How to fix a faulty or damaged headphones

How to fix a faulty or damaged headphones
How to fix a faulty or damaged headphones

You can try to repair your headphones if their cable is damaged and change the connector if you determine that the fault is with the latter. The situation will be complicated if you have to replace an earpiece pad, because it is a very delicate operation during which you risk permanently damaging your equipment. Sometimes it's more efficient to outright replace your defective headphones if they are of poor quality or if the repair is too difficult.


Part 1 of 4: locate the fault

Repair Dodgy or Broken Headphones Step 1

Step 1. Determine the tools you will need

Depending on the repair you have to do, you will need to have the following tools and know how to use them:

  • a 15 to 25 watt soldering iron with a sharp tip and 0.75 mm solder wire;
  • a knife or cutter and scissors;
  • heat-shrinkable insulating sleeve and chatterton;
  • wire strippers and needle nose pliers;
  • a multimeter.

Step 2. Verify that the fault is with the headphones you are using

Take a set of headphones or a set of headphones that you are sure are working and connect them to the output of a device that can produce a sound signal, such as your computer, and listen to the sound produced by the device. 'device. Repeat the same operation with the supposedly defective helmet. If you can't hear anything with this working headset, make sure you haven't connected it to your computer's microphone input. If this is the case and you are listening correctly with both headsets, the problem could be a connection error on your part.

You can check this fact by connecting your headphones to the audio output connectors of other devices and listening to the sound

Step 3. Check for a fault in the cable

Observe carefully the condition of the cable, because the usual points of deterioration of a cable of this nature are most often found at its ends (connector or junction point of the headphones) or on a part which should appear to you partially flattened or started. If you can't see anything, connect your defective set of headphones or headphones to the audio output of your device and twist the cable between your fingers in several places. If you can hear intermittent sound, repair the cable.

Step 4. Isolate a connector problem

If you can only hear something when you push or squeeze the connector, service it.

Step 5. Try to isolate a wireless headphone problem

If your headphones or earphones are mounted on a Bluetooth type receiver, you will have to isolate the fault by replacing it with another. If from this moment you manage to listen to sound, you can put your Bluetooth headset in question. You will need to research in its documentation how you can possibly restore it and what repair or replacement procedure can be done by its manufacturer.

Step 6. Prepare your multimeter

If you could not accurately locate the fault in the cable, you can still use a multimeter to do so. You can get one very easily for a few euros in the DIY department of supermarkets or at electrical equipment dealers. Follow these steps to implement it:

  • set the device's function switch to continuity test mode, which you can identify by a symbol resembling )));
  • connect the black plug to the socket of the device marked COM which is usually surrounded by a black circle;
  • plug the red colored plug into the socket marked Ω, my Where ))) which is usually circled in red.

Step 7. Ring the wires making up the cable with the multimeter

The device will beep if it detects continuity, which means that the tested wire is not cut and it will remain silent if the ringing wire is cut. Follow these steps to test a wire from your headphones:

  • make a small cut near the connector of your headset and another near the earpiece;
  • with the blade of a knife, very gently scrape the copper wire which is normally coated with a thin layer of clear plastic;
  • position the black test tip of your multimeter in one of the two notches, then do the same with the red one in the other notch;
  • if your multimeter beeps, you can deduce that the fault is in the connector or the earpiece and if it remains desperately silent, make another notch in the middle of the cable and ring each of its halves;
  • make another cut in the half of the cable that does not respond to the test and continue doing this until you isolate a length of a few centimeters for which you are still not getting a sound response from your multimeter;
  • repair the cable when you find the location of the fault.

Part 2 of 4: repair the cable

Repair Dodgy or Broken Headphones Step 8

Step 1. Ring the cable

Put the headphones on your ears and switch on the device to which it is connected. Gently slide the cable along its entire length, passing it at a right angle around the end of your thumb until you hear a crackle or sound stop. At this point, repeat the operation to remove any doubt and if you hear the same fault recurring at the same place in the cable, you will have found the cutoff point. If this fault is near the connector, read these instructions to repair the connector, otherwise go to the next step.

  • Wrap a piece of colored tape around your cable to mark the location of the fault.
  • Skip this step if you have already located the problem with a multimeter.

Step 2. Remove the outer insulation from the cable

Use your wire stripper for this, or make a cutout around the outer insulation of the cable so that you remove about 1.5cm, then extend your cutout in both directions until you can see a damaged wire. whether cut or flattened. To do this, take care not to cut into the cable shielding or the colored wires inside when you remove the perimeter insulation and carefully remove the mesh of the shielding braid, without cutting it, to examine the condition of the wires inside. This is the part of the cable where you will need to perform the repair.

