Headphones Jack - Fix and Make Like New




About: I am a University of Edinburgh electronics engineering student.
We all love music so much and I'm sure we all hate when the audio starts interrupting and ... we loose one of the stereo channels or maybe both. Or those that have music controls can't change the track ... until bend the cable close to the jack.

It does not matter how much money you invest in headphones - their all weakest spot is the cable close to the jack....

Let's solve that.

This is not the next instructable that will show you how to solder a replacement audio jack to your busted headphones cable.

This is how I solved the problem with the audio jack.

Tools needed:
  • Multimeter
  • Soldering iron and soldering wire
  • Craft knife
  • Cable cutters
  • Silicone rubber sealing adhesive - single component, neutral, general-purpose fast-curing
It is all about the silicone that you use. The one I have is liquid when applying and when it cures it becomes like soft rubber that is nicely flexible.

Steps to complete the instructable:
  1. Cut off the cable close to the jack + remove another 3-4cm from the cable where it is most probably defective
  2. Remove the cable insulation and measure where on the jack goes each wire - make a diagram
  3. Remove all the rubber from the jack
  4. Remove another 3-4cm from the cable's insulation
  5. Inspect the wires and use the craft knife to scratch the insulation varnish off. If you do not do this, you will have problems with the soldering. There is another method that involves a lighter and you just touch the cable end with it to burn the varnish off.
  6. Put some soldering wire on the cable ends and measure the resistance between the wires. You have to get a resistance of around 34 ohms for the left and the right channels. This will confirm your diagram from step 2.
  7. Solder the wires to the jack. (Make sure you do not overheat the jack - it is very delicate.)
  8. Test the headphones!
  9. Gently apply the silicone using something thin - like a stick. Insure the silicone goes everywhere around the wires.
  10. Put some stick and tape to hold the cable in the right direction. It will have to stay a day to cure completely.
This is how I applied the silicone rubber sealing adhesive on the audio jack.

Ready - we have done all the work, now let's enjoy the music for another lifetime. You will be changing the phone next time, not the headphones ;)



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    9 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Just to be clear, this is a very useful instructable, and you have my wote,
    but on step 5. try burning the insulation of the wire instead of scratching it of.
    I prefer it that way, and its fast :)

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Usually burning it first then scraping or sanding off the residue works best for me ;) You get far less resistance!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very detailed with great photos. I'll use this when I get around to wrapping my headphone cable with paracord.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Check this out: https://www.instructables.com/id/Paracord-headphones/

    Paracord: Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II.

    It makes for a durable, tangle-free headphone wrap because it's so easy to remove the kern (interior strings) from the mantle (exterior portion of the cord). And there are many, many more uses for it.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Quibble: That's the plug. The jack is what you plug it into.