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Thread: Speaker Earplugs: durabilty of Challengers?

  1. #1
    JWHITE518
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    Speaker Earplugs: durabilty of Challengers?

    I'm now on my third set of Challengers by earplugco. The first two sets I destroyed myself by mishandling the wires. The current set, less than a year old, has speaker issues and I have to send it back yet again. Do any of you Bob Weis fans have similar experiences? I'm thinking of sending my molds to a different mfgr to try something new this time.

  2. #2
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Jerry,

    I am on me second set of challengers.

    My first pair I abused and frayed the speaker wire and pulled the speaker through the plug which riped the little hole so the speaker would no longer stay put.

    After the speaker wire frayed I sent them back to Bob and he fixed them up gratis. When I pulled the speakers ot of the buds I tried to fix it myself and learned that crazy glue is not for everything.

    Two years ago I got fitted for a new pair which I have had ever since with absolutely no problems. I wear them on the bike, in planes and on the treadmill at the gym. They have well over 20,000 miles of bike use and at least 200 days of gym use and they are still just as great as the day they arrived.

    Bob offers a great product and he stands behind it. Please don't take this the wrong way but I think the way you use them may contribute to their demise and I am willing to bet that if you tried a different supplier you would continue to have the same issues.

    If it is a problem with sound quality check and make sure wax has not built up in the little tunnels. If that doesn't help give Bob a call, his customer service is second to none.

    I hope you find a solution that works for you.

  3. #3
    JWHITE518
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    Jerry,

    I am on me second set of challengers.

    My first pair I abused and frayed the speaker wire and pulled the speaker through the plug which riped the little hole so the speaker would no longer stay put.

    After the speaker wire frayed I sent them back to Bob and he fixed them up gratis. When I pulled the speakers ot of the buds I tried to fix it myself and learned that crazy glue is not for everything.

    Two years ago I got fitted for a new pair which I have had ever since with absolutely no problems. I wear them on the bike, in planes and on the treadmill at the gym. They have well over 20,000 miles of bike use and at least 200 days of gym use and they are still just as great as the day they arrived.

    Bob offers a great product and he stands behind it. Please don't take this the wrong way but I think the way you use them may contribute to their demise and I am willing to bet that if you tried a different supplier you would continue to have the same issues.

    If it is a problem with sound quality check and make sure wax has not built up in the little tunnels. If that doesn't help give Bob a call, his customer service is second to none.

    I hope you find a solution that works for you.
    Rob, thanks for the response. I don't think it's a wax buildup problem because the problem sounds like an intermittent electrical connection. Every once in awhile the speaker plays at full volume for a few seconds, but mostly it is silent. On visual inspection everything looks fine, no bare wire. I think the speaker has gone out.

    As far as my own treatment of them, I do have a problem with the wires flying around, and haven't figured out how to secure the wires. Do you route the wire under your jacket? Where do you plug in to your audio source - is it in the tank bag? Down near the seat?

    Thanks,
    Jerry

  4. #4
    blake
    Guest
    on a recent trip my left one went out. i need to sent them back to bob.
    i'm fairly sure it's due to the bend of the wire where they exit the plug.

    i have about 30k on this set and this is the only issue i've had. i love em.

  5. #5
    82343
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite518 View Post
    I'm now on my third set of Challengers by earplugco. The first two sets I destroyed myself by mishandling the wires. The current set, less than a year old, has speaker issues and I have to send it back yet again. Do any of you Bob Weis fans have similar experiences? I'm thinking of sending my molds to a different mfgr to try something new this time.
    Hi Jerry,
    I've been a user of Bob's Challengers for five years, maybe more. Bob's technical support has been unparallelled. I've always been an extremely
    satisfied customer.

    It's a good idea to route your challenger audio wire to avoid excess flapping. Regardless of the supplier or manufacturer, stranded wire is subject to work hardening and failure when subjected to repeated bend cycling. It's the same principle that lets you bend a coat hanger back and forth until it breaks. In speaker wire, repeated bends caused by wind thrashing eventually cause speaker wires to become brittle and create numerous broken strands under the speaker wire insulation. The combined fractures create intermittent connections that seriously degrade your sound quality--or you get an audio channel that only comes on intermittently, if at all. That sounds like it could be your issue.

