Headphone Repair Incoming?

Quite some time back, my pair of ATH-M50x’s broke down, and I had resigned myself to buying a new pair of headphones. That’s been an agonizing struggle, since this pair has lasted me for quite a few years; so, naturally, I’m assuming (demanding?) that the next pair I buy should last me another decade or so. So, for weeks now, I’ve been going back and forth over several types, and causing Tracy quite some grief as I want to talk out the minutiae of things she has absolutely no interest in.

This morning, I had the spontaneous idea to open the headphones up and have a peek inside. After all, they were already broken – what could it really hurt? So, I carefully start opening it up, and taking my multimeter to it. I deduce that the cable is actually fine and so are the wires inside the headset. In fact, the only fault I can find is in the right speaker. A foolish idea dawns on me. Could I just repair this headset on my own? A quick browse on Aliexpress shows me that I could get a replacement audio driver for about €16. Sure, it won’t be the Audio-Technica brand driver but it’s 45mm with 35Ohm impedance (well, that’s what it’s advertised as – this is Aliexpress we’re talking about), which is exactly what the headset uses.

We’re talking a difference between €16 and ~€200 here; even if I can’t manage to fix the headset, the cost/benefit of giving it a try is absolutely worth it. Particularly if I can get another couple of years out of the thing. So, perhaps in a month or so (that’s when the package should be arriving), I might be writing about a successful repair. Or at least an interesting failure.

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