1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Why do my headphones keep dying???

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by redbort, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. redbort

    redbort Active Member

    this is the 2ed pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones that i've worn out this year
    after a month or two they lose their clarity
    6 months, the transients are distorting all the time, it's gross

    i know it's bad for my ears
    but I do like listening to my headphones LOUD.
    what can i do to make sure they keep working as good as the first day i bought them?
    (don't say turn down the volume..)
    or recommend good headphones that won't wear down at high volumes.
    i'm tiered of dropping cash on new headphones
    I'd be willing to spend up to 600$ if i know i'd never have to spend another dime....

    i use them plugged into Motu 896HD
    the computer jack
    & my ipod

    in-ear headphones make me claustrophobic
    and open-back headphones aren't an option either
    (i need to listen to music at night without bother my spouse)
  2. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    I don't know about they HD280's but the Sennheisers I've been using have been complaining at a very low volume. But they gave a very good indication of distortion when you pushed them. Does not your headphones do this?

    If not. Maybe you have a DC leak frying your phones?

    My MOTU 8pre has a insane outputlevel from the phones jack.. No problem blowing phones there.
  3. redbort

    redbort Active Member

    like i said, the first month i have them they sound great with the volume at 11 on all devices... i wish they maintained quality with usage, but they wear down and are good for the trash.

    i've found this interesting aticle about "headphone burn-in"
    i fear this is my problem....
    my headphones sound like crap once they have "burned-in"...???

    would i be better getting headphones with a higher Power Handling Capacity? say Sony MDR-V900HD @ 3000mW instead of the HD280 @ only 500mW
  4. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    I know you don't want to hear this, but it needs to be said.

    You say you know it's bad for your ears. Even if you do get 'phones that handle more power, and you listen at insane volume, eventually those are not going to be enough. Your hearing WILL deteriorate. First, the highs will diminish, then you'll be tweaking more highs into them to compensate. Then, it's not really mixed properly. Then, eventually no 'phones will sound good. It won't be them that's the problem. It will be you, and you can't just go out and reline your ears, and buy new eardrums.

    If you care anything at all about music, then you will heed the warnings and trust the evidence. You are basically playing Russian Roullette with your ears. You may be sorry when you realize that you can no longer hear properly, and that constant ringing steals all the enjoyment of listening, just because you "like it LOUD" now.

    My left ear has a slight drop, and it's because it was the one closest to the drums and pointed more at the amps on stage. Of course, I was invincible, and "it won't happen to ME". It takes me longer to mix anything because I have to calculate in my head if everything is balanced by flipping the headphones or the monitors. Is there too much highs, or even a high-pitched noise, in the left? I don't know until I listen to the left in the right. I no longer subject my ears to that kind of abuse for any length of time.

    I like music too much to damage myself further.

    Do what you want. Just don't be surprised at the consequences.

  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Headphones can be repaired so you don't have to toss them in the garbage. Contact the manufacture and get an RMA and send them back for repair and while you are at it ask them why they failed.

    I for one would say that you are simply frying the transducers by putting too much level into them for too long a period. I can't imagine listening to headphones at 11 for any period of time. You know you are ruining your hearing and there are OSHA specs that tell you that you can only listen to "X" level of dBSPLs for such and such a period of time before you will permanently damage your hearing. Do a search on the WWW and see what those specs are. Anything above 85 dBSPL can spell real trouble for your ears especially if you listen to them more than say 4 hours per day.

    They are YOUR ears but if you expect to be in audio for any period of time you should really take care of them. See This: http://www.hearingconservation.org/docs/Prac_Guide6.pdf

  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    If your headphones are wearing out and frying, think about what's happening with the tiny hairs in your ears. They aren't replaceable, and they don't grow back. EVery blown set of HPs you have represeents lost and damaged real estate INSIDE YOUR OWN biological hearing system.

    You should get your hearing checked NOW, right away, becasue it's possible there's nothing wrong with your headphone levels in the first place: You may already be suffering from some hearing loss. Turning up the HPs will only keep pushing the vicious cycle further.

    Ignore this advice at your peril: You're putting dangerous SPL right up against your ears, with nowhere to escape except down the ear canal. Loud HPs are even worse than loud speakers.

    Sure, it's fun, dangerous and you like living on the edge. Enjoy it while you can, you wild and crazy guy, because in a few years you'll have no reason to post on here or ask for any more advice. :evil:
  7. BRH

    BRH Active Member

    Most likely you are clipping your headphone amp, and that is frying your headphone transducer, especially if you are listening at level "11"!
  8. redbort

    redbort Active Member

    yes, my listening habits will ruin my hearing... :oops:

    what kind of headphones should i get that won't be ruined by my habits?

