headphone problems

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headphone problems

Post by RichardT »

I have some Focal Elear phones, bought five years ago. Yesterday, the sound on one side started cutting out intermittently and today by pressing the earcup I can get a second or sound of sound but otherwise there is complete silence.

When the sound is there it sound just like it normally does so there does not seem to be any physical damaged to the transducer.

I've swapped cables and audio interfaces and it's definitely the phones at fault. I've not had any accident with the phones that might have damaged them.

Is there anything I can / should do myself to fix this? if not, does anybody know a good engineer who can repair phones? Obviously I can try Focal themselves but it would be good to have an alternative.

Thanks all.
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Re: headphone problems

Post by ajay_m »

It'll probably be a dry joint at the point where the transducer wires are attached to the solder tags and thence to internal cabling though of course you could have a failure at the socket internally as well. If you don't have a good quality temperature controlled soldering iron and general repair skills these sorts of things are best done by someone with decent equipment. Some local communities are setting up repair centres and some of the people there do have these skills. Or you could find someone locally probably on your local community Facebook page perhaps
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Re: headphone problems

Post by ef37a »

Headphones in my experience usually use an Aluminium 'braided' wire to give a really flexible cable. This stuff cannot be soldered by the usual kit and is often terminated by crimps. Without the special tools you are pretty much stumped.

I would take a deep breath and contact Focal and be sitting down when they reply.

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Re: headphone problems

Post by Wonks »

The Focal Elears and other higher range Focal headphones are seemingly known for a high rate of driver failure. Any failure should normally occur within a short while of being purchased and if they last longer than that they should be OK, but there is still a chance it is a driver failure rather than an internal connecting wire failure.

According to another forum post, it always seems to be the left earpiece that fails.
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Re: headphone problems

Post by ef37a »

Wonks wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 12:03 pm The Focal Elears and other higher range Focal headphones are seemingly known for a high rate of driver failure. Any failure should normally occur within a short while of being purchased and if they last longer than that they should be OK, but there is still a chance it is a driver failure rather than an internal connecting wire failure.

According to another forum post, it always seems to be the left earpiece that fails.

Izzat so Wonks? I have looked them up and they seem to retail at over £800. For that money I would expect a lifetime guarantee and a realistic service charge for obvious damage. Of course, we are yet to hear from Focal.

I think most folks expect cans to just 'wear out' bits like ear cups and cables both of which should be made readily available for anything remotely 'professional', say £100 and up?

Dave.
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Re: headphone problems

Post by Wonks »

What percentage fail, I don't know, (and obviously all the web noise is by those who have had failures) but enough that others posting on here have had the issue.

There's a five year warranty on the headphones, so Richard should get them to a dealer ASAP if he thinks they may still just be under warranty and he has the original sales receipt.
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Re: headphone problems

Post by ef37a »

Wonks wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 12:46 pm What percentage fail, I don't know, (and obviously all the web noise is by those who have had failures) but enough that others posting on here have had the issue.

There's a five year warranty on the headphones, so Richard should get them to a dealer ASAP if he thinks they may still just be under warranty and he has the original sales receipt.

Well, five years is better than one but still rather poor for such an expensive device that ordinarily fails very rarely. 'Grown up' headphone transducers called "loudspeakers" last many decades and are handling vastly greater power levels.
BTW he does not actually need a receipt. I know firms will try to insist but it just ain't so. Also ALWAYS buy such stuff with a credit not debit card.

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Re: headphone problems

Post by RichardT »

Thanks guys.

It is the left side that has failed. They've had over 6,000 hours of use but I still think as they are an expensive model they should go on for longer without problems.

I have the original invoice which dates from 10th Jan 2017 - so outside any 5 year warranty sadly.

Focal ask that repairs be directed via their retailers so I have contact Hifonix about it. I hope we don't get into a game of buck passing - Hifonix have a five star rating on Trustpilot so I'm expecting reasonable customer service.

Let's see what Focal say and I'll take it from there.

I've heard that others have got theirs fixed by engineers who can carry out microsoldering using a microscope. Sounds like it is not something the average repair shop can do.
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Re: headphone problems

Post by James Perrett »

Remember that Focal and Naim are now part of the same company. Naim owners are expected to send their amplifiers back to the factory every 8-10 years for regular servicing so I wonder if that now applies to Focal products too?
;)

(No - I didn't believe that regular servicing thing for Naim amps when I was first told about it, but apparently it is true - https://www.naimaudio.com/connection-ma ... im-product
)
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