You wanted to listen to music and you realize that your headphones are broken? What frustration! However, depending on the nature of the problem, sometimes it is possible to fix them quickly and simply, without spending a lot of money. If the sound cuts out only occasionally, in only one of the headphones, try winding the wire or securing it with tape until sound comes through again. If that doesn't work, you might have to open the earpiece and see if you can fix the solder. In some cases, you will have no choice but to purchase new headphones. However, by protecting the accessory well when not in use, you will keep it in working order for a very long time!
Method 1 of 3: Repair headphones with duct tape
Step 1. Locate the problem
Place the headphones in your ears and turn on the music. When the problem arises, try to determine where it is coming from. If the sound cuts out only on one side, there is probably a short circuit in this earpiece. If you can't hear sound at all, the break could be located near the jack, the little metal tip that you plug into the device.
If you have a second pair of headphones, plug it into the device, to make sure the problem is not with the jack in the device. For example, if none of the pairs of headphones work on your iPhone, you might need to have the phone serviced and not the headphones
electrical short circuits usually come from the part of the wire located near the jack or near the headphones, because these are the places where the equipment is most often handled and therefore it wears the most.
Step 2. Wiggle the wire until the earpiece works
Bend, straighten and adjust the cable to the level of the problem. You might then hear the music again, as the damaged wires make contact. When you manage to get the wire in a position that allows the headphones to function properly, hold it in place.
- Handle the cable slowly, so that you can stop as soon as you can get it to work.
- In some rare cases, the wires will be damaged towards the center of the cable. You will then need to manipulate the entire cable to determine to what extent it is damaged.
Step 3. Secure the wire in place with duct tape
While pinching the wire with one hand, use your free hand to wrap a piece of electrical insulating tape or rubber tape around the problem area. The tape will compress the sheath around the wires, which will then remain in contact with each other. As long as you don't remove the adhesive, you should be able to continue using your headphones.
If possible, bend the cable back on itself at the short circuit and secure it around the loop formed with tape. This will prevent the latter from slipping on the wire
Step 4. Consider purchasing new headphones
Repairing your headphones with duct tape might be enough to make them work, but be aware that this solution will only be temporary. If you're still having technical difficulties with the accessory, you may need to invest in a new pair of headphones or embark on more complex repairs. Fortunately, these days you can find headphones at a great price.
- In most electronics stores and on the Internet, you can buy a brand new pair of headphones for only 10 or 20 euros.
- If your headphones are still under warranty, you could also return them to the manufacturer and get a new replacement or a refund. To find out if the accessory is still under warranty, take a look at your receipt or owner's manual.
Method 2 of 3: Weld a damaged fitting
Step 1. Locate the source of the problem
Put your headphones in your ears and try to determine where the problem is. If only one of the headphones is out of order, it will usually mean that the problem is on that part of the wire. If you can't hear anything on either side, the cable may be damaged at the jack.
Step 2. Force open the plastic casing of the defective earpiece
To do this, use a small and thin tool, such as a flat screwdriver or a Swiss knife. Slide the end of the tool into the groove where the two plastic parts meet. Press down and sharply rotate the tool to separate the two pieces.
Unless your earphones are designed to be opened, you may need to glue them back together with strong glue after you finish your repairs
Step 3. Locate a defective wire
Inside the earpiece, you should see two copper wires, each connected to a terminal on the edge of the circular circuit board. See if any of the wires are broken or come loose from their terminal.
If both wires appear to be in good condition and secure, the problem could be located further down the cable, near the jack
Step 4. If this is the problem, remove the end cap from the jack
The damaged wire might not be in one of the headphones, but at the jack that plugs into the phone, computer, or car stereo. In this case, you will need to remove the protective cap and lift the rubber wrap to expose the wires underneath. Once the tip is removed, you can solder the wires that need to be soldered.