    I LOVE the listening experience i have when the headphones are new
    I've brought them "burned in" into the store and A/B them with new ones
    the sales man claims the wear is normal and expected

    how do i shop for headphones that will sound good once "burned in"
  9. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member


  10. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

  11. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Sorry for all the caps but I figured he already has his ears blown out.

    Do you guys have snow yet?
  12. natural

    natural Active Member

    There's a good possiblity that what you seek does not exist.
    Headphones are usually made for normal listening levels.
    And the headphone manufacturers probably don't want to be sued, and so make their products to work within OSHA guidlines.
    That being said, The lower the OHMs the louder you can make them, but they won't last forever at hight volumes.
    The higher the ohms, will protect the phones elements by distorting sooner, but as soon as you lower the vol, the clarity returns.
    Get the lowest ohms and the highest pwr handling you can find. Of course, as mentioned, you might want to make a doctor appt, once blood starts to seep into the ear canal. You might taste it before you see it. So watch for that. If it drips out of the outer ear, you should be able to clean it off the headphones easily with alcohol.
    Anything that runs at full throttle will wear out quickly.
    That goes for headphones, cars, your body, mic pres, etc.
  13. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I recommend a pair of Mackie SRM450s and an adjustable head attachment device fashioned from bailing twine.
  14. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    Just give him a few Technics 1200 headphones and let him continue ruining his hearing.
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Two words....


  16. redbort

    redbort Active Member

    thanks for answering my question natural.

    and thanks to the negativity from others... gives this board a nice juvenile flavor that it's been missing.
    it's actually embarrassing.

    no snow in montreal yet.
  17. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    People are trying to help you but you don't want their advice. You have probably suffered some hearing damage already and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but what is lost can never be replaced. This is NOT like getting glasses when your vision is blurry. This is a serious problem and in 10 to 15 years you will be wearing hearing aids if you continue to listen at 11. It may all seem cool now but when you have to go to an audiologist and he tells you the bad news that you need a hearing aid or aids it will not be so cool. Take the advice offered here and save your hearing.

    With the preponderance of IPODS and ear-buds and blasting music at full volume this whole generation of people maybe early adopters of hearing aids and the makers of those products are already rubbing their hands in anticipation of the increased revenue this generation will afford them.

    Sorry if you don't want to hear the truth (pun intended)
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    As the primary purveyor of pre-adolescent, pre-pubescent juvenility I would like to state that Tom's point is spot on.

    You're asking for advice which is simply bad and EVERYONE is telling you this. You don't seem to care.

    I've gone back and read a LOT of your previous posts and something just doesn't add up. You seem to have a LOAD of expensive, high quality gear which would indicate some type of commercial, high-quality studio or at the very least, a nice project studio. In other words, you aim to (or do) make money at what you're doing.

    You are asking us to give you advice to help you go deaf. And what's worse, you know and openly admit this.

    This makes you either slightly mentally unstable or just plain simple.

    I wish you the best in your conquest for deafness and I promise that, once your hearing is completely gone, I will no longer type inflamatory words, I will simply say them to you directly...

    Besides...if you can't take some good natured (and well-intentioned) ribbing on the Internet, blindness would be a far better affliction than deafness.

  19. redbort

    redbort Active Member

    if it's good natured ribbing, then no worries. Everyone on RO here has always been A+ polite. i guess i wasn't expecting it.

    my project studio is only for fun, in the goal of fun. sometimes i just don't enjoy music when it's quiet and i can't be bothered to listen at all if i'm not enjoying it... will I still seek the same pleasures in the future? i dunno, maybe not... but maybe i love volume a little more then music. I do love bands like Sun O))) and GYBE where music is an experience to be felt, and not listen.
  20. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    It is that important.

    Music, in it's purest form, is to be heard. You get inside a persons head by getting into the ears. It is a connection one person makes with another person. I know that today some use clipping to effect tracks, loud is another effect sought after. Loud loud loud loud! But after all is said and done, you still try to achieve the same thing in the same way as all those before you did.

    There can come a day, if this inner ear audio punishment continues, when you will hear the words someone speaks but may not understand them.

    It can come soon, do not fool yourself.

    You hear your own voice saying "huh?" even though you heard whatever was spoken, you just could not make it out.

    No wait. Is that old age?

    No, thats the way it will be you.

    An entire forum would not steer you wrong:)

Share This Page