Headband Base weak plastic?

I got a pair of XL headphones a month ago, and about a week later managed to snap the left side headband base. Since it happened when I was pushed by my dog while putting the headphones on I didn’t think much of it, just ordered a new base. The snap was high up enough that I could push the stump in and use it like that temporarily. But before the new base arrived, the old one snapped again, this time further down, in a less convenient position.

Today, the right hand base snapped while in use.

In case it matters: both of the snapped bands were green, and for science the replacement on the left hand side is black.

Has anyone else experienced this? Do I have a Monday batch, or are all headband bases this flimsy? Perhaps there should be a materials change?

(Extra points for repairability though, the replacement was easier than getting out of bed)

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I have them in use since they were released and I don’t think that I’m particularly gentle with them. So far I got no indication of any plastic weaknesses, though. I’m using the black model, just in case that matters. BUT there has been at least one report that I could find on the forum, a black one in that case:

Some time ago I had some pretty cheap ones where the plastic band broke in a similar fashion to what you’re describing - suffice to say that it was not easy to fix in that case. So I think I generally do have the potential to break them. :see_no_evil:

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I had the same issue with the green Fairbuds XL. They broke during pull of the earphones after a month without any reason.

After a few months and some discussion with Fairphone they replaced the whole device.

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In all those cases it looks like they broke in roughly the same place. So that certainly seems to be some sort of weak point there.

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Eventually I was sent instructions in how to return my headphones which I declined. They need to send out labels to make returning them easier, I was unable to comply with their instructions. I had to buy a replacement part so bought two and they refunded my postage.

I hope it was not made purposely brittle. Making them easy to repair means nothing if they are made to easily break. If that is the case then it is capitalism at its worst.

Good if you could sort it out!

I doubt that this was intentionally brittle.

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Just came here to say the same thing happened to me. I’ve had the headphones for 6 months, normal use, not even every day. I was just going to put them on and the left side of the headband just snapped. I’m on a long trip and super bummed not to have proper headphones for the long train rides. I made a claim with support and I’m hoping to get the headband replaced free of charged. For the cost of these 'phones they should definitely be more stable.

@Tarantoga what did you have to do to convince them to replace without charge?

Well, I hope you live in a country with good customer rights.

In my case nothing happened a long time, than my contact changed and she send me a new headphone.

But be careful with disassembling the headphone on your side and send the spare parts. I omit that the contractors of them are overwhelmed with that kind of customer and start doing random things. Because a screw pretended to be missing and they refused warranty on the first hand.

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I don’t mean to prevent anyone from exercising your customer rights with Fairphone (don’t hesitate to do so!), but just a suggestion to temporarily bridge a waiting gap: I have had the headband base of my really old and dirt-cheap old headphones breaking as well and “fixed” it with gaffer tape and (part of) a wooden ice-cream spoon. The spoon part serves to reinforce the broken plastic and gets surrounded with the tape, I hope you can somehow figure it out from these two photos (you might be able to figure out the main part of the spoon under the middle of the tape):

Again, I’m not suggesting to accept this condition as a long-term solution (although in my case, it’s working like this for probably more than a year now, but then again this pair of headphones never sat as strong on the head as the Fairbuds XL and I use it at home only).

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Hey funny! I’m on tour at the moment and actually came up with a similar solution! I’m using tape and the small disposable nail file from the hotel bathroom :rofl:

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Similar situation here, after using the headphones for a couple months, both headband bases broke in a span of 2 weeks.

As you can see the breaking points are also very similar.

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Hello everybody,

I proudly announce, that the headband gets broken again. But in the case, I am more aware of that issue it is only partially fracturerd.

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Mine is luckily still in one piece… :grimacing:

Hi everybody:

Right before christmas I got my replacement.

But inside the headband you can disassemble the weak plastic from the strong metal part. Why they are not sold seperatly?

In my opinion the weak plastic should be cheaper and the replacement less envirnomental affectively.

Greetings

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My Headband Base also broke. This was the 2nd time since owning the Fairbuds. When contacting support, they admitted there had been a manufacturing issue and have sent me 2 replacement parts for free. So it may be worth it to contact them if yours broke early as well.

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I ordered mine from Clove Technology in the UK on Nov 20. The left side broke a week after that. The right side broke lower down about an hour ago.

I suspect this is less a problem with bad or recycled plastic, and more a design issue. On these headphones, the point of greatest stress is the part that is the weakest and the thick upper headband acts as a fulcrum right at where the heaband base part inserts. Rather than a part sliding out of a bigger one just above the ear where the moment of torsion is highest, it should have been a reinforced slide-over part, as in these headphones:
IMG_20240103_180534
See how the part close to the ear slides over the metal headband and directs to force higher up to where the curve of the headband prevents it from being a fulcrum point.

Unfortunately I also came across the snapping headband issue :frowning:

Used it for roughly a month, got mine from Amazon. Contacted support hoping they can supply replacement part. Would hate to send the whole headphones back…

My broke after just one month of use, I didn’t want to send it for warranty, so I just ordered the replacement one. But then the other one broke too, so I decided to contact support, I provided evidence and asked them to simply send me a replacement piece. They refused.
The whole process took 2.5 months, from 1st of September to receiving a new set of headphones on 14th of November. A lot of that time was waiting for a reply from support, I waited a week for first message back, and even more for a shipping label.

This experience alone made me not buy Fairphone 5, because when buying a product that is supposed to last, you expect reliability, or at least good support. Here we got neither. Also, it is wasteful to make me ship a product back, and then give me a new one, the old headphones then have to be refurbished. When they had the replacement simply available on the store.

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@JacekJagosz that’s unfortunate and I hope that’s not the experience of others!

My experience with support was luckily better and they send me a replacement part. From making a ticket to receiving the part took a total of 2 weeks. :slight_smile:

I hope anyone who runs into this issue gets my experience and a replacement part in no time!

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