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#1 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

I'm cursed. No matter how much or how little I spend on a set of headphones they will without fail break within 4-6 months of buying them. Whether it be one of the ears dying, cords fraying, connectors un-connecting or the microphone just not picking up any sound. It's always something. It has been this way for well over a decade now and I'm getting really dam sick and tired of it as it just happened again. So I'm going to give it one last shot to find a good pair of headphones before I just give up on the whole dam hearing thing and resign myself to playing every game and watching every video as a silent film from the early 1900's.

I could not care less about audio quality as I'm not an audio snob and can hear no difference between cheap gas station headphones and $200 super duper ultra elite head phones with some famous persons face slapped on the sides. All I care about is durability at this point as I'm tired of throwing down $50-$150 every 6 months for a new set of headphones. The only prerequisite is that they not cost a small fortune and that they have a built in mic as these are primarily used for playing games and talking on Skype at the same time. Ideally they would not take up too much space around the ears as I do often lay down in bed with them on while I watch videos at night.

Also, to try and generate some more discussion about headphones; what are peoples opinions on the pros and cons of:

  • USB connectors vs Audio Jack input
  • Pure audio headphones with a desk top mic VS headphones with built in microphones

I have never used a desktop mic before as I have always been afraid of them picking up too much noise in the room. Has anyone in here used one and can speak to their ability to work as a replacement for a built microphone? Maybe something I can clip to the side of my monitor?

#2 Posted by believer258 (11565 posts) -

This pair of Sony headphones that I've got sitting next to me. I see them often and these have lasted a long time. Not the best sounding things in the world but they're plenty good enough and they don't break on me, unlike my brother's Sennheiser's which he has to fiddle with to make them work.

#3 Posted by regularassmilk (1375 posts) -

I think my pair is called the "Stretch" by Phillips/O'Neill. They're super durable, super great sounding, and they have this detachable cord, the one that actually runs from your headphones into your iPod, etc, and that's kind of prone to breaking after heavy use for a few months--but they give you a replacement for free, no hassle.

#4 Posted by SSully (4118 posts) -

I blew my tax return on these bose headphones about 4 years ago, so these. I dont think they are worth the price, but they are good headphones.

#5 Posted by Nightriff (4866 posts) -

Same as you, my headphones usually go to shit within a few months but I recently had a pair go 18 months with no problems...then my wife smashed them in a car door and had to get a new pair

#6 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
Shure SRH240

Have been going strong for about two years now. Clean flawless sound with good bass and really comfy to wear.

@crusader8463 said:

  • USB connectors vs Audio Jack input
  • Pure audio headphones with a desk top mic VS headphones with built in microphones
  • Audio jack for life.
  • I would never in a million years be comfortable with a piece of plastic sticking in front of my face like that. What if I wanna listen to music? Headphones don't include microphones to me. Mic = desktop.
#7 Posted by joey (976 posts) -

@believer258 said:

This pair of Sony headphones that I've got sitting next to me. I see them often and these have lasted a long time. Not the best sounding things in the world but they're plenty good enough and they don't break on me, unlike my brother's Sennheiser's which he has to fiddle with to make them work.

I had a pair of those but the plastic that connects the headband part to the speakers broke.

#8 Posted by Korwin (2814 posts) -

If I were to dig out my old HD212's i'm sure those would still work (cups are all thrashed to shit though), those are about 8 years old.

#9 Posted by believer258 (11565 posts) -

@joey said:

@believer258 said:

This pair of Sony headphones that I've got sitting next to me. I see them often and these have lasted a long time. Not the best sounding things in the world but they're plenty good enough and they don't break on me, unlike my brother's Sennheiser's which he has to fiddle with to make them work.

I had a pair of those but the plastic that connects the headband part to the speakers broke.

Maybe I'm just subconsciously really careful with headphones. I still have a pair of working Skullcandy earbuds from high school, I think, and I'm a Junior in college.

#10 Posted by YI_Orange (1124 posts) -

I've got some...I forget the brand. I picked them up for 40-50 dollars a few years back and they still work(they have a mic too). The padding is definitely starting to get worn, but considering the amount of times I've accidentally ripped them off my head by stretching the cord too far I'm amazed they still work with no problems.

