There is nothing as frustrating as having broken headphones. It is heartbreaking because most headphones are not cheap. Them breaking means all the money you spent goes down the drain. It's even worse when these headphones were a gift from a loved one. Worry not. We have a solution for this predicament. Let's discuss how to fix broken headphones.
- Why Do Your Headphones Stop Working?
- Causes Of Broken Headphones
- How To Fix Broken Headphones
- How To Fix Wireless Headphones
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Bottom Line
Why Do Your Headphones Stop Working?
Headphones work by converting electric energy into sound energy using magnets that vibrate the air, thus creating sound. This signal is then sent to your headphones by the headphone wires. There are a number of reasons your headphones may stop working. They could either be a problem with a broken headphone band, broken wire, or a defective jack plug
You might be wondering why your working headphones stop functioning suddenly. The reason might shock you. Simply wrapping wires around your device might cause issues. Constantly bending and twisting the wires might lead you to get a new pair really soon. Earphone wire friction is a reason your headphones will break. Tear and wear will wear out the wires.
Additionally, pulling at your wires and swinging them as well as snagging. This puts a lot of strain on the insulated wire and eventually pulls them out of their casings. Another reason might be simply dropping your headphones. Believe it or not, this will actually result in broken parts. Long cables are a disadvantage themselves.
At this juncture, we will discuss thoroughly how to fix a broken headphone, and what may cause headphones to break.
Causes Of Broken Headphones
1) Electrical Short
An electric short occurs when there is a problem with the wires that transmit sound. For example, your headphones may have an audio cutting in and out. This indicates that the problem lies with wired headphones. In addition, the headphone jack may have become dirty. There could as well be a blockage at the connection between the headphones and the jack.
Using a couple of tools, you can fix broken headphones easily. What is even better, you can use this technique not only on frayed ends and cables. You can also repair the bent headphone jack with the same technique. Headphones and wires are the most fragile parts of headphones. Hence, it is recommended to ensure that these parts do not undergo wear and tear.
2) Malfunctioning Jack Plug
The headphone jack plug is covered by a thin layer of conductive metal. It can undergo wear and tear over a period of time. Scratching the jack plug will cause it to malfunction. This results in a faulty headphone plug. Sound quality could either get better or worse. How do you figure out whether your jack plug is broken and not other devices? Plugging them into another device.
Almost always, the problem lies with the headphone jack. You would rather fix headphones alone than go ahead to buy a totally new pair. Unfortunately, this new pair will probably have the same complications in a couple of months.
The only way to fix the headphone jack is by replacing it. First, you have to cut off the broken headphone jack. Once you have disassembled the new jack, use a soldering iron to wire the new headphone jack.
3) Broken Ear Piece
A broken earpiece occurs in headphones more often than you would think. They could be a result of snagging. It could also be because you dropped your headphones that one time but ignored it. Over time, the earpiece became worse until it finally stopped functioning. Ultimately, there's a short in the cable, and in order to fix it, one needs to repair the broken part.
It is advisable to check your warranty. If it is still valid, you could order a new pair of headphones or get them fixed by a professional at a repair shop. You will have to attach the severed wires together if you do not plan to replace the broken earpiece.
Another pointer is to ensure that none of the wires are touching each other. A soldering iron will also come into play. However, you must be careful not to burn yourself.
4) Dangling Headphones
It may seem innocent enough to dangle your headphones. However, wired headphones are relatively known for their long cords. It is thus inevitable to trip over them easily. The first couple of times this happens, you don't quite notice any problems. After a while, though, you find that the wires are severed. This will ultimately ruin your headphones.
It may force you to either purchase other headphones or repair them yourself. Furthermore, dangling headphones causes stress on the headphone cable, and this will eventually cause them to break.
Creating a fold in your headphones is also a bad idea because you are causing friction on the wires, thus resulting in a broken wire. It is hence up to you to take care of your headphones.
5) Dropping Headphones
Dropping your headphones is one of the worst things that can happen to them. It could result in a number of issues. You could end up with a broken headphone band. Another problem could be a defective headphone plug. Even worse is finding out that the headphone driver got damaged during the drop.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways that you can fix headphones. We will discuss in-depth how to fix your broken headphones. It is important to know that the most recent Bluetooth headphones are wireless headphones. This has fixed problems that occur due to headphone cables.
Dropping your headphones on the ground could also cause physical damage to the headphone pads. You could use electrical tape and duct tape to salvage the broken headphones.
