Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: D-NE330; MDR-EX90, Part Troix

with 4 comments

AS some of you may have noticed (or searched), the cord on the EX90s are rather fragile.

Case in point, Mine snapped off at the junction where the unicord entry splits into left and right drivers.  More specifically, the left cord insulation snapped off, exposing the cable.  Not good.  It's most likely due to the heavier driver units and the unbalanced "J-style" split vs. the more balanced "Y-style" split.  Nonetheless, one would assume that the $99 headphones should last longer than 25 odd days or so.

One could probably use heat shrink tubing or such to reinforce the area, though getting it on there might be a problem thanks to the large driver housing.  Or you can probably use crazy glue.  Or, be like me, and get one of those extended warranties.  Sure, you do end up feeling like a total tool, but at the same time, if the durability of these drivers comes into question, you can always swap them for something similar, say the Shures or the SuperFis, or another EX90s (be a glutton for punishment).

So, at the moment, I'm very hesistant in recommending these until the durability gets sorted out.  Much like the Panasonic HJE50s, they are great set of phones marred by poor execution.  

On the other hand, I repurchased the D-NE330, the "liv" branded version.  After having been throughly unimpressed the first time around, why the repurchase?  For one, it comes in a box, a real fucking box.  For something that is about $50 off the shelf, that is impressive in the world of portable electronics; after all, anything below the magical $150-$200 line gets the blister pack treatment, which has affinity for bits and pieces of human flesh.  

Also, it got me thinking about using the MDR-SA1000 along with the stronger source on the D-NE330.  While I haven't done anything too extensive with it, I think the stronger amp benefits the hard to drive headphones like the SA1000 greatly.  Sure, the CD format is on the wane, but you'd probably want a CD Player to go with your iPods, Zens, Cliks, or whatever your DAP flavor of the month is.  For one, it's nice to just pop in a CD and listen to it.  And this combination sings like a songbird. 

Except the song birds here in LA sings like freaking car alarms, it's bloody annoying.

Getting back to the topic at hand, the LIV version of the D-NE330 is a buy if you like the PCDPs and electronics that comes in a box.  Even if it's a corrugated cardboard box, it's still better than blisterpack.

Oops, there I go again, talking about such antiquated things as Albums and CDs, not MP3 and DAPS in general.  Shame on me, I will have to stop talking nonsense.


Written by Damage

05/22/06 at 11:25 am

Posted in Headphones, PCDP, Soapbox

4 Responses

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  1. 15+15 on the NE330 eh? Ever listen to the NE300? I really love the sound of that unit but I’m not sure what the output is.

    Would you say the EX90s have more fragile cording than the 71s? I gave my dad my EX70s and it didn’t take him long to snap the cord on those.


    06/1/06 at 4:01 pm

  2. Considering that it took all but 28 days to snap the cord?

    Compare this with my EX71s where they lasted more than 2 odd years or so, and hardly any dents or disintegrations in the cord.

    Maybe I just got a bum set of EX90s.


    06/1/06 at 9:08 pm

  3. “On the other hand, I repurchased the D-NE330, the “liv” branded version”

    um… what is the “liv” branded version of the player?

    jeremy cordeiro

    06/13/06 at 2:26 am

  4. The “liv” brand from Sony are usually “living” oriented gears. That is, they usually limit themselves to under the shelves CD Player, Alarm Clocks, Small boomboxes, and the occassional Walkmen.

    I believe they might be Target Exclusive brands, but I’m not certain.


    06/13/06 at 7:09 am

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