The Sony Fontopia MDR-EX71SL headphones that I got on the 3rd of March are already broken. This is hardly what you expect from a pair that cost more than $50. The cladding around the wires is made of really cheap plastic that bunches up and breaks down: even under the kind of delicate use to which I have been subjecting them. I was warned too late about how poor their durability is. It makes quite the contrast with the pair of Fontopias I bought in 2000, and which only failed immediately before I bought these ones.
I will try to have them replaced under the warranty. Otherwise, I am soliciting opinions about earbuds that have comparably good sound and dramatically better construction.