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Fix a stripped wire on your headphones

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I bought a nice pair of headphones a few months back, and noticed recently that plastic has started pulling away from the joints, exposing the wires.  Before it got any worse, I went to Noah to ask his advice.  Turns out, he was having a similar problem and had a fantastic suggestion: Plasti Dip!

With those two words, I set off of gathering the vast amounts of materials that would be needed to fix our headphones.  All one item.

(This all seems very self explanatory, but I've ran into many people who've never heard of this product or what it does.  It's for that reason that I'm putting this here!)

 
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Step 1: Materials

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Plasti Dip


Seriously...that's all you really need.  I found types of Liquid Electrical Tape type products when searching for this, but I haven't tested any of them so I can't really recommend them.

If you want to take things the extra step:
Bowl (you wouldn't mind throwing away)
Toothpick, Small Stick or Small Brush (that you wouldn't mind throwing away)

Step 2: Prepare to dip!

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Grab your headphones (or whatever wire you want to dip), and make sure nothings very dirty.

Open up the Plasti Dip container and prepare to dip.

(if you want a little more flexibility in your dipping, you can pour the dip into a wider mouthed bowl, so you have some extra room to maneuver).

Step 3: Dip!

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Dip just the section of your headphones that you want to apply the coating to, and ensure that you completely engulf that section of the wire in the dip.  I would suggest a couple of consecutive dips, just to ensure a proper coating.

Once completely coated, hold over dip, and shake off excess liquid still stuck to headphones.  No need for huge lumps, try to shake it out a little bit and get things as smooth as possible.

If you're happy, blow on it a little bit, and it will harden the outside of the dip on your headphones cord.  Make sure you blow away from the open container of dip, as the fumes will not put you in a happy mood.

jrace28 months ago
Thanks for that, this could save a pair (or 2!) of my headphones going in the future, will keep this in mind

mastering
mike503332 years ago
This is an awesome find for me! I have a question though. I have a pair of SkullCandy's where the jack is messed up, the wires need repair. When everything's done with, how does a guy use this method to set back the plastic part without messing up the copper connector?
StumpChunkman (author)  mike503332 years ago
I'm not sure what you mean. Would you mind taking and attaching a picture of bad part of your headphones. That way I can tell you what I might do to fix it, and hopefully that'll help.
Klappstuhl4 years ago
Great Idea, looks very biological/alive now! Like one of the biopads from the movie Existence :D
Excellent Post!
This is a very common problem and there aren't many solutions around :)

Good Share
xiao_haozi4 years ago
 Great work.  I have always taken the cut and resolder approach but it's not such a fun task when you split at a Y like that or so close to a dongle... usually try to open the Y joint and repair inside it.  This seems much more headache free.

What about reusability of the remaining plasti-grip solution?  The excess that you poured into the bowl, can that be reused or is that lost to the project?
StumpChunkman (author)  xiao_haozi4 years ago
We poured all that we could back in the original container.  There was a thin film we had to wash off the bowl, but it wasn't really all that much.  We're still debating what to use the rest of the solution for..

...any suggestions?

Up to this point, I've always just re-soldered as well, but yeah...this is so much easier.
 Ah good to hear it's essentially reusable then...

What to use the rest for? Well I think my problem is the opposite, I can't decide what I shouldn't try to use it for.

I plan to use some for the bottom of custom electronic cases as an anti-sort of finish.  Also wanted to try it out as an alternative to expensive powder coating...
StumpChunkman (author)  xiao_haozi4 years ago
Those both sound pretty cool.  Let me know how it goes, and post pictures here if you can when they're finished.  I'd be interested to see.
 Will do!
 I agree with you completely.
jtmcdole4 years ago
 Great job!  I'll have to remember this the next time anything I own starts to strip away.
chicapalta4 years ago
Cool! Wondering how to do this if the wire is stripped close to the head phone, tho? Would be more difficult to dip without compromising the cushiony ear part.
StumpChunkman (author)  chicapalta4 years ago
I'd suggest using a stick and dabbing it on.
smrp19844 years ago
GREAT INSTRUCTABLE

I have a pair of ear bud type headphones that got a slice in the outer jacket of the cord "didn't touch the conductors". The wire was so thin I was worried it would break, so I decided to use my Liquid Electrical Tape "great stuff, everyone should have a can of it" works like the plasti-dip but is vinyl based and comes in a can w/ brush attached like rubber cement. The fix was flawless and I saved a $60 pair of ear buds. I'm sure the plaits-dip works great but if you already have liquid electrical tape around it will do the job just as well.


Groxx4 years ago
 I've got the same headphones, and I've got the exact same problem.  The other option is to send it in to Grado, they apparently do effectively any repair for $30 after it's out of warranty (I think a year).  I'll probably end up dipping it insteadnow that I've seen it done, thanks!
Tezcumpapa4 years ago
Thanks!  I am hard on my headphones and need to replace them every couple of months.  This ought to help!  Thanks again!
Could you 'paint' this stuff on? Because I've got a couple of Gamecube Controllers that the wire is pulling out of the controller, and I  was wondering if I  could just paint some of this stuff on.
StumpChunkman (author)  Biohazard11944 years ago
I don't see that being a problem.  It may not be painted so much as a stick spotting it on in very specific locations...but it should work.
 Nice job, but I think I'd used Sugru.
I don't know if that would be an improvement...the liquid form of Plasti-Dip is actually pretty perfect for covering the wires.  I don't see how you'd use the clay-like state of Sugru to ever get such an even nice coating.  But, by all means...
 Did you ever use it?
Uh no, I'm just guessing looking at the pictures of the stuff.
 Sugru is moldable like clay but when it cures it's like durable rubber. You should buy some ! :) But as I said nice job!!
baneat4 years ago
Seriously how did you strip the Y on a pair of grados? Mine are extremely sturdy there.
noahw baneat4 years ago
The Y isn't stripped entirely, just the plastic housing that covers the wires is.  It's just press fit in there, and on my pair, which is at least 10 years old at this point, it seemed to come away from the Y hard plastic housing quite easily actually.
SinAmos4 years ago
Nice covert advertising.  Looks good.
StumpChunkman (author)  SinAmos4 years ago
hahaha...thanks!  And in all honesty, no advertising was really intended.  When I asked noahw his suggestion, this was the only thing he could think of, without having to cut things, add heat shrink and re-solder.

Do you know any other ways?  I'd be glad for more options!
Looking at the "Y" on my SR-80's, it looks like it would be pretty prone to strip like yours did.  Great fix.
itsachen4 years ago
 Grado SR80's. Very nicee
jeff-o4 years ago
Great idea!  It's been filed away in my brain-vault.
lemonie4 years ago
I must get some of that stuff.
I bet is stinks?

L
You know it!  I love this stuff to coat the handles of my scissors too,   Makes like a comfort grip!
gmjhowe4 years ago
 Nice, the final thing does not look too shabby!

Great phones btw!
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