Headphone repair offers an attractive solution for buying new ones if you already have the right tools on hand.
The instructions in this article provide general tips for installing wired headphones of all types. The instructions that came with your headphones may contain more specific troubleshooting tips. Check the seller’s website for further instructions. Repair of wireless headphones such as Headphones Beats is usually a more complex (and expensive) process.
Reasons for broken headphones
Common headphone malfunctions include:
- Short circuit in wires that transmit sound.
- Faulty earpiece.
- Faulty plug.
- Problems with the audio jack.
Before you can fix your headphones, you must determine the source of the problem. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you figure out why your headphones aren’t working:
- Plug in your headphones and listen to the sound . If the sound is interrupted, bend the cables while listening for feedback. If you hear sound when the cables are arranged in a certain way, there is a short circuit and you need to repair the headphone wires.
- Gently insert the plug into the audio jack : if you hear a sound, you may have to fix the plug .
- Use a different pair of working headphones : if you can’t hear anything, you may have to fix headphone jack which is a completely different topic.
- Use a multimeter for checking wires : The multimeter will beep if no breaks are detected. If you can’t get it to beep, you must repair the wires.
- If on one side no sound you may need to have your earpiece repaired.
What it takes to fix broken headphones
If your headphones are still under warranty, you can have them repaired by a professional for free. Check the documentation that came with them for troubleshooting information
Depending on the underlying problem, you may need the following tools:
- Scissors or sharp blade
- Wire stripper
- Electrical or adhesive tape
- Third hand with alligator clips
- Solder and a soldering iron
= 9 How to fix headphones without tools
If the problem is with the wires, you can fix the headphones without cutting them.
As you twist, bend, straighten, and adjust the cord, you may hear a sound when the damaged wires are touched. Use this strategy to pinpoint exactly where the failed connection is. Shorts are usually found next to an earmuff or jack.
When you find a position that allows you to hear the sound, hold the cord in place with your fingers.
Continue to keep pressure on the cable by wrapping electrical or duct tape around the short. If done correctly, the tape should compress the cable just enough so that the wires don’t touch.
If you can, try to bend the cord onto itself and glue it to the loop to prevent it from moving.
How to fix a short circuit in headphones
If the above method doesn’t work, you’ll have to fix broken wires. Locate the short circuit by manipulating the cables or using multimeter then do the following.
Disconnect the headphones from power and audio sources.
Mark the site with a permanent marker or piece of tape.
Carefully strip the surrounding cable insulation using wire strippers or a knife to expose the broken wire.
- If you have a cable that looks like two cables glued together, each will contain an insulated wire. One carries the signal and the other is the ground wire.
- Other headphones have one cable housing with two insulated wires for the left and right signal in addition to one or two ground wires.
Cut the cord in half, severing any undamaged wires. Try to make an even cut so that the wires are the same length.
If only one wire is broken, you can try soldering it without cutting the cord, but the connection won’t be as strong.
Remove more cable to expose more wires, then sort the wires by color and type.
Use a lighter to burn off the enamel coating on any exposed wires. Move the flame quickly along the wires to expose the copper ends.
Connect open wires. Connect the two sides of each wire, making sure the wires are the same color. Hold the two ends of each wire parallel and twist them together. Use a third hand equipped with alligator clips to hold the cables in place while you work.
Solder the wire. Use a soldering iron to melt a small piece of solder onto the spliced wires and let it cool.
Wrap the signal wire(s) in electrical tape so they are separated from the ground wire. If you have two base wires, glue them together.
After all the wires are connected, tightly wrap the exposed area with duct tape. Alternatively, put some heat shrink tubing over the cable while you work, then use a heat gun to shrink it around the repaired cable.
How to fix a broken headphone plug
If the headphone plug is damaged, buy a replacement from an electronics store or online. Choose a metal plug with a stereo connection and a spring of the same size as the current plug.
To replace a broken headphone plug:
Cut off the old cork. Cut the cable about an inch above where the cable and plug meet. Some cables can be detached, but the problem is most likely with the base of the cable, so you have to cut it independently.
Use scissors or a wire stripper to remove an inch of the cable cover and expose the wires.
Sort the wires by color and type, then use a lighter to burn off the enamel.
Twist wires of different colors. If there are two ground wires, twist the frayed ends of both together.
Slide a new headphone bushing onto the wire so that the part that connects to the plug is facing the bare wire.
Melt a tiny bead of solder at the end of each wire, then let the solder cool.
Add solder to one of the pins in the plug body and apply heat to melt the solder.
Touch the soldered end of the wire to the solder pin to connect the wire to the plug.
Repeat the process for other wires.
The rough edges of the soldered wire with sandpaper make it easier to connect to the contacts.
Assemble the new headphone plug by screwing the jack into the plug. Make sure the wires are not touching and the sleeve is secure.
What to do when one earbud does not work
If one earphone does not work due to a short circuit in the cable, fix this part of the cable; however, if the problem is with the earpiece itself, the fix is more difficult.