LinuxHappy's Weblog

Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

Posts Tagged ‘headphones’

Review/Rant of (poorly constructed) Sony MDR-EX300 Headphones

Posted by linuxhappy on June 1, 2010

A bit of a rant instead of the normal linux talk… but bottom line. Never, ever, ever, ever purchase Sony products– unless you like to waste money.

I bought the Sony MDR-Ex300 professional line headphones in Sept 2009, and one of the ear-buds stopped outputting sound in early May 2010. I babied these headphones — I always kept them in the case when not in use, and used them SOLELY for my professional work. Sony only carries a 90 day limited warranty on these headphones (and probably the rest of their headphones). I talked to their CSR and after asking them to replace it, they were only able to offer me EITHER:
1. To cover 50% of the cost of a refurb ($25 bucks)
or
2. $49 dollars for a replacement for a similar model.

I didn’t think it made sense to give them more money to give me yet another defective, poorly made, super flimsy product. I passed on their offer and filed a complaint instead. It’s not the money– 25 bucks is half a tank of gas these days– It’s the principle– Sony should make things right without burdening the consumer. IMO– Sony used to be a name you could trust for reliability and quality– today.. not at all!

I explicitly pointed out the following to the CSR, but they still wouldn’t budge.

1. I did not abuse these headphones. I always used the case included with this product– and had a separate set of headphones for exercising!
2. Why is it only a 90 day limited warranty — is this because the headphones are only suppose to last for 90 days? The headphones that I (ab)use when I exercise still work fine and I got them at the same time I got the MDR-EX300’s
3. Other companies have better warranties — Bose (1 year), Klipsch (2 years).
4. Professional grade headphones should mean that it’s a professional product– Not some super cheap-o product that breaks upon normal use!

I will never purchase another Sony product ever again, and ban all of my clients from using any of their products. The Sony company has been progressively getting worst over the years. It’s one thing to sell a faulty product (sure, everyone makes mistakes), but a company like Sony should go out of their way to correct things when things aren’t right — it’s things like this that show that they’re nickle and dime-ing every place (construction, warranty, support, etc..) they can get their hands on.

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3/4 Success: Toshiba Tecra A9 Laptop speakers do not mute when external speakers plugged in

Posted by linuxhappy on December 1, 2007

Ok. I don’t have a good explanation of this, and I don’t plan on having one because I don’t plan on reformatting my computer and going through each and every step. I kind of stumbled upon this one, and somehow got it working. Probably one of the worst things an engineer could do.. ugh. I hate not knowing the root cause, although I have my suspicions why things are working.

First of all, my Running Ubuntu 7.10 on my Toshiba Tecra A9. The Tecra has a RealTek ALC262.. and according to the ALSA documentation and a few postings online I read.. it isn’t normal for a toshiba to have a ALC262.

jwoo@aji:~$ cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#0|grep -i codec
Codec: Realtek ALC262

Ok. So The first couple of things that I did was try modifying /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

Tried a couple things
1. At the end of the file, I added the following variations, none which seemed to work:

options snd-hda-intel model=toshiba
options snd-hda-intel model=lenovo
options snd-hda-intel model=auto
options snd-hda-intel model=basic

None of which seemed to work. Grr. So then I stumbled upon the following webpage:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HdaIntelSoundHowto

Webpage seems kind of frightening with the “sudo make install” but being tired on a friday night, and pretty desperate (for the sound to work… not necessarily a date), I figure I give the instructions a shot with the new version of ALSA 1.0.15, since I noticed that Gutsy comes with 1.0.14. I also checked the change log of ALSA 1.0.15 and there was some mention of ACL262.. I figure I give it a shot.

Anyways.. followed the instructions.. rebooted..I guess I didn’t notice it right away because I expected the sound to muted once I plugged in the headphones. What happened *i think* is ALSA 1.0.15 (alsactl) correctly detects my soundcard/codec/whatever and comes up with new knob that specifically controls the volume of the speakers on the laptop. I guess it was done this way, so that you’re not limited to having the speakers or the headphone jack…. You have the option of having one, the other, or both playing.

One thing does bother me about the make install processes of that website (which is why it’s a 3/4ths success). Looking at the dates of what’s inside /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/ubuntu/media/snd-hda-intel
the date for snd-hda-intel.ko is at 2007-10-12. Does this mean I’m still running the 1.0.14 version of the kernel module? Probably. Why can I properly control the laptop speaker volume and the headphone jack volume? Perhaps all I needed were the newer versions of the ALSA user space libraries? Hmmm.. interesting… Maybe one of these days I’ll find out..

So… final config that i have…

1.
/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base has the following line appended to the end of the file:

options snd-hda-intel model=basic

2. Doing a half ass install (following the hdaintelsoundhowto) of Alsa 1.0.15.

time to sleep.

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