    For longest life of *any* device running an audio wire to your helmet, secure it to prevent flapping. When I snap the loose end of my Arai helmet chin strap back to itself, I run my Challenger audio cord between the strap pieces. That secures both Challenger ear leads and the y-junction to a spot under my chin. It's secure, the wind doesn't beat it, I don't feel it -- and it comes loose by itself when I unsnap the chin strap to remove the helmet. So now there's no wire whipping from ear to chin.

    From chin down, on my Roadcrafter for example, I'd either tuck the descending audio wire under the flap of a velcro'd chest pocket, or just run it down the central zipper channel and fold the velcro flap over it, to about belly height near the tank bag. (That's where my MixIt audio integrator resides.)

    It's nothing more than a simple routing system to keep a long loose piece of speaker wire from becoming a thrashing electrical lariat in the wind.

    This setup is simple, functional, doesn't require shiny farkles, and if I'm too inept to operate velcro closures, it's time to get off the bike. If I have to make a head call at a gas stop, I just unplug the Challenger cable from the Mixit on my tank bag, and my helmet audio line stays secure and out of the way as I dismount the bike.

    I'd suggest you contact Bob Weis and give him the opportunity to provide you with support for his Challenger audio product. I'd bet the farm that he will make you happy on a very very fair economic basis. When you have your working Challengers back, find your own best audio wire routing system that minimizes flapping, and your Challengers will likely last longer than your ears will.

    I'd just ask that if you give Earplugco a chance to follow up, and if Bob Weis does indeed satisfy you, that you'd share the positive results of that interaction as well as your query here about troubleshooting and care of the Challenger earplug speakers.

    I have no financial or professional interest in Earplugco. I'm just a long-term satisfied customer.

    Chip Robie
    Lurking in Clayton NC

  6. #6
    USERNAME
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    I tried to fix it myself and learned that crazy glue is not for everything.
    this is one of those sentences that MUST have a funny story behind it.

    how long were they in your ears rob?

  7. #7
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Astatula, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite518 View Post
    Rob, thanks for the response. I don't think it's a wax buildup problem because the problem sounds like an intermittent electrical connection. Every once in awhile the speaker plays at full volume for a few seconds, but mostly it is silent. On visual inspection everything looks fine, no bare wire. I think the speaker has gone out.

    As far as my own treatment of them, I do have a problem with the wires flying around, and haven't figured out how to secure the wires. Do you route the wire under your jacket? Where do you plug in to your audio source - is it in the tank bag? Down near the seat?

    Thanks,
    Jerry
    Jerry & All,
    I use a clip from a hands free cell phone headset to secure the cord. The new style harness has lighter wires that I wrap up and over my ear with the junction at the back of my neck. I clip the cord to my shirt collar and run it over my shoulder and out my jacket at the zipper. If I'm wearing my Darien I secure the cord under the velcro storm flap. With my mesh jacket it just exits at the zipper with no additional fastening. I've plugged into a source both in and out of the windstream, still have my 7year old working original set!
    One of these days I'll find a source for the clips in lots smaller than 10,000!
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack
    www.earplugco.com

  8. #8
    JWHITE518
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by 82343 View Post
    Hi Jerry,
    I've been a user of Bob's Challengers for five years, maybe more. Bob's technical support has been unparallelled. I've always been an extremely
    satisfied customer.

    It's a good idea to route your challenger audio wire to avoid excess flapping. Regardless of the supplier or manufacturer, stranded wire is subject to work hardening and failure when subjected to repeated bend cycling. It's the same principle that lets you bend a coat hanger back and forth until it breaks. In speaker wire, repeated bends caused by wind thrashing eventually cause speaker wires to become brittle and create numerous broken strands under the speaker wire insulation. The combined fractures create intermittent connections that seriously degrade your sound quality--or you get an audio channel that only comes on intermittently, if at all. That sounds like it could be your issue.

    For longest life of *any* device running an audio wire to your helmet, secure it to prevent flapping. When I snap the loose end of my Arai helmet chin strap back to itself, I run my Challenger audio cord between the strap pieces. That secures both Challenger ear leads and the y-junction to a spot under my chin. It's secure, the wind doesn't beat it, I don't feel it -- and it comes loose by itself when I unsnap the chin strap to remove the helmet. So now there's no wire whipping from ear to chin.