#11 Posted by zoozilla (977 posts) -

I've got a pair of Grado SR-60s that are basically the best thing ever. I've had them for about 3 years now, and they sound amazing. Definitely the best cans I've ever owned.

#12 Posted by Strife777 (1490 posts) -

They're earbuds not headphones, but I bought Klipsch Image S4 and they are fantastic. I can't really say for durability, but I use them basically everyday for long periods for over a year or two and they're still in great condition. The only problem is that one of the changeable earbud is getting a little loose so it falls off easily if it gets caught in something.

For the price, 80$ I believe, at least here in Canada, it's a great value. Lasts much longer than the standard Apple ones that come with iPods.

But I answered without really reading your post so I see I'm really answering your question :P. But hey, my recommendation still stands.

#13 Posted by NegativeCero (2973 posts) -

@Strife777: I actually had a pair of those earbuds. They only lasted me a year, but that was probably more my fault. The base where I plug in to my iPod got torn and I lost sound in one ear, then both ears. Probably because of the way I wrapped them when I put them away. And yeah, them falling out easily was annoying. Otherwise they were fine.

I've had a pair of Sennheiser HD 555's for over a year now. They're my first pair of headphones, so I may not be the one to ask about sound but they're reliable and super comfortable. I could live with the cord being shorter, though.

#14 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

@Strife777 said:

They're earbuds not headphones, but I bought Klipsch Image S4 and they are fantastic. I can't really say for durability, but I use them basically everyday for long periods for over a year or two and they're still in great condition. The only problem is that one of the changeable earbud is getting a little loose so it falls off easily if it gets caught in something. For the price, 80$ I believe, at least here in Canada, it's a great value. Lasts much longer than the standard Apple ones that come with iPods. But I answered without really reading your post so I see I'm really answering your question :P. But hey, my recommendation still stands.

Looks like my local Futureshop has them in stock and I can price match them on amazon down to $70 and save me $50 on their listing price. I think I may break with tradition and try the desktop mic route this time. I have always used headphones with a built in mic and as I think I made clear in my OP, that has not done so well for me thus far.

#15 Edited by RuthLoose (775 posts) -

I am a JVC fan for life. My dad hooked me up with a pair of over-the-heads back when I was 7 or 8 and they lasted me through college with frequent use. I will admit the foam was nearly in shreds by that time. I have since upgraded to a pair of JVC HA-RX900s. They look massive but they are oh-so-comfortable for long late night music/gaming sessions. They are also a steal at $60.00 on Amazon.

#16 Posted by Zelyre (1105 posts) -

Sennheiser 595's. I've had them for years.

Audioplug for life; I do play instruments, though. You can't plug your USB headphones into a mixer or amp with a 1/4" audio jack.

#17 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4307 posts) -

Sennhesier HD 280 Pros.  After I got them I looked up reviews and most of them complained how those headphones broke within 6 months.  These headphones have lasted for 2 years and Ive been using them everyday.  Also I have a big head too.  

#18 Posted by living4theday258 (678 posts) -

@believer258: you bought those headphones. frugal bastard.

Any who skull candy headphones are the best. as for a mic i have nothing to suggest except turtle beach headphones but they cost 80-120$ where i live.

#19 Posted by rachelepithet (1332 posts) -

I got grados because the seemed indestructible. The jack "broke," ie: no left channel sound unless you bent the cord a certain way and duct taped it that way. Warranty is only one year, and they refuse to fix em for any price out of warranty. Third party online "professionals" offer cord replacements, but they cost in the neighborhood of $80, the cost of the SR60i's anyway.

#20 Edited by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

Sennheiser HD280 Pro. 4 Years now and they are still just fine. Absolutely love them. (Also, just 90 bucks on Amazon. Great sound quality too in my opinion, maybe a bit lacking in bass but extremely clear.)

#21 Posted by aurahack (2264 posts) -

Sincere lack of ATH-M50s up in here...

I've had mine for close to two years now and they're even better than when I got them. The burn-in from daily use has made them the best headphones I've ever owned. They're probably the best mid-range headphones you can get and for the price they're at, the build quality and sound quality is nothing short of stellar.

Oh wait, built-in mic.

