How to fix headphones

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How to fix headphones

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This is a quick guide on how to fix broken / damaged headphones. With this set, the right side headphone was not working, so I thought I’d have a go at fixing it. It’s a very easy, 5-minute, cut-n-shut job, for any ability. This works for in-ear ‘phones (as seen here), the older type headphones and the can-type (DJ) headphones.

You will need:

  • Broken headphones
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Wire cutters/strippers (I used a small pocket knife)

You may need:

  • Superglue/cyanoacrylate glue
  • A soldering aid/helping hand
  • Multimeter

Let’s get started!


Step One

Diagnostics. - The first step is to find out where the problem (a wire break) is. If it's obvious (like the speaker has come off the wire), then you're lucky. I couldn't see what was wrong with mine, but I knew that the left side headphone was working and the right side one was not. This meant the problem was somewhere between the main cable and the right side headphone. I started by taking apart the body of the headphone (it should come apart with a little light force; if not, use a thin bladed screwdriver to lever it apart). This is where the problem was for me, as the wire had come loose from the solder contacts on the speaker (see picture). If your's is OK here, it's time to break out the multimeter. Check every 5-10 centimetres of the cable for resistance, if it's fully resistant then you've found the problem. Mark the point on the cable where the problem is.


Step Two

Mending the wire. - Put your soldering iron on to warm up. If you have the in-ear type, remove the rubber thingy on the end as this can melt under soldering. Be careful with plastic-bodied headphones for the same reason. Strip about half a centimetre from the end of the wire you want to solder, and solder it back on (for the headphone like mine, make sure the wires are the right way round!). If you have some heatshrink tubing, this would be a good time to use it, unless the wire break was inside the headphone itself. Easy!


Step Three

Testing and putting it back together. - Plug the 'phones into your music player and blast out some tunes. If it isn't working at this point, go back to the diagnostics stage and try again. If it is working, do the victory dance, and proceed to the next bit. Putting it back together: This is simple, too. Put the backing back on (this is where the superglue comes in handy). Mine also needed the little mesh grille in the front replacing; superglue does this too! That's about it really... Thanks for reading, and good luck with yours!


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