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My Bose earphones are shocking

LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User
Me.
Literally. Or it feels like they are. I know this is cause for concern but has anyone else actually had this happen to them with other earphones/same earphones? I am trying to figure out whether or not I should replace them for the same or just flat out return the product. They shock isn't THAT bad, it's more like a little "zap" but it's not something I like or would want to have to continue to deal with.


TLDR

Bose earphones (yes, THOSE expensive ones everyone sees) are eliciting a little shock (maybe static, who knows) at random intervals when I play songs. Anyone else experience this?

LeCaustic on
Spoiler:

Posts

  • GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User
    edited January 2009
    I have experienced this with other brands of headphones. It's very odd... and did feel like static... like a static pop of some sort. Very odd. How long have you had them? Maybe they are still under warranty?

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Dude, if electronics are giving you a shock, it's not "par for the course."

    Return that shit.

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  • finalflight89finalflight89 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    It's static building up and then releasing through your ear canals. It's definitely the earphones. Winter probably exacerbates the problem.

  • CmdPromptCmdPrompt Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'd return those earphones and buy a pair from a manufacturer that sells decent earphones, if possible.

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  • risumonrisumon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Are the shocks to the beats of the music? Was it a feature of the earphones like a force feedback system? </sarcasm>

    Return them, thats lame.

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  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    CmdPrompt wrote: »
    I'd return those earphones and buy a pair from a manufacturer that sells decent earphones, if possible.

    since when is bose not decent? o_O

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited January 2009
    CmdPrompt wrote: »
    I'd return those earphones and buy a pair from a manufacturer that sells decent earphones, if possible.

    since when is bose not decent? o_O

    since the internet existed.

    Lots of people think their price to performance ratio is shit... like Monster Cables.

  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Its a lot of things. Bose refuses to publish technical specifications for their products, and instead relies on heavy marketing to get people to buy their products. With high-quality audio equipment, you expect to get a flat frequency response, but Bose products fall a little short.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I've had this happen a few times with Sennheiser earbuds i just got back from warranty. Don't know if they're new or refurbs; the new ones i had never did it.

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I had this happen when I tried to cuddle into a blanket made of synthetics when it was cold at home and put the ear buds into my ears
    Maybe your carpet is loading you electrostatically and the ear buds are the only ground connection at that point? Try touching something that is grounded before putting them in next time

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  • LeCausticLeCaustic Registered User
    edited January 2009
    I had this happen when I tried to cuddle into a blanket made of synthetics when it was cold at home and put the ear buds into my ears
    Maybe your carpet is loading you electrostatically and the ear buds are the only ground connection at that point? Try touching something that is grounded before putting them in next time

    Well, I think you're on to the right track I assumed. I use them where I work and I believe that it occurs only when I put on my jacket (those thick black coats that I can't remember the material to). It never occurs while I am not wearing it and the coat's collar does come close to my ears.

    It seems that the two being in proximity, thus causing the annoyance, seems to be something I can resolve by removing the cause of the static buildup. I never experienced it with my cheapo philips earphones but ti seems like it's just a case of static that I would have experienced with any other earphones with any sort of wiring/metal/electron transfer capability.

    These are new (got them for christmas) so they are still under warranty but I'm not sure replacing them would do anything for me. But, that's the route I'll be going for now, or trying to go for. Unfortunately, not being with music is going to be rather annoying if it comes to it.

    Spoiler:
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    [strike]it may happen when they connect electrically with your ears, by using a metal casing that somehow connects to the interior, instead of plastic
    I experienced the same with my cheapo philips earbuds[/strike]

    Strike that, as it's electrically stupid :p
    If you had a connection to ground, you would have no electrostatic charge
    What happens is that the sweater you're wearing charges you up, and the electric sparks only jump over when you've reached a hefty charge, most likely through a part of the headphone speaker

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    1) Bose is overpriced shoddy crap. For the same money you can get a pair of adult headphones. Sony makes incredible professional grade headphones in the 100 dollar range that you can throw at a wall at mach 1 and they will still work great.


    2) Yes I have been shocked. You probably aren't at risk for being killed or something. Either exchange them or just figure out a way to wear them that doesn't shock you. The shock is coming from the center part, so if they are circumaural you'd have to prop your ear lobe on the fringe so the charge can't jump.

  • Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    more like BLOSE amirite?

    Seriously, there is a reason Bose has a bad rep. They earned it. Their products aren't very good and they're drastically overpriced.

  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Headphone jacks don't output enough voltage for you to feel a shock. It is absolutely static buildup and discharge and NOT an electronic shock. Your headphones would need to have a transformer on/in them to shock you.

    PA-gihgehls-sig.jpg
  • ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Headphone jacks don't output enough voltage for you to feel a shock. It is absolutely static buildup and discharge and NOT an electronic shock. Your headphones would need to have a transformer on/in them to shock you.

    Not true. If you start to sweat and it gets in your ears, in-ear headphones most definitely can shock you. There is enough charge there to give you a good zap, even if the voltage never spikes high enough to penetrate air or skin.

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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Try to sell/ditch the Bose earphones and go with something from Ultimate Ears or Shure. Like others have pointed out, Bose products suck ass. Except for their iPod dock, but that's mostly because all iPod docks are shitty quality for the price you pay.

  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Headphone jacks don't output enough voltage for you to feel a shock. It is absolutely static buildup and discharge and NOT an electronic shock. Your headphones would need to have a transformer on/in them to shock you.

    Not true. If you start to sweat and it gets in your ears, in-ear headphones most definitely can shock you. There is enough charge there to give you a good zap, even if the voltage never spikes high enough to penetrate air or skin.