6) Sleeping With Headphones
Most of us listen to rain sounds or play slow classical music to help us fall asleep. While it may be very helpful, it does not go well for your headphones. As you roll around in bed, the cables twist and turn and even get tangled within themselves. This has adverse effects on your headphones. It will cause problems such as a broken or snapped piece.
Additionally, having headphones in your ears for long periods of time will have negative effects in the long run. These could be in the form of hearing loss and ear infections. We, therefore, recommend that you avoid sleeping with headphones the whole night. You would not want to break your headphones.
Most importantly, you really do not want to compromise your ear health.
7) Dust And Moisture Exposure
It is usually the little things that cause the most damage. Dust may seem harmless. However, when it starts to accumulate in your headphones, electric components and cause blockage. This will have the effect of reducing audio quality from your audio sources. A dust blockage in one side of the earpiece will have that side not working.
Exposure to moisture can occur in the following ways; listening to music outdoors while it's raining. Wearing headphones after you have washed your hair is a problem as well. They could as well be exposed to moisture during a workout when you sweat.
However, the good news is that if your connecting wires are not fried already, this problem can be reversed. Simply place the headphones in uncooked rice for 24 hours.
8) Wrongful Use Of Headphones
It is not recommended to use your headphones incorrectly. How you may ask. Beneath the foam piece is the headphone driver, which contains sensitive electric components. These components degrade quickly because they are sensitive. Your headphones and earbuds will not last for long in this case. It will result in scratchy, fuzzy, and broken sounds.
However, if you would like to listen to high volumes, there are a couple of tips to use. Firstly, turn down your device's volume before plugging in the headphone plug. Then you should increase the volume moderately in short periods. You also want to avoid listening to music from your audio sources at maximum volume all the time.
9) Rolling The Headphones Cord
Rolling your headphone cord over your device seems like the right thing to do, right? Wrong! Doing this actually makes it worse. This is because the rolling actually creates small tears under the covered wires. With time these tears get bigger and break from the inside. This is why you always have broken headphones. Hence replacing them every couple of months.
You should instead have a headphone casing that stores your headphone cords safely. This casing also helps greatly so that you don't stuff your headphones in your backpack. They also come in handy when traveling and want to keep your headphones safe.
If you do not have a casing or find it cumbersome, you could always learn the under-over technique and use Velcro to secure the cord in place.
How To Fix Broken Headphones
a) Electrical Short In Wires
You have to be sure where the problem lies. There are a couple of ways to test to see if the headphone cords are broken. Start by plugging a different set of headphones into your audio source. If you do not hear any sound from these headphones as well, the problem is with the audio input source. Firstly, manipulate the cable by twisting and bending it.
The moment you hear audio, hold that part. Next, tightly wrap the cable with duct tape or electrical tape. If done properly, the two connecting wires should stay in place. This simple yet effective method will keep your headphones working. There is no reason to purchase new headphones every time there is a minor short. Headphones are expensive already as it is.
b) Broken Wires
Using either a multimeter or the twist and bend technique, locate the area of the short. Secondly, mark the section with a highlighter. Finally, use wire strippers to expose the broken wire. You should see two insulated wires glued together. One is the ground wire while the other carries the signal.
There could also be a single cable that has two insulated wires for the left and right signals. Cut any intact wires, ensuring that it's a clean cut. Expose more of the other wires by removing the cable's cover. Separate the wires in terms of colors and type. After that, burn off the enamel coating on the bare wires to expose the copper ends. Carefully intertwine the same color wires.
After this is done, using a soldering iron, solder the wires and allow them to cool. Secure the wires with a shrink tube and a heat gun, ensuring that the ground wires do not touch other wires.
c) Broken headphone plug
The only way to fix this is to replace it. Purchase another headphone jack from an electronics store. Make sure to choose a metal plug with a stereo connection that's the same as your jack. Firstly, cut off the old plug. Using wire strippers, exposing the wires. Burn off the enamel coating and twist like colored wires together.
If there are two ground wires, twist the two frayed wires together. Install the new headphone plug over the wire such that the connecting part faces the exposed wire. Using your soldering iron, solder the ends of each wire and let it cool. Connect the soldered wire to the pin to finally attach the pin to the plug.
Finally, screw back the jack sleeve to the new plug while ensuring that the wires are not touching. Additionally, ensure that the sleeve is tightly fitted.
d) Broken Earpiece
This occurs when the headphone driver has a short or is physically damaged. Headphone brands manufacture headphones using varied methods. As such, it is recommended to use a repair service. You could try to fix them. Disassemble the earpiece using a crosshead screwdriver to remove the screws.
