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)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.