How to Fix One Sided Headphones

Headphones can range in price from a few dollars to a hundred dollars or more for a good quality pair; however, no one wants to spend good money on a pair of headphones only to lose sound in one side from a bad connection. In most cases it is the connection within the molded jacket at the base of the headphones that incurs damage. A quick check is to simply wiggle the jack to detect a crackling sound, which will determine whether the jack is in need of replacement. The focus in this article will be on replacing the jack, which will likely be the source of your problems.

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Fix your headphones in no time.

Step

Cut off the jack with the wire cutters, or you can use the razor blade if you do not have a wire cutter handy. Cut as closely to the molded plastic or metal jacket as possible to prevent loss in length of your wire.

Step

Split the wires apart with the razor blade while preparing to strip back the insulation on the headphone cord and replacement jack; typically 1/8 - 1/4'' is enough for most replacement jacks. The wires are very delicate and thin so be careful not to cut through the wires or you may lose desired length as you will have to re-cut them.

Step

Strip the insulation from two of the three wires which will be showing. Again, expose 1/4'' of the wire of each of the covered wires. The uninsulated wire is the ground for the unit, usually a copper wire.

Step

Place the plastic cover, or sleeve, over the wires. This will help to prevent forgetting to put it back in place.

Step

Test the headphone channels by touching the exposed wire to the tip of the battery which will cause a 'popping' sound in the active side of the head phone; however, be careful not to apply this very long as it can damage the earphone's speakers. The tip of the jack is always on the left side.

Step

Solder the appropriate wires together - left channel to left side and right channel to right side. The soldering application can be made easier by applying a very small amount of solder to each wire coating them, thereby pre-preparing each wire. Then, when soldering you simply reheat the already coated wire melting the solder of the two wires together. This process is known as 'tinning.'

Step

Slide the plastic cover, or jacket, back into place over the newly soldered wires.