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Sony Ericsson makes me sing the blues

Inside the junk food section of a downtown department store, I decided to stop listening to my jazz collection at home.

Two weeks back, my family sought shelter in a Cebu City pension house from a scheduled overnight brownout in Lapu-Lapu City. We went to a downtown department store to stock on food and refreshments when we ended up, inevitably, on the biscuits and junk food section.

Sony Ericsson headset, data cable SONY ERICSSON CONNECTORS. If there’s one weak spot in Sony Ericsson phones, it’s the way its data cable and earphone connects to the unit. After a year, you’d start to experience cutting off of connections.

Our four-year-old son kept saying he wanted potato chips so I brought him to where there were rows of various potato chips in different flavors. He got one pack, placed it in the grocery cart, and then sang “you like pot-ah-to, I like patata.” He sang the song repeatedly that night–on our way to another department store, on our way to the pension house, while eating the potato chips.

His brother got into the act, repeatedly singing the line “everyone’s gone to the moon” in a mock Nina Simone rendition. It was a room full of singing, out of tune.

I got the message.

I took out the Nina Simone compilation perennially stuck inside our DVD player (it’s the last CD I play before I sleep and I never bother taking it out).

I then got the earphones that came with my Sony Ericsson K750i. It lay unused for a couple of months because I stopped using the phone as a music player. When I attached the ear phones into the phone, the message that the profile had changed to “portable hands-free” did not appear. I wiggled the connector a bit and then the phone indicated that the portable hands-free had been attached.

I then played songs in the phone only to hear nothing in the earphones. I detached and re-attached the earphones, wiggled the connector a bit only to hear the music coming out of the phone’s speakers. It took a few more minutes of adjusting the connector before music came out of the earphones.

If there’s one weak spot in Sony Ericsson phones, it’s the way accessories connect to it. After a year, you’d start to experience cutting off of connections for the data cable or earphones. What I’d do is adjust the connector a bit and not move the phone (if I’m doing USB data transfer or using it with Float’s Mobile Agent).

But it’s in the earphones that this problem is particularly irritating if not downright unsettling. Imagine listening to a full stereo playback of Coldplay and then everything goes mono, with one speaker going out.

I tried cleaning up the phone’s port and the data connector but I still encountered problems with the earphones—at times it works but then when I walk or the phone gets moved, music inexplicably goes off in the earphones and gets played on the phone’s speaker. It’s okay if you’re just listening to songs, but what if you’re listening to Bedroom Radio?

I just wished Sony Ericsson would choose jacks as connectors for their earphones. It’s less prone to connection cutoffs. I don’t know if its technically impossible to use jacks because even its Walkman phones use the same type of connectors.

After a few days of trying to fix the problem, I gave up on using the K750i as my digital media player. It’s still a perfectly fine phone and I still use it extensively for taking photos. But for listening to my music collection and podcasts, I now use the Creative Zen Nano Plus. It’s a cheap MP3 player with recording functions, which comes handy during interviews.

By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.