Repairable, Modular 'Ironbuds' Could End the Reign of Crappily Made Earphones


Photo: Paul Hussey under a Creative Commons license.

If you use earbud headphones, you've probably owned more than one pair. They break easily and often, pushing users to spend less money on a product they know won't last. That in turn pushes manufacturers to make them more cheaply, and crappily. But a new product has stepped in to end the vicious cycle: Ironbuds,
Image: The Acoustic Forge

Perhaps the main problem of poorly-made earphones is that if one component breaks (it's only a matter of time before wires fray and plastic cracks), the whole product becomes junk. Ironbuds are being made with a modular design, composed of detachable units that can be swapped out if they break.

Check out the Ironbuds Kickstarter video:


The genius behind Ironbuds is Thomas Young, who calls cheaply made earbuds a "stunning example of disposable electronics." He wanted to exploit the niche in the market between the kind of earphones you get on an airplane and the ones that cost several hundred dollars. Young's earbuds provide high-quality sound, the weak points of the earbuds (like where the wires meet the ear pieces) are strengthened, and Ironbuds sells direct to the consumer.

This isn't just one more Kickstarter project that will go unfunded: Ironbuds has already raised more than $46,000, more than four times its target amount. So if you have enough earrings and speakers made from busted earbuds, it's time to get a pair.

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More on headphones:
Headphone Tech Helps Boosts MPG In Cars
DIY Bottlecap Headphone Project Teaches A Bigger Lesson
Amadana Bamboo Earphones by Real Fleet

Tags: Electronics | E-Waste | Music

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