Introduction: #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:

Another Gold plated plug is also $4.19 but it only has one plug in the package. This one requires NO SOLDER:


-0 (author)2017-06-09

Hello, could you give me a link to a site who delivers those headphones jack in Europe? that would save me, thanks, nice vid

MotoS1 (author)2016-10-03


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waynemichael (author)2016-06-14

Great instructions...thanks!

One suggestion: After inserting the wires, use tweezers to "wrap" them around the posts and making sure no wire is touching another or its post, then do the listening test BEFORE soldering! (Some people won't care if the right and left channels are switched, but many others probably would, for example people who listen to classical music, where having the violins on the right side might be quite disconcerting...pun intended <grin>).

Best regards!

HannahM81 (author)2016-05-18

That was really
nice post i really like it thanks for the share.. That was i must say it is
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JessupT (author)2016-04-20

Alright, I was in my class around 4:30 to make up some work, jamming out to music. After break time was over, I came back and discovered they stopped working; the wires near the jack had probably shorted or disconnected. These are skullcandy earbuds, and I've looked over the Internet for methods, but I'm not sure which is right for me or if there is any that's compatible.

RoseH25 (author)2016-02-08

I'm using a pair of Skullcandy headphones (actual ones, not earbuds) and I have a slightly different problem. When playing music, having the jack inserted fully causes the musical parts to sound tinny and the voice is almost inaudible. Can this solution be used to fix that problem on a different set of headphones? I am a broke student and I love these headphones, so I would really rather not get a new pair.

NavoditV (author)RoseH252016-03-08

I also have this problem. My headphone used to work fine. But one day this problem occurred. Now I have to insert it about 75-80% in order to work properly. See the difference between 1st and 2nd images. Please reply if someone has the solution.

OnkarK2 (author)2015-10-11


The video is very nicely made, thank you!
I have a broken wire pretty close to the headphone jack of by JBL J03 over the head.

Can I use the same procedure as shown by you?

HIMADRI 28892 (author)OnkarK22015-12-24

yup u can

i tried it on my skullcandy! over the head~!

LakshayB2 (author)HIMADRI 288922016-01-28

i have one sony headphone whose jack is broke i dont know if the jack is available in my country.....

vdubbeet (author)2015-11-14

Is there a different jack and wire that are used when your earphones have a microphone? Thanks.

GripStick (author)2015-05-26

If the plug is broken off in the jack consider this tool.. the GripStick now on Kickstarter.

getnito (author)GripStick2015-10-08

The GripStick had a successful Kickstarter campaign, and it is now for sale here:

Call Me Swal made it! (author)2015-08-17

Great instructable! Nice work.

Thanks, I'm glad to help out.

NameAnxiety (author)2015-07-22

It seems kind of cruel to make a video tutorial for people with broken headphones.

njrotc (author)2015-05-12

How do u fix this

Redouane (author)2015-05-03

Fantastic thank you very much for taking your time putting this video.

sundiata.sherrell (author)2015-03-27

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?

sundiata.sherrell (author)2015-03-27

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.

BjørnS (author)2015-03-21

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. :)

mbbock77 (author)2015-02-24

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.

pallavs (author)2014-11-27

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

maria.iacoblev (author)2014-11-11

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

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.

twashmon (author)2014-08-28

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

fmhotkeys (author)2013-06-22

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.

Vijster1 (author)2012-09-16

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.

ocadhla (author)2012-07-19

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)ocadhla2012-07-21

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.

howie57 (author)2012-05-20

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)howie572012-05-20

No problem. I might ask you a few questions sometime soon.

Thanks for watching! -RM

ce9999 (author)2012-03-16

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)ce99992012-03-17

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

ed.alexander (author)2012-01-19

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.

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!

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