Some earbuds do not have screws. Any severed wires should be soldered to the bare pin. An important aspect to always know is ensuring that wires are never touching. If there are no loose wires, it would be best to replace the headphone driver. Cut off the rubber seal that keeps the driver in place.
Place a new headphone driver into this compartment and ensure that you do not touch the thin diaphragm. Next, glue everything down and wait for it to dry. Then, test it out to see if your headphones work.
e) Broken Headphone Band
If your headphone band is broken in the middle, using fixing tape that is the same as the headphone color is the best fix. Another way you could fix the band is by using plastic cable ties. Using cable ties on the broken plastic headphone band is a better solution as it is more permanent.
You can replace the entire metal part of the headphone band. Cut a metal sheet strip the same length and mold it to the original shape of the original band. Screw the strip to the speaker's joints and use padding to cushion your head. Headphone pads can also be easily replaced. Using a strong adhesive, attach the headphone pads quickly.
The use of superglue and baking soda to fix broken headphone bands is an effective method. An exothermic reaction occurs to form something like instant cement. Repeat adding layers of superglue and baking soda for a strong bond.
f) One Side Of Headphones Is Not Working
There are a number of reasons this could occur. First, there could be a blockage due to a couple of things. First, this could be dust blockage. Dust does not seem like an intimidating issue. However, given time, dust accumulates and causes a blockage. This is the reason why one side fails to work. It is, however, reversible.
Moisture is also a really big issue when it comes to electronic equipment. Moisture can accumulate while you are working out, after a shower, or even get rained on. However, it is pretty simple to fix. Placing them in uncooked rice for 24 hours should resolve that problem. Then, you can remove dust manually with the use of cotton buds and tweezers.
How To Fix Wireless Headphones
As times change, technology improves as well. Better quality equipment is manufactured. Recently wireless Bluetooth headphones are becoming popular. However, they also have many problems and even break from time to time. Therefore, it is essential to discuss how to fix these headphones when they break and refuse to function.
i) Battery Charge
Your headphones may refuse to work for the simple reason that you have not used them in a while. They, therefore, may refuse to turn on. Additionally, they have enhanced features such as noise-cancellation and built-in LED lights. Unfortunately, these features drain the headphones' battery. There is, therefore, a need to recharge your device every couple of days.
Turning your headphones off and on is a classic tip that will fix most glitchy devices. It can therefore work for headphones that are problematic. Audio Technica is a brand that manufactures high-quality headphones. They also offer tips on how to get the most from your Bluetooth headphones. Investing in a pair is therefore recommended.
ii) USB Connectivity
Most headphones can work with other devices via a USB connection. However, the headphone's performance is lowered when the connection is required to power and receive audio. This is even worse when connected to a device with low wattage. It is hence important to ensure that you know the USB requirements.
Some headphones can connect to any audio device using a USB. However, other devices may not. Some gaming consoles, however, do not do this. Nowadays, most computers connect to wireless headphones. If your device does not support a USB connection, the best choice would be to get Bluetooth headphones.
iii) Audio Cable Damage
You may not notice that your cable is damaged. One way to check is to play music from your audio source and bend the cable back and forth for a bit. If you hear audio or static, there is a possibility that the cable has been ruined at some point. You should, however, be careful when bending it. This is because if it is done harshly, it could cause further damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How Should I Fix A Short In My Headphones?
Strip the outer cable insulation using wires strippers to expose the broken wires. You should see two cables glued. These are the ground wire and the signal wire. Next, cut the cord evenly and expose more of the wires. Next, sort the same colored wires and burn off the enamel to expose the copper ends.
After that, join the same colored wires together and solder them. After its cooled, use electrical tape to secure the broken ends.
2) What Can I Use To Fix Broken Headband?
There are a couple of ways you can fix broken a headband. First, a hairband and super glue should give a pretty sturdy fix. However, using super glue with baking soda results in a rock-hard substance which will hold the headband well.
Lastly, you could drill a hole on each side of the headband and put in a short, stiff wire to fasten everything in place. Finally, use shrink tubing to secure the area.
The Bottom Line
In a world where headphones have become very important to everyone, they have become almost necessary. We use headphones for multitasking, meditating and working out. Headphones are also used to block out loud noises for hard-of-hearing persons. They are very important. They also aid in curbing noise pollution.
Because the demand for them is so high, they are manufactured so quickly. They could hence break every once in a while. However, because they are expensive, you need to learn to fix them yourself especially when they are no longer under warranty.