DIY headphone, earphone wire repair

Among the other things I was doing this holiday season,  I got sidetracked with something I’ve been looking into ever since a pair of  good old headphones broke earlier this year.

I love headphones. I have quite a collection, from cheap and crappy to expensive and nice. Well, i bought a pair of earphones from Philips. $15 in Target. I love them. They are clip-ons that fit over the ear, which is good for those whose ears  hurt when using ear buds. These also have a fabric grill and they are all plastic. The ear clips are easily adjustable and they are very convenient. I treasure them.

Well, while in my car recently, I had them in my pocket and the wires were sticking out. They just happen
to catch on my seat belt end on the seat and ripped right off the jack.

ARGH! I really liked those.

Well, what am I to do? I mean, it’s just a wire that broke. I don’t see the point in spending again if everything is fine but the wire broke. So I pulled the rubber jacket off the jack to see where the wire broke off at. It broke up into the jack.
How convenient.

So I attempted to fix these by first stripping off the rubber jacket off the headphone wire. Here, I found three wires.

One ground, and two stereo wires. One was green and one was red. It works like this:
Green = Left Channel, Red = Right Channel, Copper = Ground

I’m used to these wires being insulated with a rubber jacket like that of the outside cord that you can easily
strip off with a razor blade and reveal the copper wire underneath.

This is different.

Now there is an enamel color coating on the wire to keep it insulated as well as keep the diameter of the wire the same inside the overall rubber jacket.I had only seen this configuration in professional wiring and it was done with a type of rubber cement so that you don’t have to use wires or electrical tape. Because that can get messy.

Well, I didn’t know how to get this insulation off and i really wanted to fix these headphones. So, as usual, I went looking around on the internet to see if there was any suggestions. Lo and behold, there were.

http://www.instructables.com/community/Headphone-wiring/

The suggestion someone makes here makes sense.

If the wire was coated with an enamel, it then makes sense to simply burn off the insulation and you should end up with bare wire underneath. Then of course, connect the appropriate wires together, like in any regular stereo configuration and you will be good to go.

I did it and it worked. Now I have to solder the  wires together permanently and get shrink tubing to make it all nice, but it worked. And that’s how you reconnect your headphone wire.

If you have lost the jack to the headphones and need to wire another one manually, here is a video showing you what to do:

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Explore posts in the same categories: Audio Troubleshooting, Electronics Repair

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2 Comments on “DIY headphone, earphone wire repair”

  1. Jesse Hines Says:

    All the videos are marked as private. Please update.


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