How to Replace a Headphone Plug

By Techwalla Contributor

A good set of headphones can last a lifetime, but it's unlikely that the plug at the end of the headphone cord will. If you can solder a wire, though, there's no reason you can't replace it. If you don't know how to solder, you can buy a replacement plug that uses screw-on terminals, although this will be less secure over the long run.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement Plug
  • Pliers
  • Continuity Tester
  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering Iron And Solder (available At Hardware Stores)
  • Wire Cutters/strippers

Step 1

Use wire cutters/strippers to snip the old headphone plug off the cord. Purchase an exact replacement headphone plug at an electronics store.

Step 2

Twist off the shell of the replacement plug and slide it and any insulating sleeve onto the headphone cord.

Step 3

Using the wire cutters/strippers, remove 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) of the outer insulation from the headphone cord. You should find three wires: two insulated wires and one uninsulated wire, which is the ground.

Step 4

Strip 1/2 inch (12 mm) of insulation from each of the insulated wires (see A).

Step 5

Solder or screw the uninsulated ground wire to the plug terminal that is farthest from the plug tip (see B).

Step 6

Solder the insulated wires to the other plug terminals. If you don't know which terminal on the plug is the right channel and which is the left, you can use a continuity tester (available at electronics or hardware stores) to find out, testing it first on the tip of the headphone jack, which is always the left channel.

Step 7

Squeeze the plug clips together with a pair of pliers to secure the cord.

Step 8

Slide the shell over the plug and screw the plug in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • The wires for Sony headphone cords are insulated with a lacquer coating, which you'll need to remove before soldering them to the new plug. The easiest way to do this is to gently scrape it off with a pocketknife.