  • If your cable is in the form of two parallel wires joined together, each of them contains an insulated wire which will be the "hot spot" of the audio signal surrounded by a metal braid which will be the ground.
  • Headphones and headphones from Apple and some other manufacturers consist of two insulated wires that are the left and right channels of the audio signal, and a third wire that represents the ground of those signals.

Step 3. Cut the cable to repair it

If you notice that at least one of the audio channel transmission wires is damaged, cut the cable at equal distances on either side of the place where it is damaged. Take care to do this at an equal distance from the damaged part to avoid other electrical problems that may subsequently arise with your helmet.

If only one of the wires is cut and if you know how to use a soldering iron, you can possibly save time by soldering it directly end to end, without cutting or splicing it, but your repair will be very fragile, you will have trouble putting the insulation back on and you will most likely have to do it again before long

Step 4. Slip heat shrink tubing over the cable

It is a rubber-like insulating tube that has the property of contracting around the cable or wire it covers when subjected to a heat source. Take care to slide the section of tubing that is to cover the repair to a sufficient distance to prevent it from being subjected to the heat of the welds you will have to make.

If you had to cut your cable in more than one place to locate the fault, slide a piece of tubing up to each of the notches

Step 5. Splice the wires

This involves connecting the stripped ends of wires of the same color of insulation together. You have the choice of doing twist splices or inline splices to join your wires.

  • To make a twisted pigtail splice, take the ends of the wires you want to interconnect and position them together in parallel. Strip exactly the same length from each end and wrap the exposed parts on top of each other. This method of joining is quick and easy to do, but the repair will be somewhat bulky.
  • To make a line splice, overlap the two ends of the same colored wires end to end and twist them in opposite pitches. This type of splice will be more difficult to make, but more elegant and discreet than the previous one and will also present less risk of rupture.

Step 6. Solder the connections

You will need to use your soldering iron to melt a very small amount of solder on your splices. Let them soak up the molten metal, then repeat the operation for each of the splices to be made. Then let them cool, but without blowing on them.

  • The exposed wires, without plasticized insulation, are frequently coated with a thin layer of enamel. You will need to strip this layer or burn it with your iron in order to solder. Avoid breathing vapors emitted during soldering.
  • Allow your welds to cool and then insulate them by covering them with a small piece of electrical insulation. Do not try to speed up the cooling of the welds by blowing on them, because they will lose their strength and electrical conduction properties. A good weld should appear shiny and smooth.

Step 7. Slide the heat shrink tubing over the repair

The length of tubing should be long enough to completely cover the repair you just made. When the sheath is fully seated, retract it onto the cable with a hair dryer or heat gun until it molds well to the repair. Do not overheat it to prevent tearing.

The heat-shrink tubing will lose its original diameter to fit over the repair you just made to protect it

Part 3 of 4: repair a damaged connector

Step 1. Obtain a new audio jack

You can find it very easily at any electronic component retailer. To make a stereo connection, select one that has a retaining spring to pass your cable through. Be sure to verify that it is the same size as the jack you are going to replace, which should normally be 3.5mm.

Step 2. Cut the old jack off your cable

Cut the cable at a distance of approximately 2.5 cm from its point of entry into the connector with your knife or scissors.

Although on some sets of headphones you can unscrew the cover from the old jack and everything looks okay, most problems you will encounter are the result of twisted or frayed wires right after the jack exits

Step 3. Strip your cable

Using a wire stripper, remove approximately 2.5cm of the coating from the end of your cable. You should see a wire leading to each of the headphones as well as one corresponding to the ground.

If you find two ground wires, join them by twisting them to solder them together

Repair Dodgy or Broken Headphones Step 18

Step 4. Select the wires by their insulation color

The red wire will correspond to the right earpiece, the white or green to the left one, and the black or bare wires to ground.

Step 5. Strip the ends of the wires

If possible, remove 1 cm of insulation from the end of each wire in the cable.

If the ends of your wires are coated with enamel, you can skip this step

Step 6. Twist the ends of the same colored wires

If you have two ground wires, you will need to twist their stripped ends together before soldering them.

If the bare ends of the same colored wires are frayed, twist them together so as not to cause short circuits afterwards

Step 7. Remove the enamel from the ends of the wires

If the wires are coated with a layer of enamel, you will need to burn them on contact with the tip of your soldering iron to expose the copper so that you can do your soldering.

