This pair replaced the pair I lost in my precipitous flight from Maine the last time I was up there. I opened this pair once I was home and had realized my error.
That was about a month shy of ten years ago. ...and I paid twenty dollars for the pair. Amortized over the course of ten years that's like fifty cents a year. Fer friggin' my snack.
One decade later, the cord near the strain relief on the plug has broken, and it looks as though one of the wires went with it. I still get sound out of both buds, but it's got a weird quality to it. Sounds like a surround channel instead of regular stereo music.
I thought they were working, but then a song came on that sounded odd, and so I went to my go-to test song for these kinds of things: Alan Parson's Project "One Good Reason". Parsons did a lot of things with the audio in his songs, and one of them was that there's a lot of surround-encoded stuff going on. If you listen to this song on a surround system, the harmony (and some other parts) comes out of the back speakers.
And this pair of headphones faithfully plays the surround sound. Meaning they're missing a connection. If both speakers have their own positive connections but their negatives are connected together, that's usually how you get that kind of sound.
And the heck of it is, they're not really broken, at least not in a way I can't fix. Get a 1/8" stereo plug and do a little soldering, and we're back in business.
And I just might do that. But if I can't? Ten years--at fifty cents a year--and I have about three other pairs I can use.