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!)

Step 1: Materials

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!

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!

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.

Step 4: Wait for It...

Set your headphones in a place where the drying plastic won't touch anything.  You can either let them hang down from a hook (hanger, nail, etc.), or place them horizontally over a bowl or something similar so it can dry.

No go relax for a half an hour and bask in the knowledge that you're not going to have to worry about stripping the wires in the spot soon.

Make sure your dip is sealed while you don't want it drying out!

Step 5: Second Coating!

Now that it's had a half an hour, you're welcome to call it quits, but I'd recommend a second coat.

Do the same thing you did earlier.  Make sure you get a nice, complete even coating, and then shake off any excess.

If it's not looking good, you can use a brush or stick to try to direct it to your liking.

Step 6: A Little More Patience...

It's time to leave your headphones hanging up again, and let them dry.  This time they're going to need to hang out for three hours.

Pop in a movie, start another project, or just browse other projects on the site figuring out what else you need to do while you wait...

Step 7: Victory!

Congratulations!  You now have a pair of headphones that's not straining the wires nearly as much every time you put them on.

Looking at my headphones and Noahs, the dip is fantastic.  It completely coated over the exposed wires, and it's strong enough that I'm not worried about that joint anymore.

Once again, I can listen to my music with peace of mind!



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    36 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Thanks! Would this method damage the exposed wires if the plastic has been torn away?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Apologies for the delayed reply, but no, it shouldn't damage the wire at all. The objective here is the recover an exposed wire with plastic.


    5 years ago on Introduction

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



    7 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    1 reply

    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.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great Idea, looks very biological/alive now! Like one of the biopads from the movie Existence :D

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

     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?

    5 replies

    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...

    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.


    9 years ago on Step 7

     Great job!  I'll have to remember this the next time anything I own starts to strip away.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Step 6


    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.


    9 years ago on Introduction

     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!


    9 years ago on Step 7

    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.