
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