I don't know. Get some Logitechs or Plantronics?

#22 Posted by Osaladin (2514 posts) -

Sennheiser HD 555, best pair of headphones I've ever owned.

#23 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1197 posts) -

I've had these crappy(sound quality wise) Sony earbuds that I use when listening to podcasts while I'm going to sleep, they've lasted me 3 years so far which is amazing because I roll over them and pull on them a lot.

#24 Posted by PillClinton (3290 posts) -

@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG said:

Sennhesier HD 280 Pros. After I got them I looked up reviews and most of them complained how those headphones broke within 6 months. These headphones have lasted for 2 years and Ive been using them everyday. Also I have a big head too.

@xobballox said:

Sennheiser HD280 Pro. 4 Years now and they are still just fine. Absolutely love them. (Also, just 90 bucks on Amazon. Great sound quality too in my opinion, maybe a bit lacking in bass but extremely clear.)

yup, 280s are great. Fantastic build quality, good sound, great isolation (sometimes a little too great), and comfortable.

#25 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

As for mics, I don't use them, but my little brother has a 20 dollar logitech desk mic (I believe it's a USB mic) and it works pretty great.

#26 Posted by Portis (1279 posts) -

Sennheiser HD555. Had them for 3ish years now. Still work fine.

#27 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3099 posts) -

The ones I have now, big black Skullcandy ones. I have the same curse.

#28 Posted by CrazedMaverick (214 posts) -

In terms of actual longevity, my first pair of apple earbuds that came with my ipod mini lasted 5 years. I kind of got attached to those things.

Now now I'm rocking a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700. I can wear them comfortably for hours and sounds great.

#29 Edited by ripelivejam (3473 posts) -

@aurahack said:

Sincere lack of ATH-M50s up in here...

I've had mine for close to two years now and they're even better than when I got them. The burn-in from daily use has made them the best headphones I've ever owned. They're probably the best mid-range headphones you can get and for the price they're at, the build quality and sound quality is nothing short of stellar.

Oh wait, built-in mic.

I don't know. Get some Logitechs or Plantronics?

http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Zm-Mic1-Sensitivity-Headphone-Microphone/dp/B00029MTMQ just use this with any headphone, instant gaming headset

currently using alessandro ms1-i (slightly bigger brother to grado sr-60), amazing for rock but not enough soundstage for good positional queues in games (it's adequate though, but may hinder your playing a little). only had them for about 3 months or so so can't judge longevity yet but they're holding up well so far except for earpads coming off fairly easily. they're not comfortable at first but you'll soon adjust.

had the jvc ha-rx700s before for about a year and a half-ish and they were damn good for the price but eventually the arms broke on both sides and i had to secure them with zip ties. didn't fit right after that. plus in retrospect they were a little overly boomy/bassy sounding. still may last you longer than the ones you've tried.

#30 Posted by Nadril (523 posts) -

It's a headset, but my Creative Fatal1ty headset lasted me for probably 3 years.

#31 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5250 posts) -

Sennheiser HD212 Pro. Got them forever ago (8-10 years), and they are still sounding great.

#32 Posted by Jrinswand (1695 posts) -

I've used a pair of Logitech G35s every day for like three years. They're not the best but they get the job done. I don't know, OP. Maybe just try to take care of your stuff?

#33 Posted by Chaser324 (6264 posts) -

@xobballox said:

Sennheiser HD280 Pro. 4 Years now and they are still just fine. Absolutely love them. (Also, just 90 bucks on Amazon. Great sound quality too in my opinion, maybe a bit lacking in bass but extremely clear.)

Same here...but I have noticed some slight buzzing recently. Not necessarily the headphones causing it though, and it doesn't pop up often enough for me to try tracking it down.

Moderator
#34 Posted by Pezen (1550 posts) -

Several (and I mean nearly 10) years old pair of over the ear Sharp headphones. Use them while gaming constsntly and never had sn issue. On the other hand, earbuds I use at work break in cycles like clockwork.

#35 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

I've had my Grado SR60's for like, 11 years or something. And they were owned by my father for probably another five or so before then.

