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.

Water Damage:

Get a earphone that is waterproof or a carrying case that is waterproof to keep off spills and rain

Frayed Cable:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.