This is a first: I’m removing an item from my “Favorite Things” list
Relatively speaking, I don’t add much stuff to my Favorite Things page. I’ve been maintaining that list for almost a decade, and there are only a couple of dozen items on it. The reason it’s a short list is simple: I only add products that A) I think are awesome, and B) I think JSF members and visitors will find useful.
Because the products I add to my Favorite Things page are well-vetted before they earn a spot, I’ve never removed one before. That is, until today.
A little less than two years ago I added the MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphones with Memory Wire to the list (if you want to read my original review, it’s here). I still stand by that review, however a weakness in the product began to show in the summer of 2014, and then again this summer.
That weakness? Sweat and pretty much any moisture, such as humidity.
My first pair began to malfunction (no sound) during the summer of 2014. Whenever I’d sweat for a prolonged period of time, the sound would cut out of one, or both, speakers. It was annoying, but usually after removing the foam buds and letting the speakers dry out they would be okay the next ride. Eventually, though, they stopped working completely. This was still during the warranty period, so I got an RMA number and sent the product back (at my expense) for a replacement. It took so long to get the replacement that I wound up purchasing another set. It wasn’t long before the second set I purchased began to have the same problems as the original.
About that time summer was nearly over and the weather was cooling off. The buds performed fine all fall and winter, but began to have problems again this summer. As soon as it started getting hot and I began to sweat more heavily, the second set permanently died. I grabbed the pair that was replaced under warranty, and the sound cut out of the left speaker on the very first ride I did.
I ordered a 4th pair, and they began to have problems within the first week. I returned them to Amazon for a refund.
I never had issues with the earbuds completely popping out, however when I would sweat heavily they would not seal as well as they should, which drastically reduced the sound quality. This, presumably, is how sweat was getting in there. I tried pretty much every size and type of foam insert the manufacturer includes, but no matter how secure the fit they would not stay sealed once I began to perspire.
I found this image attached to an Amazon review (not my photo):
Look at all that corrosion. The Amazon user who posted that image said that was after only a couple weeks of use (that was his second set). I have not pulled my earbuds apart like that, but I can 100% guarantee that the same thing is happening with all four sets I’ve used. Sweat and humidity are just too much for these things.
The manufacturer claims “Certified IPX5 sweat- and water-resistance for increased durability“, which means the speakers should be protected against low pressure water stream from any angle. Obviously that’s not the case, as sweat is hardly a high pressure stream.
After going through four pair of these things, I think I’ve given them more than a fair shake.
I purchased something completely new, and my new earbuds not only fit and sound better than the Sport-Fi M6 earbuds, they come with a lifetime warranty against damage from sweat. I should have that review on deck this week.