Fix Your Busted Headphones!

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Introduction: Fix Your Busted Headphones!

A few weeks ago, my favorite pair of headphones started acting strangely - at first I thought it was my playback devices, but the problem seemed too consistent across all of the devices to be rooted there. I got my hands on a a really dinky pair of ear buds, and sure enough, it was actually my headphones that were busted. The cord was in good shape and the earphones were in enclosures, so I figured it was the plug. The plug is often the most abused part of your headphones, and the rubber that supports the wiring can sometimes get damaged too.

For this project you will need the following:
  • wire snips/strippers
  • soldering iron
  • solder/flux
  • replacement jack

Step 1: Cut the End Off Your Headphones.

Yep. No turning back now - just go for it. Then use your wire strippers to remove the wire casing around the cord. My headphones had coated wires within the main cord housing, if your headphones are like that too, you will have to strip down enough insulation to wire to solder the new jack into place.

Step 2: The Fix.

Disassemble your new headphones jack and thread the housing onto the existing headphone cord (see images)

I used a 'helping hands' clamp tool to hold the new jack in place while I threaded the three wires into place. With the archaic set of headphones I was using, it didn't particularly matter which wire was fed into each pin - I tried all possible configurations,  I put the white wire in the long pin, and the red and black wires in the smaller pins. Gingerly, heat each pin, and solder into place.


Step 3: Check It and Jam It.

Go through checking the strength of your solders, then crimp down the plug into place.  Slide the enclosure back down, and screw into place.

Now, pump up the jams. Do the robot.

robot v.1.1 from Audrey Love on Vimeo.

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32 Comments

Where did you buy that replacement part, the actual jack? This could save us $85 on a new charger for a laptop! Wohoo, thank you!

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2104061

There you go :)

Reminds me, I have an old pair of Sennheiser headphones with a ¼" plug that I’ve been meaning to replace with a ⅛" plug. Same process as you outline here of course.

That should say 1/8", but Instructables’ support for Unicode characters is evidently broken.

why not just use an adapter? I'm pretty sure Radio Shack sells them.

This doesn't always work ... newer headphones in the last few years have a "fiber" strand in them. Once cut ... well, you're screwed.

what if something happens to the headpiece??

THIS IS GREAT, I CAN REPAIR ALL OF MY OF HEADPHONES AND EARPLUGS (all of them have this trouble)

I fixed my wife's last night. I didn't replace the plug, I just sliced away the bulky rubber boot and re-soldered the loose connection.

So now if it breaks again, all you have to do it unscrew it it and resolder?