How to Fix Dead Earphones




You just bought a nice, shiny new pair of earphones. You rush home to find how nice the sound quality is, and how good the bass is. This happiness goes on for a few months until the heartbreaking moment happens. Your listening to your favorite song when suddenly you hear a crackle, and suddenly, you cant hear any sound from your headphones. Your shiny 50$ headphones just turned to a very inefficent paperweight.

Does this sound familiar? It should, as a recent study proved that 9 out of 10 people suffer from their earphones going silent. No longer will you have to live through the silent, dark, cold nights. If you follow my instructions wisly, you can overcome this great struggle and fix those headphones.

Follow me brothers, and join the revolution!

Step 1: Bill of Materials

Fixing headphones is pretty cheap. You can do this repair for less than 2$, assuming you have solder on hand.


1 x Pair of Broken Headphones

1 x 3.5mm Stereo Jack (Jameco )

Solder (Jameco )

5" x Heat Shrink Tubing (Jameco )(Optional )



Soldering Iron

Wire Strippers (I just used my leatherman to strip the wires)

Heat Gun or Matches (You only need this if you use heat shrink)

Step 2: Cut the Wire

The first thing you want to do is get rid of the old jack attached to the wire. Just cut one or two inches from the old jack. Now you want to strip about 2 inches of insulation from where the jack used to be. That's all the cutting we're doing today!

Step 3: Preparing the Wires for Tinning

When you first strip the wire, it reveals 4 wires. This is really confusing for people like us trying to replace the plug. After some googling, it turns that two of the wires are ground. This means that we twist them together, so we can get 3 wires instead of 4. So twist the two non insulated copper wires together.

The other 2 wires should be red and green. Just use your scissors or leatherman to scrape the insulation off these. This should reveal some white cotton and wire. Run your soldering down the cotton to melt it and reveal the wires.

This leads us to our next step, which is tinning these wires.

Step 4: Tinning the Wires

This step is pretty self explanatory, all you need to do is take your iron, and cover each wire in solder. You can tell when this is done right if you see a nice, shiny coating on the wire. This allows us to slip each wire through the respective holes on the stereo plug easily.

Step 5: Soldering the Wires to the Jack

Before you start this step, you want to slip the jack's cover and any heat shrink over the wire. I forgot to do this and had to use duct tape instead.

First, your gonna solder the ground wire to the tallest post on the jack, this is shown in picture #1

Next, solder the red wire to the post tagged in picture #2

Lastly, solder the green wire to the post that doesn't have any wires on it yet.

Step 6: Shrink That Heat Shrink!

Just either use your Heat Gun or light a match under the tubing, and it will shrink.

Step 7: Some Final Words

Well, here we are. The instructable is over. You might want to plug in your earphones to test them, and also wrap them in duct tape to protect the small fragile wires. Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments or questions, post them below!



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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    For a slightly more polished look you can use 2 different sizes of heatshrink, so after the first one goes on to hold the small wires in place, a larger tube goes over to seal the insulated cable to the end of the connector.


    2 years ago

    The replacement stereo jack came with a plastic cover. We can see it in the pictures above. Why didn't you use it, and use duct tape instead? (insert funny picture of a cat scratching his head here. :) ).

    More seriously, the jack has been installed incorrectly. Note that clamp on the replacement stereo jack. Look at step 5, first picture, with the box that says "this is where you want to solder the ground wire". Well, erm .... ummm ... no. You don't solder it there. You solder it further down on the inside, or ... normally I thread the copper conductor through the tiny hole and solder it on the outside. The reason is because the two tiny arms is suppose to clamp on to the wire's insulator where the box is. This way, when you pull on it, the force is transferred to the entire cable (mostly the thick insulator part).

    If you don't clamp it, when you pull on the cable, the force is transferred to the conductor. If the soldering isn't very good, it might just pull free. Or the conductor may break. This is probably the reason the first repair failed.


    5 years ago on Step 2

    My earphones used to work well, but now when I plug in my earphones, all I get is a distorted mess. The sound is hollow and not clear at all! Do you think it's a problem with the jack? or could it be something else?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    It's a slenderman


    3 years ago

    My problem go to do with that piece of circuit on mobile phone earpiece that is used to pick and cut call, how do I replace them?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    they're suppose to help you with earphones!!!!!!!!!!!