Easy Headphone Repair for Broken Wires

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If your headphones don't work and you know its not near the jack, the fix is easy... no more than 10 minutes if you know what you're doing. Mine took a little longer since I was working on my friend's headphones at the time and they are fairly complicated. The headphones used in this instructable are cheap pieces of junk that don't work anyways but it is the same procedure that I used on my friend's.

This should work but there are no guarantees. Doing any repairs like this may void any warranty you may have. Soldering irons and other tools can be dangerous and should be used with safety in mind. I am not liable for any damage done.

Here's a fairly well-written 'ible on the wire splicing

Step 1: What You'll Need

-Wire Stripper (or similar device...knife, nail clippers etc.)
-Soldering iron and solder
-Shrink tubing (Finally found some in my house)
-Sandpaper (grit doesnt matter too much, probably something higher than ~140 should be good)

Step 2: Strip the Wire

If the wire is a double, you need to pull them apart. You should pull at least 1/4" to 1/2", depending on how much you trust your soldering skills. Use a wire stripper (exact-o knife or fingernail clippers will work--be carefuler with these though) and strip the insulated wires. Separate all wires by colors (On these the colors are red, green, and copper. Generally, the colored wires transmit sound, and the (apparantly) uninsulated wire is the ground.

Step 3: Slip on Shrink Tubing

or whatever its called

Just slide it on before you twist any wires together.

Step 4: Sand the Wires Down.

The colors on the wires are really a thin insulating coating that needs to be removed before soldering. To do this, simply use some sandpaper and sand away until you see the copper wire. Do this with all wires, including the ground.

btw my camera really doesn't like the close-ups

Step 5: Twist and Solder

Twist all like wires together. I like to keep the grounds separate, but that is just personal preference. Once they are twisted together, put a thin coat of solder on the wire.

Step 6: Cover Solderings With Electrical Tape

This step keeps the wires from touching eachother or the ground, to make it not short-circuit.
Simply cut a small piece of electrical tape and wrap it around each wire. Cut/Fold away the excess.

Step 7: SHRINK WRAP!!!

Now slide the shrink tubing(?) back over the electrical-tape-covered wires and heat up with a match/soldering iron/heat source until you get it nice and conformed.

ZE END!!

2 People Made This Project!

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83 Discussions

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EricJ138

1 year ago

Simple female 1/8" audio jack, some solder and some heat shrink. Lets you swap out any cables that might go bad. Super easy to do as well. For the finished picture, I ended up using a LifeProof phone case audio connector because of its tight fit. Took about 30 minutes from start to finish.

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Shruti Karn

1 year ago

my headphone is not working properly. it's one of the speakers is not working. can anybody help me with this plz?

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mcfarjd501

2 years ago

my headphones have a blue wire sticking out near the plug. What do I do?

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AmpuanAomi

2 years ago

can somebody help me with this please?

email me :')

-ampuanaomi@gmail.com

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LanceP12AmpuanAomi

Reply 2 years ago

Hi.. Did you connect the wires simply by tapping them together? Audio wires are sensitive, they require constant value of resistance, so this method usually won't make it work. Try soldering them together. If you can't do that, twist them together as tightly as you can before applying the tape. If connections are correct and secure, yet it still won't work, the problem might lies in the circuit's components.

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AmpuanAomiLanceP12

Reply 2 years ago

actually it's like that when i bought of but they decided to refund back my money instead of shipping another. so i'm left with quite a bummer. if only there is some sort of guide/diagram to this kind/type of settings headset, checked all sorts of guide to no avail...

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LanceP12

2 years ago

Many thanks to the author! Those who have difficulties feel free to comment me, I'll try to help.

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CharlesG53

2 years ago

is there any significance to the individual fibers for each of the 3 wires inside? or can I just take each wire and fuse it to the new one of the apt color?

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LanceP12CharlesG53

Reply 2 years ago

hey mate.. any luck repairing your headphone? the individual fiber has no significance.. A bunch of them represent the same connection, which is ground. But different bunch connects to different direction, so the significance is in each group of them, not individually. I fixed mine leaving some fibers broken, and the result is less quality for the sound. I fixed that by adding an external connection to ground.

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jim12311

2 years ago

I soak the plug and wire insulation I want to remove in acetone for a half hour or hour and find the insulation just peels off. If it doesn't, such as the thicker parts around the plug, soak a little more. It doesn't affect the wire lacquer, which may be good or bad, since it would be nice if it cleaned off that insulation, too. Some heat-shrink tubing slipped over the wire beforehand can be slipped over the worked area and shrunk with a cigarette lighter to add some protection/strength to the area and make it look more professional, but it will also make that section less flexible.

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CharlesG53

2 years ago

is there any significance to the individual fibers for each of the 3 wires inside? or can I just take each wire and fuse it to the new one of the apt color?

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nonstopgamingE

2 years ago

THX IM SURE THIS WILL WORK! :-)

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AaronG52

2 years ago

Awesome. It worked. Thank you.

I am planning to do this repair, I know is the wire that connects one speaker to the other, what I don't know is what gauge of wire do I have to buy and where? Radio Shack does not have it. Inside of the cable there are 2 wires.

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pjgardens

4 years ago on Introduction

This didn't work on my low end Sony headphones. There is continuity but no sound so not sure what the problem is.