We live in a disposable world. Stuff reaches the end of its useable life and it gets binned. In some cases, the item in question may be in perfectly good shape and set to continue to deliver years of sterling service but it’s just too old, slow or unfashionable.
This is all too evident in the technology space, where CRT TVs are dumped on the side of the road during inorganic collection week, or where a 2002 vintage computer is good for nothing more than being plonked in the garage. As someone with a deep seated sentimental streak, I find it hard to chuck things away. I even tend to try and repair broken things, so imagine how I feel about the stuff that still works. I’m still using my MiniDisk player, still working occasionally on my old Toshiba laptop PC and I’m still using a 2005 vintage DSLR. Pretty sad I know but that’s just the way I am.
So when my well used and much loved Ultimate Ears Super Fi 5 Pro in-ear ‘phones developed a fault in the cable (probably because I’ve always bent the cable under my iPod’s soft case for “security”), I was thrilled to be able to get them replaced locally for a fraction of the cost of a set of new equivalent ‘phones.
The team at Logitech NZ pointed me to Thomas Muller at Acoustix Hearing – he handles the Ultimate Ears custom range for musicians and demanding audiophiles. He hooked me up with a new cable and set of foam tips sans earwax and the ‘phones are basically as good as new despite nearly two years of use and abuse. Better by far than turfing them, especially with a lot of air travel coming up (I don’t fly without noise canceling phones). After this pleasant experience, I won’t be buying ‘phones in future that don’t have replaceable cables, that’s for sure.