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#1 How to Repair or Fix Headphones (Headphone Jack)

video #1 How to Repair or Fix Headphones (Headphone Jack)
A "how to" guide showing how to fix plug shorts that occur in most brands of headphones.

The headphone plug I show in the video is $4.19 (2 pack), here's the link:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2104061

Another Gold plated plug is also $4.19 but it only has one plug in the package. This one requires NO SOLDER:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103990#pr-header-2103990

In fact, my plug got a little cracked and upon me typing my message, it actually finished snapping in half. How can I find a replacement if I can't fix it now due to the damage that's already been done?

Last night, I recently stepped on my headphone jack and the plug is all messed up. Sound won't play as usual. I broke my first headphone jacks on accident when I was jamming to Trapped in the Closet and it was plugged into the computer and I was playing as James. Is there any way to fix these ones? I have a trip tomorrow and I don't want my mother to find out that I've broken them too.

BjørnS26 days ago

I know how it is, when the headphone jack didnt work so great, and you have to twist and have the line in a very specifik way to get it works on both ears. I dont know why buying all these stuff lol, or maybe some tape could fix it, if you bend the wire in the way where it works, and then stick some tape around it. :)

mbbock771 month ago

Is it possible that there would be a ground wire only on one side? I stripped the wire on some earbuds and one side has the red wire and the copper wire. The other side has the green and what looks like whispy yellow fibers intermixed with the green wires.

pallavs4 months ago

I fixed it....I just put a lighter on the wire to remove the insulation and bam!!!!Music on

Thank you! This was the best tutorial, I had almost all the tools exept for the soldering iron, which was cheap and easy to get. Yes, it took me sometime to get it done but it was worth it. My headphones are working again and I didn have to go and spend $129 on a new pair

RichsMethods (author)  maria.iacoblev5 months ago
You're welcome! There is also a gold plated Screw retained plug that Radio Shack sells. I have a video showing this as well, but if you already purchased the solder version you might as well use it. It'll probably give you a higher quality sound.
twashmon7 months ago

instead of hot glue, might i suggest silicone? it holds up a bit better and is definitely better with any electrical.

fmhotkeys1 year ago
Hey Nice Vid But a piece of advice, no need to sand the wire as the solder heat will expose that wire while soldering it therefore making the contact needed to complete circuit.
Vijster12 years ago
Hey Rich, I have been using this technique for all of my audio experiments over the last 3 years: Rather than sand them, take a lighter to the insulated wires. The insulation seems to be made of a fiber/wax combination and burns in no more than 2 seconds. The best part of this is that it goes out on its own and doesn't fray the wire's end.
ocadhla2 years ago
hey, i have a pair of headphones which were cheap enough, but there no longer available, there the best ive ever had, even better than 120 euro dr. dre beats i got, i was wondering for ease sake, what do you mean the gold plated jack needs no soldering?? the wire simply wraps around the same type of connector as int he video?? thanks
RichsMethods (author)  ocadhla2 years ago
Yes, the wire does wrap around the same connectors as in this video. However, the connectors have screws on them. You just screw the wires in place.
howie572 years ago
Thanks Rich, I tried to fix my daughters headphones the other night and couldn't get them to work. Now that I know about sanding the coating off of the colored wires, I think I can go back and finish fixing the headphones. I have been an electrician for 19 years and know most of the tricks of the trade. But that is all high voltage. I all ways say "Your never to old to learn something new." Thanks Again.
RichsMethods (author)  howie572 years ago
No problem. I might ask you a few questions sometime soon.

Thanks for watching! -RM
ce99993 years ago
This was very helpful, thank you.

A pitfall I ran into with my headphones, which are an old pair of Sennheiser HD435 Manhattans (sadly no longer available), is that the wires each contain a small fiberous core which is very cut resistant, enough so I couldn't cut the wire with a wire cutter. It also wouldn't stay twisted, and was just a general pain in the neck. I finally had to cut it out of the red and green wires with a pocket knife, just to get it out of the way. A hassle, yes, but maybe this cloth core was why this wire lasted for 17 years before it shorted out.

I forgot to pick up fine grit sandpaper to clean the wires, so I (very carefully) used a piece of brand new Scotch Brite scouring pad, mostly green nylon but with enough abrasive in it to do the job.

After I had the ground wires soldered on, I realized I had done it upside down, so the red and green wires couldn't reach to their correct positions without crossing. Oops. So, the channels are backwards. Luckily, the headphones are perfectly symmetrical front-to-back, so I can just wear them backwards, problem solved!

It was a cobble job, admittedly, but it works, so I am happy.
RichsMethods (author)  ce99993 years ago
Glad you got them to work. Thanks for sharing your story. It took a lot of time, but I think it paid off!

Thanks for watching! -Rich
The tabs at the end of the ground plug are meant to be bent over to hold the shielded part of the cable. This is to eliminate the need for hotglue.
RichsMethods (author)  ed.alexander3 years ago
Yes I know, but I didn't realize this till I fixed a few more headphones. In my third video I do this, but thanks for pointing this out! The more I find out the better. Thanks for watching!