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Troubleshooting your disposable headphones

Everything on this earth has a lifetime and that includes your headphones. You don’t really need to buy a new set immediately after you think your headphones have stopped working, because there might just be a glitch that you can fix yourself and use the same headphones for longer. The foremost step in identifying whether your headphones really are gone, or are experiencing a minor malfunction is to identify the source of problem.  Here are the ways you can reduce the issue and solve it.

Identifying the issue:

  1. Plug in the headphones to your device and bend the cable around to see if you can hear any sort of audio through it. If you can, it means that the cable is faulty.
  2. Put on the headphones and push/adjust the plug around the jack. If you can hear the audio, it means that the plug needs replacement.
  3. Take off the earpiece from the cable and try another earpiece. If it works, then it means that your earpiece has the flaw.
  4. If you feel that the problem has gone beyond these few hitches it is better to send them to a professional to be repaired instead of wasting valuable time and money.
  5. Estimate the cost of repair, and find out the price of new headphones. If the prices are very close, you could consider getting a new set. However, if they have a huge difference, you’re better off repairing them yourself.

Fixing the Cable:

  1. Cut off the outside of the wire to expose the broken part of the wire, i.e. around 1.25cm. There must be an insulated wire which is the signal and the bare one that is the ground. Some headphones, like those from Apple, may have two insulated ones and a lone bare wire.
  2. Now cut the wire into two, and if it is shredded from the inside then cut one side of it off. Put on rubber tubing to the wire, which shall later be used to cover the open area as to keep it secure.
  3. Now the following step involves joining the wires together, making sure that the color of insulation remains identical. For a pigtail splice, hold the two bare segments of wire that you want to join parallel to each other, and then screw them together to make a connection. This is rapid and stress-free, but the patch-up will be immense. On the other hand an in-line splice requires you to grip the wires so that they overlap end to end. Rotate the wires in contrary directions. This is more challenging but the reparation is concealed simply.
  4. In the subsequent step, let melted solder cool over the wires through a soldering iron. Once cooled, use a good tape to wrap up the wires together. Make sure that the ground wire is left off. Now, remember the tubing you put on? Heat it gently and it will shrink over the wires itself becoming a tight seal. You’ve now repaired your broken wire, congratulations!

Fixing a Broken Plug:

  1. Buy a new plug at your local market, but make sure that it’s the same type as the one you had before so it can fix onto your cable. It should also have a spring as well as a stereo connection. (The plus must have two pins on the bottom. If it has only one pin, then it’s a mono plug).
  2. Depending on the type of plug, you can either screw it off easily or you’ll need to cut it off because it’s molded with glue. Similar to the previous process, you can see a bare wire and two insulated ones in the cable.
  3. Now put the new spring over the cable, and add a rubber tubing too. Now you start the connections; the bare copper wire is attached to the longest metal segment. The other two pins are strapped with the two insulated wires inside. The problem here is that they are not usually identifiable so if you reverse the connections you might start hearing the left audio on the right earpiece and vice versa.
  4. Use tiny clips to keep all the wires far from each other, they must not collide. If they do, the headphones will not work properly.
  5. Now using your soldering iron, you need to put solder on the pins and melt it. Do this procedure for all the wires.
  6. Once you’re done, you can now simply put the cap over the pins. Your headphones are now as good as new.

Fixing the Earpiece:

  1. Fixing the earpiece can be a tedious task because the specifications depend upon the model so you need to find the exact process on how to do it.
  2. Take the padding off softly, making sure not to disrupt them and look for the screws.
  3. Unscrew the pieces. Once done, insert any small tool beneath the cap and give a little push upwards so that the cap comes off. This is a delicate process that can damage the earpiece if not done correctly so. For this part, you may need to consult the internet for whatever type of headphones you have.
  4. In many cases, you need to remove the rubber seal so you shall need a new one for re-fixing the ear buds.
  5. If you’re lucky enough, the loosened wires will be easy to detect and you just need to fix them back into place. You can even solder it to keep it firm. If there is more than a single wire loose, don’t do any experiments; just go through the handbook before reattaching.
  6. Again, the wires must not be touching each other at any cost or the process will be rendered useless. Once done, put the cap back on, screw it tight and you’re ready to go.


These were some of the ways that you can turn a faulty headphone into an absolutely perfect one with the least amount of money but a little bit of effort.