How to Fix Earphones/Headphones that Stop Working

Headphones or earphones are an essential equipment for everyone nowadays. Everyone will surely agree with the fact that headphones help them reducing stress and get going with work. Every now and then we can spot an individual with earphones plugged in and doing other stuff.

Whether in metro or in buses everywhere earphones play an important role in helping the individual to avoid the busy world and enjoy doing his own work. In communication, it is used by many people to isolate noise from the process of exchanging messages. In the media, journalists transcribe audio message with the aid of earphone, especially from midget or recording device.

Almost everyone, who carries a smartphone, understands the importance of the earphone. This is not just a gadget that can enhance a single functionality for any specific work. Having earphones for your smartphone will allow you to manage multiple tasks at the same time without any mismanagement.

Recommended : Best Cheap Earbuds

In a noisy environment, earphone or earmuff is used to reduce the effect of the noise. And it is moderately used to listen to music without disturbing anyone.

But, looking round public places and higher institutions, it is a common sight to see young people, especially students with earphones, firmly plugged to their ears and listening to loud music blaring therefrom. They nod to the rhythm vibrating from the accessory as they walk down busy roads or streets.

But one common problem which everyone faces is that with time the efficiency of their headphones decreases. They either get damaged or become less efficient. So this creates a problem in our lives. So this article is dedicated to solving such problems and trying to make things easier.

The items you will need

You will need the following, so have them ready:

  • Your broken earbud headphones.
  • A replacement jack plug Some matches or a cigarette lighter.
  • A penknife
  • A pair of scissors
  • A wire cutter
  • Adding a new jack plug

1. Use a pair of scissors or a knife, cut off the old jack plug. If it’s a molded plug, throw it away as it’s no use.

You will need to buy a new jack plug to replace it. Assuming you are replacing one of the smaller plugs on a standard pair of headphones or earbuds, the item you need is called a 3.5mm stereo jack plug and you can buy it easily online from an electronic parts shop or from an electronics store.

2. Make sure you get a stereo one; mono plugs look very similar. If you’re replacing one of the larger-style plugs, these instructions still apply, but you obviously need to buy a replacement that matches the size of your original plug. The clamp is a good idea unless you want to go through this exercise again in a few week’s time. One quick point to note in passing: the replacement jack plug will almost certainly be considerably larger than the molded plug you’re replacing. That’s just unavoidable: the tiny plugs fitted to things like iPod earbuds in factories are soldered and molded on by machine

3. Prepare your cable. A headphone stereo cable has two cables running through it, one for the left channel and one for the right. Each of these cables is surrounded by a copper wire (the ground). Strip both the cables back so you have about a half inch to an inch of clean and shiny bare wire. Keep both the wires separate, but twist the two sets of copper wire together—so you have three wires instead of four. Sometimes you will find earbud cables that are wired up slightly differently. One of the stereo cables will have a red or green wire inside surrounded by ordinary, copper-colored wire.

The other cable will have green or red cable surrounded by red and green “striped” wire. In this case, the red and green “striped” wire is your ground, equivalent to the copper-colored wire in the other cable. So you wrap that in with the copper-colored wire, giving you a red wire, a green wire, and a third wire that’s a mixture of copper-colored wire and red and green wires with “nimble fingers”!

4. Now strike a match and briefly heat the ends of all three wires to burn off the insulating covering. It’s usually some sort of paint or plastic; try not to breathe in the fumes as you burn. If you don’t do this step, the wires won’t make a proper electrical connection when you solder and your headphones won’t work. Don’t burn too much though or you’ll make the wires too black and brittle. Let the flame play on the wire briefly (no more than a couple of seconds or so) and then blow it out. If your wires turn black and brittle, you’ve overcooked them and you’ll probably need to shorten the cable and start again. Unscrew the case of your jack plug and you’ll see the three terminals for the three wires in your cable.

5. Now, before you solder the wires, you need to thread the cable through the top (plastic) part of the plug (in other words, the cover) so it’s ready to screw back on to the metal base afterward. It’s very easy to forget this step and if you do forget, you’ll have to take the wires off again and repeat the process.

6. Tinning means you lightly cover the bare cables with solder so they make better joints and better electrical is better to tin the wire in this step. Also before you solder, remember soldering is not the same as welding. Solder is not metal adhesive: unlike welding, it’s designed to make a good, reliable electrical connection, not stick two metals together. It is very important to make a good mechanical joint between the wires and the terminals (by poking the wires through them.)

At this point, if you wish, you can check your wiring. Put the earbuds into your music player and with the wires touching the contacts, see if you hear stereo. You’ll need to touch the wires very firmly to the contacts. You may get “flickering” or crackly sound as you jiggle the wires on the contacts, but that should disappear when you solder them firmly into place. If you hear nothing, you might want to check that the wires are properly prepared, tinned, and connected the right way around.

Now you can go ahead and solder the three wires to the three terminals. The copper-colored ground wire goes to the large outer terminal (which often joins to the cable clamp at the top). The green wire goes to the central terminal. The red wire goes to the remaining terminal. So, with a replacement plug, you’d wire, the ground wire would go to the large bottom terminal, the green wire would go to the terminal on the left, and the red wire would go to the one on the right.

So, this is it all takes for you to fix your headphones. I agree this is a bit tiresome and tedious job but after all, everything needs their own portion of hard work.

Erwin Cooper

a sound and video production expert who blogs about gadgets & accessories to help you select perfect equipment. The site is supported by commissions I receive from Amazon, please purchase items via my affiliate links to support me and this blog.

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