Sony MDR-V6 and Sennheiser CX300 Headphones

Sony MDR-V6In the past couple of months, my headphones have failed. The ear pads on my fifteen year-old Sony MDR-V2 headphones began to deteriorate. The wiring connections at the jack and drivers became intermittent. I soldered on a new jack, but it was difficult to get the insulation off the fine gauge wire. I got tired of fixing them and figured I got my money’s worth. My earbuds started having an intermittent connection too.

It was time for new headphones. I’ve been in a few recording studios in the past 30 years, and I often saw Sony MDR-V6 Studio Monitor Series Headphones being used. These fit my budget (~$70 USD) and all those recording studios can’t be wrong. There’s even a Wikipedia entry for the MDR-V6. The headphones are circumaural – they go over your ears. The sound reproduction is accurate.

Sennheiser CX300

When I ride my bike, I use earbuds, but only in one ear, so I’ll be able to hear the SUV, driven by a person talking on the phone, nearly kill me.

I chose a lower price point for earbuds, since I’m mostly listening to podcasts and the whizzing wind isn’t really conducive to high fidelity. Most of my music is ripped at 192 kbps VBR anyway.

I narrowed it down to the USD ~$30 Sennheiser CX300 in-ear stereo headphones and the USD ~$33 Sony MDR-EX75. I bought the Sennheisers. Hopefully they’re not counterfeit .

iPod 5G to Classic

iPod 5G with iPod Classic front face plateAs with all Apple products, after a few years they get long in the tooth. My 5G iPod was introduced on October 12, 2005, and after a couple of years, it’s still working OK, even the original battery. It is a little beat up, so I decided to do a couple of things to “refresh” it.

You can change the interface of your 5G ipod to make it similar to the one on the iPod Classic. You can see it over at iPodWizard.net.

I also decided to replace the scratched front face plate. While looking on eBay, I saw that the iPod Classic aluminum front face plate had tabs that looked very similar to my 5G’s, so I bought one.

When I received it, I noticed that the tabs on the Classic face plate were not separated by a gap. I used a Dremel cutting disk to remove the material on the Classic face plate so the tabs resembled the ones on the 5G.

iPod Classic Face Plate

iPod 5G Face Plate

It looked like it was a drop-in fit after that, but when I did a test fit, the screw holes on the cover’s tabs didn’t reach down far enough to line up with the holes on the iPod’s frame. I used a round jeweler’s file to make the holes in the tabs a little oblong and then I was able to screw the cover to the frame.

iPod 5G frame

With the Classic face plate mounted on my 5G iPod, there is a little less than a 1/64″ (~.396mm) gap between the front face plate and the back plate. I may have been able to shorten the height of the Classic’s tabs to get it flush, but I didn’t bother. Also the click wheel is slightly above the front surface of the face plate, but not annoyingly so.

iPod Classic front face plate (L) and iPod 5G front face plate (R)

Finally, because the Classic front face plate is aluminum, it is now much more difficult to remove – it doesn’t flex as easily as the plastic one.

It seems like a worthwhile mod if you’re going to replace the front face plate anyway because the mat finish doesn’t show fingerprints like the plastic face plate and it’s less susceptible to scratches, unlike the plastic one.