Skip this step if the copper at the ends of your wires is already exposed to air

Step 8. Slide the cover of your jack over the cable

Check that it is perfectly adapted to the base of the connector to which it will be screwed at the end of the cable. The cable retaining spring should be slipped immediately after the jack cover if it is separated from it.

You should see two solder lugs attached to the base of the connector. If there was only one, the jack you bought is monophonic and not stereophonic, in which case you will have to swap it out where you bought it, or get a new one

Step 9. Place a bead of solder on the end of the wires

This is called tinning and involves soaking the ends of the wires with tin alloy to facilitate their junction with the lugs of the jack connector when soldering.

To be able to continue, wait until the temperature of the solder drops sufficiently after tinning

Step 10. Solder the wires to the jack

If the terminals of the jack are not tinned, strip them with very fine sandpaper to obtain a good adhesion of the solder then tin them. Bring the previously tinned end of one of the wires into contact with the corresponding terminal. Heat the latter with your iron at the same time as the wire and melt a drop of solder on the junction. The operation should be just quick enough not to melt the insulation of the wire you are soldering. Refrain from blowing the solder to cool it. Repeat the same process for each of the wires in your cable.

Step 11. Reassemble the connector

If possible, pinch the cable without crushing it by folding with a flat pliers the two tabs provided for this purpose then screw the jack cover on its base taking care not to rotate the cable, which would be catastrophic. Tighten the cover without forcing on the screw thread of the base of the jack. At this point, you can test your headphones.

If you are still having trouble testing, the wires may be touching each other in the connector. Unscrew the jack cover then reposition them and insulate them so that they cannot touch each other

Part 4 of 4: repairing an earphone

Repair Dodgy or Broken Headphones Step 26

Step 1. Realize that this repair is unlikely to be successful

Unlike faulty cables or connectors, a headphone problem can be very difficult to resolve.In most cases, it will be best to leave these types of repairs to a professional diagnostic and maintenance service, unless you are sure you can do it yourself.

Step 2. Disassemble the defective earpiece

This procedure will be different from model to model, so it is necessary to search the Internet for specific instructions.

  • Get a size 0 Phillips screwdriver and look for screws to disassemble your headset.
  • Try to remove the foam filling. When you've removed it, look for screws underneath.
  • Insert a flat tool into the cutout in the assembly at the base of the speaker dome. Lift the dome with extreme care because you could damage it, so it's a good idea to find disassembly instructions for your headphones first.
  • The ear cups can be disassembled, but you might need new rubber gaskets to put them back together afterwards. The problems are usually located in the wire leading to the atria.

Step 3. Check if a wire is disconnected

If you're lucky, you will. Any disconnected wire must be reconnected to the earphone pad. Check for any metal pins that hopefully other wires could be connected to, then solder the cut wire to the missing pin.

  • If more than one wire is disconnected, you will need a service manual to know where to connect them.
  • Be sure to check that the earpiece wires are not touching each other.

Step 4. Replace the earpiece pad

You will be able to buy a new earphone patch online, but you may be paying quite a bit for it. If you think the price is worth it, take your headphones and the lozenge you just bought to a repair shop. You can try to replace the pad yourself, but the risk of permanently damaging the earpiece is too high:

  • Using a sharp knife, cut the rubber seal around the pad;
  • remove the pellet from the central cone;
  • position the new patch in place of the previous one, taking the greatest care not to touch the diaphragm which is very sensitive;
  • if you feel it is out of place, put small dots of glue around the edge of the new patch.


  • If you have inexpensive headphones on hand, practice on them before attempting anything with expensive equipment.
  • Try not to hold the tip of your soldering iron on the exposed wires for too long. This would melt the insulation around them, risking short circuits.
  • If you are only using your headset with a device such as an iPhone, you should check it on other equipment to make sure that the issue you are having is not being caused by the audio jack on that device rather than by the set of headphones. If they work correctly when connected to another device, you could question the condition of the output connector of the equipment on which they are usually used.
  • Spread a light layer of silicone around your ear cups if you have damaged their non-slip coating.


  • Take care not to burn yourself with the soldering iron.
  • Avoid breathing the vapors emitted by the solder heated by your iron.
  • Do not attempt to attempt repairs of this jig unless you are very skilled with your hands and know how to use the necessary tools. If you are not sure, it is best to entrust this task to a friend of yours or to a competent technical service.

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