Why and how does a headphone die in a box?

How in the world does a headphone stop working while it’s just in a box? A few weeks ago I bought and had shipped to me a HE-560 which I bought used. On arrival it worked fine, then I put it away in its box. Due to the vagaries of real life it sits there, not abused in any way. I take it out today and I find that the left driver is dead. I know it’s the driver and not the cable because I swapped the cable (so the right cable was going to the left driver) and it’s still not working. What the holy hell?

Very very strange. Did you have a lot of moisture perhaps or very humid conditions? Lots of dust? I don’t know, that’s pretty strange

I live in the tropics, so it’s generally quite humid. But it was in its box. I doubt it was dust.

have you tried connecting them to a different source?
and did you mean to say “it’s still NOT working”?

What he560 reversion was it? Was it v1.1, v1.2, v2, or v3?

v1.1 was the first version with the weird screw on smc connectors

v1.2 was the same headphone with 2.5mm connectors

v2 was an adorama camera version with grey plastic cups and a new headband

v3 was the same with a slightly changed headband

I know it’s not the source because my other headphones on the same source are working just fine. And yes, I meant not working.

@M0N: it’s v1.2 - v1 with the 2.5mm connectors.

Hmmmm, I guess I will have to say humidity was probably the culprit unless it got jostled or was already having issues before it was sold to you

That sucks, it’s a really great headphone when you power it correctly

Perhaps see if you can either reach out to hfm support or get your money back

Are you comfortable with opening them up to check the solder joints? Could be a really simple fix

I would suggest trying to contact the seller and if they won’t do anything then contacting hfm to make sure they won’t do anything before cracking in. It could be a simple fix but I would check first if he could get a replacement or refund first

Uh, about contacting the seller - you guys do realize that he lives in the USA and I’m an ocean away in the Philippines? I just used a cargo forwarder.

Sorry about that, I did not know. You could still try contacting hifiman and see if they can do anything

Also I have seen the drivers come back to life with some messing around. Also do your driver’s crinkle? That might be a sign of a jammed driver

Schrodinger’s headphone?


You mean if it’s making any crinkling sounds? No. It is 100% silent. What exactly does a jammed driver mean?

The diaphragm gets stuck and cannot move correctly. It could be the cause but I don’t know for sure. It could also be the solder joints like @XmetaldaveX mentioned

I found a guy who does repairs for a lot of the local audiophile community… fingers crossed it works.

Is this the sort of thing that should put me off used headphones, Hifimans, planers, or some combination of the three?

Well there will always be that risk with used headphones, but also hifiman quality control is not the best. Also humidity changes can mess with planars and estats too

So according to the headphone repair guy it’s not the solder points to the driver or the connection to the jack. It’s the driver itself. So, do planar drivers just randomly die like that? And will Hifiman ship out the replacement drivers, or is there some other possible fix?

Once I finish yelling at myself for pissing 245 USD + shipping down the drain, I think this will be the last Hifiman product I buy, and now I look at planars a bit warily.

FWIW he sent me this photo of what he found when he opened it up:

I have no idea what, if anything, is visually wrong.

Hifiman drivers are notorious for just dying randomly I never heard it to be an issue with anyone elses . Not monoprice, audeze , thieaudio,or blon.