Headphone Jack Repair With Neutrik NTP3RC




Introduction: Headphone Jack Repair With Neutrik NTP3RC

About: I like to tinker - more or less repair things.

This instructable will show you how to repair a shorted headphone jack and replace the jack with a Neutrik NTP3RC.

What you will need:

1 Neutrik NTP3RC.  Can be had on Amazon between $3 and $7.  Black plastic model is cheaper
Soldering Iron
helping hands
razor blade

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Step 1: Determine Source of Short

This particular pair of in-ear headphones had a short in the right ear. Given the initial cost and decent sound quality, it was definitely cheaper to repair the jack than to purchase a new pair.

You will need to determine the source of the short before cutting off  the headphone jack.  The short in this pair was very close to the jack itself. 

In other cases, the short could be further up the wire closer to the earphone.  You want to make sure that you find the short, and cut above that. You don't want to go through all the trouble just to have the short follow your work.

Begin carefully snipping away at the strain relief.  I also removed the outer cover to the jack.

Step 2: Prepare Your Wires

Now for the hard part.  The wires in the cable are very very tiny and very easy to cut with a razor blade. I would not suggest using any wire strippers for this.

One safe way to remove the outer [plastic] insulation is to place the razor blade on top of the insulation and gently roll the wire underneath.  You will cut around the rubber insulation so that you can simply pull it off and get to your wires.  If you place too much pressure, you will cut through the wires inside.

Now you will need to feed the wire through the barrel of the NTP3RC BEFORE you start soldering.  This barrel will screw down over the other components of jack.  The rubber end faces the headphones and the silver piece faces the exposed wires.  The image is incorrect, however I added a note informing you of the correct orientation.

Separate the wires. For my headphones, the coloring is:

Green = left
Red = right
Copper = ground

Twist the two ground wires together.  Don't worry about the string
Twist the red and twist the green.

Step 3: Solder Wires to New Jack

Your helping hands will come in very handy during this step.

Identify the poles on the jack. The ground will face up/north.  In the attached image, the jack is resting on the ground, so the left and right are opposite.

Middle = ground (facing upward)
left = left
right = right

The left and right poles have a hole in them, so you can thread the wires through and solder them
The ground does not have a hole, so you will need to apply some solder, place the ground wire on top and then apply some heat. 
The ground connection is the most difficult.

Trim any excess wire.

Step 4: Assemble Jack

Assembly is fairly simple, though the plastic strain relief took a little thought to figure out.

Once you have the strain relief in place, take the two silver pieces and place them over the jack.  The wire will extend from the threaded ends.

The packaging has a diagram of how to assemble, but the Neutrik website also has a PDF which shows this step in a little more detail.

The silver portion of the barrel will then thread over those two silver pieces.

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    6 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is the worst connector ever. It has destroyed 2 rare mp3 players that fit my needs perfectly.

    Do yourself a favour. Go to some website that sells cheap headphones, and instead of replacing just the plug, replace the whole wire up to the earbuds.

    Eventually these wires will fail and fail again, but a $2 earbud wire is alot easier to source than an mp3 player made 5 years ago.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I bought this connector too as it is very difficult to find a replacement plug that is small and comes in a right angle configuration.

    The plug has a weird shape in comparison to 'standard' plugs. There seems to be sharp edges to the metal section that you can see in your pictures that catch on the internals of my player. Careful inserting your plug into your player.

    Also I would have preferred the plastic version as the metal one is quite weighty and noticeable especially on my tiny player.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The weight of the metal plug is pretty significant in comparison to a standard plastic plug, but I don't mind it. I haven't had any issues with the sharp edges, but thank you for the heads up as I didn't notice! I've been using the plug weekly for some time now and it's been holding up.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Depends on your player I would assume.

    On one player, I had to insert the plug 7/8th of the way in for the player to contact the plug properly.

    A 2 weeks later I have had to resolder the tip wire to the middle contact so the plug at this point is just a mono plug. This is fine in my application as I'm just using one bud in a mono application.

    If you compare the tip to another tip, you will notice that it is thinner and has a slightly less 'girthy' profile.

    For my player, it made a difference, your mileage may vary.

    However, I did buy another female plug to repair another application, and this connector had the same problems I had with my mp3 player. I think that this connector is at fault.

    Like I said before, you can see in the picture that it's not as smooth as other connectors. Just my experience