Picture of How to Fix Earbuds
After throwing away my fifth pair of $15 earbuds i was sick and tired of these things breaking, so when this pair broke i got out my X-Acto knife and started cutting.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
The problem spot is usually right at the end of the headphones (duh). The problem is that the wires get bent so much that they break(another duh), but this can be easily repairer with the following materials:
.wire stripper
.different sizes of shrink wrap
.soldiering iron
.X-Acto knife
.copper sheet (optional)

Step 2: Start Hacking

Picture of Start Hacking
C:\Documents and Settings\Eric\My Documents\My Pictures\instructables earbud project\P1010005.JPG
using the X-Acto knife CARFULY remove the casing at the end of the headphones. Then, take the wire strippers and remove about 3/4 inch of the protective wire casing.(pic 2)

Step 3: Reconnecting The Wires

Picture of Reconnecting The Wires
C:\Documents and Settings\Eric\My Documents\My Pictures\instructables earbud project\P1010011.JPG
C:\Documents and Settings\Eric\My Documents\My Pictures\instructables earbud project\P1010012.JPG
You see there is a location where the good wire ends and the bad wire begins, cut the wires there. Re-twist the frayed wires the best you can and separate the wires so there is three distinct colors. Now slide some small shrink wrap over the long end. Match the colors together and soldier them together one at a time.

