How to fix broken headphones?

It is not always possible to grab new headphones every time the old ones break. With the demand for such devices increasing every day, not only are the prices soaring, but the availability has taken a hit too.

There is a fairly large number of different ways in which you can get your headphones broken. What’s good is that there are even more ways to fix them.

In this article, we are going to explain how to fix broken headphones at your home. We are going to make use of the stuff available at your home to fix your broken device. 

Fixing the broken headband

To fix headphone with a broken headband, here are a few of the things that you will need: 

  1. Alcohol-based surface cleaner
  2. Super Glue or glue gun
  3. Paper tape
  4. Scissors

Source: Reddit, Imgur

Step 1: Clean the surface of the headphones using an alcohol-based surface cleaner. Make sure that there is no dust left around the broken edge of the headphone. 

Step 2: Apply a small amount of glue to the point of contact. 

Step 3: Press and hold the two parts of the headband and wait till the glue dries up. 

Step 4: Apply some more glue around the area so that the joint is held firmly. 

Step 5: Now, wrap the paper tape around the entire area of contact. Try to do this step very neatly. Wrap the cello tape around the complete headband if that makes it look symmetrical. Doing so will also make contact stronger. 

You can color the paper tape with the help of paints or markers. This will make them look a bit better.

Source: Cian Xan Teoh

If you have headphones with slightly clumsy build quality and design, then their headband is bound to be broken sooner or later. Hence it is recommended to always go for headphones made with high-quality materials.

Fixing the worn-out headphone cushions

If your headphones look something like what is shown in the image below, then this fix is for you. While it is certainly possible to purchase a new pair of ear pads/cushions for headphones but that is not what we’re going to discuss here. 

Source: Reddit

At times, finding a replacement for the cushions seems a little difficult. So what should be done if you cannot find a new pair of earpads? You can make them for yourself. 

But to do that, you are going to need: 

  1. Cardboard 
  2. Foam (Memory foam if available) 
  3. Scissors 
  4. Glue Gun
  5. Cloth, thread, and a needle if you are planning to make a cover

Step 1: Take apart the old headphone cushions from your headphones. 

Step 2: Try to trace the shape and design of the cushions on cardboard. 

Source:  Project your mind

Step 3: Cut the cardboard along the outline. You will have a doughnut-shaped cardboard cutting with you now. Make one more cutting in the exact same way.

Step 4: Use the cardboard pieces to cut a pair of foam pieces that match the shape of your headphones cushions.

Source: Project your mind

Source: Project your mind

Step 5: Using the same cardboard pierce, cut a piece of cloth to make a cover for the foam.

Source: Project your mind

Step 6: Finally, put the foam inside the cover and fit it into the headphones. You can use superglue if you are not able to fix it properly.

Source: Project your mind

Though this doesn’t give very good results, it’s better than nothing. You can use this headphone now till you get a new one.

Fixing a bent/broken headphone jack

There are two ways to get around with this issue. You can find and replace the headphone jack or try to bend it back to shape. 

Source: Reddit

If you are confused about which one to go for, the answer is simple. Try to bend the headphone jack first; if that works, you do not have to replace it. If it doesn’t, you can proceed with the next steps. 

Get yourself the following tools before proceeding: 

  1. Nose-shaped plier 
  2. Wire stripper 
  3. Soldering iron 
  4. Soldering alloy 
  5. Tape

Using the nose plier, try to bend the headphone jack carefully so that it regains its original shape. 

Now, if that doesn’t fix anything, or you somehow mess up and damage it, it’s time to replace the jack. 

Step 1: Cut the wire of the headphone jack. 

Usually, there are three different wires, one each for the left speaker, the right speaker, and the last one for the mic.

Step 2: Strip the wire to expose the inner conductors. 

Source: Captain Gadget

Step 2: Twist them a bit and carefully solder them to the wires of the new headphone jack.

Source: Dixon Hill

Make sure you don’t make any wrong connections; otherwise, you won’t be able to hear the audio properly. 

Source: Creative & Duck

Step 3: After making connections, test your headphones. 

If your issue is gone, use tape to cover the wire, and you’re done.

Fixing the headphone if only one side is working

If only one side of your headphones is working, there and many conclusions that we can draw. The problem may be with headphones or with the audio port itself. 

First of all, try cleaning the audio port with a 99% alcohol solution or glass cleaner. You can use something like an earbud to do that. If there’s something stuck in there, it’ll come out. 

If that doesn’t work for you, then maybe you’re out of luck because what we are going to explain next is going to require a lot of different tools. It is worth giving a shot, though. 

Here are the things that you might require: 

  1. Screwdriver kit 
  2. Soldering gun 
  3. Soldering alloy 
  4. Torchlight 
  5. A lot of patience

Step 1: Open the screws holding the cover of the headphone in place. 

Step 2: Carefully take apart the headphone enclosure. 

This is where you have to start investigating to find out what has gone wrong with your headphones.

Step 3: Look for disconnected or broken wires. A lot of times, if the wires are not soldered properly on the PCB, they come apart. This is also caused by dry solder. 

Step 4: If your headphone has a volume controller, then you will have to open it too because there are chances that a wire might have broken there.

Step 5: Nevertheless, if you find disconnected wires anywhere, then proceed to the next steps.

Step 6: Apply the soldering iron on the wire to make a thin coating of the alloy on it.

Step 7: Heat the point of contact on the PCB a little bit using the soldering iron and apply soldering alloy on it. 

Step 8: Now solder the wire on the PCB to solve your problem.

Get a replacement

Despite putting in all the effort, if you are still unable to fix your headphones, you should probably get them replaced. If the product is under warranty and has no physical damages, then the headphone brand might replace the device for you free of cost. Otherwise, you can always get a new one.

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