    From chin down, on my Roadcrafter for example, I'd either tuck the descending audio wire under the flap of a velcro'd chest pocket, or just run it down the central zipper channel and fold the velcro flap over it, to about belly height near the tank bag. (That's where my MixIt audio integrator resides.)

    It's nothing more than a simple routing system to keep a long loose piece of speaker wire from becoming a thrashing electrical lariat in the wind.

    This setup is simple, functional, doesn't require shiny farkles, and if I'm too inept to operate velcro closures, it's time to get off the bike. If I have to make a head call at a gas stop, I just unplug the Challenger cable from the Mixit on my tank bag, and my helmet audio line stays secure and out of the way as I dismount the bike.

    I'd suggest you contact Bob Weis and give him the opportunity to provide you with support for his Challenger audio product. I'd bet the farm that he will make you happy on a very very fair economic basis. When you have your working Challengers back, find your own best audio wire routing system that minimizes flapping, and your Challengers will likely last longer than your ears will.

    I'd just ask that if you give Earplugco a chance to follow up, and if Bob Weis does indeed satisfy you, that you'd share the positive results of that interaction as well as your query here about troubleshooting and care of the Challenger earplug speakers.

    I have no financial or professional interest in Earplugco. I'm just a long-term satisfied customer.

    Chip Robie
    Lurking in Clayton NC
    Hey Chip,

    Thanks for the advice. I have no qualms at all about Bob's tech support. He's always been helpful and I'm sure he'll continue to be in this case. Just want to make that clear - I was in no way trying to say he didn't provide great customer service. I was only questioning the durability of the product itself.

    Your post makes it clear that my problem is probably caused by a broken wire internal to the wiring that isn't visible. I am guilty of allowing the wire to flap around. Thanks for pointing out in polite words that I am a moron.

  9. #9
    82343
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite518 View Post
    Hey Chip,

    Thanks for the advice. I have no qualms at all about Bob's tech support. He's always been helpful and I'm sure he'll continue to be in this case. Just want to make that clear - I was in no way trying to say he didn't provide great customer service. I was only questioning the durability of the product itself.

    Your post makes it clear that my problem is probably caused by a broken wire internal to the wiring that isn't visible. I am guilty of allowing the wire to flap around. Thanks for pointing out in polite words that I am a moron.
    Jerry...

    It's all good, man. You were just wondering if your issues were perhaps brand-specific as opposed to usage-oriented.

    Only way I knew is that I too flapped a pair of Challenger wires into the dead zone. I finally figured out my own contribution to their failure. I shoulda known better. Bob replaced the wires I blew out, and once I understood how I busted 'em, I changed how I wore them, and that ended those problems.

    And Jerry, for me to call you a moron would only invoke the inevitable pot vs kettle comparisons. And trust me ... I know how to do moron. I've done entire synchronized swimming routines in the great Pond of Moron (pool and a pond, Chip... Pond be good for you...)

    If I see you on the road, I'll tell you about my 1 1/2 gainer into the Pond 'o Moron. It takes a few beers and enough friends to rotate your dome tent so your window and door are interchanged... but that story's for another time.

    Best of luck when you get your Challengers back from Bob. You'll be hi-fi, ready to fly, and cable flappy-free.

    Chip Robie
    A Cool Dry Corner
    BOAF Caves of Clayton

  10. #10
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite518 View Post
    Rob, thanks for the response. I don't think it's a wax buildup problem because the problem sounds like an intermittent electrical connection. Every once in awhile the speaker plays at full volume for a few seconds, but mostly it is silent. On visual inspection everything looks fine, no bare wire. I think the speaker has gone out.

    As far as my own treatment of them, I do have a problem with the wires flying around, and haven't figured out how to secure the wires. Do you route the wire under your jacket? Where do you plug in to your audio source - is it in the tank bag? Down near the seat?

    Thanks,
    Jerry
    Jerry,

    Every jacket I own had a flap at the collar. I make sure the wire is under the flap.

    The plug end is out of the wind so there is no motion there. Because the wire comes pretty much straight to me from behind the screen there is very little flapping. If there were I would run it inside the flap of the jacket.

    I am willing to bet the issue is where the wires go into the plug. If you know a local stereo repair place they can easily put a new plug on for you without loosing more than a half inch of total length. You can also get extension cords too.

    If you ride a naked bike I would get an extension cord and run it from the device to the seat area and tie wrap or tape it in place, then use the end point of the extension as your normal connection point.

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