Some jacks have a screw-on tip. On other models, the tip can be removed by pulling it hard enough
if you can't remove the tip from the jack, you might have no choice but to cut it off with a pair of scissors and purchase a spare tip to which you will later solder the exposed wires. Headphone jack repair kits sell for around $ 5-10.
Step 5. Remove the old solder inside the headphones
Place the end of the desoldering bit flat on the bead of solder, where the shorter wire came off its terminal. Heat the wick with your soldering iron, at the level where the two materials meet. The firmly braided copper will soak up the remnants of the old solder and set the stage for the new one.
- Desoldering bits are sold in hardware stores and in home improvement stores.
- Once you have removed a drop of solder, cut off the end of the desoldering bit and repeat on all the solder points where the wire is loose, using a new part of the bit.
Step 6. Resolder the wires at the terminals
Now that you have removed the damaged solder, reattach the wires to their terminals and press a very fine tin wire suitable for electronic soldering on the joint. Heat the wire with your soldering iron to melt it and secure the earpiece wire in place. Solder in this way all the wires that need to be soldered.
- If both wires are broken, you can attach them each to any of the terminals in the circuit.
- Use a vise or pliers to hold the earpiece while you work.
Step 7. To repair the jack, attach each colored wire to its terminal
When soldering damaged wires at the mini-jack, it's important to start by making sure you connect each one to its terminal. On most headphones, the copper wire will need to be connected to the center terminal (the bigger one), the red wire to the small right terminal, and the green wire to the small left terminal.
- Soldering the wires to the wrong terminals will not solve your problem.
- If you had to cut the jack to strip the damaged wires, purchase a replacement minijack tip and solder the wires to the terminals, matching the colors, as described in the product's user guide.
- On some aftermarket jacks, you can simply thread the broken wire through a small hole in the terminal several times without having to solder it.
Step 8. Test the headphones
Plug in your headphones and play music, to make sure they work on both sides. Once you've fixed the damaged wires inside, your headphones should be like new! Enjoy it!
- If the sound still does not come through, it is possible that the solder did not hold or that you connected the wires to the wrong terminals. In this case, you will have to repeat the repair to correct your error.
- It would be difficult to justify the difficulty and the cost of repairing in the middle of the cable. If you suspect that this is where your headphones are damaged, it's usually best to just buy new ones.
Method 3 of 3: Extend the life of your headphones
Step 1. Unplug your headphones by pulling on the base, not the cable
When plugging in or unplugging your headphones from the device, hold them at the thick plastic piece around the metal jack. Thus, you will not risk damaging the wires by pulling on the cable. Gently pull on the base to unplug the headphones, instead of tearing them off with a sudden gesture.
To best protect your accessory, wrap a piece of electrical tape around the base so that the cable cannot bend at this point.
Step 2. Carefully store your headphones
Unplug your headphones from the device and wrap them loosely around your hand. Once the cable is rolled up, place your headphones on a flat surface where they won't get tangled. To protect them even better, place them in a soft or hard case, so you can take them anywhere without damaging them.
- Never keep your headphones in your pocket or wrapped around the device, as this will pull on the cable or cause it to become tangled.
- You can purchase a headphone case online or at an electronics store.
Step 3. Clean your headphones frequently
If your headphones have small rubber covers, remove them and wipe them with soapy water to remove all traces of earwax and dust. With a dry toothbrush, scrub the small enclosures to remove any debris that may be there. Let the rubber protectors dry completely before putting them back in place.
Never wet entire headphones or they will no longer work
If water accidentally leaks into the headphones, immediately place them in a container filled with rice, in order to absorb the moisture as quickly as possible. Leave the headphones in the rice for 2-3 days, so that they have a chance to survive.
- Soldering is not complicated. If your headphones cost 30 to 50 euros, repairing them will save you money.
- If you don't have a soldering iron, it might be cheaper to have your headphones professionally repaired than to buy a new pair.
- Clean the port on your phone or mp3 player and see if the problem could have been caused by the dirt.