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I am so so so sick of soldering headphone cables. Is there any solution out there (DIY or commercial) that would make my headphone cable indestructible. Are there any headphones that anyone can recommend that have an indestructible cable? I have broken the cable on almost every pair of headphones I have ever owned.

Edit: The headphones that get abused are not studio headphones. These are headphones that are for personal use (often break in pockets) and for performance (stupid things happen like people tripping on cables). It hurts my soul to abuse headphones which is why I solder them back together to keep them alive, but once they've been soldered, their fate is sealed. It is only a matter of time before you are soldering them all the time and they become unusable. Maybe I'm buying the wrong headphones. What are the solutions that others have found for indestructible headphones?

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Mine have usually lasted at least 5-10 years before any problems. If yours usually break much faster than that I suspect you're just misusing them in some way... :p –  nonpop Jan 27 '13 at 6:39
    
These headphones do not include my studio headphones. These are performance and personal headphones. They need to be able to take abuse –  Peter Klipfel Jan 27 '13 at 6:48
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I have so far never broken a cable on any headphones other that two instances of abuse - ran over one cable with my chair, and tried to pull the other one out of an amp by yanking the phones. They really shouldn't have to take abuse. –  Dr Mayhem Jan 27 '13 at 12:55
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closed as off topic by American Luke, Wheat Williams, Dr Mayhem, Jason W, What Jan 31 '13 at 9:44

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3 Answers

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I see two options here:

  1. Buy headphones with a manufacturer's warranty. If you spend enough, you can get a lifetime warranty. If the cable breaks, send them to the manufacturer for a replacement. Some manufacturers will give a discount on an exchange even after the warranty has expired.
  2. Or, spend less on headphones, and the first time the cable breaks, use your soldering skills to replace both the jack plug and the cable, with high quality replacements.

If you find that you (or others) often put excessive strain on the headphones by being clumsy - moving too far from the socket, tripping over the cable - then perhaps a quick-release mechanism would be useful, along the lines of Apple's "Magsafe" power connectors.

The one option I found for headphones is branded "Replug". It will disconnect under a small strain, which is better than damaging the cable, or pulling an expensive piece of audio equipment off its stand.

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First, I would try to find a pair of headphones with detachable cables.

Second, the best headphone cables I have found are the VMODA replacement cables for the Crossfade series (you can order them off of the VMODA website). I don't care for their headphones, but their cables are excellent. They are covered in braided fabric and designed to withstand quite a bit of stress, but they are still thin and light enough to keep in a pocket.

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+1 I was going to suggest detachable cables as well. I will not buy headphones without detachable cables ever again. –  Tony Jan 28 '13 at 18:56
    
I wanted to keep using earbuds, but I couldn't find any that had detachable cables that were in the right price range. Then I found the Sleek Audio SA1s. They were on sale for ~$40 and I would totally recommend them –  Peter Klipfel Mar 7 at 5:49
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Detachable cables are key here, they may cost a bit more initially but they really help in the long run.

I must admit my initial reaction, like many others, was "you must be doing something wrong!" But I'm sad to admit I've also been a bit of a headphone cable destroyer, completely unwittingly, and I wouldn't say I'm unusually rough with my gear. There's just certain situations when you can't guarantee everyone who uses them will wrap them up in cotton wool, and knocks and bumps do happen.

On the topic of detachable cables, depending on how confident you are you could also modify the (surviving!) headphones that you have to give them detachable cables - remove the cable, solder a high quality (not the cheapo chinese variants) 3.5mm socket there instead, and securely glue it (araldite is probably best, when well applied it's not coming off!) on the headphones somewhere.

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