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I'm tired of continuously fixing wire on headphones.
Can you recommend good wire that resistant to the frequent bending and thus will be last ultimate replacement as headphone wire ?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What sort of wires have you looked into? Have you been to your local electronics store to see what they have in-stock? Maybe you should consider infra red headphones or some other wireless technology? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 7 '13 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wires that will not break for long time. Infrared is not for outdoor use. Wireless has other drawbacks. \$\endgroup\$ – diimdeep Apr 7 '13 at 9:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are not helping yourself get a decent answer \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 7 '13 at 9:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe look for 'silicon wire' which has a more flexible -silicon- insulation and may therefore survive more bends and turns. \$\endgroup\$ – JimmyB Apr 7 '13 at 10:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Metal breaks due to metal fatigue on repeated flexing. Wire conductors are metal. How many flexes a particular conductor will survive, would factor with how much you are willing to pay for the convenience :-) There are exotic wires available with incredibly high flex cycle ratings, used in some lab mechanotronic equipment I've seen, for instance, if you have the budget for it. The little 6 inch long, 4-conductor super-flex shielded cable I am thinking of, used to cost around $120 plus shipping from the lab supplier, and we couldn't find a second source. \$\endgroup\$ – Anindo Ghosh Apr 7 '13 at 10:24
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The simplest solution to wire breakage by repeated flexing has traditionally been seen in the (ancient) wired telephone handset:

Coiled wire:

Coiled audio shielded cable

The specific cable listed above is just one example, it is a 5-conductor shielded audio cable. There are lighter coiled audio cables available, which may be better suited to headphone use, if the weight is a concern.

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There are two primary ways of making ultra-flexible wire.

The first is to use many, many strands of really fine wire, rather than fewer strands of relatively coarse wire. Compare the stranded wire used for house wiring to the same guage wire found in flexible power cords used on appliances. You might try searching for "test prod wire".

The other way is to use a core of nonmetallic fiber and then wrap either fine wires or a very thin, flat copper ribbon around that core in a spiral. This is the wire most often found in headset and microphone cable. This kind of wire can be difficult to make connections to, because the fiber core can get in the way of proper soldering, and you need to be careful about strain relief near the joint.

In either case, the outer insulation of the wire needs to be suitably flexible, too. Silicone rubber provides a good balance between flexibility and wear resistance.

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I've just replaced some headphone wire with RG-178 mini-coax (2-off: glued together as a pair). It's not pretty, but it works so far... I'll report back in a few months (as that seems to be the usual length of time it takes for the kids to break them... :)

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protected by W5VO Apr 8 '13 at 14:02

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