#36 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

V-moda Crossfade LP's. Got these on Amazon for $70 almost a year ago (original is 250 and now its 150, so I got a good deal!).

the sound is not bad, and they look nice. The only problem is that the metal on the headband snapped a little, but I can push it back into place, so they still work

@SathingtonWaltz said:

I've had my Grado SR60's for like, 11 years or something. And they were owned by my father for probably another five or so before then.

Also, how are the SR60s. I was thinking to get the SR80i or the 60i, and I want to know how they sound.

#37 Posted by Hunter5024 (5511 posts) -

I buy 10 dollar earbuds from Best Buy until they inevitably crap out 6 months in. Just think of them as a disposable item and suddenly it becomes less frustrating.

#38 Posted by afrofools (1313 posts) -

I still use my iPod mini earphones from 2005. The wire cover has opened in a couple of spots, but they still work fine. They are not as comfortable as headphones, but they work. I had a pair of high quality headphones from 2004, but I destroyed them after raging earlier this year.

#39 Posted by JonathanAshleyMoore (281 posts) -

Sennheiser 202 HD's. Crazy good for price. I would say the best bang for your buck you can get in terms of headphones.

#40 Posted by GideonAmos (185 posts) -

Sennheiser HD595. 3 years and counting. I don't use it that often anymore though since I got an AKG K550.

#41 Posted by Djnuttty (138 posts) -

@believer258: I have had a pair of sony headphones for a year now. They were only £20, sound pretty decent and I have used them every day. Awesome.

#42 Posted by fetchfox (1217 posts) -

I hear you friend, I've been in the same boat for many years. I'm currently rocking a pair of AKG stereo headphones, clean and simple sound at a fair price. Hoping they'll last for some time.

#43 Edited by Imissyou (24 posts) -

The only good ones that lasted more than a few months came with my ipod touch....blew them with heavy metal though. Tried skullcandy, JVC, Sony etc...they suck!

I am on a quest !!

#44 Posted by localhost (19 posts) -

@zoozilla said:

I've got a pair of Grado SR-60s that are basically the best thing ever. I've had them for about 3 years now, and they sound amazing. Definitely the best cans I've ever owned.

@boocreepyfootdoctor said:

I got grados because the seemed indestructible. The jack "broke," ie: no left channel sound unless you bent the cord a certain way and duct taped it that way. Warranty is only one year, and they refuse to fix em for any price out of warranty. Third party online "professionals" offer cord replacements, but they cost in the neighborhood of $80, the cost of the SR60i's anyway.

I loved my Grados but I had the same issue with losing a channel - went through 2 pairs this way and stopped buying them.

I'm using AKG K99s now. Great sounds for the price and definitely sturdier.

#45 Posted by ZombieSpace (286 posts) -

I use headphones for everything, never use speakers and i had the same problem you have, but then i bought Sennheiser HD 595, had them for about 6 years and they still work like a charm. Best headphones ever.

#46 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1631 posts) -

I think as for earbuds, my headphone of choice for on the go listening... I think my longest lasting is the pair I have now. I got a pair of Klipsch s3's. They don't sound too shabby and they've lasted me like 1.5 years so far which is better than any other earbud I've had...

#47 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

The ones I never used lasted the longest, they gotta break just for the sake of hygiene.

#48 Posted by Veektarius (4541 posts) -

I have the same problem as you with breakage, mostly related to travel. I had a pair of Sony noise-cancelling headphones that lasted me about 4 years, though.

#49 Posted by buft (3300 posts) -

the in ear buds i got with my HTC phone, had them two years whicj is about 18 months more than any other set i ever owned, second place being a pair of relatively cheap skullcandy cans that i bought when i was in a phase of wearing big ass headphones, they lasted 6 months or so but they got wet when i got caught out in a crazy heavy rain.

#50 Posted by gla55jAw (2685 posts) -

I only got my Sennhesier HD380 Pro's about 6 months ago but I haven't had any problems. Everything is great! I use them for my PC and recently bought another pair for my TV/Video Games, since my Surround Sound is usually too loud at night. I will say that, I got them through my job with a discount for only $75, but I probably would have paid full price. They're really that good.

For a PC mic, I have a USB Blue Snowball for Skype. My friend said it sounded so clear that it was almost as if I was in the same room with him. It might be a little much at full price though, I think I only paid $40.