Just to add that audiophiles will not discriminate the form factor and will prioritise the materials and construction to maximise conductivity and screening to present the sound they most identify as “perfect”.
Cables can be used to “tune” the signal to make it brighter, more bassy, or to extend the sound stage, etc. You often get what you pay for although I have been delighted with the cheapest cables made by an enthusiast. Cables can be multi-core (straight, braided, or twisted) or solid: copper, silver, alloys…
The most important factor is therefore which headphones you want to drive and whether in time you are able to change the cables. Generally headphones are “paired” with their cables to best advantage, even if that is to a general ear. It makes life a little less complicated than with speakers!
And then there’s how you drive the headphones; whether from a high-end dedicated headphone amplifier or from a smartphone, etc. Is the source digital and compressed or analogue? Please excuse the expression, “crap in, crap out”.
Durability: There is a definite difference since the cords tangle a lot lesser and are just a bit more stronger.
Sound Quality: No noticeable difference here. The same pair of earphones using either flat or round cables would sound pretty much the same.
Aesthetics: It definitely handles much better and is easier to fold away, so it’s a good step for sure.
That said, there are still many good earphones that have round cables that are MUCH stronger and durable as compared to the flat cables and it will always remain a functional/aesthetic choice between the two than a sound quality/durability based choice.
What matters the most is, how strong are those round or flat wires soldered to the connectors at the connecting joints where they usually snap/break loose usually at the plug and/or speakers side.
You will at some times almost everyday, always roll/fold those wires upon using them and sometime bend them accidentally causing the wire to break mid point also.
The above mentioned you cannot deny, as it has happen to some of us before and hopefully not happen again in the near future. As these investements costs money also to buy new ones.
How do I prevent my earphones’ wire from getting damaged?
keep your earphones safely. Don’t allow wire to get tangled. Most importantly don’t strain the wire by mistake too (it can take little strain but don’t push too hard) because internal connection where it connects to earpiece is little delicate and it might break for there.
One more thing is pin, don’t bend wire near input pin, some earphones wires tends to break from there only.
While you buy earphone check warranty, also check for L shaped pin connector instead straight because L shaped pin is good when you are listening to music while your phone is in pocket.
It’s important that you treat them with the care and respect that they deserve. Take care of your headphones while you’re using them, as it can make more of a difference than you think. Even basic precautions, like avoiding very high or very low temperatures, and pulling on the end plug rather than yanking on the cable to remove them, can have an impact on the lifespan of your listening equipment.
Remember that this gear is not necessarily as robust and as durable as you think it is. You should store your headphones in a clean, dry place and make use of the supplied case (or invest in a third-party one) where available.Tangled cabling is a persistent problem and one that can cut down your listening time by a good two or three minutes when you set out from the house. One way to avoid this, aside from using a case that keeps the cable organized, is to wrap them carefully in a figure-eight shape around two of your fingers.
Taking better care of your headphones isn’t particularly difficult or time-consuming but the long-term effects are going to be noticeable.
Get a earphone that is waterproof or a carrying case that is waterproof to keep off spills and rain
- It can happen because you it might be getting tossed around in your pocket or bag along with keys or a million other things, so a case would definitely help.
- You might be in the annoying habit of subconsciously chewing on earphones when listening to music. STOP IT.
Premature Failure of Speakers:
Try to never play the music at full bast through the earphones, always keep it at least one or two notch below the max. volume, this substantially increases the earphone life.
Why are earphone wires so thin?
Headphone/Earphone wires are so thin, because the power transmitted is low, and there are technical and economic reasons to keep the wires thin.
Proper speakers use large amounts of power to drive the magnetics inside them, to get a good decibel (sound power) output.
Little earbuds go straight into your ear canal, the transmission power can be extremely low in comparison, and it’s very directional. The tiny little speakers in those need such low power, that thin wires is fine to transmit on.
Remember the more current you need through a conductor, the larger it should be to avoid losses due to good old Ohm’s law (voltage dropped through a resistive conductor, due to current). As sweber mentions in the comments, the length of the wire plays a part in how thick the wires need to be – if the cable is long, like in a speaker system, the resistance needs to be kept low over the distance, and thicker wires (cross sectional area for a conductor) help with this. Since earbud cables are quite short, usually about a metre long, and for the expected current draw, thin wires are acceptable.
Finally, there is an economic benefit to not over-sizing the conductor for earbuds. Copper is expensive, especially if you are manufacturing millions of units of something, there can be a huge difference in price between one gauge wire and another, from the weight of copper involved. If you can technically transmit on a thin wire, and it’s economic to do so, then why not? They are usually stranded wires to help with flexibility and reduce metal fatigue, and the wires are almost always coated with protective plastics or fabrics to reduce stress on the wires. The rubberized insulating around the wires is to avoid axial and shear stress from breaking the wires.
hey would be more durable, but when ‘wearing ear buds like clothing accessories, and needing to move freely, the thin wires are far more comfortable while giving an adequate signal to noise ratio. 1″ copper wire will conduct better than 0.5 mm wire, but not so fun to wear around your neck.
But this size is less an issue if the speakers and audio source are well matched and efficient. Also metalic shielding is more often on lower level signals or radio frequency signals, but not necessary for moderate voltage audio spectrum electrical signals. Rubbery plastic covering is to make the wires not touch and short out the signal, and to keep then close and more manageable.