Step 4: Testing

Picture of Testing
C:\Documents and Settings\Eric\My Documents\My Pictures\instructables earbud project\P1010017.JPG
Pull out your ipod, mp3, or other music playing device and plug in your headphones. Move the wires around she what creates the best connection. Once you have sound coming out the headphones the way you would like slide the shrink wrap up to the end and heat it up using the match.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up
Siffen up the end by sliding somebigger shrink wrap over the whole fixture ant the end and heating it up. I ended up with three layers(including the one mentioned on the step before). This provides a stiff and protective coating that should prevent this problem from occurring again.
I didn´t understand the good wire and bad wire stuff.
can u explain it to me please!!!!!
eijams3 years ago
wsikes3 years ago
Does this work for iPod earphones? would it also fix the jackmic? also I like the sony barnd earbuds they last a long time they're only $10 and once one of them shorted out and i just left them for a week and didn't use them and when i came back and tried them out they worked again.... until my brother stepped on them.
joemonkey7 years ago
ipod head fones are the best. they are $28.99, but the ones i got with my 1st gen nano work still and theyre a year and a half old.
Mine JUST broke. I haven't even had them a year yet. only a couple months. UGH! they're my ONLY earbuds, and I don't have the money to buy new ones -_-"
Cheezmonka4 years ago
My earbuds have a threaded cord. As in like, material, fabric, not regular rubber coating like most earbuds. How do I go about repairing them? If it helps, the brand is "lenntek".
xXSasoriXx4 years ago
can we use a diff. type of knife?
jessejwk4 years ago
Sorry if I'm not understanding this, but wouldn't the blobs of solder touch together inside the heat-shrink wrap and short the thing out? How are the three little wires insulated from each other once you solder? Thanks.
El Mano4 years ago
I love not having soldering equipment. My electronics look so homemade, all the wires held together with tin foil and tape.
nabsol El Mano4 years ago
so does that mean on the part where he solder the wires u just put foil paper? or electric tape
entreri5 years ago
My $16 skull candies did this, i dont have a soldering iron or shrink wrap, what else could i use? would ceran wrap work? it doesnt seem like it would and i dont want to test it.
vbsoto5 years ago
I made a similar repair after reading hear about removing the coating. It worked for about a week, then I started getting drop outs again. This time I went to the Dollar and bought a donor pair of earbuds. I desoldered the cord off the buds. No coating to deal with and they were already tinned. Soldered the new plug and cord onto the good buds and presto! Worked like a charm and easier than all this other hassel.
hey, i'm wondering if anyone knows how to fix this problem: my ear buds have been fine, except this week i noticed that the right ear is significantly softer in volume, but the signal is still crystal clear. so if i plug them into my computer i can pan the volume more right, and it sounds fine, but if they are in my ipod it's still messed up.
grey_fedora5 years ago
I used this instructable to fix my earbuds, and they have been working perfectly for weeks now. Thanks!
ear bud repair.jpg
codongolev6 years ago
I couldn't get the solder to stick. any suggestions?
You need to burn/ sand off the insulation off of the wires.
thanks, but I got it figured out since then.
Heh, thought so, just wanted to put it up.
smeurer6 years ago
my cat cut my earbud wires is there anyway to fix it please let me know my e-mail is
(removed by author or community request)
the cord leading to the earbuds
Braeburn6 years ago
mine did this straight out of the box
visus7 years ago
Just FYI, it's safer and better practice to shrink up shrink tubing with a hair dryer.
easycom89 (author)  visus7 years ago
I had some trouble with a hair dryer. It was industrial shrink wrap from work so.......idk a match seemed to shrink the wrap real fast.
n0ukf easycom897 years ago
hair dryers may not concentrate the heat enough. Rather than that or matches (or lighters), I hold the shrink tubing very close over the soldering iron. It may not be as fast as a flame, but there's less chance of burning the tubing or the wire insulation.
You can also use a heat gun like what they use on model airplane monokote (and similar) heat shrink coverings (also used for stamp embossing). Here's one source (random search) this has a removable concentrating nozzle that would work nice for doing wire heat shrink.
ducks7 years ago
The problem I was having with my earbuds (2 pair of Sony's) was that the sound in one ear would just stop. I'd remove the soft rubber ear piece and clean the cover which would seem to help - for a while. But both pair eventually had one ear that stopped for no apparent reason (wires and plugs were okay). After exhausting the cleaning approach with both pair, I decided to try to poke a few holes in the material that covers the small plastic tube, and to my horror, ripped it completely loose. After being sure that I had completely ruined them, I put the soft rubber ear piece back on, plugged them in and voila, they worked fine. The cover that I ripped off is apparently just to keep ear wax, sweat, etc. from entering the plastic tube and ruining the internals of the earbud. I took a small amount of cotton and filled the small plastic tube as a substitute for the small cover originally glued to the end of the tube, and both pair of my earbuds have worked fine ever since.
ducks ducks7 years ago
Well, that fix lasted only a couple of weeks - was unable to get them to work again after that. Now using new set of earbuds - Bass freq - after doing a fair amount of online research . . .
zootboy7 years ago
with my headphones, i have needed to replace the entire jack. It works the same way, but you solder the wires onto a new jack from radioshaque.
The_K-man7 years ago
I tried this with my broken $40 pair... After stripping the wire, I found 4 separate wires, and they were not regular wires. They seemed to be made of gold-colored cloth and they were very threadlike, and did not hold their shape if I twisted them. Soldering was unsuccessful. Anyone have any tips? I'll have to try again later.
the wire is a thin, enameled wire. (either steel or copper) "enameled" means it has a VERY thin insulation coating rather than a thick one. this makes it to where you can use a very thin cord. (plus you can bend it alot).
oh, and to solder it, before you put the solder on, burn the enamel off with the soldering iron.
easycom89 (author)  The_K-man7 years ago
The wire was actualy a cloth material? Make sure the cloth isn't just covering up the real wire. I'm begining to think that only the cheap headphones use wire and more expensive ones use this cloth like material.
the wire is a thin, enameled wire. (either steel or copper) "enameled" means it has a VERY thin insulation coating rather than a thick one. this makes it to where you can use a very thin cord. (plus you can bend it alot).
n0ukf The_K-man7 years ago
if you look closely enough, you'll see this is probably a ribbon of foil-like wire flat-wrapped around some kind of fiber (nylon, teflon or whatever).
I got a really good idea. Buy a good pair of head phones. Like the ones i got on right now are some samsungs. Before these, i would go through one about every 2 weeks. It sucked. So i decided to buy some good ones and iv had em for about 6 months so id say thev lasted a long time
when i saw this im like ah! this is the solution to my broken headphone! i look in further and see thats its how to fix the jack-wire connection but i have a speaker that completely fell off. i guess i could fix it myself but im a little lazy
Fenwick7 years ago
I've gone through many pairs of headphones because of a short in the wire. Simple, but sweet instructable.