How to Repair Headphones

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How to Repair Headphones

Headphone failure is not uncommon, but for many consumers, having the perfect fitting headphones fail is serious, and looking for a solution to the problem is often the first step. Gaining the knowledge to fix the headphones at home and understanding the steps to diagnose the problem is the beginning of a solution. Understanding how to use the tools and materials needed to repair headphone gives owners the opportunity and confidence to do the repair at home, saving a much-loved item. Collecting the tools and materials needed to complete a repair at a hardware store or eBay is easier once consumers know the ins and outs of headphone repair.

Diagnosing the Problem

With only moderated DIY skills, owners can diagnose and isolate their headphone problem. Typical headphone problems and failures happen on the cable, at the jack, or at the speaker or earbud.

Component

Diagnosis

Solution

Cable

Broken wire

Cut out the section

Reconnect the wires

Headphone jack

Loose connection

Repair or replace the jack

Speakers or earbuds

Broken or loose earbud or speaker

Replace earbuds or speaker

Foam parts, headbands, and earpads

Missing or broken parts

Replace missing or broken parts

Owners can repair almost all problems with headphones at home with time and patience, but for some headphones, owners often need to replace the component rather than repair it. Earbuds are one component that wears out easily from the constant movement. It is often preferable to replace them with a new set.

How to Repair Headphones

Do-it-yourself headphone repair work often involves replacing components, such as when the problem is in the speakers or jack plug. If owners experience connection problems, but the jack is functioning, they should check the cable.

Locate the Damage

One of the first places to start is with the speaker wire. Wires are subject to lots of wear and tear and are often the first part to fail in headphones. If the problem lies in the wire, first locate the exact spot. While wearing the headphones listen to some music. With thumb and index finger, hold the cable immediately below the headphone jack plug and bend the cable 90 degrees. Run the thumb and forefinger down the cable while retaining the bend position. Owners hear a crackling sound or the music fades in and out when they reach the problem area. They can mark the spot using a fine point white marker or electrical tape.

Expose the Wires

Slide a 5 cm piece of shrink tube onto the wire from the plug end of it and leave it beside the damaged area. Remove approximately 2.5 cm of the outer insulation with wire strippers, being careful not to cut into the wires. The exposed wires can be several colours. The red colour usually goes to the right side speaker and the blue, green, or white is for the left side. The unshielded ground wire should be copper.

Splicing the Wires

Cut the wires at the damaged section of the cable. Rejoin the cut ends of each wire with an in-line splice. Hold each of the same colour wire end to end and carefully twist each end over the other in the opposite direction, creating a strong splice that follows the natural contours of the cable.

Solder the Connection

Once owners securely twist the wires together, they should use a soldering iron to fuse each of the joints on the individual wires together. Allow the wires to cool to room temperature, then wrap each joined section in electrical tape, ensuring neither of them makes contact with the grounding wire. Do not tape over the grounding wire.

Finish the Repair

Slide the piece of shrink tube over the repair site. Using aheat gun or home hair dryer, melt the shrink tube down to about a quarter of its original size. Owners can use the same procedure to replace a damaged jack as well.

How to Buy Headphone Components on eBay

Owners should keep in mind that items needed to repair headphone may be model-specific. In the Search box on any eBay page, you can type in the brand and model number of the headphones to look for listings of the same product to help you compare them. Note all the information given by the seller, especially the technical specifications such as length, size, and colour and check out the deals in Electronics for more options.

Headphones come in styles, sizes, and colours to fit all tastes, but they sometimes fail. Do-it-yourself repairs are one answer to the frustration of headphone failure. Being sure to have the correct tools, replacement parts, and knowledge can save consumers time and money.

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