Are your headphones not working? This can be very frustrating. Luckily, depending on the problem, the repair is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive. If only one of the headphones has poor contact, twisting the wire and gluing it with electrical tape can solve the situation. If that doesn't work, you may need to open the phone and solder its connection. In other cases, however, the only solution is to buy a new phone. Below, we'll also list best practices that can be employed to extend the life of your headphones. Read on to learn more!
Method 1 of 3: Attaching Defective Headphones
Step 1. Locate the problem
Put the headphones on your ear and listen to music. As soon as the headphones start to have problems, pay attention and see where the problem is coming from. Is the audio clipping on one side only? It is possible that there is a short on that specific side. No sound coming out? The short should be close to the tip of the earpiece, which connects to the sound device.
If you have another phone nearby, turn it on and see if the problem isn't coming from the sound device. For example, if both pairs of headphones have the same problem when connected to your iPhone, you may need to connect the phone's headphone jack, not the headphones
Electrical shorts usually occur on the part of the wire near the tip of the earphone or earphones that go to the ear, as these are the points where there is more physical wear and tear.
Step 2. Twist the cable until the headphones work again
Fold, straighten and move the yarn around the short stitch. It is possible that they will come back into service at some of these times, as the shorted ends connect by accident. When the handset is working normally, hold it firmly.
- Stir the wire very calmly so that you can stop it as soon as it works.
- On rare occasions, the broken wire will be in the center of the cable. Always test the entire length of the cable to find the trouble spot.
Step 3. Tape the cable to keep it in functional position
Continue to press down on the wire with one hand and use the other hand to wrap a firm masking tape or electrical tape around the short point. The tape will compress the cable cover, maintaining contact with the internal wiring. As long as you don't remove the tape, the handset should continue to function normally.
If possible, fold the cable over itself at the short point and tape the two parts together. Thus, you greatly minimize movement in the region and maintain the repair for longer
Step 4. Assess if it is no longer worthwhile to buy a new phone
Taping the defective headphones in may cause them to work again, but the repair is still only temporary. If problems keep happening, it's best to invest in a new phone or a more thorough repair. Luckily, nowadays there are headphones for very small amounts.
- You can find headphones for prices starting at R$20 on the internet or at electronics stores.
- If you've invested heavily in the headphones and they're under warranty, see if you can send them back to the manufacturer in exchange for a new model or a refund. Check the product's user manual to find out the terms of the warranty.
Method 2 of 3: Soldering a Broken Connection
Step 1. Identify the source of the problem
Put the headphones on your ears and listen carefully to see where the sound is muting. If one side is completely muted, a sign that there must be a short in the wiring on that side. If no sound comes out, the damage may be on the end of the earpiece.
Step 2. Open the defective headset
Use a small, thin tool for this, such as a screwdriver or a pocketknife. Insert the tip of the tool at the point where the two halves of the plastic fit together and use force to open them.
Unless the handset is designed to be opened, it may need to be glued with instant glue to close it after repair
Step 3. Analyze the wiring for connection problems
You should notice two copper wires inside the earpiece, each going towards a different terminal around the circular circuit board. Look for broken or mismatched terminal wires.
If both wires are in place, this indicates that the connection problem may be in another part of the cable
Step 4. Remove the tip of the earpiece, if the problem is with it
It is possible that the loose cord is not in any of the headphones, but in the end that connects to the phone, computer or radio. In this case, remove the plastic cap from the tip and peel off the rubber cap, exposing the wiring. Now you can apply solder as needed.
Some headphones have tips with removable plastic covers that you just need to screw on. On other headphones, however, you have to pull hard
If the plastic cover is not removable, there is no choice. You will need to cut the end of the earpiece with scissors and buy a new one to solder the wires together. This type of accessory can be found in headphone repair kits and is usually quite inexpensive.
Step 5. Remove the old solder inside the headphones before proceeding
Place the end of a loose wick over a small piece of solder where the shorted lead has disconnected from the terminal. Heat the wick with the probe iron, right where the two materials connect. The braided copper from the vaio will collect the residue of the old solder, freeing up space for the new one.
- Welding wicks can be found at electronics or building supply stores.
- After removing the remaining solder, cut the tip of the wick and repeat the process at the other points where the wires disconnected. Always use a fresh piece of wick before proceeding to each section.
Step 6. Solder the broken wires to the terminals inside the headphones
Now that you have removed the defective solder, reconnect the loose wires to the terminals and press a 0.32 diameter electronic soldering iron against the joint. Heat the solder with the iron to melt it and secure the cable. Repeat. process on all broken wires.
- If both wires are broken, reconnect them to the circuit board terminals.
- It's a good idea to use a table clamp or pliers to hold the cord and earphone together during the process.
Step 7. Reconnect all colored wires to the respective terminals to secure the input
When soldering broken wires to the middle of the headphone jack, it is important to make sure you are connecting them to the correct terminals. Normally, the copper wire should go to the larger center terminal, the red wire should go to the right (smallest) terminal, and the green wire should go to the left terminal.
- Connecting the wires to the wrong terminals will not solve your problem. The handset will still not work.
- If the earphone jack had to be ripped off to reveal the broken wires, purchase a new jack and solder the wires to the terminals following the product manufacturer's instructions.
- On some replacement phone jacks, simply insert the broken wire into the terminal hole a few times, without soldering.
Step 8. Test the handset and see if it works
Plug in the earpiece and play a song and see if the sound is coming out on both sides. After repairing the damage to the internal wiring, the handset should be as good as new. Now just enjoy.
- If there is still no sound, it is possible that the solder has not fixed or that you have connected the colored cables to the wrong terminals. Please try again to fix the problem.
- It's not worth it (for the work or the financial side) to fix shorts in the middle of the cable. If you think the problem is in the middle of the length of the cable, it's best to buy a new phone yourself.
Method 3 of 3: Extending the Life of a Headphone
Step 1. When disconnecting the handset, pull it by the base, not the cord
Whenever connecting or disconnecting the headset from your computer or cell phone, hold it by the plastic base to minimize the risk of disconnecting any of the internal wires in the cable. Pull slowly and carefully, without using force.
Reinforce the base of the headset with electrical tape to prevent the cord from bending or crumpling.
Step 2. Keep the headphones rolled up or in a small case when not in use
Unplug the cable from your device and wrap it in a loose circle around your hand. Then lay the cable on a flat surface so it doesn't get tangled up. If you want to protect the handset even more, put it in a small case to carry it safely.
- Never leave the phone in a bundle in your pocket or wrapped around the sound device, as this will strain the cord or make it tangled.
- You can find cheap cases on the internet or at electronics stores.
Step 3. Clean the headphones frequently
If your accessory has removable rubber tips, remove them and wash them with water and neutral detergent to clean wax or dust residues. Scrub the speakers with a dry toothbrush to remove dirt buildup and allow the tips to dry completely before putting them back into the earpiece.
Never get the phone wet as it will stop working
If you accidentally get the phone wet, place it in a container of rice as soon as possible to help it dry. Leave the phone in the pot for two to three days to minimize damage to electronic components.
- Welding is very simple. If the headphones cost more than R$100, it might be worth repairing them at home rather than buying a new pair.
- Taking the phone in for repair at a local electronics store may be cheaper than buying a new phone if you don't have a soldering iron.
- Clean the headphone jack on your cell phone or media device to see if dust buildup on it isn't the cause of headphone problems.