Do headphones lose fidelity if unused?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by wabashslim, May 10, 2021.

  1. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    I just dug out two over-ear headsets that mostly sat in a drawer for probably the last 4 to 10 years - a Sony and a much older Koss from the 90s I guess. Neither were audiophile quality but last I remember they sounded fine, but today the Sony is lacking low end and the Koss is missing both lows & highs. Neither sounds rattle-y or distorted otherwise and they respond well to some graphic eq. I'm hoping the diaphragms are just a little stiff and need some rawk pumped through them for a while (as do I). But I suppose it could be aging magnets or deterioration in general. My other more expensive Sony's have been idle for awhile too but they still sound great regardless of my general disdain for Sony.

    Opinions? Experience? Wisecracks?
     
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  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I suspect the phones haven’t deteriorated.
    I expect your (and my) hearing may have.
    No offense intended, sir.
     
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  3. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Hearing, I've experienced this too. It's your hearing. It's mine too. However, rubber and silicone inside that hangs up the small speaker units do dry out, eventually, and may not make the diaphragm move that much. You can only test this with comparing to NOS units, but I doubt they're still on the market. If it's the lows that missing too, check your ears for wax. Or...

    These days when I compensate pressure inside my head, to hold fingers on my nose and close it and try to blow, my eardrums relocates or dislocates and sometimes I can hear more treble and bass after that, and sometimes it's even worse, i e treble turns down. And speech becomes unintelligble. I am not allowed to scuba dive because I can't equalize pressure. Too much gunk in the way inside the cavities.

    But "Koss from the 90s..." ahremm... they do dry up, anything from the 90s. Buy new ones. Last audiophile phones I used i bought from the late 80s, AKG 270. They lasted up until around 2007, when they started to rattle at slightest volume, it was the rings that had dried up to dust. Then I bought a new pair of AKG K7 ones. The white ones. While they didn't rattle they sounded just as bad, or good, and I blame that on my hearing. I said to the guy who'm I bought them from that next time, it's not headphones I will buy, it's hearing aids. :twisted:
     
  4. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    What what.. I can't hear you all cuz my ears are ringing too loud. Seriously. LOL. Mine are ALWAY ringing.

    I would think there may be some truth to both. Older ears, older gear. Maybe?
     
  5. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Tune to the ringing and it all works out. :D
     
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  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Speaking for myself my expectation of performance of headphones has grown. I use AKG K240 right now. I think they are robust enough to practice guitar or bass through them. And they are relatively low cost for studio quality cans.
    I don't know if they lose fidelity, I haven't had a set last long enough to know. And that's why I switched to the AKG, they have replaceable cables and flexible metal frame so they're harder to kill.
    I know my old Koss closed headphones were delicious according to my dog.
     
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  7. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I wish I still have the headphones that I found as a kid. They appeared to be WWII era. It looked like the kind that pilots used.
     
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  8. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    throw the headphones in the washer. they probably just need humidified.
    it worked on my acoustic guitar.

    used delicate cycle and hand dry.
    I used a japanese fan and a clockwise motion.

    probably put a little Crisco shortening on the works once its dry to bring back the sheen and make the jack easier to plug/unplug.

    I know, I know,its a pain... but everything you own needs a little TLC every now and then.

    let us all know how they sound after your done.


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