    That's strange, because I am sitting here with one end of a male-to-male audio patch cord plugged into my headphone out and the other end in my mouth, tongue pressed against the length of the plug (ring and tip) and I can't feel anything.

    PA-gihgehls-sig.jpg
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Its a lot of things. Bose refuses to publish technical specifications for their products, and instead relies on heavy marketing to get people to buy their products. With high-quality audio equipment, you expect to get a flat frequency response, but Bose products fall a little short.

    I think Bose highly relies on trying to create a more superficially "big" sound. It suits some music better than others.

    One thing for sure is that they have some *smart* acoustics designers for their showrooms. I'm pretty sure everu display has some kind of acoustic chamber built in because their iPod dock sounds way better in the store.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You may want to look in to some DJ headphones, like some Sony MDR-V700's or Pioneer HDJ-1000's.

    I used to have a set of the Sony MDR's, but the plastic is kind of shoddy and after using them for both DJ'ing and listening, they sort of fell apart. I swear by my Pioneer HDJ-1000's though.

    The reason I recommend DJ headphones is that they tend to have really good sound clarity, and are made to be used very loud (aka club environment) for monitoring.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    Its a lot of things. Bose refuses to publish technical specifications for their products, and instead relies on heavy marketing to get people to buy their products. With high-quality audio equipment, you expect to get a flat frequency response, but Bose products fall a little short.

    I think Bose highly relies on trying to create a more superficially "big" sound. It suits some music better than others.

    This is definitely true for their speakers. Their gear is too crappy to reproduce a serious chunk of the audible spectrum - while most (read: decent) speakers output the entire audible spectrum of 20Hz - 20k Hz, a typical Bose speaker system (surrounds + sub) will output from about 50Hz - 13k Hz, usually with a big hole stretching from somewhere around 200Hz - 250Hz. Basically, they're omitting a huge chunk of what you can hear (and thus a huge chunk of the data on the CD/DVD/whatever), including a fair bit of the range of human voices.

    Normally, this would sound shitty and weird. However, Bose compensates by exaggerating some of the midrange and some of the high-end bass. Their frequency response chart looks like a goddamned seismic reading. The upshot is that you get a "big" sound, but that sound only vaguely resembles the source audio. The audio signal as designed is a far cry from what makes it to your ears.

    Now, that's their HT audio. I don't know much about their headphones, but I would not be surprised if they use similar techniques.

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  • ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Headphone jacks don't output enough voltage for you to feel a shock. It is absolutely static buildup and discharge and NOT an electronic shock. Your headphones would need to have a transformer on/in them to shock you.

    Not true. If you start to sweat and it gets in your ears, in-ear headphones most definitely can shock you. There is enough charge there to give you a good zap, even if the voltage never spikes high enough to penetrate air or skin.

    That's strange, because I am sitting here with one end of a male-to-male audio patch cord plugged into my headphone out and the other end in my mouth, tongue pressed against the length of the plug (ring and tip) and I can't feel anything.

    You need to play some audio through and give the capacitors at the end of the amp to get a charge before discharging. Also, it may be that the inside of your ear is more sensitive to shocks than your tongue. You're not going to get anything as powerful or sustained as, say, a 9v battery on your tongue.

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  • m4v1sm4v1s Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    syndalis wrote: »
    like Monster Cables.

    A more perfect analogy does not exist.

    Bose aren't bad. They just arent the best, even in their price bracket.

    Check out Head-fi's Headphone Buyers guide, if you havent already.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2009
    m4v1s wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    like Monster Cables.

    A more perfect analogy does not exist.

    Bose aren't bad. They just arent the best, especially in their price bracket.

    Fix'd. They are ridiculously overpriced. Ridiculously.

    But they could be worse. I mean, they never raped my mother, or anything. To my knowledge.

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  • I have Philips earphones that do the same thing. I have tested them many times, and have endured several hours of shocking to determine that they are caused by static electricity buildup. You can stop the shocking by grounding yourself (ex. placing your feet (without shoes/thick socks) on a metal/certain stone floors without moving them, and then leaving them there while listening to music. Otherwise, change your clothing and test to determine what clothes cause shocks, and don't wear them as often. I followed the second option, but when I need to wear certain clothes, I follow the first option. Enjoy!

  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    I used to experience this a lot with my MP3 player when I'd pocket it. When just carrying it in my hands or putting it on the computer desk to listen to, hey, no static.

    I switched to a new pair and everything came out swell.

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    i get this with my Sony over the ear phones under the following circumstance:

    They are plugged into my phone.
    The phone is charging.

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  • RderdallRderdall Registered User regular
    This is definitely true for their speakers. Their gear is too crappy to reproduce a serious chunk of the audible spectrum - while most (read: decent) speakers output the entire audible spectrum of 20Hz - 20k Hz, a typical Bose speaker system (surrounds + sub) will output from about 50Hz - 13k Hz, usually with a big hole stretching from somewhere around 200Hz - 250Hz. Basically, they're omitting a huge chunk of what you can hear (and thus a huge chunk of the data on the CD/DVD/whatever), including a fair bit of the range of human voices.

    Normally, this would sound shitty and weird. However, Bose compensates by exaggerating some of the midrange and some of the high-end bass. Their frequency response chart looks like a goddamned seismic reading. The upshot is that you get a "big" sound, but that sound only vaguely resembles the source audio. The audio signal as designed is a far cry from what makes it to your ears.

    Now, that's their HT audio. I don't know much about their headphones, but I would not be surprised if they use similar techniques.

    Perfectly described. We, in the custom A/V industry joke that BOSE is an acronym for Buy Other Stereo Equipment.

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